Executive Council
October 26, 2016

Provincial Government and Indigenous Leaders Make Significant Progress on Muskrat Falls Issues

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut Government, and the NunatuKavut Community Council met to address concerns regarding the health and well-being of the people of Labrador as related to the Muskrat Falls project.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, in partnership with the three Indigenous leaders, has committed to resolving several key issues surrounding the pending flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir.

The Province has provided the Indigenous leaders with multiple engineering reports with respect to the timing and rationale of initial reservoir impoundment. The three leaders will immediately undertake to have the reports independently reviewed within days. If independent assessment confirms the timing and rationale of initial impoundment, water levels will be raised to the minimum acceptable level. Following initial impoundment, Nalcor will release water from the reservoir in the spring of 2017 to its natural flow, as ordered by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This will facilitate the opportunity for additional mitigation measures, which may include clearing trees, vegetation and/or soil from the reservoir.

As well, as agreed by all parties, an Independent Expert Advisory Committee (IEAC) will be established. The IEAC will be comprised of representatives of the Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut Government, the NunatuKavut Community Council, and federal, provincial and municipal governments.

The IEAC will be mandated to seek an independent, evidence-based approach that will determine and recommend options for mitigating human health concerns related to methylmercury throughout the reservoir as well as in the Lake Melville ecosystem. Mitigation measures will be realized through utilizing best available science that incorporates Indigenous Traditional Knowledge. The full mandate of the IEAC continues to be refined.

All parties agree that these are new and significant commitments.

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Media contacts:

Michelle Cannizzaro
Media Relations Manager
Office of the Premier
Kelly Broomfield
Director of Communications
The NunatuKavut Community Council
709-280-5965, 288-0473
Donna Paddon
Innu Nation
Bert Pomeroy
Director of Communications
Nunatsiavut Government
709-896-8582, 899-0004

2016 10 26                              2:05 a.m.