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Category Archives: Repair/Replacement

OPG: Proposed Coniston Generating Station Life Extension Project Environmental Report

Wherever water levels have been lifted from their former undeveloped elevation must be considered the full extent of the reservoir/s. This crucial detail is not set out in the ER; however, the full extent of the cascading facilities must be considered when detecting, measuring and reporting total GHG emissions (CH2, CH4 and N2O). This cascading system creates one very large artificial and ongoing multi-level series of reservoirs that are highly regulated through the WRWMP, and likely very high in GHG emissions.

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Update: Riverside Dam on the Speed River

The City of Cambridge is moving forward on a detailed design plan of the new rebuild of Riverside Dam on the Speed River.  Construction is planned for 2022 and work set for completion in 2023.  Meanwhile, the full price tag won’t be known until the dam’s design plan has been finalized.  This dam has been determined to be at “high risk” of failing within the next 2 to 10 years.

ORA worked extensively towards the decommissioning of this dam.  Removing the dam would have been much cheaper, safer and healthier for the riverine ecosystem.

Articles:

Riverside Dam rebuild will begin in 2025 with a budget of $19 million, Cambridge Today, 17 February 2023
City of Cambridge puts $15.2M Riverside Dam project on hold indefinitely, City News, 4 December 2020
Riverside Dam construction delayed to 2022 with higher price tag, CBC News, 8 Sept 2020
Cambridge Council gives go-ahead to plan for Riverside repairs, CTV News, 8 Sept 2020


Updates: Howson Dam, North Maitland River

Update:  Huron Council voted to remove the dam in 2021 and, while the local Save the Dam committee continues to advocate for the status quo, once the final permits are received in 2024 the dam will be removed.

The motion, presented on Monday night, suggested by the committee calls for North Huron Council to approve an engineering study to determine the future of the dam and set out a schedule for fundraising for the rehabilitation of the structure. If that schedule cannot be met, however, the recommendation calls for the removal of the structure.

Articles:
Howson Dam and Pond Citizens Community chairperson reacts to budget talks, 3 February 2023
Howson Dam – Out to Tender – bids due 20 October 2022
Howson Dam spillway to be tested, 23 Nov 2020
North Huron Council approves engineering study on Howson Dam, 9 July 2020
‘It’s going to be black or white’: North Huron council approves funding Howson Dam committee to speak to engineers, experts, 9 July 2020
Decision on Wingham’s Howson Dam Expected Next Month, 19 June 2018


Calabogie Generating Station Redevelopment – Madawaska River

Peaking operations, with the variable flow discharge and ramping patterns, the rate and frequency of water level changes, and the amount of time the station is at its maximum discharge level, can all have a significant impact on the degree of channel and bank erosion.

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Cost Comparison of Dam Repair/Rebuild vs Decommissioning + Before & After Pics

Jeff Graham, P.Eng., President, GSS Engineering Consultants Ltd., prepared this comprehensive table reporting on the cost comparisons between dam repair/rebuild vs. decommissioning.  These are actual completed projects, showing the before and after.   Check out the table: Continue reading


Riverside Dam Class EA – Part II Order Request – ORA & Partners

The full Capital and Life Cycle Costs of Rebuilding Riverside Dam were not realistically represented in the ESR and could well end up costing the taxpayers more than double what was presented to the public and City Council.  A Rebuilt dam would be considered a new dam, not a repair or expansion of an existing weir, with an assessed High Hazard Potential, and is located within the City of Cambridge in a location that could place multiple residences and businesses at risk in the event of severe flooding or a dam breach.  ORA and Partners submit that this Project goes far beyond the screening process provided by a Schedule B, Class EA.  Consequently, we submit that this is a major project that should fall into a higher level of assessment.

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Riverside Dam Class EA – Update to Preliminary Preferred Alternative – Joint Submission

ORA understands the pressure municipalities are under when communities rally to maintain or rebuild their beloved mill ponds.  However, it is up to all authorities and municipalities to take a leadership role that places public safety and landscape scale ecological integrity above local individual or group interests.

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Save the East Channel of the Eramosa River

Upper Dam diverts flow from East Channel into West Channel of Eramosa River

Upper Dam diverts flow from East Channel into West Channel of Eramosa River

The East Channel is a stretch of the Eramosa River that runs through the village of Eden Mills, between Rockwood and the city of Guelph.  The East Channel was once a pristine river ecosystem; however, for years, it  has been in a state of decline.  Why?  Because a private dam was built without an environmental assessment or permits in the early 1990s, and blocks water from flowing down into the East Channel during the low flow summer months when the river and aquatic life need it the most.  Even though there could be as much as 20 inches of water in the river at the entrance of the East Channel, the Upper Dam blocks the flow completely at those times.  This dam continues to cause significant and alarming environmental harm to the East Channel’s river ecosystem. Continue reading


Decision Notice: Alterations, Improvements & Repairs to Existing Dams, LRIA

Misner Dam, Port Dover

In November of 2015, Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) commented on EBR 012-5093,  regarding a Technical Bulletin for the Alterations, Improvements and Repairs of Existing Dams.  You can find our submission on our Blog here.  On March 24, 2016, ORA received a Decision Notice, as well as the approved Technical Bulletin. Continue reading


Springbank Dam Decommissioning

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

ORA and those listed below are writing in response to the recent settlement of the lawsuit over the Springbank Dam. We request serious consideration of our comments and recommendations regarding the future of the Springbank Dam, and its potential effects on public health and safety, on water quality, climate change, fisheries, and on the natural environment of the Thames River, Lake St Claire and Lake Erie, should it be returned to service.

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