Transportation and Works
Health and Community Services
September 5, 2008
New Hospital and College Proceeding on Proposed Site in Labrador West
After an evaluation of alternative sites, the Provincial Government announced today that it is proceeding with a new health care facility and college in Labrador West on the originally proposed site.
"Our evaluation has concluded that the proposed site would be the most suitable location for the facilities when considering all views, noise and vibration impacts and other facility-related considerations," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "We have been engaged in discussion with the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) and we feel this approach can allow for both a safe environment for the new facilities on the site and possible future mining of the Wabush 3 iron ore resource. From a natural resources perspective, the Wabush 3 iron ore deposit is very important to the long-term viability of the IOC operations and to the province and we will work with the company as we proceed with these developments."
Provincial Government efforts are now focused on working with IOC on measures to protect the safety of the new facilities and existing infrastructure in the municipality with respect to noise and vibration impacts, while still allowing for efficient extraction of the Wabush 3 iron ore resource.
"The design process will take into consideration the unique challenges of building public facilities adjacent to mining operations and will incorporate, within our project budget limits, features intended to reduce the noise and vibration impacts of nearby mining activities," said the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works.
The Provincial Government will also develop noise and vibration guidelines that will be in effect when IOC�s mining expansion proceeds.
When the preparation work to develop the site for the hospital and college began in 2007, concerns were raised by IOC over the potential impact future planned mining of the Wabush 3 iron ore deposit could pose for these facilities. As a result, a modeling exercise and field testing program was implemented by IOC to assess impacts both at the proposed site and at other locations within the municipality. The Provincial Government also retained its own independent consultant to monitor the field testing activities.
The IOC analysis and Provincial Government due diligence review has concluded that blasting noise and vibrations from future proposed mining could possibly exceed accepted guidelines on the proposed site, but also for other facilities and locations in Labrador City. Ontario guidelines were used in the modeling exercise as a reference point, as there are currently no provincially-regulated blasting noise and vibration guidelines in effect in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"I am very pleased that work will now proceed on the new health care facility for Labrador West," said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services. "Our government�s commitment to this new infrastructure never waivered, but it was essential that the ramifications of the expansion of mining operations in the area be examined. We can now proceed in constructing this new facility, which will only enhance our ability to provide quality health care and services to the people of Labrador."
The future development of the Wabush 3 iron ore deposit will be subject to an environmental registration within the province, and as such, proposed blasting noise and vibration impacts will be evaluated in concert with other environmental considerations.
- 30 -
2008 09 05 1:20 p.m.
All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.