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July 14, 1998
(Mines and Energy)

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

Environmental contracts awarded

The Labrador Hydro Project announced today the awarding of environmental contracts for the proposed Churchill River Power Project.

A contract to conduct a comprehensive ecosystem study of Atikonak Lake, located south of Churchill Falls, and its main tributaries was awarded to LGL Limited. This lake has not been studied in the past, therefore, information on the species of plants and animals living there will add to our overall understanding of Labrador's environment. This contract is worth an estimated $200,000.

Jacques Whitford Environment Limited (JWEL) was awarded a contract worth approximately $30,000 to study benthic habitat and communities in the Strait of Belle Isle. The study will review existing information of the sea-floor plant and animal communities in the area of the proposed submarine cable corridor. A significant amount of information on the plant and animal life in the strait was collected as part of an earlier study of the proposed Gull Island project.

AGRA Earth and Environmental, in association with SNC-Lavalin Inc., was awarded a contract to conduct a study of the zone of influence in the Strait of Belle Isle. The zone of influence is the area that potentially could be affected by underwater transmission cable laying operations. This study will also provide baseline information necessary for follow-up monitoring. This contract is worth approximately $60,000.

A contract to conduct an aerial survey and photography of the Churchill River system and the proposed transmission route has been awarded to The Airborne Sensing Corporation in association with EDM Consultants Ltd. and Strait Crossing Infrastructure Ltd. (SCI). The photos resulting from this contract will be used for other environmental and engineering studies and will eventually be made available to the public through Government Services and Lands. This contract is valued at approximately $300,000.

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 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.

LGL Limited is uniquely qualified to perform the ecosystem study of Atikonak Lake as all its biologists have experience in sampling water, sediment, invertebrates and fish. The firm has also completed a number of similar projects for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. LGL Limited is a locally based company with an office in St. John's.

JWEL has assembled an experienced team of benthic ecologists. This company has a proven ability in managing dedicated and effective scientific teams to complete environmental studies. The company has been providing environmental consulting services in the province since 1980. It has had an office in St. John's for more than 18 years and one in Happy Valley-Goose Bay since 1995. JWEL operates worldwide delivering environmental and engineering services.

The team of AGRA Earth and Environmental and SNC-Lavalin Inc. combines the resources of two experienced companies. AGRA has assembled a study team with oceanographic and numerical modeling expertise. SNC-Lavalin Inc. has experience in power generation and transmission studies related to the Lower Churchill and the Strait of Belle Isle. While AGRA has been established in St. John's since 1995, its subsidiary AGRA Monenco Atlantic has been providing Newfoundland and Labrador based services for more than 30 years. SNC-Lavalin Inc. has an office in St. John's and has operated in the province for more than 20 years.

The Airborne Sensing Corporation is an Ontario-based company with project experience in Labrador. Recent projects undertaken by this company include studies in support of the Labrador Coast highway project. SCI of Calgary and EDM Consultants Ltd. of Deer Lake are leaders in project development and completion. These companies provide knowledge and strong experience in multi-discipline engineering projects.

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

1998 07 14 3:05 p.m.

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