Environment and Conservation
June 14, 2016

Protecting Human Health and the Environment

Provincial Government Responds to Nunatsiavut Government’s Methylmercury Concerns

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is responding to the Nunatsiavut Government’s concerns surrounding methylmercury in Lake Melville from the Muskrat Falls planned reservoir flooding. At this time, the Department of Environment and Conservation is accepting Nalcor’s Human Health Risk Assessment Plan (HHRAP) with a condition that should methylmercury levels reach the Health Canada threshold and consumption advisories be necessary, Nalcor will compensate those affected.

“Fish, seal and other ‘country food’ are important to the people of Lake Melville. Should any consumption advisories be issued as a result of the flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir, I find it necessary that Nalcor offer appropriate compensation for that loss.”
The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Conservation

The Department of Environment and Conservation has reviewed the HHRAP along with input from the Nunatsiavut Government and its researchers, Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Department of Health and Community Services, Nalcor, and other experts.

“Input provided by experts from provincial and federal departments, together with information obtained thorough review of relevant research and full scientific consideration, have led to our conclusion that the HHRAP is acceptable. We will continue to work closely with Health Canada, and Health and Community Services, to ensure they are able to implement consumption advisories if and when they are needed to protect human health.”
Minister Trimper

The HHRAP is part of a broad suite of plans Nalcor is required to implement under the environmental assessment process that outlines comprehensive oversight of methylmercury, the environment, and human health. Environment assessment information on the project, including other plans, can be found here: www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/env_assessment/projects/Y2010/1305/.

QUICK FACTS

  • The Department of Environment and Conservation is accepting Nalcor’s Human Health Risk Assessment Plan (HHRAP) for the Muskrat Falls Project.
  • The HHRAP is part of a broad suite of plans that outline oversight of methylmercury, the environment, and human health.
  • A condition is being implemented that should consumption advisories be necessary, appropriate compensation will be offered by Nalcor.

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Media contact:

Emily Timmins
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 709-693-1292
emilytimmins@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER
Provincial Government Requires Compensation for Any Loss of Food Species

The Department of Environment and Conservation is accepting Nalcor’s Human Health Risk Assessment Plan (HHRAP) for the Muskrat Falls Project with the following condition;

“Should downstream methylmercury monitoring identify the need for consumption advisories as a result of the project, Nalcor shall consult with relevant parties representing Lake Melville resource users. Based on the location of the consumption advisories these users could include Aboriginal Governments and organizations as well as other stakeholder groups. Following consultation, Nalcor shall provide reasonable and appropriate compensation measures to address the impact of the consumption advisory.”

2016 06 14                             11:20 a.m.