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April 26, 2004
Federal review not required for Hydro-Quebec's PÈribonka project
OTTAWA, ONT-Hydro-Quebec's proposal to build a dam and a hydroelectric generating station on the PÈribonka River will not require referral to a mediator or review panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act federal Environment Minister David Anderson announced recently. He has referred the project back to the federal authorities, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada, for appropriate action. Based on the comprehensive study report (CSR) for the proposed project, the public comments and the responsible authority's response to the comments, the Minister concluded that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, provided that the mitigation measures outlined in the CSR are implemented. Of particular importance are the anticipated impacts of the project on wetlands, and Anderson noted that Hydro-Quebec will be required to develop a compensation program as described in the CSR. This program must be approved by the federal authorities prior to the beginning of works, and must adequately compensate the effects of the project on wetlands. The proposed dam and hydroelectric generating station would be built on the PÈribonka River, immediately upstream from the mouth of the Manouane River. In addition to the 80-metre high dam, spillway and underground generating well is the construction of a 25.6-km permanent road. The estimated capacity of the generating station is 385 megawatts.