April 14, 2010
In our posting of April 8 we stated that remedial requirements, stemming from the February 19 shut down order, had been completed. According to an email from Environment Minister Barry Penners office on April 9, 2010, these remedial measures have not been completed and the project will not be given permission to re-commence until the additional work is completed.
Also, the email states that Ministry of the Environment staff are not aware of any subsequent silt releases following shutdown of operations in February. We accept that the facility was probably not operational on March 21, as stated in our website posting, at least not in the sense that electricity was being generated. However, witnesses maintain that a large volume of turbid water had covered the Tzoonie River estuary and the head of Narrows Inlet on March 21. As well, on March 22, Narrows Inlet resident Bob Price did notify all the appropriate federal and provincial authorities of a release of turbid waters.
Some turbid water was being released through the facility to prevent ice formation in the penstock and provide for in stream minimum flows throughout the period of the shutdown. Various studies and tests are underway. How do these facts relate to the turbidity event on March 21? We believe the Ministry of the Environment owes the public an explanation of how such a large turbid water release occurred on, or just before, March 21, after the facility was shut down.
Also, now that the hazardous nature of the lake bottom-drilling design has been demonstrated, we would like to know how government intends to ensure that this unfortunate outcome is not repeated with this and other similar projects.
Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.
April 14, 2010