Many individuals and groups embarking on the Part II Order process are new to it, have no legal assistance or background, and are unfamiliar with the terminology and rules; therefore, if we are truly aiming to provide help to the public it is extremely important that clear, succinct and concise instructions be provided in this policy/guidance document.
It is imperative that the Town of Erin examines every means possible to make its community more resilient to climate change, and most importantly, to protect its finite freshwater resources and its fishery. In fact, consideration of climate change was not even mentioned within the EA documentation, and ORA sees this as a major flaw, when it should have been included as a key consideration in the Scoring Matrix.
It was very surprising and disappointing to read your decision letter; however, it was somewhat understandable when the Minister’s decision was based upon inaccurate and unsupported responses contained within the Ministry Review (Review) document, Xeneca Power Development Inc.’s (Xeneca) correspondence, and the Environmental Report (ER). Continue reading
On March 14, 2014, Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) submitted a Part II Order request to the Minister of Environment on the Environmental Report for the Marter Township, Blanche River Hydroelectric proposal, on the grounds that, in our opinion, Xeneca Power Development Inc. did not meet the requirements of the Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower (Class EA) in numerous areas.
ORA is pleased to report that today we received a response from the Minister’s office, stating that “based on the ministry’s review of the Environmental Report, Xeneca has failed to meet the Class EA requirements”.
The Ministry is requiring Xeneca to go back and correct several deficiencies. Once the deficiencies are corrected Xeneca can resubmit its Notice of Completion and Environmental Report. This will be very difficult for Xeneca to fulfill with just one employee and a cell phone. We are still awaiting decisions on the Part II Order requests ORA submitted on the Wabagishik, Frederick House and Ivanhoe Rivers Environmental Reports.
What was found in the PF was encouraging, and yet at the same time very concerning. It was encouraging to see that MOE concurred with ORA and VRS, when it reported “NR’s review of the ER indicated that in several instances, the proponent has not met the requirements of the Waterpower Class EA”; however, it was disturbing that “EAB has indicated they are considering denying the Part II Order requests with conditions, noting that it may be possible to impose detailed conditions to ensure all outstanding concerns are addressed”. This referenced document goes on to express the questions, concerns and uncertainty of how to deal with this deficient ER, and whether this would “expose the Ministry to any risk (ie: other proponents seeking the same level of direction during the proponent-driven EA process, or liability issues if the approach taken leads to unforeseen negative impacts on the environment or other users)”.
In November of 2011 ORA reviewed the Wanatango Falls Final Environmental Report (ER), and expressed concern to the Minister of Environment over its many deficiencies and uncertainties in our Part II Order request. It is surprising that after 2 ½ years of additional studies, preparation, and negotiating time, that this “Final” ER has not advanced in either its sophistication, readiness, or its economic and environmental viability or certainty. Xeneca is still not ready to bring this proposal through to Notice of Completion. Many crucial decisions have not yet been made so that the public and First Nations are left with many questions unanswered.
Additionally, the proponent is still working diligently to transform the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) policy and process to their own will and liking in order to maximize power generation, and to not have to spend the required dollars to thoroughly study and mitigate the impacts within the entire Zone of Influence (ZOI). Perhaps if the proponent invested the same resources into following the recommendations of the regulators they would have ended up with a much stronger and more environmental responsible and sustainable proposal. Continue reading
Healthy rivers are vital to our survival on this planet. Damming rivers to provide income for this generation is short-sighted and ill-advised, and will diminish a life-giving resource that is essential to the survival of our future generations.
The decision-making and reporting process used by Xeneca in reaching its conclusions in this ER are neither transparent nor traceable. First Nation and public consultation were inadequate, many kilometers of riverine ecosystem have not been adequately assessed, and there are many other concerns and uncertainties detailed above. As a result, ORA submits that Xeneca has not met the requirements of the Class EA for Waterpower.
After having carefully reviewed the Ivanhoe River Generating Stations for The Chute and Third Falls ER, and its supporting documentation, ORA is requesting that the Minister of Environment issue a Part II Order to elevate this EA to an Individual Environmental Assessment.
Elevating this Project to a more rigorous and thorough Individual EA would improve the project by allowing time for further key studies to be completed, and for many of our recommendations noted above to be incorporated into the Project. Thus allowing for a more sustainable and responsible contribution to the Province of Ontario. As PGL said, “The geomorphic study would most certainly benefit from further field investigations in which additional data could be collected throughout the zone of influence to compile a more complete collection of river characteristics.” So would many other aspects of the Project. Continue reading
This proposal has a Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) contract which pays a 50% peaking bonus for all power generated. FIT Contracts have a 40 year term. Projects with FIT contracts cannot be told to stop generating if Ontario has a surplus of power – they get paid for all power generated whether it is required or not. Proposed to produce 2.1 MW Installed Capacity, which with seasonal flows will more realistically produce 50% of that – approximately 1 MW of power.
ORA has made a Part II Order request to the Minister of Environment to elevate this proposal to an Individual Environmental Assessment – a much more rigorous environmental assessment. Awaiting MOE response.
Published: 14 March 2014
“It is ORA’s submission that Xeneca’s approach falls far short of their claims in many key aspects of this ER, and does its best to sell the reader on the project, with an approach of convincing the reader to just trust them, let them build it, and then through monitoring and adaptive management during pre and post construction the riverine ecosystem will be just fine. This approach is not acceptable.” Read more below:
“Our concerns have not been alleviated by Xeneca’s response; in fact they are heightened as a result of their continued insistence that studies were completed when clearly they were not. As a result of this, one has to wonder what else they are not telling us. What will happen when a company like this takes over a large 20 to 30 km section of lake and river that local stakeholders and aquatic life rely on – all to produce approximately 1.7 MW of power. Xeneca’s behaviour does nothing but erode our trust and confidence even further. Continue reading
The City of Greater Sudbury is proposing to decommission the Lively Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and upgrade the Walden WWTP. Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) has requested tertiary treatment, which is a third means of effluent treatment, to improve water quality on the lower Junction Creek, Simon Lake, McCharles Lake, and the lower Vermilion River. VRS is making a request to the Minister of Environment to issue a Part II Order to elevate this proposal to an Individual Environmental Assessment. See attached letter.