OTTAWA – January 14, 2011 – The Joint Panel reviewing the proposed Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project announced today that the environmental impact statement (EIS) along with the additional information submitted by the proponent contains sufficient information to proceed to the public hearing on the environmental effects of the project.
The public hearing will begin on March 3, 2011 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Panel invites and encourages all interested parties to participate.
The public hearing will give interested individuals and organizations the opportunity to hear about the project and its potential impacts and to provide their views to the Panel. The hearing will also allow the proponent to present the project and to offer clarifying information as required.
To ensure that the hearing offers all parties an opportunity to participate, the Panel will hold three types of hearing sessions:
- General hearing sessions will be held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and in St. John’s. Participants at these sessions may share with the Panel their overall views and conclusions on the project and its potential impacts. Presentations at the general sessions may be on any aspect within the scope of the review.
- Topic-specific sessions will take place in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Topic-specific sessions will be more focused and will provide an opportunity for participants with a special interest or knowledge to share their views with the Panel on the following subjects: Project need, purpose and alternatives; reservoir preparation, filling, operation and decommissioning; aquatic environment; terrestrial environment; economic impacts; social and cultural impacts; and environmental management, monitoring and follow-up.
- Community hearing sessions will be held for the communities of Mud Lake, Northwest River, Sheshatshiu, Cartwright, Rigolet and Nain. Sessions will be held in Sept-Îles for the Aboriginal communities in Quebec. Some of these sessions will be carried out through video-conferencing.
Community sessions will allow participants an opportunity to present to the Panel their views on the impacts of the project and on issues of importance to local communities. The hearing process will be adapted to the needs of the community where possible.
The hearing will be completed within 45 days. The public hearing procedures which outline how the sessions will unfold were recently issued and are available on the public registry.
Participants who wish to make a presentation to the Panel at any of the hearing sessions will be asked to register with the Panel secretariat 10 days in advance of the hearing sessions. Registration will begin once the dates for the hearing sessions are made public.
The Panel will soon provide further details on the hearing session dates and locations along with more information on registration and filing submissions for the hearing.
More information on the panel review is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, registry number 07-05-26178.
Nalcor Energy proposes to construct two hydroelectric generating stations with a total capacity of just over 3000 megawatts (MW) on the Lower Churchill River, together with transmission lines to connect the two generation sites to the existing Upper Churchill Project. The proposed generation stations would be located at Gull Island (2,250 MW) and Muskrat Falls (824 MW).
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