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Colliery Dam Technical Committee Public Information Update: March 14, 2014

The Colliery Dam Technical Committee’s mandate is to identify an environmentally minimally invasive, cost- and time-effective remediation solution for the Colliery Dam system that meets safety standards and the respective objectives of the City of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society and the community.

Good progress has been made toward identifying viable remediation options to address the requirements of the Dam Safety Section of the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources. In early March, the Committee received preliminary remediation options from Golder Associates.

Golder’s proposed options take advantage of new (2013) Canadian Dam Association (CDA) Dam Safety Guidelines that apply a risk assessment methodology, which defines the situation for options that focus remediation of the Colliery Dam system on the Lower Dam to withstand a seismic event or peak flood conditions. Golder has determined that its proposed options can be completed by November 2014 if work begins by early summer 2014. Furthermore, the options under consideration may not require in-stream work and may not require Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) authorization.

Golder has taken core samples of the Lower Dam and the downside berm. While Golder has not completed its analysis, preliminary findings are that the concrete in the dam is observed to be in very good condition with no signs of deterioration, voids, or honeycombing. The wall has steel reinforcement and is founded on bedrock.

While this assessment is important to know, the analysis is only partially completed. Golder has informed the Committee that further work and analysis is still required to identify viable options for remediating the dams to meet regulatory standards and the objectives of the Technical Committee.

Golder is scheduled to report back to the Committee by the end of April, at which time it is hoped the most viable option can be identified and approved, followed by determining a schedule for design, permitting and construction.

An Information Report to City Council is tentatively scheduled for 2014-Mar-24, which will provide further information on the status of the Colliery Dams.

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Inquiries can be directed to the Technical Committee via John McCormick (alternate facilitator for Katherine Gordon until April 8, 2014) at: johngmccormick@shaw.ca

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