At Soo Crossing, Vermilion River – Modified Run of River Hydroelectric Proposal

Site of the 4th in a series of hydroelectric dams proposed for the Vermilion River.  The powerhouse would be located only meters away from a public beach at Centennial Park.

The proposed dam is a “modified run of river” which entails rapid and extreme changes in water flow velocity and levels several times daily under some flow conditions, and holding water back in head ponds for several hours, and sometimes days in order to release during peak demand hours to generate power.

This type of operating strategy can make ice conditions unstable and unsafe during winter months, and make swimming, fishing, boating or in-water recreation extremely dangerous.   Vermilion River Stewardship is opposed to this type of hydroelectric dam.


Wabagisihik Rapids, Vermilion River – Modified Run of River Hydroelectric Proposal

This is the last in a series of 5 proposed modified run of river hydroelectric dams on the Vermilion River.

The proponent proposes to use all of Wabagishik Lake as its headpond, and intends to locate a 6 meter high dam 2/3rd of of the way down this beautiful 1 km stretch of rapids.  This would flood the upstream rapids into a headpond, and remove most of the flow from the downstream section for hours, and for days during the low flow seasons.

The zone of influence for this proposal is all of Wabagishik Lake, Wabagishik Rapids, and the remainder of the Vermilion, right out to its confluence with the Spanish River.

Vermilion River Stewardship is opposed to this proposal as it would be extremely damaging to the riverine ecosystem, water quality, water quantity, and the dam would be located right in the middle of a significant walleye spawning bed.  Ice conditions would be unstable, and swimming, fishing, boating and in-water recreation would be extremely dangerous within the zone of influence – which is about 20 km of Wabagishik Lake and Vermilion River.   Does this sound like green energy to you?



Capreol’s Potential Hydro Generation Project

A company named WaterPower Group held a public meeting, in October of 2012, for members of the Capreol Business Association, Capreol Community Action Network, and members of the Town at the Millenium Centre.  This proponent proposes to build a hydroelectric dam on the Vermilion River at Cedar Rapids.

To read an article, go to page 15 of  The Capreol Press – October 1, 2012 – No. 87.

The photos below are of the area that is proposed to be dammed – Cedar Rapids on the Vermilion River.


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VRS Comments on Cliffs Chromite Project – Terms of Reference

An Exerpt from the Cliffs Chromite Project’s Terms of Reference:

The Ferrochrome Production Facility (FPF)

The Capreol FPF Site is situated within the City of Greater Sudbury’s municipal boundary limits, approximately 40 km directly north of the City’s downtown core.  The FPF site is located approximately 15 km to the north-west of the Wahnapitae First Nation community, which is situated on the north-western shore of Lake Wanapitei.  The Site is situated approximately 20 km north-west of the community of Capreol, which is an outlying settlement area with the City of Greater Sudbury.  The small community of Milnet, with less than 10 homes, is located on Ironside Lake approximately 2 km south-west of the Site.

The Capreol FPF consists of a materials handling facility for receiving materials from the Transload Facility, rotary kilns, AC or DC furnaces, product shotting and drying facilities, slag granulation/repository, associated gas handling and environmental systems, water and sewage treatment facilities, site access roads and administration and maintenance facilities.  Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 tonnes of concentrate will be processed each day using electric arc furnaces to produce approximately 1,250 to 1,750 tonnes of ferrochrome.  The area required to house the FPF Site facilities and infrastructure is approximately 95 ha.  In addition, an area of approximately 65 ha is required to house the slag stockpile which id located to the north of the FPF.

Hydro One’s existing Hanmer TS, located 8 km to the west of the Greater Sudbury Airport, is planned as the power supply source for the Capreol FPF Site.  The Hanmer TS is a 500 kV facility situated approximately 20 km south-east of the FPF Site.  Power is intended to be provided from Hanmer TS to the FPF Site by a 230 kv double circuit transmission line.


My Resignation from the Vermilion Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee

The following is an important development with regard to the 4 Vermilion River hydroelectric proposals currently going through the approvals process.  In March of 2011 I was asked by Mark Holmes, of Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca), if I would sit on a Vermilion Stakeholders’ Committee (VSAC), and early in 2012 I eventually agreed, on the grounds that if the VSAC were to find these projects were not environmentally and ecologically viable that the project would be dropped.    The following correspondence clearly sets out why I am no longer a member of the VSAC Committee. Read more


Northern Ontarion’s please show your concerns on these dams – Vermilion River.

Hi my name is John Healy and I have a problem with the dams being proposed on the Vermillion River especially Wabagishik lake.  This is a unique fast flowing section of river that is vibrant for walleye/bass/sucker and even shows positive evidence of Sturgeon who strive to come back to their natural habitats and are endangered. This is a site in which I frequent whenever I want a peaceful time in my boat. Whenever I want to impress family and friends from other parts of the world that we have things in our back yard that money can’t buy or build. Its natural beauty is its way of producing fish and providing a natural habitat for animals. Read more

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Cliffs Chromite Project – Ferrochrome Production Facility

Vermilion River Stewardship has registered as a stakeholder in this proposal, as the Ferrechrome Production Facility would be located in the Vermilion River Watershed.

Cliffs website indicates they are currently in the early planning stages for this Project and are undergoing a coordinated Environmental Assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.   Cliffs announced that they have chosen the Caperol site for the smelter on May 10th, 2012 – check out the CBC interview with Cliff’s VP, Bill Bloor.

If you are a stakeholder, or have concerns, you may register to receive all updates and notices by contacting Cliffs by email at, or by Telephone at 1-855-353-4766 to register as a stakeholder.  For a detailed Project Description – click here.




Motion by Township of Nairn and Hyman – Vermilion River Proposals

The Green Energy Act and Green Economy Act don’t allow municipalities to have a say in green energy proposals, however, the Township of Nairn and Hyman, through this Motion, are sending a strong message to the public, developers, and the government that these hydroelectric proposals carry with them significant environmental, ecological, economic and social costs; present unnecessary threats to public health and safety; and are not wanted in this area.