Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 153, Number 7: Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations
February 16, 2019
Department of the Environment
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The Sisson Partnership footnote 1 (the Proponent) is proposing to develop an open pit tungsten and molybdenum mine and associated infrastructure located approximately 60 kilometres (km) northwest of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Proponent expects to operate the mine for an estimated 27 years.
The Proponent intends to use water bodies frequented by fish to dispose of the mine waste (tailings and waste rock) that will be generated by the mining operations. Subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act (the Act) prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances into waters frequented by fish, unless authorized by regulation. The Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER), made pursuant to subsections 34(2), 36(5) and 38(9) of the Act, include provisions to allow the use of waters frequented by fish for the disposal of mine waste. The proposed amendments to the MDMER would list two water bodies in Schedule 2 of the MDMER, designating them as tailings impoundment areas (TIAs), which would allow the Proponent to dispose of mine waste as proposed.
Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations
The Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER), which came into force on December 6, 2002, were amended on June 1, 2018, and became the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER or the Regulations). The amendment strengthened effluent quality standards and added diamond mines to the scope of the Regulations. Schedule 4 of the MDMER prescribes the maximum authorized limits for deleterious substances in metal and diamond mine effluent (e.g. arsenic, copper, cyanide, lead, nickel, zinc, radium-226 and total suspended solids). The MDMER also specify the allowable acidity or alkalinity (pH range) of mine effluent and require that mine effluent not be acutely lethal to fish. footnote 2 The MDMER further require that mine owners or operators sample and monitor effluents to ensure compliance with the authorized limits and to determine any impact on fish, fish habitat and fishery resources. The Department of the Environment publishes annual performance summaries for metal mines with respect to selected standards prescribed by the MDMER.
The MDMER also include provisions to authorize the use of water frequented by fish for mine waste disposal. This can only be authorized through an amendment to the MDMER, in which case the water body would be listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations, designating it as a TIA. As of October 2018, 46 water bodies have been listed in Schedule 2.
The Proponent must demonstrate that the disposal of mine waste in water bodies frequented by fish is the most appropriate option from an environmental, technical, economic and socio-economic perspective.
When a fish-frequented water body is listed in Schedule 2 of the MDMER, section 27.1 of the Regulations requires the development and implementation of a fish habitat compensation plan to offset the loss of fish habitat that would occur as a result of the use of a fish-frequented water body for mine waste disposal. The owner or operator of a mine is also required to present an irrevocable letter of credit to ensure that funds are in place to address all elements of the fish habitat compensation plan.
The Sisson Project
The Sisson Project (the Project) consists of an open pit tungsten and molybdenum mine and ore processing facility located approximately 60 km northwest of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Project includes an open pit mine, an ore processing plant, and mine waste storage areas. The Project also includes various related activities, such as the construction of a new transmission line. The mine would operate for an estimated 27 years at a mining rate of 30 000 dry metric tonnes per day of tungsten- and molybdenum-containing ore.
The Proponent is projecting an investment of $579 million related to the construction of the Project, foresees annual operating expenditures of $100 million, and estimates that the Project will provide 500 jobs during construction and 300 jobs during the life of the mine.
Management of mine waste for the Sisson Project
The Proponent estimates that approximately 282 million tonnes (Mt) of tailings and 287 Mt of waste rock will be generated over the life of the mine. The proposed tailings storage facility has been designed to manage all tailings (282 Mt) and the majority of the waste rock (209 Mt of the 287 Mt). The mine plan has been developed such that backfilling of the open pit will commence after year 20 of operations. The open pit will be backfilled with approximately 78 Mt of waste rock. The footprint of the tailings storage facility will cover 785 hectares (ha) and will have a dimension of approximately 3 km in length by 2.5 km in width, and a maximum height of 80 metres (m).
The proposed tailings storage facility would result in the loss of portions of Bird Brook and a tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook, which are frequented by fish. The species that are found therein consist of brook trout, slimy sculpin, American eel, and Atlantic salmon. The total area of the water body that is proposed for listing in Schedule 2 of the MDMER is approximately 1.74 ha. To offset this loss of fish habitat, the Proponent is required to develop and implement a fish habitat compensation plan.
Environmental assessment of the Sisson Project
The Project was subject to a provincial environmental impact assessment (EIA). In December 2015, the Province of New Brunswick issued an EIA approval for the Project, subject to 40 conditions. footnote 3
A comprehensive study of the Project was conducted under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. On May 18, 2017, the Minister of the Environment issued an environmental assessment decision statement footnote 4 indicating that
- the Project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Maliseet First Nations;
- the Project, combined with other projects and activities, is likely to result in significant cumulative adverse environmental effects on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Maliseet First Nations;
- the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on other components of the environment, taking into account the mitigation measures described in the Comprehensive Study Report; and
- the mitigation measures and follow-up program described in the Comprehensive Study Report are appropriate for the Project.
On June 20, 2017, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Natural Resources, with the approval of the Governor in Council, in considering the Comprehensive Study Report for the Project along with the mitigation measures included therein, decided that the significant adverse and cumulative adverse environmental effects likely to be caused by the Project on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by the Maliseet First Nations can be justified in the circumstances. footnote 5 The decision also indicated that the implementation of mitigation measures is required. The Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Minister of Natural Resources will be responsible for ensuring the development and implementation of the follow-up program.
In January 2017, the provincial government and all of New Brunswick’s six Maliseet First Nations reached an accommodation agreement concerning the development of the Sisson Mine. In March 2017, an impact benefit agreement (IBA) was reached between the Proponent and the Woodstock First Nation, one of the six Maliseet First Nations.
The objective of the proposed Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (proposed amendments) is to enable the storage of tailings and waste rock in two water bodies frequented by fish for the Sisson Project.
The proposed amendments
The proposed amendments would list portions of Bird Brook and a tributary (Tributary A) to West Napadogan Brook in Schedule 2 of the MDMER (see Figure 1), designating them as TIAs. This would result in the loss of approximately 1.74 ha of fish habitat. Under section 27.1 of the MDMER, the Proponent is required to develop and implement a fish habitat compensation plan to offset the loss of habitat that will occur as a result of the TIA. In addition, the Proponent is required to submit an irrevocable letter of credit ensuring that funds are in place should the owner or operator fail to address all the elements of the fish habitat compensation plan.
Figure 1: Location of water bodies proposed for listing under Schedule 2 of the MDMER
Fish Habitat Compensation Plan
The Proponent has proposed a fish habitat compensation/offsetting plan (FHCP) that will compensate for works or undertakings causing serious harm to fish and for the destruction of fish habitat resulting from mine waste disposal. In total, 5.44 ha of fish habitat will be destroyed by the Project (TIA and mining operations area). The area of fish habitat that would be listed in Schedule 2 and require compensation is 1.74 ha. The remaining 3.7 ha of fish habitat will be destroyed by works or undertaking authorized under Section 35 of the Fisheries Act.
Following its assessment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans determined that the FHCP conforms to its Fisheries Productivity Investment Policy. As shown in Figure 2, the Proponent proposes to develop and restore fish habitat in the Nashwaak watershed by
- removing a partial fish barrier to fish passage, Lower Lake Dam, as proposed by Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick (WNNB);
- removing a culvert at the mouth of Nashwaak Lake that acts as a barrier to fish passage from the river to the lake; and
- reintroducing alewife in the Nashwaak watershed, a fish species that was historically present in Nashwaak Lake before the construction of the dams.
The removal of the two fish barriers would provide permanent fish passage into all of the Nashwaak watershed and increase fish habitat and fish productivity in the area compared to existing conditions. According to the FHCP, the largest benefit anticipated is due to the additional habitat that will be available for alewife spawning and rearing of early life stages of juveniles. Brook trout will also likely use the habitat within Nashwaak Lake for spawning and rearing, or as thermal refuge during summer months. The Proponent will be required to implement a follow-up plan to assess the effectiveness of the FHCP and to ensure that the objectives have been achieved.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to the proposed amendments as they would not impose new administrative burden on business.
Small business lens footnote 6
The proposed amendments would not trigger the small business lens as the owner and operator of the Project, Sisson Partnership, is not considered a small business.
The Department of the Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans consulted with Indigenous peoples on the proposed amendments to Schedule 2 of the MDMER related to the Project. Consultations were also undertaken with the general public, environmental organizations and interested parties, and are summarized below.
Figure 2: Location of the proposed Fish Habitat Compensation Plan
Consultations prior to the publication of the proposed amendments
The Project is located within the traditional territory of the Maliseet First Nations, who assert title to the Project area, and is at the boundary of the Mi’gmaq traditional territory, in close proximity to the headwaters of the Miramichi watershed, an area where the Mi’gmaq First Nations assert title. The Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick include Kingsclear, Madawaska Maliseet, Oromocto, St. Mary’s, Tobique and Woodstock. The Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick (WNNB) advises the Maliseet First Nations, except the Woodstock First Nation, on issues that may affect land and natural resources, archaeology and commercial interests relating to natural resources (e.g. forestry and commercial fisheries). The nine Mi’gmaq First Nations of New Brunswick are represented by Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Incorporated (MTI).
In September 2017, First Nations leaders from the Maliseet and Mi’gmaq First Nations were engaged in planning the consultation meetings on the proposed amendments.
Departmental officials met with community members of five Maliseet and two Mi’gmaq First Nations communities between March and October 2018 to discuss the proposed amendments. A public consultation was also held in Cross Creek, New Brunswick, on March 15, 2018. Another public session took place by teleconference on April 3, 2018, and representatives from three local environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and Maliseet and Mi’gmaq First Nations participated.
A consultation session for off-reserve members of Mi’gmaq in New Brunswick was held on May 2, 2018. In October 2018, departmental officials held community meetings with five of the six Maliseet First Nations communities. The Department of the Environment and St. Mary’s First Nation have been unable to schedule a meeting.
The sessions provided participants with an opportunity to learn about the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal and the proposed FHCP. Participants were invited to submit comments and concerns on the two documents during each session and in writing following the sessions.
Early in 2018, the MTI and the WNNB submitted questions and expressed concerns about the assessment of alternatives report, the FHCP and the Project as whole. Three ENGOs (Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Atlantic Salmon Federation, and Nashwaak Watershed Association) also submitted comments, largely expressing concern about the Project. In total, over 2 000 written submissions were received on the proposed amendments. The last consultation period ended on November 9, 2018. The majority of the written comments submitted were part of organized email campaigns both for and against the Project. The submissions included 1 956 form letters (965 against and 991 in support of the proposal) and 48 individual submissions (43 against and 5 in support of the proposal).
Summary of general comments received during consultation
During the consultation period, the Department of the Environment received a significant number of comments and concerns, some of which were directly related to the proposed amendments, while others were outside the scope of the consultation. Due to the number of comments received, the next section presents a summary of comments received on the proposed amendments, including responses from the Department of the Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. A more detailed compilation of comments received, as well as the responses to these comments, can be viewed on the Department of the Environment website.
Maliseet and Mi’gmaq First Nations (represented by the WNNB and MTI) stated orally and in writing that they remain opposed to the Project.
Comments on the MDMER process
Some Indigenous groups and ENGOs expressed specific opposition to the use of water bodies frequented by fish for mine waste disposal, as would be authorized through an amendment to the MDMER. Many other stakeholders inquired about the purpose of consulting on the proposed amendments to the MDMER when the Project has already been approved through the provincial and federal environmental assessment processes. The Department of the Environment responded that, despite previous provincial and federal environmental assessment decisions on the Project, the authorization to use a fish-frequented water body to store mine waste is a separate regulatory decision.
A group representing First Nations inquired about how input from First Nations is incorporated into the process for evaluating which fish-bearing waters are added to Schedule 2 of the MDMER, and whether there is a mechanism whereby First Nation communities can object to or refuse to accept any decisions made pertaining to Schedule 2 of the MDMER. The Department of the Environment responded that input provided by First Nations informs the development of the proposed amendments and subsequent recommendation to, and decision by, the Governor in Council. First Nation communities will also have the opportunity to provide comments during the 30-day consultation period following the publication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
Comments on the assessment of alternatives
Indigenous groups, environmental organizations, and local residents expressed concerns that the assessment of tailings management alternatives footnote 7 was not rigorous or based on industry best management practices. When a proponent submits the alternatives assessment report to the Department of the Environment, it is reviewed in accordance with the Department’s guidelines. The Department of the Environment has undertaken extensive consultations on the alternative assessment report and comments received have been responded to in collaboration with the Proponent.
Comments in favour of the Project were also submitted and noted that the environmental assessment has successfully received approval from both federal and provincial governments. The letters also point out that the Proponent will be subject to the MDMER effluent discharge limits and to the 40 conditions outlined in the provincial environmental impact assessment.
In response to technical comments on the assessment of alternatives, the Proponent provided the Department with additional information on the methodology used to assess alternatives for mine waste and rationale for the methodology and assumptions included in the assessment report. This information was shared with First Nations and is included in the detailed compilation of comments and responses.
First Nations and an ENGO commented that the assessment process conducted by the Proponent is flawed because only two very similar options were assessed in detail, i.e. sites 1b and 1c (please consult the “Rationale” section for more information on sites 1b and 1c). In addition, the question as to why an option that does not use fish-frequented water for the disposal of mine waste was not considered by the Proponent was raised. Comments were also made stating that the multiple accounts analysis (MAA) outcome does not appear to depend on indicator scores or weighting of sub-accounts and accounts.
The Department of the Environment responded that the assessment of alternatives started with the investigation of five potential sites and three technologies for a total of 15 potential site options. In the pre-screening analysis, two of the technologies considered were deemed not suitable and sites covering lakes were unacceptable. Therefore, the Proponent analysis concluded that only 2 site options were suitable for further analysis. The Proponent had considered the option of using water not frequented by fish for the disposal of mine waste; however, in the Project area, streams and lakes can be found everywhere. It was not possible for the Proponent to identify a location that would allow the storage of a large volume of mine waste without impacting fish-bearing waters.
The Proponent used the MAA as a decision-making tool to complete the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal. The MAA provides a framework for a value-based comparison of differing indicators. Please consult the “Rationale” section of this document for more information.
Several stakeholders expressed concern over the potential impacts downstream from the mine in the Nashwaak watershed and in the Saint John River. The Department responded that the mine will be subject to the MDMER, which set limits for deleterious substances in mine effluents and require environmental effects monitoring (EEM) studies. Finally, as part of the provincial EIA conditions, the Proponent will also be required to develop a water monitoring/management plan that will be submitted to the Government of New Brunswick for review and approval.
Some First Nations and ENGOs expressed concerns about the proposed tailings storage facility and the potential risks of a tailings dam failure, in light of what occurred at the Mount Polley mine in August 2014. In 2017, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) required the Proponent to review the Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach (January 2015) and provide an analysis of the implications for the Project. Natural Resources Canada reviewed the Proponent’s analysis, including the potential for an earthquake to affect the integrity of the Project, and confirmed that the Proponent’s analysis was acceptable.
The CEAA is of the view that loss of containment of the tailings storage facility would result in significant adverse effects on the aquatic environment. However, in consideration of expert advice, the design standards, provincial requirements and follow-up, such an event is unlikely.
As part of the 40 conditions of the provincial EIA, the Proponent will develop a dam classification study and update it based on the latest guidelines and regulations that have been published since the 2013 feasibility study was issued.
Comments on the Fish Habitat Compensation Plan
Several stakeholders and First Nations found the FHCP inadequate. First Nations were concerned that there was no Maliseet or Mi’gmaq First Nations input in the proposed FHCP. The Proponent stated that the potential environmental effects of the project on fish and fisheries have been an ongoing topic of discussion with First Nations through the First Nations Environmental Assessment Working Group and other engagement activities. A conceptual FHCP was presented in the Proponent’s EIA Report to allow for a discussion with regulators and First Nations. The addition of the removal of an obstruction to the fish passage at Lower Dam Lake in the FHCP was proposed by First Nations during the consultations on the proposed amendments and subsequently incorporated by the Proponent into an amended version of the FHCP. Comments will be sought on the revised FHCP following the publication of the proposed amendments.
Members of the public, ENGOs and First Nation organizations also expressed concern that the proposed FHCP will not generate the same type of habitat that will be lost. The Department of the Environment responded that habitat for brook trout, Atlantic salmon and American eel will be lost, while the proposed FHCP will allow the reintroduction of alewife, a fish that is plentiful in the lower Saint John River. It is correct to note that the proposed FHCP is not intended to replace the lost habitat with the same type of habitat. As alewife is a forage fish, the entire ecosystem will benefit from the presence of an abundant prey in the food chain. Increasing alewife will also translate into more forage fish in the coastal marine environment. As a result, the fisheries productivity gains of the proposed FHCP should far outweigh the losses anticipated as a result of the TIA.
Citizens, First Nations and ENGOs questioned the proposed FHCP as lacking evidence that the barrier the Proponent intends to remove is in fact altering fish passage. At the request of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Proponent conducted a study to confirm that the dam on Nashwaak Lake is a barrier to fish passage. A report was submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on November 12, 2018, which confirmed that the dam is a “partial to complete passage barrier for some life stages of some fish species during their main migration periods, and acts as a partial migration barrier to other species and life stages.”
A First Nation organization was concerned that the FHCP notes the benefit to the alewife population but fails to describe quantitatively how (or if) other important fish species will benefit from the plan. The Department of the Environment responds that the benefits of restoring the presence of alewife will benefit the entire ecosystem, including the productivity of Atlantic salmon, by increasing food resources.
First Nations organizations and citizens commented that the cost of the FHCP, $185,000 overall, was very low in comparison to the benefits the mine would generate. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans assesses the merit of the proposed FHCP plan from a biological perspective; therefore, the cost of undertaking any given plan, in comparison to the benefits the mine would generate, is not relevant to this determination. However, with the additional compensation measures that have been incorporated into the FHCP, the cost has increased to $954,000.
Regulatory and non-regulatory options for mine waste disposal
Non-regulatory options include the disposal of mine waste in a manner that would not directly impact water bodies frequented by fish or land-based options. Regulatory options correspond to those that would result in the destruction of water bodies frequented by fish.
The Proponent carried out an assessment of alternatives to determine the best option for mine waste disposal, taking into account the environmental, technical, economic and socio-economic impacts. This analysis was based on the Guidelines for the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal. The report, titled Assessment of Tailings Management Alternatives (PDF), prepared for the Sisson Project in September 2015, was made available to interested parties in advance of the consultation sessions.
The proposed disposal area in central New Brunswick has a very high density of streams. According to the Proponent, because of the high density of streams in the area, and the volume of tailings and waste rock to be stored, all disposal sites considered would require the destruction of waters frequented by fish. As a result, in the assessment, the Proponent did not formally explore non-regulatory options for the disposal of mine waste that would not impact fish-bearing water bodies.
Table 1 lists the five options considered for pre-screening and their relative locations in the Project area.
|Option||Approximate Location||Distance of the Proposed Ore Processing Plan Site (km)|
|1b||Bird Brook||1.5 km north of ore processing plant|
|1c||West Branch Napadogan Brook||5.3 km northwest of ore processing plant|
|2||Barker Lake||5.8 km southwest of ore processing plant|
|3||Trouser Lake||4.1 km south of ore processing plant|
|4||Chainy Lakes||6.1 km south of ore processing plant|
The following basic criteria have been considered in order to understand where and how to store mine waste:
- Consideration has been given to distance from the plant site and topography of the area, and ways to minimize footprint were explored;
- The site and methods should ensure that the tailings are stored in a way that is, and will be, physically and chemically stable;
- Acid rock drainage / potential metal leaching (ARD/ML) materials can be managed to minimize the potential for oxidation and subsequent release of low pH leachate;
- The design and construction methods are technically and economically feasible, and appropriate for the site conditions; and
- Adverse environmental effects are minimized and not significant.
Sites 2, 3 and 4 were identified as “fatally flawed” and screened out because covering lakes would likely have a significant environmental effect, and their aquatic habitat is protected by regulation in New Brunswick. Lakes were also assumed of importance for recreational or Aboriginal fisheries. Three tailings storage methods were considered, namely conventional slurry tailings, thickened (paste) tailings, and filtered dry stack tailings. Conventional slurry tailings was identified as the best technology for the Project.
Options 1b and 1c underwent a detailed characterization as part of the multiple accounts analysis as described in the Guidelines. Following this analysis, Bird Brook (option 1b) and the use of conventional slurry disposal were identified as the preferred option for the disposal of tailings based on environmental, technical, economic and socio-economic perspectives.
The preferred option would overprint two water bodies frequented by fish, Bird Brook and a tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook, and would therefore require that these waters be listed in Schedule 2 of the MDMER.
The proposed amendments would add Bird Brook and a tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook to Schedule 2 of the MDMER so that they can be used for the disposal of mine waste.
The analysis below examines the impacts of the proposed amendments on the environment, Government, and Canadian businesses.
The use of Bird Brook and an unnamed tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook as a TIA would destroy approximately 1.74 ha of fish habitat. The fish habitat loss will be offset by the implementation of the FHCP.
Following its assessment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans determined that the FHCP proposed by the Proponent to offset the loss of fish habitat that will result from the TIA is appropriate and meets the guiding principles of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Fisheries Productivity Investment Policy: A Proponent’s Guide to Offsetting.
Costs to Government
Government of Canada enforcement activities include inspections to monitor the implementation of the FHCP, 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 monitoring activities and associated costs would only occur during the implementation of the FHCP 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 compliance promotion activities occurred throughout the federal environmental assessment process. Therefore, the total incremental costs to the Government associated with the proposed FHCP would be low.
Cost to business
The proposed amendments would result in additional costs to Sisson Partnership associated with the implementation of the FHCP, which is estimated to be $954,000. footnote 8 However, only a portion, $305,000, of the cost of the plan, is due to the proposed amendments and will offset the destruction of fish habitat in the portion of Bird Brook and the tributary of West Branch Napadogan Brook. The remaining cost of the compensation plan, $649,000, will offset the serious harm to fish resulting from work conducted in relation to paragraph 35(2)(b) of the Fisheries Act.
The table below describes the estimated costs associated with the implementation of the FHCP. This amount will cover the removal of a culvert at Nashwaak Lake, the construction of a fish passage, the removal of the dam at Lower Dam Lake, the implementation of a fish reintroduction program for alewife and a follow-up program to survey the effectiveness of the FHCP.
|Description||Undiscounted Amount in 2018 Canadian Dollars||Amount Discounted at a Discount Rate of 3%||Proposed Schedule|
|Alewife reintroduction program||$107,000||$96,536||2020–2023|
|Removal of a culvert at Nashwaak Lake and construction of a fish passage||$185,000||$179,612||2019|
|Lower Dam Lake removal||$602,000||$567,443||2020|
|Monitoring program to survey the effectiveness of the compensation plan||$60,000||$52,556||2021–2024|
Strategic environmental assessment
A strategic environmental assessment was conducted and concluded that authorizing the deposit of mine waste in TIAs would result in adverse environmental effects, i.e. a loss of fish habitat. However, the adverse environmental effects would be offset by the implementation of a FHCP, and it is expected there would be no net loss of fish habitat. Proponents must also submit an irrevocable letter of credit alongside the FHCP to cover the plan’s implementation costs, including all necessary remedial measures, if the plan’s purpose is not being achieved.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The proposed amendments would enable Sisson Partnership to use Bird Brook and an unnamed tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook, which are fish-frequented water bodies, for the disposal of mine waste.
Given that the MDMER are regulations made pursuant to the Fisheries Act, enforcement personnel would, when verifying compliance with the MDMER, act in accordance with the Compliance and enforcement policy for habitat and pollution provisions of Fisheries Act (hereinafter, the Policy). Verification of compliance with the Regulations 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 determine an appropriate enforcement action, in accordance with the following criteria, as set out in the Policy:
- nature of the alleged violation;
- effectiveness in achieving the desired result with the alleged violator; and
- consistency in enforcement.
Given the circumstances and subject to the exercise of enforcement and prosecutorial discretion, the following instruments are available to respond to alleged violations:
- orders by the Minister;
- injunctions; and
For more information on the Policy, please consult the Compliance and enforcement policy for habitat and pollution provisions of Fisheries Act
Mining and Processing Division
Industrial Sectors, Chemicals and Waste Directorate
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT
Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 36(5) of the Fisheries Act footnote a, proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations.
Interested persons may make representations concerning 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 Nancy Seymour, Manager, Mining and Processing Division, Industrial Sectors, Chemicals, and Waste Directorate, Department of the Environment, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 (fax: 819‑420‑7381; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ottawa, February 7, 2019
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council
Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations
1 Schedule 2 to the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations footnote 9 is amended by adding the following in numerical order:
|Item|| Column 1
Water or Place
| Column 2
|47||A portion of Bird Brook and its tributaries, New Brunswick||A portion of Bird Brook and its tributaries, located approximately 60 km northwest of the town of Fredericton, New Brunswick. More precisely, the 8.4 km portion of the brook and tributaries extending from the point located at 46°23′36.89″ north latitude and 67°04′56.42″ west longitude and the point located at 46°22′59.28″ north latitude and 67°04′07.28″ west longitude to the point located eastwards and downstream at 46°23′09.94″ north latitude and 67°02′45.29″ west longitude and covering an area of 1.72 ha.|
|48||A portion of an unnamed tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook, New Brunswick||A portion of an unnamed tributary to West Branch Napadogan Brook, located approximately 60 km northwest of the town of Fredericton, New Brunswick. More precisely, the 155 m portion of the tributary extending from the point located at 46°24′01.62″ north latitude and 67°03′39.14″ west longitude to the point located eastwards and downstream at 46°23′58.12″ north latitude and 67°03′34.44″ west longitude and covering an area of 0.02 ha.|
Coming into Force
2 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.