By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Dec. 28, 2013
Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) proponents have six months to supplement information on water, hydrology, fish, vegetation, and wildlife to the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).
An updated socio-economic study is also being sought by the EAO.
Garibaldi at Squamish is a proposed all-season resort on the slopes of Brohm Ridge, approx 15 kilometres from Squamish.
The resort will have 5,739 housing units, and more 1,700 hotel units, along with two 18-hole golf courses.
A public meeting on Dec. 18 at West Coast Railway Heritage Park saw a steady trickle of people come in and comment on the project.
EAO’s representative Chris Hamilton said the proponents have provided satisfactory information on some parts of the project.
“They have provided enough information on three-quarters of the project,” Hamilton said.
But more information must flow on other part of the projects, he said.
The proponents earlier proposed a surface water extraction from Brohm Lake, but changed plans to extract ground water from the Cheakamus aquifer.
“They have done some water studies, but they need to do more testing for quality,” he said.
Besides water quantity, the EAO office is also seeking report about potential groundwater contaminants, a well protection plan, ground water flow directions and rates, etc.
The proponent will also need to supply information on the potential effects of geohazards of the project infrastructure, such as ground water supply line, pump house, etc.
EAO also wants information on net effects to fish and fish habitat from the operation of the groundwater in the Cheakamus River, change to old growth forest, economic and social effects.
A detailed list of Supplemental Application Information Requirements (SAIR) is also available here.
Meanwhile, GAS proponents say there is more than enough water in the Cheakamus aquifer to meet the needs of the project.
A pumping test was carried out over four days in February 2013, which monitored water quality at nearby wells, Swift Creek and the Cheakamus River.
GAS hydrologist Andrew Holmes said the proposed maximum removal rate represents less than 10 per cent of summer flow in the aquifer and less than 0.5 % of minimum flows in the Cheakamus River.
“There is about 12 times the amount of water we need right now,” Holmes said.
GAS proponents say the water quality is also ‘excellent’ and in compliance with Health Canada’s Canadian Drinking Quality.
The proponents have till June 2014 to provide all supplemental information to EAO.