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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MaxLight Solar Proposal – VRS Comments

 

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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

Press Release: Sudbury Takes Strong Action to Protect its Citizens

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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.

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Xeneca to Valued Stakeholders

Wabagishik Rapids

Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River

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