Wabagishik still at risk – but it’s not over until it’s over

An update on the previous post found here.

It appears that what we thought was a done deal, is still uncertain.  Xeneca has now invited all requesters to take part in a Project Liaison Committee meeting.

On the 11th of July, 2016, shortly after receiving the lists indicating that all of Xeneca’s FIT Contracts had been terminated, ORA and VRS wrote to the Minister protesting his decision to approve the Wabagishik Rapids GS, with conditions, on the grounds that it was based upon inaccurate and unsupported responses contained within the Ministry Review (Review) document, Xeneca Power Development Inc.’s (Xeneca) correspondence, and the Environmental Report (ER).  The Minister’s office responded on the 16th of August, 2016, basically declaring that if we had questions about what was or was not contained in the ER that we should ask Mark Holmes.  On that same day, Xeneca contacted the Chair of ORA and VRS with an invitation to attend the PLC. Read more

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Spatial-determinants of deteriorating water quality in the Vermilion River, by Carrie Strangway, UOIT

As part of the Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Monitoring Project, funded through a 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, Carrie Strangway completed her Master’s Thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree of Master of Science in the Faculty of Science, Applied Bioscience, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.  What follows is a poster of her more detailed manuscript, which will be published shortly:

Abstract 

The Vermilion River and major tributaries (VRMT) receive various point and non-point inputs, in addition to several flow regulation features, along their continuum. Further development in the Vermilion watershed has been proposed, raising concerns about cumulative impacts to the ecological health of the VRMT. To assess the current state of riverine health, water quality metrics were monitored monthly at twenty-eight sites during the ice-free period of 2013 and 2014. Generation of landscape-scale data revealed a broad range of land-cover and road density in the watershed at differing landscape-scales. Sites on the main-stem of the Junction tributary had above average concentrations for the majority of water quality parameters measured, specifically, sites within Copper Cliff Creek and Junction Creek (i.e. CC- 12 and JUN-13) were the most impacted. The river network pathway (i.e. asymmetric eigenvector map (AEM) eigenfunctions) and topographical features (i.e. catchment land-use) explained most of the variation in water quality (62.2%), thus both proved to be useful spatial determinates of deteriorating water quality.

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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

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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.

 

 

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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.

Read more

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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.

Read more

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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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