Victory for the Vermilion River – A Roller Coaster Ride

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Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River

The Vermilion River has been under threat from the proposed development of 4 modified run-of-river hydroelectric facilities since finding out about them late in 2010.   The proposed Wabagishik Rapids Generating Station was the first of the 4 to move forward, and in November of 2013, the Vermilion River Stewardship, Ontario Rivers Alliance, and over twenty other individuals and organizations made Part II Order requests to the Minister of Environment, indicating that in our opinion Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca) did not meet the requirements of the Class EA for Waterpower in several areas, and requested that the Environmental Report (ER) be elevated to an Individual Environmental Assessment, a more rigorous environmental assessment.   Read more

2016 Vermilion River Clean-up – Ella Lake

On behalf of the Vermilion River Stewardship, I would like to thank everyone who came out to our Vermilion River Clean-up on Sunday.  There were 28 people who came out to help at Ella Lake for the Clean-up, and there were also others who opted to clean-up their own section of the Vermilion and connecting lakes – so a BIG THANK YOU to all who volunteered!  A special thanks to the Basso Family and the Whitefish District Lion’s Club for providing a great barbecue for our clean-up volunteers!
 It was a very cold day, with a sprinkling of snow, but a good time was had by all – and a huge pile of garbage was collected.

 

 

Vermilion River Watershed – Greater Sudbury Watershed Studies

VRS is recommending that a portion of the funding be assigned to a Master Watershed Study for the Vermilion River Watershed. This study would take a big picture perspective, and consider the cumulative effects that development, stormwater runoff, and wastewater and mining effluent are having on the Vermilion River. This would better inform potential mitigation measures required for the subwatersheds contained within it.

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Ramsey Lake Subwatershed Terms of Reference

The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS), is grateful for this opportunity to comment on the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Ramsey Lake Watershed Study; however, the short deadline for comments has made it challenging to make a thorough review.  VRS requests that a minimum comment period of 30 days be provided in all future requests for public feedback.  This would allow for an adequate opportunity to review and prepare a comprehensive and meaningful submission.

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Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Monitoring Project – Final Report, by VRS

This is the result of a 3 year water quality sampling project on the Lower Vermilion River, within the Vermilion River Watershed.

A big thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding this important Project!!

Another big thank you goes out to KGHM International Ltd. for their generous donation and for Conservation Sudbury’s in-kind contribution towards the extension of our Project into the 3rd year!!

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Wabagishik Rapids GS – Follow-up to Part II Order Request

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What was found in the document was encouraging, and yet at the same time very concerning. It was encouraging to see that MOE concurred with ORA and VRS, when it reported “NR’s review of the ER indicated that in several instances, the proponent has not met the requirements of the Waterpower Class EA”; however, it was disturbing that “EAB has indicated they are considering denying the Part II Order requests with conditions, noting that it may be possible to impose detailed conditions to ensure all outstanding concerns are addressed”. This referenced document goes on to express the questions, concerns and uncertainty of how to deal with this deficient ER, and whether this would “expose the Ministry to any risk (ie: other proponents seeking the same level of direction during the proponent-driven EA process, or liability issues if the approach taken leads to unforeseen negative impacts on the environment or other users)”.

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Capreol Cedar Rapids Waterpower – FIT 4 Application

Cedar Rapids, Vermilion River

Cedar Rapids, Vermilion River

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS), to express our disappointment in the unprincipled way in which the proposed Capreol Cedar Rapids Waterpower project (project) was placed before the City of Sudbury’s Planning Committee for endorsement, without first notifying VRS, a registered stakeholder, that the project was being modified in order to make application for a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) contract.  A simple email to myself alerting of your intention to reduce the Installed Capacity of the proposed project from 1 MW to 500 kW, in order to qualify under FIT 4, would have provided VRS with the opportunity to speak to the Planning Committee about our concerns with the project.

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