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June 29, 1998
(Mines and Energy)

The following is being distributed at the request of the Labrador Hydro Project, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro:

Environmental contracts awarded for Churchill River Power Project

The Labrador Hydro Project team announced today the awarding of eight environmental contracts. All of these contracts were awarded to local firms.

Jacques Whitford Environment Limited (JWEL) was awarded five of the contracts. These contracts include several studies focused on the Churchill River - fish migration and habitat use, water and sediment quality, benthic invertebrates (such as clams and snails), primary productivity and plankton biomass and a study of marine fisheries in the Strait of Belle Isle area. Local consulting firm Canning and Pitt Associates will work with JWEL on the marine fisheries study and SeaWatch Inc. has been selected as a subcontractor on the study. Combined the five contracts are valued at approximately $790,000.

Innu Earth and Environmental, a new partnership of Penashue and Associates Inc. and AGRA Earth and Environmental, was awarded a contract worth approximately $160,000. This contract will focus on determining fish resources in the lower Churchill River and establish baseline information required for future assessment of the proposed Churchill River Power Project.

The team of EnFor Consulting and Veitch and Company was awarded a contract estimated at $170,000 to prepare a reservoir preparation study that reflects current forestry and market conditions. The study area involves the anticipated flood zones of the proposed Churchill River reservoirs. These companies will be working with Dendron Resource Surveys of Ottawa for this study.

In addition, a helicopter services contract has been awarded for the 1998 field program. A joint venture formed by Universal Helicopters Newfoundland Limited and Canadian Helicopters Limited was awarded this contract.

Work scopes for the environmental studies were prepared by the Labrador Hydro Project Environment team in conjunction with the Innu Nation and Hydro-Quebec. As the Innu are participating in the environmental assessment process, the work scope and summaries of the studies will also be provided in their language, Innu Aimun.

All environmental contracts are being awarded on a competitive basis. The Labrador Hydro Project requested a statement of qualifications in May from interested environmental consultants. Requests for proposals were then sent to companies based on their statement of qualifications.

JWEL operates worldwide delivering environmental and engineering services. JWEL has had an office in St. John's for more than 18 years and one in Happy Valley-Goose Bay since 1995.

Innu Earth and Environmental, the recent venture between AGRA Earth and Environmental and Penashue and Associates, has assembled a study team with extensive experience in fish sampling techniques and fish habitat assessment. AGRA Earth and Environmental has two offices in the province located in St. John's and Argentia. Penashue and Associates is a Labrador-based environmental company run by Innu businessman Peter Penashue.

EnFor Consulting and Veitch and Company are two of the leading forestry consulting companies in Newfoundland. This team, along with Dendron Resource Surveys, has a broad range of experience in forestry, engineering, resource-based digital mapping and global positioning satellite (GPS).

Universal Helicopters Newfoundland Limited and Canadian Helicopters Limited both have offices in Labrador.

Contact: Karen Humphreys Blake, Labrador Hydro Project, (709) 737-1823.

1998 06 29 10:00 a.m.

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