August 8, 2005

More details requested on EIS for proposed Eastmain-1-A, Rupert diversion project

MONTREAL, QUEBEC-Hydro-Québec and its subsidiary, the Société d'énergie de la Baie James (SEBJ) have been asked to provide additional information to supplement the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for their proposed Eastmain-1-A and Rupert diversion project. The review bodies mandated to assess the project's potential environmental impacts concluded that the EIS requires more information in areas such as the rationale for the project, its impact on the aquatic environment, and social and economic considerations. Once they have reviewed the additional information, the review bodies-including a federal review panel and a provincial administrator-will decide if the impact statement is sufficiently consistent with the guidelines to allow them to hold hearings. If so, the review bodies will announce dates and locations for the hearings. The Eastmain-1-A and Rupert diversion project, located in the James Bay region north of the 45th parallel, includes: the Rupert diversion, which will redirect some of the waters (up to 800 cubic metres per second) from the Rupert River watershed into the Eastmain River watershed; the construction of an additional powerhouse, the Eastmain-1-A, with an installed capacity of up to 770 MW on the Eastmain 1 reservoir; and the addition of structures at the Sarcelle site, at the outlet of Opinaca reservoir. The project calls for the construction of four dams, 51 dikes, two diversion bays 12,000 metres of diversion channels or tunnel, and two permanent access roads. A total area of 395 square kilometres will be flooded. More information on the project is available on the Hydro-Québec Web site, www.hydroquebec.com/eastmain1a/en/.

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