Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

Category Archives: Energy

Temagami River – Camp Rapids Hydroelectric Proposals – FIT 4

River Valley Power Corp. and Water Power Group are applying for FIT contracts to develop 4 new hydroelectric power generation stations at Camp Rapids on the Temagami River in River Valley at Blue Grass Park.

These two developers have applied for and received endorsement by the West Nipissing Municipal Council, which qualifies the proponent/s for Priority Points under the IESO FIT 4 Program.  A decision by IESO will be forthcoming sometime in May of 2016 on whether they were successful. Continue reading

EBR-012-5666 – Cap and Trade Program Design Options

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Reservoirs

Headponds or reservoirs are crucial to maximizing hydroelectric generation during peak demand hours, and must be factored in to pay the price for any cap or tax on resulting GHG emissions.  The frequent claim by governments and industry that waterpower produces clean energy is understood in most circles to mean that it does not emit Greenhouse Gases (GHGs).  The clean and green reputation of large dams has already been in question, but scientists are now reporting that millions of smaller dams on rivers around the world make an important contribution to total global GHG emissions.

Continue reading

Hardesty Rail Terminal Project – CEAA

ORA submits that this project could facilitate expansion of the tar sands, and increase Canada’s carbon pollution. We need an environmental assessment to look at this project’s effect on climate change, as well as the impacts on the potential for increased spills throughout the country.

The tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, Gogama, and other explosive derailments across North America show the risks of moving oil by rail. We need an environmental assessment before we put any more oil trains on the tracks.

Continue reading

EBR 012-5093 – LRIA – Alterations, Improvements and Repairs to Existing Dams Technical Bulletin

Twin Falls GS, Abitibi River

ORA is very pleased to offer our comments on this EBR posting regarding the administration of Section 16 of the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).  However, to our knowledge, no decision has yet been made on the comments ORA submitted in January of 2014, regarding EBR 012-0562, the Technical Bulletins designed to provide guidance for dam location, operation, maintenance, amendments, reporting and approval under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).  Effective LRIA guidelines and policies are essential to regulating dams and maintaining healthy rivers.

Continue reading

Hydro Impacts 101 – The Trade-offs

Download (PDF, 1.79MB)

For Immediate Release:         5 November 2015

Hydro Impacts 101 – The Trade-offs

Significant environmental damage from hydroelectric power generation has been ongoing for many decades in Ontario and in other locations throughout the world, yet the public has been led to believe that it provides a clean and green source of energy because there is no smoke, no ash, and no radiation. Indeed, some mistakenly think that all hydro contributes positively to the climate change issue.  “This report will help to set the record straight on just how clean and green waterpower really is”, said Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA). Continue reading

Proposed North Bala Small Hydro Project – Request for Addendum

Bala Falls

Bala Falls


“Swift River Energy Limited (SREL) is proposing to construct a North Bala Small Hydro Project (Project) on the Moon River in the Town of Bala, Ontario. It has come to ORA’s attention that there have been significant changes to the proposed plan as set out in the Environmental Screening Report (ER) and subsequent 2012 Addendum (Addendum) as approved by the Director of the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch (Director), and subsequently confirmed by the Honourable Jim Bradley, Minister of Environment, in his letter of 23 January 2013.” Continue reading

Blanche River Part II Order Request – MOECC Decision

Snip20150708_2Krugerdorf Chuts, Blanche River


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.

Download (PDF, 565KB)

Download (PDF, 295KB)

Download (PDF, 295KB)


Energy East Pipeline – Ontario Water Crossings

Ontario Rivers Alliance is working on a project to map and list all Ontario water crossings that the Energy East Pipeline would place at risk.   The pipeline will intersect with approximately 1174 streams, 873 lakes and 469 wetland areas.

ORA has applied to the National Energy Board for Intervenor Funding, and will be working with THeIA Geo-Analytics on the collection of data and mapping of the area of potential impact of the pipeline on water bodies across the province.  Below is a small sample of the scope and detail of the project.  So stay tuned for some of the most detailed work we have seen on the pipeline route mapping to date.

Click on map below to enlarge.

Energy East Pipeline Water Crossings

Energy East Pipeline Water Crossings

OEB Energy East Consultation and Review – Part 2 – ORA Comments

Based on the information provided by TransCanada (TC) in their application, it is impossible to choose only three areas of primary concern when there are so many pressing issues. ORA is primarily concerned with the potential impacts on our freshwater and environment, and on communities that could be impacted in the event of a spill. ORA also have a lack of confidence in TC’s track record in the area of pipeline safety and emergency responsiveness.

Download (PDF, 327KB)

ORA Concerns with the Energy East Pipeline

NEB Interactive Incident Map

Clicking on the Map will allow you to search for release incidents.


by Dr. G. Alan Hepburn, June 2015

In Ontario, the Energy East (EE) pipeline will be a converted 42” diameter gas pipeline.  This will make it amongst the largest diameter crude oil pipelines in North America.  Its capacity will be almost twice that of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  The length of the line in Ontario is about 2,000 km.  The pipeline material is steel.  Over 95% of its length in Ontario is clad with fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) to provide protection from corrosion.  FBE is the best available coating.  The remaining 5% is coated with inferior materials that have proven to be problematic.  Continue reading