Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations: SOR/2019-245
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 14
SOR/2019-245 June 25, 2019
P.C. 2019-909 June 22, 2019
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 36(5) of the Fisheries Act footnote a, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations.
Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations
1 Schedule 2 to the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations footnote 1 is amended by adding the following in numerical order:
Water or Place
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.
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.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The Sisson Partnership footnote 2 (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 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 amendments to the MDMER will list two water bodies in Schedule 2 of the MDMER, designating them as tailings impoundment areas (TIAs), which will allow the Proponent to dispose of mine waste.
Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations
The Metal Mining Effluent Regulations, 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 3 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 waters 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 Tailing Impoundment Area (TIA). As of June 2019, 46 water bodies have been listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.
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 (FHCP) 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 FHCP.
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) over a 27-year period. 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 bodies that will be listed 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 FHCP.
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 4 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.
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 5 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 6 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.
The objective of the Regulations Amending the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (the amendments) is to enable the storage of tailings and waste rock in two water bodies frequented by fish for the Sisson Project.
The amendments will 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 FHCP 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 FHCP.
Figure 1: Location of water bodies listed in 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 impacted by the Project (TIA and mining operations area). The area of fish habitat that is listed in Schedule 2 and subject to MDMER compensation requirements is 1.74 ha. The remaining 3.7 ha of fish habitat will be authorized and offset 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;
- 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 alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), 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 will 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 alewives spawning and rearing of early life stages of juveniles. Brook trout should 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 amendments, as there is no change in the administrative costs imposed on business.
Small business lens footnote 7
The amendments do 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 prepublication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I
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).
Beginning in September 2017, First Nations leaders from the Maliseet and Mi’gmaq First Nations were engaged in planning pre-consultation meetings on the proposed amendments.
Departmental officials met with community members of five of the six 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.
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 consultation 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).
The comments received during this pre-consultation period were summarized in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement and published on February 16, 2019, in the Canada Gazette, Part I. A detailed table of comments and responses was published and is available on Canada.ca.
Consultation following the publication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I
Maliseet and Mi’gmaq First Nations of New Brunswick, environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), the provincial government, the Proponent and other interested parties were informed by email of the publication of the proposed amendments and of the opportunity to provide comments. More than 1 100 emails were sent to interested parties and First Nations.
On April 29, 2019, MTI submitted written comments and recommendations on the revised FHCP. MTI recognizes the significant improvements made to the plan following pre-consultations. MTI also identified technical issues regarding the revised plan, which are summarized below. The Department of the Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will continue to work and consult First Nations to address those issues in a timely manner and prior to the Minister’s approval of the plan, and prior to the disposal of mine waste into the aforementioned water bodies.
Approximately 800 comments expressing concern about the project were received during the 30-day public comment period, most of which are part of a public campaign organized by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) against the project. Members of the public and three other ENGOs (Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Nashwaak Watershed Association and the New Brunswick Salmon Council) submitted approximately 100 other comments. Comments received during this public comment period are consistent with the concerns raised during the consultations that took place prior to and were summarized in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
New comments received following the prepublication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, as well as responses to these comments are described in more detail in the document entitled “Response to comments on the Schedule 2 amendments for the Sisson Project.” Below is a summary of the comments related to the Amendments as well as the responses provided by the Department of the Environment.
Assessment of alternatives (AA) report
According to First Nations and members of the public, the Proponent did not provide adequate economic rationale to support the assessment of alternatives, including the exploration of temporary waste rock storage. During the environmental assessment, Sisson Partnership provided additional information on the economic and technical feasibility of the four tailings storage facility sites initially considered, and mitigation measures were identified. Section 1.3.2 of the Guidelines for the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal (the Guidelines) state that the project proponent must demonstrate through the environmental assessment and the assessment of alternatives that the proposed use of the water body as a TIA is the most appropriate option for mine waste disposal from environmental, technical and socio-economic perspectives.
During the federal environmental assessment, the proponent initially considered four sites (i.e. Bird Brook, Barker Lake, Trouser Lake, and Chainy Lakes) as potential locations for the tailings storage facility. Following a preliminary assessment of these sites, Bird Brook was identified as the preferred option due to environmental, technical, and economic reasons, and was the only site retained for further evaluation. Bird Brook was subsequently refined into two separate alternatives (referred to as Site 1b and Site 1c). In the AA report, a multi-criteria analysis that considered technical, socio-economic, economic, and environmental factors was undertaken to compare the two sites. Site 1b was selected by the proponent as the preferred site for the tailings storage facility due to lower capital and operating costs, a shorter distance to the processing plant, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to First Nations suggestion to explore the temporary storage of waste rock as an option, the Proponent explained that the costs of such a scenario would be prohibitive due to the expense linked to the 10 years required to backfill the open pit, and the reclamation bonding required by the government of New Brunswick. In addition, the overall footprint of this option would be larger, which would in turn increase the area of fish habitat to be offset.
The Department of the Environment confirmed that the AA submitted by Sisson Partnership was prepared in accordance with the Department’s Guidelines for the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal. The Proponent provided detailed responses to various questions on the AA during consultation meetings and in writing when required. Comments on the amendments submitted by First Nations in writing (WNNB and MTI) were addressed in detail by Sisson Partnership. These comments as well the responses to comments can be found on the MDMER consultation page.
Fish Habitat Compensation Plan (FHCP)
WNNB and ENGOs indicated that the federal government and Sisson Partnership did not consider fish species other than alewife in the FHCP and that the assertion that Alewife will benefit the productivity of all species in the Nashwaak River is not supported by scientific evidence. The suitability of the proposed offsetting plan and how it aligns with the four principles of DFO’s Fisheries Productivity Investment Policy is discussed in Section 5.2.1 of the revised FHCP (PDF), which states that “the reintroduction of alewife into Upper Nashwaak Lake is expected to facilitate an annual influx of marine-derived nutrients into the Nashwaak River watershed ecosystem. Such an influx is expected to positively affect nutrient cycling with reverberations throughout the freshwater food web (Best et al. 2018 footnote 8; Samways et al. 2018 footnote 9; Samways et al. 2015 footnote 10; Walters et al. 2009 footnote 11; Kircheis et al. 2002 footnote 12). Further, early life stages of alewife provide a substantial food source for other fish species in the ecosystem, such as brook trout (Bolster 2008 footnote 13). Increased freshwater production of alewife also translates into more forage fish in the coastal marine environment. Therefore, the removal of the Upper Nashwaak Lake water control structure and Lower Nashwaak Lake Dam are anticipated to eventually enhance fisheries productivity in a large portion of the Nashwaak River watershed ecosystem.
MTI commented and provided recommendations on the following: the methodology used for baseline studies which in their view could underestimate the quality of fish habitat lost; the timing of the construction of temporary barriers to fish and removal of the Lower Nashwaak Lake Dam and potential impacts on fish biology; the assessment of fisheries productivity undertaken by the Proponent; the inclusion of additional monitoring to ensure effectiveness; and, participation of the MTI community in all aspects of the FHCP.
The Department of the Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are working with the Proponent to address First Nations’ concerns with respect to the FHCP. Consultation and engagement activities will continue to inform further improvements to the revised plan. The Minister of the Environment, on the expert advice from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, will approve the plan once all the conditions under the MDMER have been met. The disposal of mine waste into the water bodies mentioned above cannot occur until the FHCP has been approved, and all the conditions under section 27.1 of the MDMER have been met.
Many concerns raised by interested parties during the consultations were already considered in earlier decisions made by the Province of New Brunswick or by the Agency. Some of the concerns relate to the implementation of the conditions of the provincial Environmental Impact Assessment approval. The province of New Brunswick is responsible for subjects of interest such as: dam design and safety, financial security plan, closure plan, dust management, First Nations engagement plan, etc. These conditions will have to be fulfilled in due course and many of them must be fulfilled prior to the construction and operation of the mine.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency identified a list of mitigation measures that are necessary to mitigate the adverse effects of the Project. The mitigation measures included subjects of interest to stakeholders such as: atmospheric environment, water resources, terrestrial wildlife and habitat, vegetated environment, wetland, human health, land and resource, current use of land and resources for traditional purposes by aboriginal persons, malfunctions, etc. The list of mitigation measures are included in the Appendix C of the Sisson Project: Comprehensive Study Report.
Many individuals, First Nations and ENGOs indicated that by allowing the use of waterbodies for the disposal of mine waste, the Department of the Environment is not delivering on its mandate to protect the environment. A recent audit (2019) by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development found that both Departments took steps to ensure that metal mining companies minimized or offset the harm to fish and their habitat when using bodies of water as tailings impoundment areas. These steps include ensuring that the location for the storage of mine waste is the best option from an environmental, technical, economic and socio-economic perspective; and requiring mining companies to develop plans to compensate for the loss of fish habitat before recommending that mine waste be disposed of.
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 its 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.
Distance of the Proposed Ore Processing Plan Site (km)
1.5 km north of ore processing plant
West Branch Napadogan Brook
5.3 km northwest of ore processing plant
5.8 km southwest of ore processing plant
4.1 km south of ore processing plant
6.1 km south of ore processing plant
The following basic criteria have been considered in order to determine where and how to store mine waste:
- The distance from the plant site, topography of the area, and ways to minimize footprint;
- 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 tailing technology was identified as the best one to prevent acid rock drainage.
Options 1b and 1c underwent a detailed characterization as part of the multiple accounts analysis as described in the Guidelines for the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal. 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 will 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 amendments will 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 for the Sisson Mine Project.
The analysis below examines the impacts of the 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 will 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 site visits, monitoring and review costs incurred by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. These incremental costs will be low, given that monitoring activities and associated costs will only occur during the implementation of the FHCP and will not continue throughout the life of the mine waste disposal areas.
Incremental compliance promotion costs may also be incurred, but will 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 will be low.
Costs to business
The implementation of the FHCP is estimated at $954,000 for the Sisson Partnership. footnote 14 Only a portion of this amount, $305,000, is associated with the 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 encompass 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. The estimated cost of implementing the FHCP may be impacted if the FHCP is amended following further engagement with First Nations.
Undiscounted Amount in 2018 Canadian Dollars
Amount Discounted at a Discount Rate of 3%
Alewife reintroduction program
Removal of a culvert at Nashwaak Lake and construction of a fish passage
Lower Dam Lake removal
Monitoring program to survey the effectiveness of the compensation plan
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 amendments will 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 will, 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 will include, among other inspection activities, site visits, sample analysis, review of fish habitat compensation plans and related reports associated with the 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 will 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
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