Report from Ontario Rivers Alliance meeting, in North Bay, June 2, 2012.

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by Cathy Blake

We are not alone! The Mississippi Mills Riverkeepers joined the Ontario Rivers Alliance at a meeting of theirs at North Bay, on Saturday, June 2, 2012. We found we are not alone in our concerns over dams for small generating plants on Ontario rivers. There are currently 85 proposals under way under the Ontario Green Energy Act, many of which have encountered strong community opposition.

The O.R.A. has found that the lack of government oversight on these projects h as allowed developers to proceed without proper environmental , community, cultural, scientific, and archaeological protections.

The original concept of the Green Energy Act was solar and wind, which was very good, but the inclusion of hydro generation at the last minute did not allow for study of the potential impacts of this type of power generation. A number of projects similar to the Enerdu one in Almonte have been sent back by the Ministry of the Environment for further public consultation and environmental assessments.

The Ministry of the Environment is now beginning to realize that the proponent-driven environmental assessments and impact studies are being poorly done, and the public is not being properly consulted.

The Mississippi Mills Riverkeepers association will be working closely with the ORA to be sure that Enerdu carries out the environmental assessment and impact studies required by the M.O.E. and the Ministry of Natural Resouces.