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)”.
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.
It is also important to note that there are no decommissioning provisions required for these renewable energy projects, so it is uncertain who will be on the hook for restoration of the site, and for the disposal of the toxic material contained in the solar panels once the development is no longer viable. While the impacts from solar projects are nowhere near that of coal-fired power plants, photovoltaic modules are made from a witch’s brew of toxic chemicals. Arsenic, cadmium telluride, hexaflouroethane, lead, and polyvinyl fluoride are just some of the chemicals used to manufacture the various types of solar cells. Corrosive chemicals like hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, nitric acid and hydrogen fluoride are used to remove impurities from and clean semiconductor materials. To phosphine or arsine gas is used in the doping of the semiconductor material.
The Vermilion River Stewardship supports green energy projects, as long as they are truly green, and that stakeholders and the community at large support it. However, it has come to our attention that property owners, Cairin Nelson and Michael Cropper, as well as many other stakeholders in the community are opposed to this project. Read more →
Thank you to all our Vermilion River Stewardship volunteers who came out to help in our 1st Annual River Clean-up last Sunday, 7th of June. Also, a BIG THANK YOU to VRABS Independent Grocers for the contribution towards our barbecue lunch, and for the Basso Family for feeding all our volunteers!
The forecast called for rain, but we were pleasantly surprised to have about 30 people show up to help in our clean-up – and the rain stayed away until just as we were leaving.
Bug spray, bug jackets, and an enthusiastic willingness to make a difference were in abundance!! A great time was had by all, and Wabagishik Lake and the Vermilion River are looking fantastic!
I hope no one was nipped by the poison ivy!
“The VRS wishes to thank the City of Greater Sudbury, Jacques Barbeau, Michael Vagnini, and Sudbury Water/Wastewater staff for taking strong action to protect the health and safety of its citizens“, said Linda Heron, Chair of the VRS.
The City of Greater Sudbury has provided a Sewer Bypass Alert Notification, whereby you can register to receive email notification whenever there is a sewage bypass or wastewater overflow at any of their wastewater treatment facilities.
The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) lobbied for this real-time Alert to ensure those families relying on the receiving lakes and rivers for their household water and/or recreational activities are notified whenever a bypass occurs, and can take appropriate action.
You are encouraged to register here to receive Alerts when a sewage bypass or spill occurs. All bypass events will be posted at this location for a period of 7 days after the bypass has ended. Monthly bypass and overflow reports are also available on the Stewardship page.
Given your past interest in one or more of our projects we wish to advise that Xeneca Power Development is proceeding through a restructuring process brought about by significantly extended development timelines, increased regulatory requirements and exposure to rapidly escalating environmental, permitting, development and civil costs. Due to the above noted delays and costs that were not contemplated in Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) pricing and contract timelines, project economic viability has, in some cases, been driven into a negative position, and, as such, it is expected that some FIT contracts will be cancelled in order that those projects can be bid into Ontario’s upcoming Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) program. (Read letter below.)
It doesn’t look good for Xeneca, but it’s looking great for Ontario rivers.
Xeneca had 19 waterpower sites going through the environmental assessment and approvals process, and reliable sources say they are trying to auction off the company to the highest bidder.
So now we’re waiting to see how everything settles out.
Wherever Xeneca has gone they have stirred up a hornets’ nest – so who would ever want to buy into that mess? Read more →
Please Join us for our Vermilion River Clean-up
The Vermilion River Stewardship is holding its first Vermilion River Clean-up on Wabagishik Lake, scheduled for Sunday, 7 June 2015, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. We invite you to come out to help clean up the litter in and around the lake and river. Please bring your camera along to help record the event.
You must register to take part in this fun community building event by Monday, 25 May 2015. You can send an email to info@VermilionRiverStewards.ca to let us know that you will participate.
Volunteers should arrive at the Wabagishik Road Boat Launch by 9:45 am (see map below). Everyone will be transported by barge to key shoreline areas where litter and garbage will be collected.
VRS will be providing a barbecue lunch for all our volunteers.
The total amount of garbage collected during the event, and the most interesting find, will be shared on this page. Watch for details to come in the weeks following the event!
Note: Come dressed for the occasion – you should bring along a life jacket, rubber gloves and boots – waders would be a great idea. Read more →
“We are very grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, KGHM International Inc. and Conservation Sudbury for supporting our organization and community in this important Project. The health of the Vermilion River is very important to the thousands of people who rely on it for their drinking water, recreation, and family enjoyment” said VRS Chair, Linda Heron.
Queen’s University student, Zara Jennings
In 2013, Zara Jennings, a Queen’s University 4th year student and her professor, Brian Cummings, undertook sediment core sampling on Wabagishik Lake. Results indicated that the heavy metal contamination has steadily improved over the years; however, heavy metal contamination is still well into the “severe effect level” and severe contamination lies within centimeters of the sediment surface. Heavy metal contamination in the “severe effect level”, include nickel, copper, arsenic, lead, manganese, iron, cadmium and zinc. Zara has provided an outstanding 4th year Thesis that will be a major part of the final project report for our 2-year Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Monitoring study.
In July of 2014, the Chair of the Vermilion River Stewardship made a presentation to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change staff regarding concerns about heavy metal contamination in the Vermilion River that was not properly addressed by the proponent in consideration of the Wabagishik Rapids Generating Station Environmental Report:2014-07-12-MOE-Wabagishik-W