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Waneta expansion project effects to be monitored

The Waneta Expansion Community Impact Management Committee participated in their first tour of the Waneta Expansion project site on March 22. Pictured behind the committee members and to the left is the future location of the expansion’s powerhouse.

The effects of the massive Waneta Expansion Project on the communities of the greater Trail area are now being scrutinized by a socio-economic monitor, named to the project this week.

The partners in the Waneta Expansion project — Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust — announced the hiring of Cathy Scott-May, a local consultant, as the independent socio-economic monitor for the project.

She will work closely with the Community Impact Management Committee to evaluate, document and regularly report on the effects of the project on the communities of the greater Trail area and produce reports on their findings.

“The monitor will use existing statistical information as a baseline to build a monitoring framework around anticipated and unanticipated impacts,” said Audrey Repin, spokesperson for the Waneta Expansion Project.

The monitor will focus on indicators such as employment, wage income, expenditures, economic development, traffic, health and safety, housing, population, recreation and community services.

Quarterly and annual reports will be produced and posted on Columbia Power Corporation’s website at www.columbiapower.org. The first report will be available later in 2011.

The Waneta Expansion Community Impact Management Committee meets once a month to provide ongoing support to encourage positive community impacts and benefits, and relay community concerns resulting from construction of the project.

To date, over 100,000 man-hours have been completed on the project.