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OTTAWA — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the Government of Canada’s decision on the environmental assessment of the Labrador–Island Transmission Link. The Government determined that the environmental effects of the project are justified in view of the significant economic benefits and reductions in greenhouse gases for the region. With this decision, the project proponent can continue with the regulatory approval process.
“This project will not only create jobs and economic growth for people in Newfoundland and Labrador, it will also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a stable source of clean energy for Atlantic Canada,” said Minister Oliver. “Our government will continue to work with our partners, including Aboriginal groups, to balance economic development with environmental protection.”
The 1,135-km Labrador–Island Transmission Link will deliver electricity produced at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric generating facility to the Island of Newfoundland. The federal environmental assessment of the project was conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The Government of Canada weighed all of the identified benefits, effects, risks and uncertainties and found that the project is justified on both economic and environmental grounds. The Government will ensure that extensive measures are taken to mitigate the potential environmental impacts of this project.
“This decision marks a critical milestone in the development of the Lower Churchill River hydroelectric projects,” said the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. “This incredible endeavour will result in countless benefits to our province, the most important being the provision of reliable, least-cost power to meet the growing demand for electricity.”
The project will require federal authorizations under the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Federal Real Properties and Federal Immovables Act in order to proceed.
Newfoundland and Labrador estimates that the Lower Churchill Loan Guarantee projects are anticipated to yield extensive direct and indirect economic benefits to Atlantic Canada and involve $7.7 billion in investment. The projects are expected to generate over 3,100 jobs at peak employment during construction. In addition, Nalcor estimates that the Lower Churchill Loan Guarantee projects will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 4.5 million tonnes per year, over 50 years of operation, the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road, each year.
Canada will continue to work with Emera, Nalcor Energy and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia as they move forward with developing the Lower Churchill River Projects. Once all of the conditions outlined in the loan guarantee term sheet of November 30, 2012, are satisfied, the loan guarantee agreements can be finalized and guaranteed debt financing may be obtained.
Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
Natural Resources Canada
The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:
Decision of Responsible Authorities: http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/document-eng.cfm?document=96186
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