August 12, 2011
Public Affairs Liaison
Xeneca Power Development Inc.
T: 416-590-9362 X 104
Dear Ms. Enskaitis:
Please find enclosed my response to the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Chute generating plant.
First of all, I would like to comment on the fact that NO correspondence was received from Xeneca in respect to the proposed Chute Generation Station on the Ivanhoe River. I find this very disturbing as we represent local commerce in and around Foleyet.
The Chamber of Commerce has a list of questions that concern the local businesses and residents.
- What will be the tangible economic outcome for the community of Foleyet if and when this dam is built?
- Will local residents as well as First Nations have first priority to be employed as construction workers even if they have to be trained, and will this training take place in Foleyet? Continue reading
August 11, 2011:
The cumulative effects of all facilities, water management practices, obstructions, roads, transmission lines, diversions, as well as all resulting “Identified Potential Risks”, must be considered with a precautionary approach in order to protect the well-being of all communities, the environment, and the riverine ecosystem; and to comply with the EAA and the CEAA. These types of proposals must not be fast tracked, or policy and procedure skipped – there is too much at stake! Continue reading
June 23, 2011:
a) Sitting now as a concerned stakeholder/citizen outside of government, I now see very clearly the problem governments are faced with regarding public communication and consultation. Government has a job to do, has deadlines to meet and needs to tick off the public consultation box. In the case of waterpower agreements, apparently public consultation was not really required for some reason, but you’re branch did it anyway. While I am glad you chose to consult, I am annoyed that there is a rule, policy or guideline that even suggests that public consultation is not mandatory for agreements with such far reaching and ongoing potential impacts; where does that policy appear? Now that there is a brief interlude, I have to get some things tabled; hopefully they will be helpful in future attempts to consult with the public. While I am obviously interested in these agreements and appreciate the opportunity to comment, I resent being put in the position I have been in over the last month. I, like all other members of the public, am extremely busy living life. I am also very interested and concerned over some matters that are going on with “sustainable management” of the environment within government, and I wish to have an opportunity to comment effectively. I did not, in the case of waterpower agreements, but I have the following synthesis comments: Continue reading
Algae blooms are becoming a common problem in many of our lakes and rivers. Climate change, warming water temperatures, low water levels and flow, eutrophication, phosphorus from fertilizers, soaps, and detergents; and pollution from untreated, undertreated and treated effluent from waste water treatment facilities into our watersheds, all contribute to its increasing growth and prevalence.
A natural and common form of algae is called Cladophora, and you can often smell it before you see it because it floats into shorelines and begins to decay and rot.
Cladophora are green algae that thrive on phosphorus and other nutrients in the lake or river water. This form of algae reaches peak growth from May to July, on the bottom along the shorelines and shallow water.
When the water temperature rises, the algae begin to die and loosen from the bottom. Strong winds and waves detach large quantities that become floating masses that can lodge on shore and begin to decay. The decaying algae cause the unpleasant odour.
Cladophora is not harmful to your health, althought the decaying algae can cause a very unpleasant odour and can form large floating deposits along our shorelines. The rotting algae also adds to the nutrient levels in the lake, which only perpetuates the cycle. Continue reading
May 29, 2011:
The proponent’s proposed solution to permit the species-at-risk fish to pass the weir is to allow them to swim upstream over the weir during the spring freshet. At that time, the flow is typically fierce, and far exceeds a lake sturgeon’s swimming abilities, let alone its jumping abilities, which are non-existent. During the rest of the year, as a result of the negligible residual flows, the fish
will not get within 300 metres of the weir, let alone be able to jump it. Downstream passage of fish is likewise threatened by the turbine, the particular design of which has a history of causing high fish mortality. The proposed design would therefore introduce yet another insurmountable obstacle in the migration path of these Species at Risk.
The precautionary approach would clearly be to place a moratorium on development of all small waterpower sites where SAR fish are known to exist until the science of fishway design is better understood. Continue reading
August 2, 2011: O. Reg. 116/01 to be Changed by O. Reg. 273/11 on September 19, 2011 – by W.A. Allen
Ontario Regulation 116/01 (usually referred to as O. Reg. 116 or O. Reg. 116/01) was enacted in 2001 but has had changes made to it since that time so it is imperative that people citing it use the most recent version and that they know when parts of it will be revoked. O. Reg. 116/01 is available at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_010116_e.htm# .
When people download O. Reg. 116/01 within the next few days they will notice that some of the provisions of another regulation, O. Reg. 273/11, made under the Open for Business Act, 2010, will cause certain clauses within O.Reg. 116/01 to be revoked as of September 19, 2011. That means that the 60 day period under which public comment is invited re The Chute on the Ivanhoe River (which ends September 12), falls entirely prior to the effective date of the relevant provisions of O. Reg. 273/11. O. Reg. 273/11 is a very brief regulation that changes O. Reg. 116/ O. as of September 19. O. Reg. 273/11 is available at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2011/elaws_src_regs_r11273_e.htm Continue reading
Eurasian Watermilfoil ( Myriophyllum spicatum )
Eurasian Watermilfoil is an aggressive submerged aquatic plant native to Europe, Asia and North Africa that has become one of the most widely distributed non-native aquatic plant species in North America. For detailed information you can go to Invading Species.com.
There are several methods of controlling this plant, however, one that has been finding success and has no negative impacts involves using a little bug which is native to our Ontario waters – the Milfoil Weevil.
Below is an excellent interview which explains the program.
Stephen Butcher, Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance (GSWA), was interviewed on May 6, 2011, on Morning North, CBC Radio, in Sudbury. This is an excellent interview and talks about a Milfoil Abatement Program, using a native species of weevils, which was approved by Sudbury City Council to begin this summer. Enviro Science will begin the program this year.
Click on “listen” for an excellent brief explanation of this project at the Morning North website.
July 20, 2011:
Allen: A number of my colleagues have turned to me with questions about the Navigable Waters Protection Act in light of Feed In Tarriff proposals for hydroelectric developments on rivers in Northern Ontario under plans by the Ontario Government through its Green Energy and Green Economy Act. This wave of questions has come to me, no doubt, because of my open letter to the TRAN committee on Feb. 22, 2009 at the time that changes to the Act were being proposed. My letter was widely distributed and posted on several websites. You can see a copy at the website of Alberta Whitewater. Continue reading
Summary of the Project
Two projects on the Petawawa River. One at Half Mile Rapids, entirely on DND property, the other at Big Eddy, right in the middle of Town.
Description of the Issues
These sites have not previously been dammed in any way
- Aesthetic degradation due to reduced flow in bypassed section of the river
- Impact on kayak/canoe navigability. This is a world-class kayaking site
- Fish habitat, migration. Sturgeon are acknowledged to be in the river. Proponent PD says there is “no known bypass solution”. Also, there are many other non-SAR game fish.
- Public safety: there is a heavily used recreation area 500 meters downstream of the proposed dam. Varying river flows, either intentional or resulting from failure of the computer control system, mean that the users of this area are at risk
- Contempt for Public Consultation component of the EA. Proponent generally ignores questions, or gives vague general answers. Presentations have so far been “content free”
- Insufficient documentation to assess potential environmental impact. PD is conceptual only
- Big Eddy switched from unmanaged to managed waterway. This omits the “Notice of Inspection” opportunity for public review.
- Document baseline is uncontrolled. Documents get revised, removed at the proponent’s whim, and there is no revision record
- The proponent is attempting to deviate from the published Class EA process. He wants to have a draft of the ER reviewed by the regulators. In other words, he wants to have two tries at seeing just how much he can get away with.
- Erosion of the south bank of the river and the foundation of the Petawawa Blvd bridge appears to be a distinct possibility.
- Lack of clarity on peaking vs. run-of-the-river. This greatly affects the area of influence. Continue reading
June 13, 2011:
I write this open letter as an Algonquin Elder from Pikwàkanagàn First Nation in response to your invitation for public comment to the proposed waterpower agreements with Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) at Chats Falls and Chenaux. I write one letter to you both since there is a lack of continuity in MNR’s approaches to waterpower agreements in different parts of the Ottawa River Watershed and elsewhere in Ontario. There also is a lack of continuity between these proposed agreements and MNR’s responsibilities under the Lakes and Rivers Act (LRIA). I think that it is wrong for MNR to have so many different ways of treating agreements under Ontario Regulation 242/08 and also wrong to not acknowledge in every waterpower agreement the fact that MNR has responsibilities under LRIA. Continue reading