Minister Baird Refers Lower Churchill Hydro Project to a Review Panel

    OTTAWA, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the
Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment
Agency (the Agency), today announced that the Lower Churchill Hydro Project
will undergo an environmental assessment by an independent review panel.
    "I am confident that a review panel is the best type of assessment to
address the issues related to the development of this important hydro
project," Minister Baird said. "A review panel, independent of government,
will provide the best opportunities for the participation of the public and
Aboriginal groups in the environmental assessment process."
    The Agency is discussing with Newfoundland and Labrador Environment and
Conservation the possibility of a joint environmental assessment of the
proposed project. Information on the timing of next steps and public
involvement will be announced once the governments have determined the most
effective and timely manner of proceeding.
    The Agency will make participant funding available to assist individuals
and groups to participate in the environmental assessment process. The amount
of available funding, how to apply and the deadline for applications will be
announced shortly.
    The proposal is for the development of the hydroelectric potential of the
lower Churchill River. It includes two potential sites. One is a
2,000 megawatt project at Gull Island, which is 225 kilometres downstream from
the existing 5,428 megawatt facility at Churchill Falls, and the other is an
800 megawatt project at Muskrat Falls, which is 60 kilometres downstream of
Gull Island.
    For more information on this project, consult the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Registry under reference number 07-03-26178.

    To obtain information on the panel review process, or to register as an
interested party and to be kept informed of the panel's activities, provide a
full mailing address, an e-mail address or a fax number to the following:

    Debra Myles
    Panel Manager
    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    160 Elgin Street
    Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
    Tel.: (613) 957-0626

    The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal
environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects
of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of
sustainable development.

For further information:

For further information: Nicholas Girard, Senior Communications Advisor,
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, (613) 957-0958,

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