Canada seeks comment on draft for 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency invites the public to comment on draft guidelines for preparing an environmental impact statement for the proposed 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The draft identifies information the sponsor, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, will be required to address in an environmental impact statement. Written comments on the draft are due Jan. 28 to Maryse Pineau, Panel Manager, CEAA, 160 Elgin St., 22nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3 Canada; E-mail: maryse.pineau@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

The draft and information on the project are available on the federal agency’s Internet site, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, and the website for the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of the Environment and Conservation, www.gov.nl.ca/env.

CEAA and the Department of Environment and Conservation also said they are developing an agreement to guide a joint environmental assessment of the project. (HNN 12/6/07) That accord would include procedures for appointing an independent review panel to conduct public hearings on the EIS, proposed terms of reference for the joint review panel, and procedures for conducting the review. The draft agreement is to be made available for comment later.

The project, proposed for sites on the lower Churchill River in Labrador, includes 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls. The Gull Island site is 225 kilometers downstream from the existing 5,428-MW Churchill Falls project. Muskrat Falls is about 60 kilometers downstream of Gull Island.

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