EcoWeek,  April 26, 2004

Cluff Lake decommissioning project will not require further EA review

OTTAWA, ONT-Cogema Resources' proposed decommissioning of its Cluff Lake uranium mine and mill facility in Saskatchewan does not require further assessment by a review panel or mediator under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, federal Environment Minister David Anderson announced recently. Following his decision, the Minister referred the project back to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC, the federal responsible authority), for appropriate action. Anderson concluded that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, provided the mitigation measures outlined in the comprehensive study report are carried out. The Minister's decision was based on the comprehensive study report, including the conclusions and recommendations, submitted by the CNSC; public comments received during the 30-day consultation period, and the Commission's response to the comments; the implementation of mitigation measures and of a follow-up program. The Cluff Lake facility is located 75 km south of Lake Athabasca and 15 km east of the Saskatchewan-Alberta border. The decommissioning project involves the covering in place of the tailings management facility, backfilling of one open pit and flooding of two others. The remaining waste rock piles will be covered. Long-term monitoring of the decommissioned facility will follow.

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