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McGraw Falls – Letter from Allen to Enskaitis, Xeneca Power Development Ltd.

July 30, 2011:  “I see that the NOC indicates that requesters of elevations had a deadline of May 1, 2009 to submit their requests to the Director of Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch, Ministry of the Environment. That date, as you know, precedes the date when the Ontario Legislature passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) on May 14, 2009. See here. That leads to some questions which I ask you to answer.

 1. Is the McGraw Falls project being considered under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act?

 2. Were there any requests for elevation prior to the May 1, 2009 deadline?

 3a. Has Xeneca received approval to proceed with the project?

3b. If so where are the approval documents posted?

 4. The Appendices include a notice dated February 21, 2008 which mentions specialty studies “currently in process” re each of habitat, hydrology and archaeology*.

 4a. Does the April 1, 2009 ESR include all of the information from these three studies?

 4b. Were any other specialty studies initiated after Februray 21, 2008?

  • I have an interest in cultural heritage values so commend Xeneca for ensuring that “McGraw Falls Water Power continues to work very closely with the Thunder Bay Region Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure that local values are examined and studies are focused appropriately” (McGraw Falls ESR Appendix A). An indication of appropriate focus and treatment of cultural values would be inclusion in the ESR of all five classes of cultural heritage values listed in Ontario’s Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values, Section 1.4, page 7. (OMNR. 2007. Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Toronto. 84p). Those classes are:

–          archaeological sites

–          archaeological potential areas

–          cultural heritage landscapes

–          historical Aboriginal values

–          cemeteries

By the way, that’s me on the front cover of the provincial guideline. I am the one with my back to the camera as I consult with Algonquin Region Chief Forester Joe Yaraskavitch, Algonquin Forestry Authority Head Forester Keith Fletcher and a GIS technician. A copy of the guide is available online here.

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