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Proposed Wabagishik Rapids GS – Part II Order Request – Submission to Minister Bradley

Wabagishik Rapids – Vermilion River


“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.

With the lack of proper studies, the severely contaminated sediment made evident by the 1986 MOE study, and the study presented by Erik Szkokan-Emilson[1], this project has the potential to damage several kilometers of lake and riverine ecosystem, release heavy metals into the environment, and to place public health and safety at risk.  There are simply too many unknown factors that have not been properly studied or considered.

There are numerous outstanding significant environmental and transparency issues that cannot be resolved through further discussions with the proponent, or through mediation, as the proponent will not even admit to any inadequacies.

Consequently, VRS and ORA request that the Minister consider what has been relayed in this letter, along with our Part II Order request dated 1 November 2013, as written.  Elevating this proposal to an Individual Environmental Assessment would ensure a higher and more rigorous level of scrutiny that would ensure that crucial studies are completed, that contaminated sediment is properly considered and contained, and that proper mitigation measures are in place to ensure an environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable project.  These studies should be completed by an independent third party as we no longer have any trust or confidence in this company.”

[1] Szkokan-Emilson et al. (2013) Drought-induced release of metals from peatlands in watersheds recovering from historical metal and sulphur deposition. Biogeochemistry DOI: 10.1007/s10533-013-9919-0.

You can read about our many concerns and view our Part II Order Request here.

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