04/20/2015 14:45 EDT | Updated 06/20/2015 01:12 EDT

Landowner group in court to challenge province's approval of Site C dam in B.C.

VANCOUVER - A group of landowners in northeastern B.C. says the provincial government broke the law in approving the controversial Site C dam.The Peace Valley Landowners Association has told B.C. Supreme Court that the province ignored a joint review panel's recommendations for the proposed megaproject.The association wants the court to quash an environmental assessment certificate that B.C. issued for the dam last fall, arguing the province failed to follow the assessment process.The case is the first of seven legal challenges against the provincial and federal governments from various groups opposed to Site C.Two weeks ago, Energy Minister Bill Bennett told a Vancouver Board of Trade gathering that shovels would be in the ground by summer.An estimated 5,500 hectares of land would be flooded by the dam's construction.