Municipal Affairs and Environment
September 6, 2018

Environmental Assessment Bulletin

Environmental Assessment Bulletin

The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, has announced the following events relative to Part 10 Environmental Assessment of the Environmental Protection Act.

UNDERTAKINGS REGISTERED:

Winterton (Trinity Bay) Sheep Farm and Slaughterhouse (Reg.1981)
Proponent: Winterhouse Farm Ltd.

The proponent proposes to develop a 20-hectare sheep farm and slaughterhouse near Winterton, Trinity Bay, on the Avalon Peninsula. The farm will be located north of Winter House Pond and will contain approximately 1,100 sheep. The farm will include a 7.5 metre by 7.5 metre slaughterhouse to process the sheep on site and a 15 metre by 45 metre barn.

The undertaking was registered on September 4, 2018; the deadline for public comments is October 11, 2018; and the minister’s decision is due by October 19, 2018.

Smallwood North Pit Extension (Reg. 1982)
Proponent: Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC)

The proponent plans to expand the boundaries of an existing pit to support its ongoing operations in Labrador City. IOC has been operating the Carol Project in Labrador City since the early 1960s and the Smallwood North Pit Extension is located just north of the Smallwood Pit, which was mined from 1962 to the early 1990s. The project area is situated within IOC’s existing mining leases and encompasses approximately 160 hectares of land. Project activities will involve vegetation/tree mulching, overburden removal and stockpiling, haul road and pit development, drilling and blasting, transporting waste rock to a new waste dump, and transporting ore to existing on-site facilities for processing. Contractors will be used for the pit development and IOC’s existing workforce, equipment, and infrastructure will be utilized during operations activities. The proposed open pit mining operations will be carried out using IOC’s existing mining practices. IOC will use ore mined from the proposed project area to supplement concentrator feed sourced from other areas of its operations.

The undertaking was registered on September 4, 2018; the deadline for public comments is October 11, 2018; and the minister’s decision is due by October 19, 2018.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ACCEPTED:

Placentia Bay Atlantic Salmon Aquaculture Project (Reg. 1834)
Proponent: Grieg NL Nurseries Ltd. and Grieg NL Seafarms Ltd.

A review has been completed of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted May 22, 2018. On August 28, 2018, the minister determined that this document complies with Part X of the Environmental Protection Act (the Act) and the EIS Guidelines issued March 8, 2018 and requires no further work. The minister has recommended to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council whether or not this Project may proceed as per Section 67 of the Act, subject to terms and conditions.

UNDERTAKINGS RELEASED:

Placentia Bay Atlantic Salmon Aquaculture Project (Reg. 1834)
Proponent: Grieg NL Nurseries Ltd. and Grieg NL Seafarms Ltd.

On September 5, 2018, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment informed Grieg NL Nurseries Ltd. and Grieg NL Seafarms Ltd. (Grieg NL) that under the authority of Section 67(3) (a) of the Environmental Protection Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has released the Placentia Bay Atlantic Salmon Aquaculture Project from further environmental assessment, subject to the following terms and conditions:

  • Grieg NL shall adhere to all mitigation, monitoring, and commitments stated in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted on May 22, 2018;
  • Grieg NL shall prepare Environmental Effects Monitoring Plans (EEMPs), in consultation with the applicable Government divisions, and submit them to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, and receive the minister’s approval for the EEMPs, prior to the start of hatchery operations. The EEMPs will be developed to monitor effects as a result of the Project and to ensure that effects are documented and mitigated. The EEMPs will cover the following components:
    • Performance of sea cages;
    • Genetic and ecological interactions of escaped farmed salmon on wild salmon;
    • Genetic and ecological interactions of escaped farmed lumpfish on lumpfish;
    • Performance of European-strain triploid fish;
    • Fish, marine mammals, and seabird;
    • Benthic habitat health;
    • Groundwater quantity and quality at the hatchery; and
    • Climate and weather;
  • Grieg NL shall prepare an annual report of the results of the EEMPs obtained at all monitoring sites and make the report available publicly;
  • Grieg NL shall prepare an Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) for all applicable hatchery construction and operations activities and submit the EPP to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, and receive the minister’s approval for the EPP, prior to the start of hatchery construction. This EPP shall describe the environmental protection and mitigation measures that will be applied throughout the life of this component of the Project to avoid or minimize potential negative effects on the environment associated with the Project;
  • Grieg NL shall prepare an Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) for all applicable sea cage construction and operations activities and submit the EPP to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, and receive the minister’s approval for the EPP, prior to the start of sea cage construction. This EPP will describe the environmental protection and mitigation measures that will be applied throughout the life of this component of the Project to avoid or minimize potential negative effects on the environment associated with the Project;
  • Should the use of pesticides be required, and prior to administration of any pesticide, Grieg NL shall confirm that the pesticide is currently approved for use in Canada, for the specific use intended, by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency. Grieg NL shall ensure that pesticides are applied by a licensed Pesticide Applicator with the applicable category of license, and following the label direction;
  • Grieg NL shall publically release all reports of disease and escapes within 24 hours, and publicly release all use of chemotherapeutants (antibiotics, vaccinations, anesthetics) and pesticides annually;
  • Grieg NL must demonstrate that waste from the hatchery can be managed in a manner that meets the approval of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, prior to the commencement of hatchery operations;
  • Grieg NL shall identify a back-up water supply and provide anticipated water use numbers, a well-head protection and water-quality monitoring plan (ambient and real-time), and a contingency plan for the hatchery water supply in the event of catastrophic failure either with the well or the pump, to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment for approval prior to the commencement of hatchery operations;
  • Grieg NL shall enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment for the installation of a real time water quality/quantity monitoring network to monitor impacts on flow and water quality in and around the proposed hatchery site. The Memorandum of Agreement should be signed and the network installed prior to the start of site operation activities. All costs will be borne by Grieg NL;
  • The Project is subject to the approval of Transport Canada under the Navigation Protection Act. Transport Canada advises that measures to mitigate any direct effects of the project on navigation will be included as terms and conditions associated with the work approved or permitted pursuant to the Navigation Protection Act;
  • Grieg NL shall have an emergency recapture licence in place, prior to the commencement of operations of the sea cage sites, in the event an escape incident arises, so that there are no delays in initiating recapture efforts. Standard conditions could be specified ahead of time in the licence with input from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to ensure any adverse effects on wild salmon are minimized. Approval to proceed with recapture efforts requires authorization by Fisheries and Oceans Canada;
  • Grieg NL shall be required to mark all imported and grown in province Atlantic Salmon smolt for ease of identification in recapture, using a methodology approved by the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Environment and Fisheries and Land Resources;
  • Grieg NL shall be required to conduct testing for triploidy when smolt are in the hatchery, at a sample size and frequency to be determined in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources;
  • Prior to operation of the sea cages, an onsite environmental monitor, funded by Grieg NL, shall be established to monitor the entire project, and provide reports to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment. The monitor must be hired for the first 10 years of the Project operations to confirm outcomes at peak production; and
  • Grieg NL shall conduct inspections of the portion of sea cages that extend below the water's surface every 30 days during the months of June, July, August and September, and every 90 days during the remainder of the year.

Indian Head Hatchery Expansion Project (Reg. 1975)
Proponent: Northern Harvest Smolt Ltd.

The project is released subject to the following conditions:

  • The proponent shall complete a hydrogeologic assessment of the proposed groundwater source. This assessment shall be carried out by a qualified hydrogeologic professional and submitted to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment for approval. Reports on the progress of this assessment are required to be submitted to the Water Resource Management Division every two months until the assessment is complete and accepted by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment.
  • The proponent shall implement a groundwater monitoring program to monitor water levels and water quality. The program must be developed with and meet the approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment within two months from this release date. Water level data shall be collected continuously using a recording data logger, and selected water quality parameters will be monitored and annual reports submitted to this department for review for a period of at least two years. Extension of the monitoring and reporting beyond two years will be at the discretion of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment.
  • The proponent will be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment for the installation of a real time water quality and quantity monitoring network to monitor water levels and selected water quality parameters within two months from this release date. The type, number and location of the stations required will depend on site conditions and final operation plans. The proponent is to bear all costs associated with the groundwater monitoring network and installation, operation, and maintenance.
  • The proponent shall provide proof of a minimum $1,000,000 surety bond or guaranteed letter of credit from a recognized lending institution, to be held as financial security should the hydrological assessment and groundwater monitoring, including real-time monitoring, not be completed and as per the release condition.
  • The proponent must demonstrate that waste from the hatchery can be managed in a manner that meets the approval of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, by submitting a comprehensive Waste Management Plan prior to the commencement of hatchery operations.
  • A women’s employment plan for this project shall be submitted for the approval of the Women’s Policy Office within one month from this release date. During the tendering process, contracted companies must be informed that a women’s employment plan for the project must be submitted as a requirement of successful bidding.
  • The proponent must submit clarification on the full-time status of occupations associated with the construction phase, as well as hiring arrangements for all occupations associated with the operations phase to the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour within one month from this release date.
  • The proponent must complete a pathogen profile of the saltwater source to ensure biosecurity of the hatchery. This profile must be determined and reviewed by the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources and the company veterinarian prior to the commencement of hatchery operations.
  • A health and safety plan is required if any excavation is going to take place in subsurface soil (below 1 metre depth) in the areas of identified or potential contamination. In addition, the proponent shall make workers aware of the contamination and require they wear personnel protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to contaminants.

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Learn more
Environmental Assessment Division - toll-free at 1-800-563-6181 or by mail:
    Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment
    West Block, Confederation Building
    P.O. Box 8700, St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

Public comments may be forwarded to: EAprojectcomments@gov.nl.ca

Environmental assessment information: www.mae.gov.nl.ca/env_assessment/

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Media contact
Lynn Robinson
Municipal Affairs and Environment
709-729-5449, 691-9466
lynnrobinson@gov.nl.ca

2018 09 06                              12:30 p.m.