Canada establishes panel to review 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

Federal and provincial officials have named a five-member panel to review the proposed 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project, proposed for Labrador.

Canada Environment Minister Jim Prentice, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Environment and Conservation Charlene Johnson, and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dave Denine announced formation of the review panel Jan. 8.

Lesley Griffiths, co-principal of Griffiths Muecke consulting firm, and Herbert Clarke, former member of the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, were named panel co-chairmen. Other members are: Keith Chaulk, biologist and director at the Labrador Institute of Memorial University; Meinhard Doelle, associate professor at Dalhousie Law School; and James Igloliorte, former law magistrate and provincial court judge in Labrador.

The joint review panel is to: examine environmental effects of the proposed project; consider technically and economically feasible measures to mitigate any adverse environmental effects; and consider comments from the public.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro proposes the C$9 billion (US$7.4 billion) project, which would feature two developments on the Lower Churchill River — 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls. Canadian federal and provincial regulators previously issued final guidelines for preparation of an environmental impact statement for the project. (HNN 10/1/08)

An agreement on the joint panel’s environmental review is available from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Registry, which can be found on the Internet at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca under registry No. 07-05-26178.

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