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No decision, yet: N.L. government says World Energy GH2 proposal needs more information

CBC News| Alex Kennedy |November 2, 2023
Newfoundland and LabradorGeneral

In a letter sent to World Energy GH2 by Davis, the minister said the EIS was found to be deficient based on a review from the department's environmental assessment committee and comment from the public. Davis asked Sean Leet, the CEO of World Energy GH2, to provide more information in the areas of water use and monitoring, baseline data and information, assessing the potential and cumulative effects of the project, along with mitigation plans, contingency plans and emergency response plans.


Decision from minister was expected Tuesday

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says it needs more information from World Energy GH2's environmental assessment submission before it can decide on the future of the proposed wind energy project in western Newfoundland.

The proposal — advanced by a corporation spearheaded by seafood magnate John Risley — would put at least 328 wind turbines on the Port au Port Peninsula and Codroy Valley, and a hydrogen-ammonia plant in western Newfoundland.

A decision on the project was expected on Tuesday, but the province's Department of Environment and Climate Change said in an update on Wednesday that it needed an amendment to the environmental impact statement (EIS) that was submitted in August.

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Decision from minister was expected Tuesday

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says it needs more information from World Energy GH2's environmental assessment submission before it can decide on the future of the proposed wind energy project in western Newfoundland.

The proposal — advanced by a corporation spearheaded by seafood magnate John Risley — would put at least 328 wind turbines on the Port au Port Peninsula and Codroy Valley, and a hydrogen-ammonia plant in western Newfoundland.

A decision on the project was expected on Tuesday, but the province's Department of Environment and Climate Change said in an update on Wednesday that it needed an amendment to the environmental impact statement (EIS) that was submitted in August.

"[There is] an opportunity for us through the legislatively governed process that we have for environmental assessment to ensure that the information we have is going to be clear, concise, and focused on the project and the development into the future," Environment Minister Bernard Davis told reporters Wednesday.

"We want to make sure that that's done, and in this case there is some clarity that is required…. It's very important that we get it right."

In a letter sent to World Energy GH2 by Davis, the minister said the EIS was found to be deficient based on a review from the department's environmental assessment committee and comment from the public.

Davis asked Sean Leet, the CEO of World Energy GH2, to provide more information in the areas of water use and monitoring, baseline data and information, assessing the potential and cumulative effects of the project, along with mitigation plans, contingency plans and emergency response plans.

"It's not information that I would necessarily need, it's information that the process would need," Davis told reporters. "But it's really, really important that it's a legislatively governed process."

Once an amendment is submitted, Davis said it will be subject to a 50-day public input period and that a determination on the project will be made within 70 days of the amendment being submitted.

Camille Ouellet Dallaire, assistant professor at Memorial University's Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook who has voiced concern over the impact statement in the past, said the request for more information is good news.

"It means that the government has reacted to an environmental impact statement that was lacking some of the precision and some of the details we needed to really know," Ouellet Dallaire said Wednesday.

Ouellet Dallaire said governments seeking more information isn't uncommon in situations like these, even with the statement from World Energy GH2 being 4,000 pages long.

"We need people to understand what this project will really mean for their lives," Ouellet Dallaire said.

"What we consider as being sustainable has changed in the past 20 years, and I think that's why we see these time periods being too short to really capture all of the breadth of impact that we really want to look into."


Source:https://www.cbc.ca/news/canad…

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