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July 24, 1998
(Mines and Energy)

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

Environmental Studies

The awarding of two environmental studies for the proposed Churchill River Power Project was announced today by the Labrador Hydro Project.

A study of the hydrology (water flow) in the Atikonak Lake - Churchill River Watershed, the Naskaupi and Minipi Rivers will be conducted by the Atmospheric Environment Branch (AEB) Atlantic Region of Environment Canada. The data collected will be part of an ongoing federal/provincial hydrometric program. This study is worth an estimated $160,000.

Jacques Whitford Environment Limited (JWEL) has been awarded a contract to study sea level history and geomorphology in the Churchill River system from Terrington Basin to Gull Island. This is a study of the geological history of the river. The study will assist the Labrador historic resources study as it will show where former beaches and shorelines were, thus helping to identify sites of archaeological interest. The approximate value of this contract is $42,000.

The awarding of these studies follows several recent announcements made by the Labrador Hydro Project team. The field programs for both environmental and engineering feasibility studies are now underway with crews in Labrador working out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Churchill Falls and a field camp at Gull Island. Engineering work is concentrated at Churchill Falls and Muskrat Falls while environmental crews are carrying out marine, aquatic (freshwater), land and aerial surveys over the proposed project area.

Environmental studies in the Strait of Belle Isle have also started including surveys of marine mammals (whales and seals) and a study of the commercial fisheries activity in the strait. The archaeological assessment of the proposed transmission line route across Newfoundland is expected to begin in a few days.

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 studies program, the work scope and summaries of the studies will also be provided in Innu Aimun.

Environment Canada is a science-based federal government department. The AEB provides Atlantic Canadians with information concerning the atmosphere and the region's water resources.

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.

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

1998 07 24 3:45 p.m.

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