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Generation

The generation project underwent a federally and provincially-regulated Environmental Assessment (EA). The project was released from the environmental assessment process in March 2012. As a condition of release, Nalcor is required to fulfill various commitments outlined in the assessment, including mitigation measures, environmental management and monitoring, and follow up.

Environmental Effects Management


Environmental Protection Plan

A project-wide Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) has been developed and is currently used for ongoing construction activities. The plan details all environmental mitigation and construction monitoring measures to be applied throughout the project. The EPP has been reviewed and approved by all appropriate government agencies to ensure the contents will promote optimal environmental management. Read the report.

Historic Resources Recovery Program
Nalcor is committed to preserving the historic resources in the project area through a comprehensive assessment and recovery program. In close consultation with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Provincial Archaeology Office, Nalcor completed a comprehensive program to preserve the rich history at Muskrat Falls. Throughout construction Nalcor will continue with this program to ensure historic resources are properly managed and protected in the Project area.

Avifauna Management Program
Nalcor is committed to minimizing impacts to avifauna species and habitat affected by project construction activities. Nalcor has developed an rigorous avifauna management plan that includes comprehensive surveys, avoidance through buffers and relocation protocols, where necessary. In addition to these measures, all individuals working on the project are provided training and informational materials to increase awareness, particularly during the nesting season.

Fish Habitat Compensation Plan
In accordance with Section 35 of the Fisheries Act, Nalcor is required to ensure compensation for altered fish habitat as a result of the project. Nalcor has developed a Fish Habitat Compensation Plan for the lower Churchill River. This plan, developed in consultation with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, includes the creation and enhancement of spawning habitat at river deltas and shoals, in addition to the incidental gain provided by the reservoir.

Environmental Effects Monitoring Plans


Aquatic Effects Monitoring Plan
Nalcor has developed a comprehensive aquatic monitoring program to evaluate the success of proposed effects management measures and to confirm effects predictions made during the environmental assessment process. The scope of this plan includes downstream effects, turbine entrainment, and mercury bioaccumulation. The monitoring and follow-up measures detailed in this plan were developed in consultation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to ensure compliance with requirements of the environmental assessment and the Fisheries Act.

Atmospheric Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The atmospheric environmental effects monitoring plan assesses construction and operational activities identified during the environmental assessment process that have the potential to cause adverse environmental effects to the atmosphere through ambient air quality and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The plan proposes strategies for identification, management and monitoring of greenhouse gas, particulate and other air emissions for the project. Read the plan.

Avifauna Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The Avifauna Protection and Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan identifies mitigation measures for the protection of avifauna in the project area, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of these measures. This plan addresses the required aspects of avifauna protection and effects monitoring for the design, construction, and operation phases of Muskrat Falls Generation Project and Labrador Transmission Assets.

Black Bear Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The Black Bear Protection and Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan demonstrates how any environmental effects on black bears in the project area will be mitigated, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

Caribou Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
This plan demonstrates how any environmental effects of the project on caribou will be mitigated, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. It addresses the required aspects of migratory caribou protection and effects monitoring for the design, construction, and operation phases of the Lower Churchill Project, including Muskrat Falls Generation and the Labrador Transmission Assets. Read the plan.

*Note: Protection and environmental effects monitoring of the Red Wine Mountains herd is addressed in the Species at Risk plan (below).

Human Health Risk Assessment Plan

During the environmental assessment process, Nalcor produced an interim Human Health Risk Assessment with a commitment to complete a final assessment following project sanction and before the project changes the conditions of the river. Components of this effort will include:

  • Consultation with relevant communities
  • Collection of human hair samples from the relevant communities for baseline determination of mercury concentrations
  • Dietary surveys – country and store-bought foods
  • Update of the Human Health Risk Assessment to include new baseline and updated exposure inputs
  • Development of a comprehensive monitoring program and health advisory protocol in consultation with Health Canada and the relevant communities

Read the Human Health Risk Assessment Plan here.

Read the Final Baseline Human Health Risk Assessment Report here.

Additional Reports & Information:

Furbearers Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The Furbearers Protection and Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan demonstrates how adverse environmental effects of the Lower Churchill River Hydroelectric Generation Project will be mitigated, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation measures. The plan relates to furbearing mammals including marten, river otter, beaver and porcupine.

Herptile Environmental Effect Monitoring Program
The primary objectives of the 2014 Herptile Environmental Effects Monitoring Program (EEMP) were to verify the presence, distribution and/or habitat associations of spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale) and northern two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata) in the lower Churchill River valley, for which there is relatively limited information available, and/or uncertainty about their distribution in the region. In addition, samples of tadpoles were collected to support the project’s Ecorisk EEMP.  Read the results of the 2014 program here.

Ice Formation Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The purpose of the Ice Formation Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan is to monitor the presence of ashkui within the lower Churchill River watershed as well as the development of ice cover in relation to the Mud Lake Crossing, an ice road/ice bridge across the Churchill River to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, approximately 30 kilometres (km) downstream of the Muskrat Falls reservoir. The plan:

  • Identifies environmental effects of construction and operation on the Mud Lake Crossing (e.g., delayed formation of a safe ice thickness) and appropriate mitigation;
  • Establishes a program for monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation measures; and
  • Identifies the location and size of ashkui, areas of early open water, within the lower Churchill River watershed prior to the conduct of the Waterfowl-Ashkui surveys as described in the Avifauna Protection and Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan.

Related Documents:

Methylmercury Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The Methylmercury Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan demonstrates how predicted environmental effects related to the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project will be mitigated, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation measures. Read the plan.

Moose Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The Moose Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan demonstrates how adverse environmental effects of the project will be mitigated, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation measures identified. The plan builds on existing information and commitments made in the Environmental Impact Statement (Nalcor 2009), and conditions of permits and licenses for the project.

Navigation Mitigation and Monitoring Plan
The purpose of the Navigation Mitigation and Monitoring Plan is to address project interaction with navigation in the Lower Churchill River at the reservoir area and downstream during construction and operation. Read the plan.

Small Mammals Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
This plan identifies how environmental effects of the project will be mitigated and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of planned mitigation measures. The Small Mammals Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan relates specifically to woodland jumping mouse, pygmy shrew and water shrew, and has been developed based on the commitment made by Nalcor during the Joint Review Panel hearing (CEAR 1312, p. 25) and conditions of permits and licenses for the project.

Socioeconomic Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
The objectives of the Socioeconomic Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan are to identify measures to mitigate adverse effects and enhance the benefits (creating value) of the project for Aboriginal groups and residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, create opportunities for people in the region to participate in the project and thereby enhance wellbeing, and establish a role for the project as an active participant in the sustainability of communities in the region.

Species at Risk
Provincially, wildlife species at risk are managed under the Newfoundland and Labrador Endangered Species Act (NLESA), which protects wildlife species, subspecies or populations within the province that are considered endangered, threatened or vulnerable. Under NLESA it is prohibited to disturb, harass, injure or destroy any individual of a listed species, disturb or destroy the residence of listed species, or be in possession of individuals of a listed species.

  • Species at Risk Impacts Mitigation & Monitoring Plan
    The Species at Risk Impacts Mitigation and Monitoring Plan addresses the required aspects of species at risk for both avifauna and caribou protection and effects monitoring for the design and construction phases of the project, including Muskrat Falls Generation and the Labrador Transmission Assets. This plan is a requirement for the issuance of a Section 19 Permit under the provincial Endangered Species Act (ESA). Read the plan.
  • Species at Risk Protection & Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan
    The Species at Risk (SAR) Protection and Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan demonstrates how any negative environmental effects on avifauna species at risk and caribou will be mitigated during construction and operation of the project, and sets out a program for monitoring the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. Read the plan.

 

MUSKRAT FALLS PROJECT