June 30/July 7, 2003

Ottawa, Quebec reach draft agreement on Kenogami flood control project review panel

Federal and Quebec Environment Ministers David Anderson and Thomas Mulcair have reached a draft agreement to establish a joint review panel for the KÈnogami watershed flood control project.

The initiative, proposed by the Quebec government, includes the creation of a reservoir on the Pikauba River, the construction of a sill in the riviËre aux Sables, the consolidation and enhancement of existing dikes on the periphery of Lake KÈnogami, and the implementation of an upgraded flood forecasting system. The purpose of the project is to:

-prevent waters from exceeding major flood levels on the Chicoutimi River and the riviËre aux Sables, on a scale similar to a July, 1996 flood;

-stabilize the water level of Lake KÈnogami during the summer, in response to the needs of shoreline residents; and

-ensure that works on Lake KÈnogami comply with Quebec's new Dam Safety Act (Loi sur la sÈcuritÈ des barrages).

Because it requires authorizations under the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the project is subject to a federal environmental assessment (EA). The EA for the KÈnogami project was referred to a review panel pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The draft agreement establishes the mandate and authorities of the joint panel, its composition and the project review procedures. The joint review will satisfy evaluation processes under both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Quebec's Environment Quality Act. Comments on the draft agreement must be received by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) no later than July 2, 2003. After taking public comments into account, the draft agreement will be finalized and made public.

The Agency is making up to $50,000 available to support public participation in the project's second phase of consultation sessions. A funding review committee, independent of the joint panel, will consider all applications and make recommendations for the allocation of funds, in accordance with the eligibility criteria set out in the Agency's Participant Funding Guide. Requests for participant funding are also due at the Agency by July 2.

The draft agreement may be viewed on the Agency's Web site, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca. Comments should be directed to Marie-France Therrien, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 200 SacrÈ-Coeur Blvd, 13th floor, Hull, Que K1A 0H3; 819/994-0364, FAX 819/997-4931, E-mail marie-france.therrien@ceaa-acee.gc.ca. Further details on the project are available on-line at www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/sections/mandats/Lackenogami/index.htm.

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