Vol. 151, No. 19 — May 13, 2017

Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

The Rainy River Mine Project is located in the township of Chapple, district of Rainy River, in northwestern Ontario, approximately 65 km northwest of Fort Frances and 420 km west of Thunder Bay. The mine is owned and being built by New Gold Inc. (New Gold). Construction of the mine began in May 2015, and the mine is scheduled to begin commercial operation in mid-2017.

The facility will include an open pit and an underground mine, an ore milling and processing facility, mine waste disposal areas, water management infrastructure, power transmission lines, a highway realignment and associated on-site infrastructure and buildings.

Parts of the mine waste disposal areas will destroy waters frequented by fish, and there will be a loss of 21.3 hectares (ha) of fish habitat. The disposal of mine waste in fish-frequented waters is currently prohibited under the Fisheries Act. Mine waste disposal in these waters can only proceed if they are added to Schedule 2 of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (see footnote 1) (MMER or the Regulations).

The Rainy River Mine Project was subject to a federal environmental assessment (EA) conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency), which considered the full scope of the mine as proposed by New Gold. Following the completion of the federal EA, the Minister of Environment announced that “the Rainy River Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.” (see footnote 2) In addition, “conditions have been established in relation to the environmental effects, with which the Proponent must comply.”

Background

Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER or Regulations)

The MMER came into force on December 6, 2002, under the Fisheries Act (the Act). The Act prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances in waters frequented by fish, unless it is authorized by regulations. The use of fish-frequented waters for mine waste disposal may thus only be authorized through an amendment to the MMER; the water body would need to be added to Schedule 2 of the Regulations. As of January 2017, there were 27 water bodies listed in Schedule 2 of the MMER.

When a fish-frequented water body has been added to Schedule 2 of the MMER, the Regulations require the development and implementation of a fish habitat compensation plan that will offset the loss of fish habitat that would occur as a result of the use of the fish-frequented water for mine waste disposal. Mine owners or operators are required to submit a letter of credit ensuring that funds are in place to address all elements of the fish habitat compensation plan.

Schedule 4 of the MMER prescribes the maximum authorized limits for deleterious substances in mine effluent, including limits for arsenic, copper, cyanide, lead, nickel, zinc, radium-226 and total suspended solids. The Regulations also specify the allowable acidity or alkalinity (pH) of mine effluent, and require that mine effluents not be acutely lethal to fish. (see footnote 3) The MMER require that mine owners or operators monitor and test effluents to ensure compliance with the authorized limits and that they report these results to the Department of the Environment. The Department of the Environment publishes annual performance summaries of the performance of metal mines with respect to selected standards prescribed by the MMER.

The Regulations require that environmental effects monitoring be conducted downstream from the effluent discharge point to determine if there are any effects on fish, fish habitat, or the use of fisheries resources.

Rainy River Mine Project

New Gold Inc. began construction of the Rainy River Mine Project in May 2015 and, as of January 2017, employs a total of 1 000 people on-site, 324 of whom are full-time operations employees. Of these, 80% are from the Rainy River and Kenora districts, and more than 32% of employees are from Indigenous communities. (see footnote 4) The Rainy River mine will contribute to the local and regional economy by being the largest employer in the Rainy River region. The mine will directly employ 550 employees and lead to the creation of 1 000 indirect jobs in Northern Ontario once it begins operation in mid-2017. (see footnote 5)

The mine is designed to produce 27 000 tonnes of ore per day and an annual average of 325 000 ounces of gold during the 14-year mine life. New Gold estimates that the deposit contains an ore reserve of about 3.8 million ounces of gold and 9.4 million ounces of silver. New Gold is investing a total of $1.3 billion to develop the resource with an implied value potential of about $2.3 billion, and an average production capacity of 325 000 ounces of gold annually. (see footnote 6) A financial analysis of the mine as reported by New Gold has forecast a net present value before tax for the project of $759 million (using a 5% discount rate and subject to the metal prices for gold and silver as well as the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar). (see footnote 7) This represents an internal rate of return of 14.8%.

During construction, in late 2015, New Gold discovered cracks in a water management pond dam at the mine. All dam construction was stopped by the Province of Ontario, and an investigation into the problem was undertaken by New Gold. As a result of the findings of this investigation, New Gold submitted new dam designs for both the water management pond and the tailings management area (TMA) to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for approval. In August 2016, New Gold received approval from the MNRF to recommence work on the water management facility based on the new designs approved by the MNRF. In November 2016, New Gold obtained approval of the new dam designs for the entirety of the tailings management area, and began re-construction of the dams based on the new designs.

Mine waste disposal management for the Rainy River Mine

The Rainy River Mine is expected to generate 110 to 120 million tonnes of tailings, 70 to 80 million tonnes of overburden (see footnote 8) and 350 to 400 million tonnes of waste rock over the life of the mine.

Tailings and mine effluent management

New Gold plans to construct and operate a TMA that will be located northwest of the open pit, a water management pond, a water discharge pond and a constructed wetland (see Figure 1). New Gold is required to treat the mine effluent to meet the specified MMER requirements before discharging the effluent to Loslo Creek.

Overburden and waste rock management

New Gold is proposing to dispose of waste rock and overburden into two separate stockpiles to allow for the management of all mine waste within the footprint of the Pinewood River watershed.

These proposed mine waste disposal areas would destroy three portions of two water bodies that are frequented by fish: a portion of an unnamed creek, locally known as Loslo Creek, and of its unnamed tributaries, which are tributary to the Pinewood River; and two portions of an unnamed creek, locally known as Marr Creek, and of its unnamed tributaries, which are also tributary to the Pinewood River (see Figure 1). The use of these creeks would result in a loss of 21.3 ha of fish habitat, and these two waters must be added to Schedule 2 of the MMER in order to be used for the disposal of mine waste.

The creeks are composed mainly of shallow streams and are characterized by a low gradient with a number of beaver ponds throughout their lengths, thus creating low flow systems. The flow of the creeks are influenced by seasonal increases and decreases in surface water inputs, resulting in intermittent waters (see footnote 9) in the western portion of Loslo Creek and restricted flow through the length of Marr Creek.

Loslo Creek provides fish habitat for 11 fish species, including Central Mudminnow, Brook Stickleback, Spottail Shiner, Northern Redbelly Dace, Lake Chub, Finescale Dace, Emerald Shiner, Creek Chub, Brassy Minnow, Blackchin Shiner, and White Sucker. These are all fish used as bait for fishing.

Marr Creek provides fish habitat for 12 bait fish species, including Central Mudminnow, Brook Stickleback, Common Shiner, Fathead Minnow, Northern Pearl Dace, Spottail Shiner, Northern Redbelly Dace, Lake Chub, Finescale Dace, Emerald Shiner, Creek Chub, and Brassy Minnow.

Environmental assessments of the Rainy River Mine Project

The Rainy River Project was subject to a federal EA conducted by the Agency under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. (see footnote 10) The federal EA, completed on January 12, 2015, concluded that “the Rainy River Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.” (see footnote 11) In addition, “conditions have been established in relation to the environmental effects, with which the Proponent must comply.”

On January 17, 2014, New Gold Inc. (formerly Rainy River Resources Ltd.) submitted its environmental assessment, under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for review and decision. The environmental assessment was approved, subject to conditions, on January 28, 2015, by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, with concurrence from the Lieutenant Governor in Council. (see footnote 12)

Figure 1: The Rainy River Project map

Map - Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

Objectives

The objective of the proposed Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (proposed Amendments) is to enable the deposit of mine waste in three portions of two fish-frequented water bodies at the Rainy River Mine Project.

Description

Proposed Amendments

The proposed Amendments would add the following waters to Schedule 2 of the MMER (see Figure 1):

The sites proposed for mine waste disposal would destroy waters that have a total area of approximately 21.3 ha. Under section 27.1 of the MMER, New Gold would be required to implement a fish habitat compensation plan to offset the loss of fish habitat that would occur as a result of the use of fish-frequented waters for mine waste disposal. New Gold would also be required to submit a letter of credit ensuring that the funds are in place to address all elements of the fish habitat compensation plan.

Proposed fish habitat compensation plan

The proposed fish habitat compensation plan was reviewed and accepted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The proposed fish habitat compensation plan commits New Gold to create new fish habitat and increase the productive capacity of fish habitat in the Pinewood River watershed. The plan had input from a fisheries working group which was comprised of participants from the Rainy River First Nations, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and local stakeholders.

Some of the limiting conditions that exist in the existing small creek system is the lack of deeper pools for summer and winter refuge during conditions of low flow, and the agricultural and pasture lands in the area that reduce fish cover.

The compensation measures would create 25.7 ha of fish habitat and will consist of the realignment of West Creek, a West Creek tributary and a Clark Creek tributary, the creation of West Creek pond, Clark Creek pond, and Stockpile pond, and the creation of several habitat features, including permanent deeper water refuge pools, log and boulder structures, and shallow areas for greater wetland vegetation productivity.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to the proposed Amendments as they would not impose new administrative requirements on business.

Small business lens

The proposed Amendments would not trigger the small business lens as the owner and operator of the Rainy River Mine Project, New Gold Inc., is not considered a small business. (see footnote 13)

Consultation

The Department of the Environment consulted with Indigenous peoples on the proposed Amendments to the MMER related to the Rainy River Mine Project. Furthermore, consultations were undertaken with the general public, environmental organizations and other interested parties.

The Rainy River Mine Project (the Project) would be located within asserted traditional territories of the Rainy River First Nations, and components of the Project would be located in the vicinity of the asserted traditional territories of the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing (Big Island) First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Mishkosiminiziibiing (Big Grassy River) First Nation, Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) First Nation, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation and First Nations members of the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat. All these First Nations have been engaged in consultations on the federal EA and consultations associated with the proposed Amendments.

The Project will also have impacts on the Métis Nation Region 1. The Department of the Environment engaged the Métis Nation Region 1, and began discussions on consultations for the proposed Amendments. In November 2014, Métis Nation of Ontario signed a participation agreement with New Gold. Following this, all further attempts by the Department of the Environment to engage Métis Nation Region 1 went unanswered.

New Gold has signed an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with each of the following: the Naicatchewenin First Nation; the Rainy River First Nations; the Mishkosiminiziibiing (Big Grassy River) First Nation; and four member First Nations of the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat. New Gold is continuing negotiations with Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing (Big Island) First Nation, Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) First Nation, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation and Animakee Wa Zhing (Northwest Angle #37) First Nation.

Consultation prior to publication of the proposed Amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I

In the fall of 2014, the Department of the Environment held nine consultation sessions on the proposed Amendments. Participants at these sessions included representatives of the Department of the Environment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Agency, New Gold and other participants as indicated below.

The consultation sessions provided participants with an opportunity to comment on the proposed Amendments and the associated fish habitat compensation plan. Participants were also invited to submit comments in writing.

At these consultation sessions and in the written comments, a range of opinions and concerns were expressed regarding the proposed Amendments and the associated fish habitat compensation plan, and the Rainy River Mine Project as a whole. Following the consultation sessions, five written submissions were received: one from a local landowner, two from the leadership of local Indigenous communities, and two from ENGOs.

The proposed Amendments are generally supported by most members of the First Nations. However, some representatives of First Nations and environmental organizations are opposed to the proposed Amendments and expressed concerns about downstream water quality, the impacts to the creeks within the Project area, and the potential risks of a tailings dam failure such as that which occurred at the Mount Polley mine in August 2014.

Many comments and questions raised during the consultations are beyond the scope of the proposed Amendments and regarded the environmental assessment and the Project as a whole.

Comments raised during the consultation sessions and those submitted in writing regarding the proposed Amendments are summarized below.

Comments on the proposed Amendments and the assessment of alternatives for tailings and mine waste disposal

While the Department of the Environment understands and respects these concerns, the proposed Amendments are made in the context of an existing legislative framework under the Fisheries Act and the MMER.

During the consultation sessions, representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans explained that the creeks have been previously impacted by agricultural activities and are currently in poor condition. They further explained that the proposed fish habitat compensation plan will result in improved fish habitat productivity in the Project area.

While the Department of the Environment acknowledges these concerns, the MMER requires that the effluent released by the mine comply with the prescribed limits for deleterious substances listed in Schedule 4 to the MMER, and that the effluent be non-acutely lethal to fish prior to its discharge to the environment, to ensure protection of the downstream receiving environment to the degree that is practically achievable. The results of the analysis of the effluents are submitted to the Department of the Environment and published in annual reports.

Furthermore, the MMER also requires that the owner or operator of a mine conduct an environmental effects monitoring (EEM) program.

The Department of the Environment acknowledges that tailings management and disposal using thickened, paste or dry stack tailings each have advantages and disadvantages. The Department of the Environment’s review of the assessment of alternatives report prepared by New Gold found no advantage to the dry stack option, because it would not reduce the tailings impoundment area (TIA) footprint or the associated water management requirements.

The discussion of the prescreening of alternatives criteria and reasons for exclusion of preliminary waste disposal options is part of the report. New Gold intends to segregate mine waste and to use overburden for capping of waste rock at closure. The non-PAG waste rock and overburden disposal areas will be colocated to the west of the open pit, and the segregated PAG material will be stored in the mine waste disposal area to the east of the open pit.

Comments on the fish habitat compensation plan

Representatives of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans responded that they welcomed input on the fish habitat compensation plan. It was noted that input received on the fish habitat compensation plan throughout the consultation process had been considered in the development of the plan. The representatives went on to say that the work on the new stream channels would be done before the existing streams would be impacted, and that these types of compensation projects have been completed successfully throughout Canada. The construction of the new ponds and new stream channels as proposed in the final fish habitat compensation plan has begun and a significant amount of the work has been completed.

Furthermore, as part of the regulatory amendment process, the Department of the Environment consults with Indigenous groups and with the public on the proposed fish habitat compensation plan and the proposed alternative assessment report prepared by the Proponent. The Department of the Environment considers all comments received and works in collaboration with the Proponent to address them.

New Gold has characterized the habitat types that were found in the creeks that would be overprinted or diverted for the mine workings. The replacement of “like for like” habitat will occur in that the newly constructed creeks and ponds will include features sampled from the overprinted or diverted creeks. The compensation plan contains information on sampling that was conducted by New Gold on multiple occasions from 2008 to 2013.

The draft Ontario Fisheries Management Zone 5 Fisheries Management Plan is a general Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry document that provides information about fishing and how fish resources are managed in the northwest region that includes Fort Frances, Kenora and Dryden.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans used the Pinewood River Watershed Fish Management Objectives that were prepared with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to design the offset plan required for the authorization pursuant to paragraph 35(2)(b) of the Fisheries Act. The Pinewood River Watershed Fish Management Objectives are more specific for the system being impacted. The objectives of the plan are to manage baitfish populations to ensure ecological value of baitfish and to maintain water quality and flows that support spawning habitat for large-bodied fish including Lake Sturgeon, Walleye and Northern Pike in the Pinewood River. The offset plan was designed to ensure these objectives are met.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, issued the required permits to allow the taking of water by the Rainy River Mine to ensure that flow reductions would not have a negative impact on the fisheries. Additionally, monitoring for this potential impact has been included in New Gold’s authorization pursuant to paragraph 35(2)(b) of the Fisheries Act, with contingency measures to be used if the monitoring indicates a negative impact.

Rationale

Regulatory and non-regulatory options for mine waste disposal

New Gold has prepared a report on the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal to identify the preferred mine waste disposal options based on the consideration of environmental, socioeconomic, technical and economic impacts. The report was part of the environmental impact statement for the Rainy River Mine Project. The federal EA considered the alternatives for the disposal of mine waste as measures to mitigate potential impacts of the Project on fish habitat.

The selection criteria used to identify viable options for tailings and mine waste disposal were the following:

New Gold identified eight alternative tailing storage and five waste rock storage locations in the preliminary stage. Four tailing storage options and one waste rock storage option were screened out due to not meeting one or more of the above-mentioned criteria, all of which are considered critical criteria.

Non-regulatory options include the disposal of mine waste in a manner that would not directly impact waters frequented by fish. New Gold identified two potential tailings and three waste rock and overburden disposal locations that would not require a regulatory amendment. The non-regulatory options were assessed and compared using environmental, socioeconomic, technical and economic criteria, but were rejected because of the proximity to residences, technical issues, and the associated increased cost.

Regulatory options entail the disposal of tailings and mine waste in a manner that would result in direct impacts (see footnote 15) to one or more waters frequented by fish, and would therefore require that the waters be added to Schedule 2 to the MMER. New Gold identified two potential tailings and mine rock disposal locations, which were assessed and compared using environmental, socioeconomic, technical and economic criteria. One tailings disposal option was rejected because of technical issues and the fact that New Gold did not own the land where it would be located.

The preferred option for tailings disposal is located to the northwest of the open pit and overprints Loslo Creek and Marr Creek (see Figure 1). The location takes advantage of the natural topography with high ground on the north border, which would not require dam containment. This option is also well suited for the development of internal dams for separate water ponding in the TMA, and the water discharge pond and the constructed wetland for further polishing of the mine effluent prior to final discharge to the environment. This option does not impact local residences or transportation routes and has limited air quality and noise impacts. The Project economics are the most favourable for the option given the greater amount of natural containment imparted by the high ground at the north limit, and the site is located on land owned by New Gold.

For the disposal of mine waste and overburden, two options were chosen. The first is located east of the open pit and overprints a portion of Clark Creek, which is proposed for realignment as part of the fish habitat compensation plan. This option was identified as one of the preferred options for the disposal of waste rock owing to the valley topography, which facilitates runoff and seepage collection, and it also has the smallest footprint at 375 ha. The other option is located to the west of the open pit and overprints the lower reach of fish-frequented Marr Creek. This alternative is situated on relatively flat terrain and has a footprint of 399 ha. Both options are the most cost-effective while minimizing the effects to the environment. Further details on these locations are provided in Figure 1.

Analytical framework

The proposed Amendments would add the proposed fish-frequented waters to Schedule 2 of the MMER so that they could be used for the disposal of mine waste from the Rainy River Mine Project.

Given the absence of a technically feasible non-regulatory option for mine waste disposal, a meaningful baseline scenario could not be constructed for the analytical framework and, in turn, no cost-benefit analysis could be performed. The analysis below will examine the impacts of the proposed Amendments on the environment, government and Canadian businesses.

Environmental impacts

The proposed use of waters from the Pinewood River watershed for the disposal of mine waste from the Rainy River Mine Project would result in the loss of 21.3 ha of fish habitat in Loslo Creek, Marr Creek and their tributaries. As a result of the overprint of the proposed TIA in these water bodies, which flow directly into the Pinewood River, the Pinewood River will experience flow reductions. To compensate for the loss of fish habitat, West Creek, a tributary to West Creek and Clark Creek will be realigned and pond habitat will be created with the construction of West Pond, Clark Pond and Stockpile Pond.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is of the opinion that the species present in the waters that would be destroyed are resilient and common throughout the region. The success of the realignment of West Creek and Clark Creek will be monitored by measuring a minimum of nine species of fish, determining if multiple year classes of fish are present, and undertaking abundance monitoring in each of the diverted creeks.

As a measure to mitigate serious harm to fish related to the reduction in flow of the Pinewood River between the West Creek and Loslo Creek inflow to the river, a plan will be implemented to monitor the fish community of the Pinewood River between the two creek inflows to confirm that the fish community and passage are maintained.

The loss of fish habitat will be offset by the development and implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan, as required under section 27.1 of the MMER. This plan has been reviewed and accepted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and New Gold has already implemented a substantial number of the plan’s requirements.

Cost to Government

Government of Canada enforcement activities include inspections to monitor the implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan, which may have associated incremental costs. Specifically, there may be incremental site visits, monitoring and review costs incurred by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. These incremental costs would be low given that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is planning to conduct site visits and monitoring in the context of other authorizations under the Fisheries Act. Furthermore, these incremental monitoring activities, and associated costs, would only occur during the implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan, and would not continue throughout the life of the mine waste disposal areas. Incremental compliance promotion costs may also be incurred but would be low, given that the majority of compliance promotion activities occurred during the federal EA process.

Therefore, the total incremental costs to the Government associated with the monitoring and implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan would be low.

Cost to business

The proposed Amendments would result in additional costs to New Gold associated with the implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan.

Costs attributable to the fish habitat compensation plan such as annual monitoring for five years, and construction of creek diversions and ponds are estimated to be $2,658,094. (see footnote 16)

Strategic environmental assessment

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) would conclude that the proposed Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) under the Fisheries Act (the Act), which would authorize mine waste disposal in water bodies frequented by fish for the Rainy River Project, would result in adverse environmental effects, i.e. loss of fish habitat. This loss of fish habitat would be mitigated by the implementation of a fish habitat compensation plan.

Moreover, follow-up monitoring of the implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan is required as part of the plan. The monitoring would evaluate the adequacy of the plan to create and maintain fish habitat and requires that the Proponent submit an annual monitoring report to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the effectiveness of the plan.

These proposed Amendments would have direct links with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) [2016–2019]. Specifically, with the requirement under the MMER for the Proponent to develop and implement a fish habitat compensation plan, the amendments to Schedule 2 of the MMER would support the long-term goal of having “[c]lean and healthy lakes and rivers [to] support economic prosperity and the well-being of Canadians.” Under the sustainable development goal (SDG) which targets, namely SDG 6, “Clean Water and Sanitation,” the regulatory process contributes to the protection of “pristine lakes and rivers” set out in the FSDS.

Rationale summary

New Gold identified waters frequented by fish that are located in the area proposed for the disposal of mine waste. These fish-frequented waters are described as a portion of an unnamed creek, locally known as Loslo Creek, and of its unnamed tributaries, that is tributary to Pinewood River, Ontario; and two portions of an unnamed creek, locally known as Marr Creek, and of its unnamed tributaries, that are also tributary to Pinewood River, Ontario. However, the use of these waters for the disposal of mine waste from the Rainy River Mine Project would only be possible with their addition to Schedule 2 of the MMER, which is the objective of the proposed Amendments.

The proposed Amendments would allow the destruction of 21.3 ha of fish habitat. To offset the loss of fish habitat, the fish habitat compensation plan would be implemented, including the realignment of two creeks, the creation of inline pond habitat and a follow-up program to ensure the compensation has occurred. The total cost of the fish habitat compensation plan, incurred by the Proponent, is estimated to be $2,658,094. (see footnote 17) Incremental costs to the Government associated with the fish habitat compensation plan would be low.

The Environmental Assessment Decision Statement, announced by the Minister of the Environment on January 12, 2015, states that “the Rainy River Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.” In addition, “conditions have been established in relation to the environmental effects, with which the Proponent must comply.”

Residents from the local community, Indigenous peoples, environmental non-governmental organizations, and local mining business representatives provided comments during the consultation sessions on the proposed Amendments. These comments focused on environmental and economic impacts from the Rainy River Mine Project as a whole, the proposed Amendments, and the fish habitat compensation plan. The Rainy River Mine Project and the proposed Amendments are supported by the mining industry, the local population and generally by the Indigenous communities.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The proposed Amendments would enable New Gold to utilize water bodies frequented by fish for the disposal of mine waste from the Rainy River Mine Project.

Given that the MMER is a regulation made pursuant to the Fisheries Act, enforcement personnel would, when verifying compliance with the MMER, act in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention Provisions of the Fisheries Act (hereinafter, the Policy). Verification of compliance with the proposed Amendments and the Fisheries Act would include, among other inspection activities, site visits, sample analysis, review of fish habitat compensation plans and related reports associated with the proposed Amendments.

If there is evidence of an alleged offence of the fisheries protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act and/or related regulations, enforcement personnel would decide on an appropriate enforcement action, in accordance with the following criteria, as set out in the Policy:

Given the circumstances and subject to the enforcement officer’s discretion, the following instruments are available to respond to alleged violations:

For more information on the Policy, please consult the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention Provisions of the Fisheries Act. (see footnote 18)

Contact

Mr. Chris Doiron
Manager
Mining Section
Mining and Processing Division
Industrial Sectors, Chemicals, and Waste Directorate
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-420-7688
Fax: 819-420-7381
Email: ec.mmer-remm.ec@canada.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 36(5) of the Fisheries Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations with respect to the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Chris Doiron, Manager, Mining and Processing, Industrial Sectors, Chemicals and Waste Directorate, Department of the Environment, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 (fax: 819-420-7381; email: ec.mmer-remm.ec@canada.ca).

Ottawa, May 4, 2017

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations

Amendment

1 Schedule 2 to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (see footnote 19) is amended by adding the following after item 29:

Item

Column 1

Water or Place

Column 2

Description

1

A portion of an unnamed creek (locally known as Loslo Creek), and of its unnamed tributaries, that is tributary to Pinewood River, Ontario

A portion of an unnamed creek (locally known as Loslo Creek), and of its unnamed tributaries, that is tributary to Pinewood River, located approximately 65 km northwest of Fort Frances, Ontario. More precisely, the portion extending southwards and downstream from the northernmost point of the creek
at 48°53′6′′ north latitude and
94°2′43′′ west longitude to the point located at 48°50′24′′ north latitude and 94°3′36′′ west longitude.

2

A portion of an unnamed creek (locally known as Marr Creek), and of its unnamed tributaries, that is tributary to Pinewood River, Ontario

A portion of an unnamed creek (locally known as Marr Creek), and of its unnamed tributaries, that is tributary to Pinewood River, located approximately 65 km northwest of Fort Frances, Ontario. More precisely, the portion extending southwards and downstream from the northernmost point of the creek
at 48°52′12′′ north latitude and 94°1’49" west longitude to the point located at 48°51′18′′ north latitude and 94°2′25′′ west longitude.

3

A portion of an unnamed creek (locally known as Marr Creek), and of its unnamed tributaries, other than the portion referred to in item 2, that is tributary to Pinewood River, Ontario

A portion of an unnamed creek (locally known as Marr Creek), and of its unnamed tributaries, other than the portion referred to in item 2, that is tributary to Pinewood River, located approximately 65 km northwest of Fort Frances, Ontario. More precisely, the portion extending southwards and downstream from the point located at 48°50′52′′ north latitude and 94°2′11′′ west longitude, for a distance of 1.85 km, to the point located at 48°49′53′′ north latitude and 94°2′24′′ west longitude.


Coming into Force

2 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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