No other Manitoba Hydro dams in Manitoba have been subject to a full environmental review and licensing process and there are no environmental licences in place for the rest of these dams.
The Manitoba Cabinet dismissed two appeals initiated by Manitoba Justice following licence appeals under Manitoba's Environment Act for the Wuskwatim Generating Station (Manitoba Wildlands and Trapline 18). The decision followed Manitoba's 2007 provincial election.
To view documents involved in the Justice Manitoba directed Appeal to Cabinet regarding environmental licensing for the Wuskwatim Generation Station please see Energy Manitoba's Wuskwatim Archives - Licence & Appeals page
A September 29, 2006 letter from Manitoba Justice informed Manitoba Wildlands and Trapline 18 that the licence appeals under Manitoba's Environment Act for the Wuskwatim Generating Station will be heard by Cabinet. The process includes submissions by appellants and responses from the proponents, after which Cabinet will consider information contained in the 'Appeal Book'.
Subsequently, an October 6, 2006 letter from Manitoba Justice indicated that appeal of the Wuskwatim Transmission project licence would be subject to a similar process to generate submissions and responses, but the appeal will be heard by the Minister of Conservation (as the decision to issue the licence was made by the Director of Environmental Assessment and Licencing) and the Lieutenant Governor in Council will be asked to approve the Minister's decision in accordance with The Environment Act.
Legal counsel from Manitoba Justice indicated that the appeal to Cabinet is a lengthy process. Appellants were not provided with funding or other support to participate in the appeal process, despite the commitment of time and resources required.
Two appeals of the Generating Station licence were filed August 2, 2006, from Manitoba Wildlands, represented by director Gaile Whelan Enns, and from Trapline 18, represented by Greg McIvor. The appeals are based on issues consistently raised during The Environment Act review of the Wuskwatim projects and during the 2004 Clean Environment Commission (CEC) public hearings for the projects.
Several issues formed the basis for appeal of the environmental licenses for the Wuskwatim projects. Among other issues, the appellants argue that:
- Minister of Conservation did not fulfill certain duties under The Environment Act
- CEC's report and recommendations were not responded to properly or reflected in the environmental licences
- Clean Environment Commission hearings and public process were based on incomplete information in the Wuskwatim Environmental Impact Statements
- Manitoba Hydro should have to disclose information, including all technical reports
- Issuance of environmental licences before resolution of appeals concerning the Wuskwatim Project Development Agreement vote by Nisichwayasihk Cree Nation was inappropriate
- Public participants were not afforded adequate, fair and reasonable access to information during the Environment Act review process
- It appears that required consultations with Aboriginal Peoples regarding the Wuskwatim projects were not completed.
Download Trapline 18 November 24, 2006 appeal submission for the Wuskwatim Generating Station (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands August 2, 2006 appeal letter re the Wuskwatim Generation Station licence (PDF)
Download Trapline 18 August 2, 2006 appeal letter re the Wuskwatim Generating Station Licence (DOC)
The June 21, 2006 announcement by the Manitoba Government issuing environmental licences for the Wuskwatim Transmission and Generation projects also triggered appeal periods for the licences.
Download June 21, 2006 Environmental Licence for the Wuskwatim Transmission Line Project (PDF)
Download June 21, 2006 Environmental Licence for the Wuskwatim Generating Station Project (PDF)
Download June 21, 2006 letter from the Minister of Conservation regarding the appeals process under Manitoba's Environment Act (PDF)
The 30-day appeal period for the Wuskwatim Transmission Line Project (Class 2 project, 3 transmission line segments) closed July 21, 2006.
Any person may appeal an environmental licence by submitting a written explanation for the appeal. The letter must be addressed to the Director of Environmental Assessment and Licensing Branch:
Manitoba Conservation, Suite 160 - 123 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1A5
On June 21, 2006, both the federal and provincial governments announced that licences would be issued for the Wuskwatim projects. Both governments acted before the appeal period regarding the referendum balloting was over. See above.
The generating station licence, to the Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership, allows for construction, operation and maintenance of the generating station, and related dams, dikes, channels, control structures and infrastructure, including roads. The transmission project licence for Manitoba Hydro is for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Wuskwatim transmission projects (three transmission line segments, new transmission station developments at Wuskwatim, Birchtree near Thompson, modifications to existing Herblet Lake and Rall's Island transmission stations at Snow Lake and The Pas).
An interim water power licence from Manitoba Water Stewardship was approved. The water power licence allows the Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership to use water to operate the Wuskwatim generating station within regulated flows and levels.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment also announced in a June 21, 2006 press release that the proposed Wuskwatim Hydro Generation Project does not require further assessment by a review panel or mediator under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Minister referred the project back to the responsible authorities, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Transport Canada (TC), for appropriate action.
In July 2005, an application was made by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board for a name change to its original June 2003 application for an interim licence under the Water Power Act. Notice of this application for a name change was posted in the Winnipeg Free Press on September 10, 2005, with an opportunity for public comment until September 19, 2005.
View September 10, 2005 Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board notice of application in the Winnipeg Free Press
Download Manitoba Wildlands letter regarding the September 10, 2005 notice of application by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board (DOC)
In September 2005, Nisichawayasikh Cree Nation began reviewing the Environmental Protection Plans for the Wuskwatim projects. These plans are not publicly available as of September 2009.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' October 21, 2005 letter to Premier Doer, the Minister Of Energy, Science and Technology, and the Minister of Conservation regarding the Wuskwatim Environmental Protection Plans (DOC)