Bipole III environmental licence issued
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/08/2013 (3574 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The government has issued a license under the Environment Actt for Manitoba Hydro’s Bipole III transmission line.
The licence comes with 68 conditions exceeding the 26 licensing recommendations made by the Clean Environment Commission (CEC), Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.
“The licence for this project is in line with the strictest of any transmission line environmental licence in the country,” Mackintosh said. “The conditions are clear — any actions that would compromise Manitoba’s environment must be prevented or mitigated.”
One of the requirements calls for Manitoba Hydro to submit individual environmental protection plans for project phases to the director of environmental approval. Two independent environmental audits will also be conducted, one when the project is completed and another five years after completion, to ensure environmental commitments are met.
The province says the licence also requires Hydro to:
- implement extensive monitoring programs (including the use of trail cameras and other more comprehensive means) for woodland caribou, moose, wolves, black bears, white-tailed deer and birds of prey (such as the protected peregrine falcon and ferruginous hawk) to ensure the effective implementation of mitigation measures to protect these species;
- establish an easily accessible public website that will be maintained in perpetuity to share monitoring results, reports and evaluations of mitigation measures, creating historic transparency for environmental protection;
- strengthen recommendations from the CEC by ensuring no net loss of wetlands;
- establish a new right-of-way clearing practice that protects coniferous forests and non-hazardous wildlife habitat trees, and protects lines-of-sight for aesthetic purposes;
- include provisions for consultation with farmers before tower placement is finalized to minimize the effects on farm operations;
- eliminate the use of herbicides during construction and during line maintenance in wildlife management areas and bogs, and use them in other areas during line maintenance only as a last resort; and
- submit annual reports on the success of mitigation measures used during construction including an assessment of the accuracy of predictions made about the use of natural resources.
Manitoba Hydro submitted its initial application for the project in December 2009 and the environmental impact statement was submitted in December 2011.
More than 180 Manitobans participated in the Clean Environment Commission hearings from October 2012 to March 2013, including hearings to accommodate route changes that were implemented to address concerns about caribou, moose, raptors and other wildlife.
Most of the 42 additional licence conditions address concerns raised by Manitobans, including comments from First Nations, Métis and local aboriginal communities in public hearings and Crown-aboriginal consultations.
The licence, including all conditions, can be found here.
Updated on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 5:33 PM CDT: Tweaks wording of first paragraph.