Ministry Review of the Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply Project Environmental Assessment
The ministry’s evaluation of the environmental assessment for a project to install and operate up to 20 megawatts of diesel generated electrical capacity at the Musselwhite Mine.
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Environmental Assessment Act R.S.O. 1990, Subsection 7(1)
This Review is subject to the provisions of Ontario Regulation 616/98 which sets out a deadline for the completion of this document. The deadline for the completion of the Ministry Review was April 9, 2012. This paragraph and the giving of the Notice of Completion are the notices required by subsection 7(3) of the Environmental Assessment Act (Act).
The Ministry Review documents the Ministry’s evaluation of the Environmental Assessment and takes the comments of the government agencies, the public and Aboriginal communities into consideration.
Goldcorp Canada Ltd. (Goldcorp)
Ministry Review of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed undertaking which includes:
- up to 20 megawatts (MW) of additional diesel-fired electrical generation
- additional 11 year lifespan for the Musselwhite Mine
EA submitted: January 15, 2010
EA comment period: January 15, 2010–March 5, 2010
Ministry Review comment period: April 30, 2010–June 4, 2010
This site is located 480 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.
Recent exploration by Goldcorp has confirmed the presence of additional mineral reserves which can extend the mine life from approximately 2017 to 2028. To mine these reserves, Goldcorp needs approximately 20 MW of additional electrical capacity to increase underground ventilation and maintain safe working conditions.
The Ministry of the Environment’s review of the EA concluded that it was prepared in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference and contains sufficient information to assess the environmental effects of the proposed undertaking.
Environmental assessment process
Environmental assessment (EA) is a proponent driven planning process designed to incorporate the consideration of the environment into decision-making by assessing the effects of an undertaking on the environment. In Ontario, the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) sets out the general contents for the preparation of an EA, as well as the ministry’s evaluation process. For those proponents and undertakings subject to the EAA, approval under the EAA is required before the undertaking can proceed.
Proponents address a wide range of potential effects on the natural, social, cultural and economic environments to ensure the protection, conservation and wise management of the environment. An EA determines, on the basis of the environmental effects, if an undertaking should proceed, and if so, how environmental effects can be managed.
EAs may identify a problem or opportunity, consider alternative ways of addressing the problem or opportunity, evaluate the environmental effects of the alternatives and select a preferred undertaking from the alternatives. The proponent must consider actions to avoid, reduce and mitigate potential environmental effects. In preparing the EA, the proponent completes various studies and consults with interested stakeholders including government agencies, the public and affected Aboriginal communities to evaluate the alternatives and determine the preferred undertaking. Once the undertaking is approved, the proponent is required to monitor to demonstrate compliance with standards, regulations and the EAA approval.
1.1 Terms of reference
Preparing an EA is a two-step application to the Minister of the Environment (Minister). The first step requires the proponent to prepare and submit a Terms of Reference (ToR) to the Ministry of the Environment (ministry) for review and approval. The ToR is the work plan or framework for how the EA will be prepared.
On April 1, 2009, the Minister approved the Goldcorp Canada Ltd. (Goldcorp) Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply ToR. The ToR set out how Goldcorp would assess environmental effects and consult with the public during the preparation of the EA. The ToR outlined that an individual EA was required pursuant to the Electricity Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 116/01), and that the EA would be completed in accordance with section 6(2)(c) and 6.1(3) of the EAA. The ToR established the purpose of the project and the preferred alternative to and alternative method of the undertaking. The ToR also outlined a consultation plan for the EA process.
1.2 Environmental Assessment
Once the ToR is approved by the Minister, the proponent can proceed to the second step of the EA process and carry out the EA. The EA must be prepared in accordance with the approved ToR and the requirements of the EAA. Once the proponent has carried out the EA, including consultation, the EA is submitted to the ministry for review and approval.
On January 15, 2010, Goldcorp submitted the Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply Environmental Assessment to the ministry for approval for the proposed diesel generated electrical capacity expansion. An EA for the proposed project was required under O. Reg. 116/01. The EA comment period ended on March 5, 2010.
1.3 Ministry review
The EA was circulated for review to a Government Review Team (GRT). The GRT, including federal and provincial agencies, reviewed the EA to ensure that the information and conclusions of the EA were valid, based on their agencies’ mandates. The public and Aboriginal communities also had an opportunity to review the EA and submit their comments to the ministry. All comments received by the ministry are considered by the Minister before a decision is made about the EA undertaking.
The EAA, known simply as the ministry Review (Review). The Review is the ministry’s evaluation of the EA. The purpose of the Review is to determine if the EA has been prepared in accordance with the approved ToR and therefore meets the requirements of the EAA and whether the evaluation in the EA is sufficient to allow the Minister to make a decision about the proposed undertaking.
The Review outlines whether the information contained in the EA supports the recommendations and conclusions for the selection of the proposed undertaking. Ministry staff, with input from the GRT, evaluate the technical merits of the proposed undertaking, including the anticipated environmental effects and the proposed mitigation measures. The Review also provides an overview and analysis of the public, agency and Aboriginal community comments on the EA and the proposed undertaking.
The Minister of the Environment considers the conclusion of the Review when making a decision; the Review itself is not the EA decision making mechanism. The Minister’s decision will be made following the end of the five-week Review comment period. The Minister’s decision is subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The Review comment period allows the GRT, the public and Aboriginal communities to see how their concerns with the EA and the proposed undertaking have been considered. During the Review comment period, anyone can submit comments on the EA, the undertaking and the Review. In addition, anyone can request that the Minister refer the EA, or any matter relating to the EA, to the Environmental Review Tribunal for a hearing if they believe that there are significant outstanding environmental effects that the EA has not addressed. Requests for a hearing can only be made during this comment period. The Minister will consider all requests and determine if a hearing is necessary.
A Notice of Completion of the Review will be published in local newspapers indicating that this Review has been completed and is available for a five-week comment period from April 30, 2010 to June 4, 2010. The four publications where the Notice of Completion of the Review will be published are:
- The Dryden Observer
- The Chronicle Journal
- The Wawatay News
- The Ignace Driftwood
Copies of the Review will be placed in the same public record locations where the EA was available, and copies have been distributed to the GRT members and potentially interested Aboriginal communities. Those members of the public who submitted comments during the EA comment period have also received copies of the Review.
The proposed undertaking
Goldcorp is seeking EAA approval for on-site diesel generation to supply up to 20 megawatts (MW) of additional electrical power to the existing Musselwhite Mine (Figure 1 and 2).
Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine is an operating gold mine which began commercial production in 1997. The mine is located on traditional First Nation land on the southrn shore of Opapimiskan Lake, approximately 480 km north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The nearest town, Pickle Lake, is 103 km to the south. The mine is a significant contributor to the local economy with approximately 750 personnel on-site, 25% of whom are First Nations with 15% coming from local communities. The mine currently uses up to 19 MW of power from the Pickle Lake transmission line.
Recent exploration by Goldcorp has confirmed the presence of additional mineral reserves which can extend the mine life from approximately 2017 to 2028. To mine these reserves, Goldcorp needs approximately 20 MW of additional electrical capacity to increase underground ventilation and maintain safe working conditions. The additional electrical power cannot be obtained from the provincial grid due to system constraints at Pickle Lake which require significant upgrades. A detailed engineering study conducted by Goldcorp of alternatives for supplying the mine’s power needs concluded that diesel generation was the only reliable and feasible option. The proposed on-site diesel generation is planned to be comprised of 11 diesel generator sets each with varying outputs in the range of 1 to 2 MW. Each generator set will be encased in an enclosure, for ease of transportation, protection against the elements and sound attenuation. Each self-contained generator will have a footprint of approximately 38.4 square metres, for a combined footprint area of approximately 422.4 square metres for all 11 diesel generators. The diesel generators will be radiator cooled, and there will be no water use or wastewater discharge. The bulk fuel storage tanks and piping to each unit will be double walled to prevent fuel spills and will not have an open containment and hence will not require stormwater discharge. All diesel generators will be placed within the existing footprint of the mine. Four generators are proposed to be placed at the main mine site and processing area, and to be located within an approximate 20,000 square metre area. The remaining seven generators are proposed to be placed approximately 1.5 km away at the base of the Opapimiskan peninsula within an approximate 10,000 square metre area. Figure 3-3 in the EA provides a map of the proposed generator locations at the mine.
The proposed additional on-site electrical capacity is a short-term solution to meet the mine’s immediate operating needs. The proponent has plans to propose a transmission line in association with Hydro One as a means to meet long-term operating goals. Should additional transmission line capacity be made available at Pickle Lake in the future, the diesel generators would be retained as standby for use during power outages, used in other Goldcorp facilities, or sold.
If EAA approval is granted, the additional on-site diesel generated electrical capacity will be completed in accordance with the terms and provisions outlined in the EA; any proposed conditions of approval; and will include the details outlined above. In addition, Goldcorp must still obtain all other legislative approvals it may require for the undertaking. Goldcorp will be required to obtain approval for an application under section 9 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) to amend the mine’s existing Certificate of Approval (Air/Noise).
Figure 1: Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply EA
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Figure 2: Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply site plan
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Results of the ministry review
The Review provides the analysis of the EA. The Review is not intended to summarize the EA, nor present the information found in the EA. For information on the decision making process, refer to the EA itself. The EA and supporting documentation outlines the EA planning process and demonstrates how the proponent has selected the preferred undertaking and made the final decision.
3.1 Conformance with ToR and EAA
3.1.1 Ministry analysis
The ministry coordinated an analysis of the EA with the GRT that, in part, looked at whether the requirements of the ToR have been met. The ministry concludes that the EA followed the framework set out in the approved ToR, addressed the commitments made in the approved ToR, and demonstrated how the required components of the EAA have been met.
Appendix A summarizes this analysis and identifies how the ToR requirements have been addressed in the EA.
One of the key requirements of the EAA is pre-submission consultation completed during the preparation of the EA. This consultation is the responsibility of the proponent and must be completed prior to the submission of the EA and in accordance with the consultation plan outlined in the ToR. The plan outlined by Goldcorp in its EA included newspaper notices and advertisements, public information centres, web conferences, and consultation with stakeholder working groups.
The ministry is satisfied with the level of consultation that occurred during the preparation of this EA and felt that it was appropriate for the proposed undertaking. The EA clearly documents the consultation methods utilized by Goldcorp to engage the GRT, the general public, stakeholders, and Aboriginal communities in the EA process.
Once the EA is submitted to the ministry, additional ministry driven consultation occurs during the EA comment period. The GRT, the public and affected Aboriginal communities are provided with the opportunity to review the EA and to submit comments to the ministry on whether the requirements of the ToR had been met, on the EA itself and on the proposed undertaking. All comments received by the ministry during the EA comment period were forwarded to Goldcorp for a response. Summaries of all comments received along with Goldcorp’s responses are included in Tables 1-3 of this Review. Copies of the submissions are also available in Appendix B.
Government Review Team
Consultation with the GRT was conducted throughout the EA process. GRT members from various agencies were provided copies of the December 2009 EA for their review during the seven-week comment period. All comments received were forwarded by the ministry to Goldcorp for a response. A summary of the comment’s received and Goldcorp’s responses can be found in Table 1. A summary of key issues raised can also be found in section 3.3.1 of this Review.
Public consultation played an important role in the process for this EA. Efforts were made to keep the public informed by providing opportunities for people to obtain additional information and/or have their questions addressed, as well as providing opportunities for discussion of issues and exchange of information with the proponent. The consultation program for this EA included:
- Newspaper notices/advertisements
- Public Information Centres
- Three working groups to manage communication between Goldcorp and Aboriginal communities
The public was also given the opportunity to review and comment on the December 2009 EA once it was submitted to the ministry. No comments were received from the public during the seven-week comment period.
Aboriginal community consultation
In addition to public consultation, the EAA requires that Aboriginal communities within the surrounding area of the proposed undertaking be consulted with during the pre-submission period. Aboriginal communities have special land and treaty rights that need to be considered.
Goldcorp has established an Agreement with local Aboriginal communities which provides for a range of education, training, employment and business related services. Signatories to the Agreement are four Aboriginal communities and two First Nations Councils. These include north Caribou Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, and the First Nation Councils of Windigo and Shibogama. Affiliates to the Agreement include three other First Nations that are affiliates to Shibogama First Nations Council (which include the Aboriginal communities of Wapekeka Lake First Nation, Wawakapewin Lake First Nation and Kasabonika Lake First Nation) and five other First Nations that are affiliates to Windigo First Nations Council (which include the Aboriginal communities of Bearskin Lake First Nation, Sachigo Lake First Nation, Slate Falls First Nation, Koocheching First Nation and Whitewater First Nation). Under the Musselwhite Agreement, the mine provides funding to the Aboriginal communities through revenue sharing, and environmental funding. Environmental funding is provided to monitor the environmental effects of the mine. It is used for professional third party review of environmental documentation for the site such as Certificate of Approval (CofA) applications, annual reports, and closure plans. It is also used for independent environmental monitoring of the mine such as downstream surface water quality and fisheries assessments.
Goldcorp established three working committees to manage communication with Aboriginal communities. These committees are: the Environmental Working Committee, the Working Committee, and the Implementation Committee. Each of the three committees has representatives from each of the Signatory communities under the Musselwhite Agreement. Through these committees, the mine is able to report its progress, receive feedback and hear concerns directly from local community members. Goldcorp engaged with all three committees throughout the EA process.
These Aboriginal communities and councils were also provided with project notices and the opportunity to provide comments or raise concerns regarding the project. The ministry followed up with the Aboriginal communities, and two comments were received.
The Chief of Bearskin Lake First Nation inquired as to whether funding was available to assist the community in hiring a technical expert to aid in the review of the project. The ministry responded to this letter advising the Chief that the ministry does not have the budget to assist with consultation on EAs or other approvals projects. The ministry also provided information regarding the ongoing environmental funding to the Signatory communities under the Muselwhite Agreement provided by Goldcorp. This funding is dispersed between Windigo First Nation Council and Shibogama First Nation Council. Goldcorp has indicated that Windigo First Nation Council retains an Environmental Consultant to technically review all monitoring and reporting documents, and has a technical department in-house. It is the ministry’s understanding that Bearskin Lake First Nation is a part of the Windigo First Nation Council.
The Wapekeka First Nation Community Development and Liaison Officer for the Wapekeka First Nation requested clarification regarding the relationship between the different EAs that Goldcorp is currently involved in. Goldcorp provided a detailed response to the Chief of Wapekeka First Nation describing the relationship between Goldcorp’s involvement in various EA projects, both individual EAs and Class EAs. The different Individual EAs and Class EAs that Goldcorp is involved in are all aimed at securing short- and long-term power supply to the existing mine.
The EAA requires a proponent to consult interested persons during the preparation of the EA and report on the results of those consultations. The ministry is satisfied that Goldcorp appropriately followed the consultation plan outlined in the approved ToR. Overall, the ministry has determined that Goldcorp provided sufficient opportunities for the public, government agencies, and Aboriginal communities to be consulted during the preparation of the EA. The EA clearly documents the consultation methods utilized by Goldcorp to engage the GRT, the general public and Aboriginal communities during the EA process. The EA clearly sets out the issues and concerns raised and how they were addressed or will be addressed in the future.
3.2 EA process
EA is a planning process that requires the proponent to identify an existing problem or opportunity, consider alternative ways of addressing the problem or opportunity, evaluate the potential environmental effects of the alternatives and select a preferred alternative.
During recent exploration, Goldcorp has confirmed the presence of additional mineral reserves which can extend the mine life from approximately 2017 to 2028. To mine these reserves, Goldcorp needs approximately 20 MW of additional electrical capacity to increase underground ventilation and maintain safe working conditions.
In the approved ToR, Goldcorp outlined its rationale for focusing the EA on the installation of additional diesel-fired electrical generation. Goldcorp determined that without additional power, the proposed mine life extension and expansion could not proceed, as the extended workings require increased delivery of fresh air into the mine from new shafts to maintain safe working conditions. Therefore, the “do nothing” alternative results in the mine site being unable to expand the mine workings and extend the mine life. Goldcorp followed the plan set out in the approved ToR, and the “do nothing” alternative was not considered as an option to be evaluated in the EA.
SNC Lavalin, on behalf of Goldcorp, completed an engineering study in August 2007, prior to the submission of the proposed ToR. The study considered alternative means of supplying power to the mine site. The study included:
- On-site diesel generation
- Connection to the existing provincial grid
- Run of river hydroelectric
- Other alternative forms of energy
The transmission system constraints at Pickle Lake make connection to the existing provincial grid exclude it as an alternative means as it is not possible without an expansion of the provincial system; the timing for which is outside of Goldcorp’s control. The study found that hydropower was not feasible as it fell short of the site’s power needs on a seasonal basis. The study also found that other options for delivering reliable power are not applicable for the far north. For example, the study found that wind power cannot consistently deliver reliable power under any practicable development scenario. Furthermore, forest biomass was also found not to be feasible as there is a lack of available fuel, when considering the remoteness of the site and distance from sources of wood residue. Technologies such as solar photovoltaic, fuel cells and micro-turbines are in various stages of research and development and were not found to be practical for a large scale mining operation. Therefore, the study concluded that on-site diesel generation was the only feasible option.
Alternative methods were constrained to one option as outlined in the approved ToR. The ToR describes how there are no feasible alternatives to the location of facilities and infrastructure associated with power supply and transmittal at the existing mine site, as locations are driven by:
- Proximity of existing related infrastructure (switchyard, standby diesel units, tankage, stormwater management)
- An attempt to minimize the surface impact of the project by having facilities in close proximity on already developed lands (also thereby minimizing infrastructure requirements)
- Location of non-power related facilities
Design alternatives were also not possible, as all facilities at the mine site (such as electrical connections, fuel tanks and fuel pipelines) must be designed according to applicable codes, regulations, and best management practices. As a result, major alternatives are not available with respect to design, and further assessment of design alternatives was not proposed in the approved ToR.
Goldcorp outlined its decision making process in the EA. Goldcorp evaluated the preferred alternative method based on criteria originally identified in the approved ToR. The preferred method was evaluated based on three subcategories of the environment: atmospheric systems, surface water systems, and socio-cultural aspects. The atmospheric systems criterion included air quality impacts, noise impacts, and potential contribution of carbon dioxide emissions to climate change. The surface water systems criterion was based on compliance with discharge criteria from oil water treatment facilities and potential for adverse impacts associated with malfunctions or accidents. The socio-cultural aspects criterion was based on the potential for positive and negative impacts on communities along Highway 599. Section 6.0 of the EA provides an overview of the evaluation methods.
Measures to manage potential environmental effects are described in the EA, as well as monitoring and reporting commitments. The ministry and the GRT are generally satisfied with the proposed mitigation measures and proposed monitoring program; however, additional details and work will be required as part of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) approvals process, should the Minister and Cabinet approve the undertaking.
Overall, the ministry, in consultation with the GRT, is satisfied with the proponent’s decision making process.
The EA contains an explanation of the problems and opportunities that prompted the study. Goldcorp considered diesel generation as the only solution to the identified problem and considered one alternative method as required by the approved ToR and evaluated it in the study area. The EA provides a description of the affected environment in the study area and identifies the elements of the environment that may be affected by the proposed undertaking.
The EA further describes the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed undertaking based on those potential environmental effects.
3.3 Proposed undertaking
The proposed undertaking is described in section 3.0 of the EA (see also section 2 of this Review) and was evaluated based on the advantages and disadvantages to the environment. A broad definition of the environment was used to evaluate the potential effects of the proposed undertaking.
The proposed undertaking is for on-site diesel generation to supply up to 20 MW of additional electrical power to the existing Musselwhite Mine. The Musselwhite Mine is located on the southrn shore of Opapimiskan Lake, 480 km north of Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario. The nearest town, Pickle Lake, is 103 km to the south.
The on-site diesel generation is proposed to be comprised of eleven diesel generator sets with varying outputs in the range of 1 to 2 MW. This proposed increase in electrical capacity would allow the lifespan of the existing mine to be extended from 2017 to 2028.
While the procedural and legislative requirements of the approved ToR and EAA have been met, issues were raised during consultation with the GRT that need to be addressed before a decision about the undertaking can be made. A copy of each comment received is contained in Appendix B of this Review. Also, a summary of all comments, including Goldcorp’s responses and the ministry’s level of satisfaction with those responses, can be found in Table 1.
The ministry is satisfied that all issues raised have been addressed or will be addressed by the response provided by Goldcorp and through additional work that will be completed in support of future approvals processes.
3.3.1 Key issues
Key issues regarding the EA process completed by Goldcorp were gathered during the pre-submission consultation and the EA review comment period. Issues were raised by the GRT and Aboriginal communities. These submissions can be found in Appendix B. All comments, including Goldcorp’s responses and MOE’s level of satisfaction can be found in Tables 1–3. A summary of the key issues regarding noise impacts, air approval requirements, and stormwater management raised by ministry technical reviewers are summarized below.
The ministry’s Air and Noise technical reviewer in the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch deemed the project feasible subject to the submission of an updated Acoustic Assessment Report which shows compliance at offsite points of reception and the onsite sleeping and living quarters (excluding recreational facilities) of the employee bunk houses. Goldcorp provided an updated Acoustic Assessment report that addressed the compliance of the onsite sleeping and living quarters. The technical reviewer determined that the updated report satisfied the request for demonstrating compliance with onsite sleeping and living quarters. The technical reviewer reiterated the requirement for an updated Acoustic Assessment Report that addressed the compliance at offsite points of reception.
In addition, the Air and Noise technical reviewer provided comments pertaining to the air quality assessment submitted as part of the EA. The reviewer identified that the proposed project will require a CofA under section 9 (Air and Noise) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). In order to obtain a CofA, the proponent will be required to identify all specific contaminant emissions from the diesel generators and then conduct dispersion modelling on each one. The results of the modelling will be compared to ministry standards and guidelines to verify that they meet those standards and guidelines or are acceptable to the ministry for those contaminants with no published ministry limit. Ontario Regulation 419/05, which pertains to local air quality, requires the proponent to model and assess air emissions during maximum worst case scenarios. Typical emissions from diesel generators include oxides of nitrogen (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), total suspended particulate matter (TSP), and various polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
The reviewer is not aware of any technical or site specific difficulties with demonstrating compliance, however, this will be confirmed during the ministry review of the CofA application which will specifically address the detailed modelling. The proponent is proposing to use emissions data that is provided by the manufacturer of the generators. This is standard engineering practice; however, these emission estimates will be confirmed by the ministry during the review of the CofA application. The ministry is satisfied that potential impacts related to air quality can be addressed through future approvals under section 9 of the EPA.
The ministry’s Water and Wastewater technical reviewer in the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch requested the following information:
- Potentially contaminated stormwater discussion and appropriate drainage
- How capacity containment for accidental spills will be addressed
- Additional information pertaining to a detailed description of existing or planned groundwater uses (mine water supply, etc.) in the proximity to the proposed location of the generator tanks, as well as the exact location of the generators
Goldcorp provided detailed comments in response to the issues raised, including information on rain collection, containment pans, fuel transfer, and groundwater usage.
The reviewer indicated he was satisfied with this information, and that additional information can be addressed as part of the Certificate of Approval process for the site. Goldcorp’s full response to the above comments is included in Table 1. Overall, the ministry is satisfied with the responses provided.
Goldcorp has provided responses to all comments received, as documented in Table 1, including those not summarized above.
The ministry is satisfied that:
- the provisions of the EA
- the commitments made by Goldcorp in the EA and in responses to comments received during the comment period
- the commitments by Goldcorp to complete additional work in support of future approvals applications
will ensure that:
- technical concerns raised by the GRT during the agency and public comment period will be addressed by the proponent
- the additional diesel generation will be installed and operated to comply with the ministry’s standards
- environmental effects can be managed
Summary of the ministry review
This Review concludes that the EA complies with the requirements of the approved ToR and has been prepared in accordance with the EAA.
The EA has provided sufficient information to enable a decision to be made about the application to proceed with the undertaking.
Concerns raised by the GRT regarding technical issues have either been addressed by Goldcorp or will be completed as part of any future approvals processes.
The Review has explained Goldcorp’s analysis of the Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply EA. The preferred method was assessed and evaluated as required by the approved ToR. The EA has assessed the potential environmental effects of the preferred method. The ministry is satisfied that Goldcorp provided sufficient time and opportunities for the GRT, public, stakeholders, and Aboriginal communities to comment on the December 2009 EA.
What happens now
The Review will be made available for a five-week comment period. During this time, all interested parties, including the public, the GRT and Aboriginal communities can submit comments to the ministry about the proposed undertaking, the EA and/or the Ministry Review. At this time, anyone can request that the Minister refer either all or part of the EA to the Environmental Review Tribunal for a hearing if that person believes that his or her concerns have not been addressed.
At the end of the Review comment period, ministry staff will make a recommendation to the Minister concerning whether the EA has been prepared in accordance with the ToR and the requirements of the EAA and whether the proposed undertaking should be approved. When making a decision, the Minister will consider the purpose of the EAA, the ToR, the EA, the Review, the comments submitted during the EA and the Review comment periods and any other matters the Minister may consider relevant.
The Minister will make one of the following decisions:
- Give approval to proceed with the undertaking
- Give approval to proceed with the undertaking subject to conditions
- Refuse to give approval to proceed with the undertaking
Prior to making that decision, the Minister may also refer either part of or the entire EA to mediation or refer either part of or the entire EA to the Environmental Review Tribunal for a decision.
If the Minister approves, approves with conditions or refuses to give approval to the undertaking, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must concur with the decision.
5.1 Additional approvals required
If EAA approval is granted, Goldcorp will still require another legislative approval to design, construct and operate this undertaking. Section 11.0 of the EA outlines the additional approval requirement under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) that is anticipated. This approval cannot be issued until approval under the EAA is granted.
Public record locations
The public record for this environmental assessment can be reviewed during normal business hours at the following ministry office:
Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West, floor 12A
The Review and Notice of Completion are also available at the following locations:
Township of Pickle Lake
2 Anne Street
Thunder Bay Public Library, Waverly Resource Library
285 Red River Road
Mishkeegogamang First Nation Band Office
1 First Nation Street
Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West, floor 12A
Kenora Area Office
808 Robertson Street
Thunder Bay District Office
3rd floor, Suite 331, 435 James Street south
A copy can also be requested from:
Ms. Adele Faubert, Manager of Aboriginal Affairs
Musselwhite Mine, P.O. Box 7500 Station P
Making a submission
A five-week public review period ending June 4, 2010 will follow publication of this Review. During this time, any interested parties can make submissions about the proposed undertaking, the environmental assessment or this Review. Should you wish to make a submission, please send it to:
Agathea Garcia-Wright, Director
Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
Ministry of the Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West, floor 12A
Re: Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply Environmental Assessment
Attention: Ms. Michelle Fromme-Marcellin, Project Officer
Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Environmental Assessment Act, unless otherwise stated in the submission, any personal information such as name, address, telephone number and property location included in all submissions become part of the public record files for this matter and can be released if requested.
Appendix A: Environmental Assessment Act and terms of reference requirements of the environmental assessment
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Appendix B: Submissions received during initial comment period
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