by Shaun McLaughlin
We on Council have been deluged with letters and comments on the Enerdu hydro project. Many people have asked for us to not approve it. The town has no regulatory powers over the project, other than some site plan control of the new powerhouse. Council can neither approve nor disapprove. The Province reserved all the decision-making powers.
What people have expected from their municipal government, quite rightly, is an “opinion” on the project, at least. There are two types of opinion in this case. One is a technical opinion—a response to the Enerdu EA. Our town planner, Stephen Sterling, has written an excellent technical opinion that incorporates many points suggested by residents. And he had regard for the latest conclusions from the committee that advises on Mississippi River water management regarding the Appleton wetland.
The other opinion is a political opinion from Council. I am not sure when or if that will come. Many members say they do not have enough answers to make a judgment.
The technical opinion has now gone to the Province. With it went a request for a Part 2 EA. If the Province acts on that request, it will require the proponent to deal with the technical issues presented by the town and residents.
What this means is that the Town has done as much as it legally and technically can do to this point. I applaud residents for their hard work in framing this issue and researching its technical aspects.