- 1 final public hearing organized by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) from March 2 to 14, 2015
- 1 hearing days lost to blizzard conditions and the inability of the interveners to travel to Baker Lake, Nunavut
- 6 ½ years to advance the proposed Kiggavik Project from an initial project proposal (November 2008) to a final hearing (March 2015)
- 7 communities in the Kivalliq Region, all of which were represented at the hearing
- 11 full days of final hearing, transcripts available HERE
- 12 hours daily average length of the hearing, 9AM to 9PM
- 16 interveners including representatives from municipal governments, territorial and federal government agencies, aboriginal and non-governmental organizations from Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan
- 45 days expected for the NIRB to make a recommendation, the recommendation will be publically available on the NIRB FTP site HERE
- 80 exhibits submitted as evidence during the hearing, exhibits are available HERE
- 443 stakeholder and engagement events leading up to the final environmental impact statement and final hearing that informed issues, concerns, preferences, design, proposed mitigation and monitoring, and acceptability of the proposed Kiggavik Project
- 2,140 people living in Baker Lake, the nearest community to the proposed Project (~80km away) and the host community for the hearings
Due to the inclement weather in Baker Lake over the week-end, many of the parties expected to participate participate in the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) Final Hearing on AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project were unable to arrive in Baker Lake in time for the start of the hearing today. NIRB has now postponed the commencement of the Final Hearing until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3 at 1:00pm.
Like many others, AREVA’s representatives were unable to make it to Baker Lake yesterday as planned but did fly in safely this afternoon and will be ready to present the findings of our Kiggavik Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow afternoon with the overview and the presentation on the atmospheric environment.
You can view the full Final Hearing agenda prepared by NIRB here.
AREVA’s team looks forward to presenting its proposed Kiggavik Project FEIS and answering NIRB and the intervenors questions through this process.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) received and forwarded a total of 239 comments listed in the final written submissions of 15 interveners on Friday January 16, 2015. The Kiggavik Project team is currently reviewing and preparing responses for submission to the NIRB by February 2 in advance of the Final Hearing that is scheduled to take place from March 2 to 14, 2015 (with a possible extension to March 21) in Baker Lake, NU.
The repartition of the origin of the comments received is as follows:
- Federal government: 99 items
- Territorial government: 44 items
- Regional Inuit Organization: 58 items
- Other registered interveners: 38 items
The comments and concerns raised span across all aspects of the assessment with the top three areas of interest continuing to be:
- Caribou protection,
- Socio-economic aspects, with a focus on benefits and,
- Project description, with a focus on management plans and the potential access road.
Over the past 10 days, the Kiggavik team has been touring the North to discuss the FEIS with the following organizations:
- The Lutsel K’e First Nation Wildlife Committee in the Northwest Territories – The Lutsel K’e First Nation (LKFN) have been participants in the Kiggavik Project environmental assessment process since 2009. Much of the discussion with the Wildlife Committee pertained to the assessment of potential effects on caribou as presented in Volume 6 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. AREVA’s team also held an informal meeting open to community members and members of the LKFN council.
- The Baker Lake Hamlet Council – AREVA’s team had an opportunity to present to the newly elected council. Baker Lake is the closest community to the Kiggavik site (about 80km). AREVA has maintained an office and staff members in Baker Lake since 2006. The discussion with council focused on potential local benefits from the proposed development of the Kiggavik Project.
- The Arviat Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) – The Arviat HTO members are concerned with potential effects from dust and marine transportation, so the discussion focused on the atmospheric assessment, available in Volume 4, and the marine assessment, in Volume 7.
- The Chesterfield Inlet HTO and Hamlet Council – Chesterfield Inlet representatives are generally concerned with the potential effects of shipping on marine mammals, so the discussion focused on the marine assessment provided in Volume 7. They also wanted to know how their input on land and marine life will be incorporated into the project to minimize any effects.
In early February, the Northern Project Management Office and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s staff will host community meetings to discuss the FEIS with community representatives in Rankin Inlet (Feb. 3), Baker Lake (Feb. 4) and Chesterfield Inlet (Feb. 5). In the meantime, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) will hold information sessions from January 27 to February 3, 2015, throughout the Kivalliq Region to promote public awareness and effective participation at the upcoming Final Hearing in Baker Lake. The Schedule of the NIRB information sessions is as follows:
Jan 27 – Chesterfield Inlet
Jan 28 – Repulse Bay
Jan 29 – Coral Harbour
Jan 30 – Rankin Inlet
Jan 31 – Arviat
Feb 2 – Whale Cove
Feb 3 – Baker Lake
To view AREVA’s full submission you can scroll through the Resources tab down to Final Environmental Impact Statement where each volume is listed separately.
We are working to answer all the comments submitted on schedule and look forward to answering questions at the Final Hearing in Baker Lake at the beginning of March.
Today is the last day for intervenors to submit their written comments on AREVA’s Kiggavik Project Final Environmental Impact Statement. We wil review all the comments and prepare responses in time for the Final Hearing, which will take place March 2 to 14, 2015 in Baker Lake, NU. In the meantine, from January 27 to February 3, 2015, the Nunavut Impact Review Board will hold information sessions in the Kivalliq Region to promote public awareness and effective participation a the upcoming Final Hearing. AREVA looks forward to responding to all comments and further explaining its Kiggavik Project in detail at the Final Hearing.
As AREVA’s Kiggavik team gets ready to wrap up 2014 and prepares for the next steps of the environmental assessment process, we thought this would be a good time to reaffirm and demonstrate our commitment to wildlife protection. Indeed AREVA is committed to wildlife monitoring and mitigation and transparent reporting. We have a Wildlife Monitoring and Mitigation Plan in effect during the operation of the exploration camp each season, and you can read our summer field season wildlife reports here.
The Kiggavik team has implemented many measures to ensure wildlife protection, for example, at the Kiggavik exploration camp, wildlife have the right of way and operations accommodate wildlife. This means that we suspend drilling operations if groups of caribou approach the drill rigs within 2 km in June or July, and we shutdown drilling if cows and calves are within 10km of the site from May 15 to July 15. Further, the helicopters we use have altitude restrictions to avoid disturbing caribou and we keep logs of each flight including records of wildlife sightings.
We also hire wildlife monitors from Baker Lake to ensure that we comply with the Kiggavik wildlife monitoring and mitigation plan and they also participate in the decision process to shut down and resume operations. In 2013, we shutdown drilling operations at a couple of drill rigs over three days in July and once in August, while in 2014, we shutdown up to three drill rigs over six days in July. Finally, we record any wildlife sighting and disturbance to the government regulators and the Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization through our monthly wildlife reports during the summer camp operations and in our annual reports.
Our commitment to wildlife protection is unweathering and we look forward to continue to improve and deliver on our wildlife monitoring and mitigation plan in 2015.