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Category Archives: Rivers at Risk

Fright & Flight Zone, by Laurent Robichaud

Since 1963 the Little Long Generating Complex on the Lower Mattagami River in Northern Ontario has been the source of an environmental crisis of immeasurable proportions. Thousands of Lake Sturgeon have been entrained through spillway gates and left stranded waiting to be captured and relocated back to their adopted man-made habitat, leaving waters not fit for survival. Adam Creek Spillway is well known province-wide as a thorn in hydro electric energy and should not be defined or qualified as GREEN energy.

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Mattagami River – Little Long Dam Safety Project

Turbine and entrainment mortality, although poorly documented, are recognized threats to Lake Sturgeon subpopulations within fragmented rivers and are at risk from extreme changes in water flow velocity and pressure, cavitation, shear, turbulence, mechanical injuries, entrainment and impingement.

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Calabogie Generating Station Redevelopment Project – Notice of Completion

The fact that Lake Sturgeon and American Eel no longer exists in this section of the Madawaska River, is all the more reason that OPG should make every effort to rehabilitate these populations and include effective fish passage for these and other fish species at this facility.  OPG is a provincial entity and as such should set the example as a beacon for responsible and sustainable hydroelectric facilities and operations in Ontario.

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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


Bala Falls Small Hydro Project – Permit to Take Water

Area just below the Falls

Since this project was first proposed, a large percentage of the community of Bala Falls have been opposed to it.  Citizens have lobbied, marched, picketed, petitioned and railed against this abomination being built in the heart of their town.  Immediately downstream of the dam is a favourite public swimming and picnic area that draws local residents and tourists from far and wide.  This project will pose a public safety risk; however, there is no Public Safety Plan – it wasn’t included in the initial Environmental Report, nor was it adequately addressed.  It was unacceptable in 2012, and it’s still unacceptable – it should never have been approved in the first place.

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Ivanhoe River & Frederick House River – MECP Decision on ORA’s Part II Order requests

After reviewing the Project documentation, the issues raised by the requesters, and the outstanding concerns of technical staff, the MECP has determined that the project has not met the requirements of the Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects.

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Springbank Dam – One River Class EA – Preferred Alternative – Joint Submission

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

Our organizations recommend choosing Alternative 3 – the Full Removal of Springbank Dam and the naturalization of this section of the Thames River.   We submit that full dam removal and naturalization are the preferred solutions from an environmental perspective and would likely prove to be the most cost-effective over the long-term when Life-cycle costs and available provincial and federal funding are considered.

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