Archived - Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project

Happy Valley-Goose Bay (NL)

Reasons for a Federal Assessment
Project Description
Environmental Assessment Report
Government Response to Panel
Final Decision
Follow-up Program

Archived Content

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Reference Number

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry: 07-05-26178

Environmental Assessment Type

Panel

Other Assessment Process

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Responsible or Regulated Authorities

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Transport Canada

Reasons for a Federal Assessment

On February 7, 2007, it was determined that an environmental assessment was required in relation to the project because Fisheries and Oceans Canada considered taking action in relation to subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act; Natural Resources Canada considered providing financial assistance to the proponent and Transport Canada considered taking action in relation to paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

Project Description (as posted in the Notice of Commencement)

Nalcor Energy proposes to construct and operate two hydroelectric power generating facilities on the lower section of the Churchill River in Labrador. The project consists of hydroelectric generating facilities at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls, and interconnecting transmission lines to the existing Labrador grid. Gull Island is located approximately 100 km and Muskrat Falls 30 km to the southwest of the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, respectively. The two facilities will have a combined power generation capacity of just over 3,000 megawatts (MW). The Gull Island facility will have a capacity of 2,250 MW, including a dam 99 m high by 1,315 m long with a reservoir 232 km long flooding an additional 85 km2 area. The Muskrat Falls facility will have a capacity of 824 MW, including a dam at the north section 32 m high by 432 m long, and the south section 29 m high by 325 m long with a reservoir 59 km long, flooding an additional 41 km2 area.

Environmental Assessment Report

Report of the Joint Review Panel - Summary
Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project: Report of the Joint Review Panel

Government Response to Panel

Government of Canada Response to the Report of the Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel for Nalcor's Lower Churchill Generation Project in Newfoundland and Labrador

Final Decision

In conformity with the approval of the Governor in Council, a decision was taken on March 15, 2012 and was that the authorities may exercise any power or perform any duty or function with respect to the project because, after taking into consideration the report of the review panel and taking into account the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, the authorities are of the opinion that the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that can be justified in the circumstances.

Follow-up Program

It was determined that a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment and/or determine the effectiveness of any measures taken to mitigate the adverse environmental effects is required for this project. For further information or to obtain a copy of the follow-up program, please contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada.