FEDERAL REG

SOR/2016-196: Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations

REGISTRATION OF FEDERAL REGULATION - VIA OIC DATABASE, PRIOR TO PART II OF THE GAZETTE

Registered
June 23, 2016


REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues The Mont-Wright Mine is an open-pit iron mine, located about 17 km) west of Fermont on the eastern shore of Lake Hesse and 320 km north of Port-Cartier and Sept-Îles, in Quebec. The mine is owned by the ArcelorMittal Mining Canada Corporation (the AMMC Corporation). The mine has been in operation since 19... (Click for more)


Published on June 23, 2016

Bill Summary

SOR/2016-196: Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues The Mont-Wright Mine is an open-pit iron mine, located about 17 km) west of Fermont on the eastern shore of Lake Hesse and 320 km north of Port-Cartier and Sept-Îles, in Quebec. The mine is owned by the ArcelorMittal Mining Canada Corporation (the AMMC Corporation). The mine has been in operation since 1975 and the AMMC Corporation expects to operate the mine until 2042. Lake Hesse, located entirely on the AMMC Corporation’s mining property, consists of three basins: the North Hesse basin, the Centre Hesse basin, and the South Hesse basin. Lake Hesse has been used as a tailings management facility since the beginning of mining operations, well before the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) came into force in 2002. Since then, the AMMC Corporation has been subject to the provisions of the MMER. In order for the AMMC Corporation to continue its activities in compliance with the requirements of the MMER, the Centre Hesse and South Hesse basins of Lake Hesse will be added to Schedule 2 of the MMER. In June 2013, the AMMC Corporation noticed the progression of tailings towards Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet stream, and towards a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2. The AMMC Corporation then took temporary measures to slow the progression of tailings towards Lake #1 and Lake E2 by constructing a diversion canal. However, in order to allow the AMMC Corporation to expand its current tailings management facility, Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 will also be added to Schedule 2 of the MMER. Background Metal Mining Effluent Regulations The MMER came into force on December 6, 2002, under the Fisheries Act. The Fisheries Act prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances in water frequented by fish. The use of a water body frequented by fish for mine tailings disposal may only be authorized through an amendment to the MMER, which adds such water body to Schedule 2 of the MMER. Once a natural, fish-frequented water body is added to Schedule 2, section 27.1 of the MMER requires the development and implementation of a fish habitat compensation plan (see footnote 2) to offset the losses of fish habitat that occurs as a result of the use of natural, fish-frequented water bodies for disposal of mine tailings. Mine owners or operators are required to submit a letter of credit ensuring that funds are in place should the owner or operator fail to address all elements of the fish habitat compensation plan. The MMER also prescribes the maximum authorized limits for deleterious substances in mine effluent, listed in Schedule 4 (e.g. copper, cyanide, and total suspended solids), and requires that mine effluent not be acutely lethal to fish. (see footnote 3) The MMER requires that mine owners or operators must monitor and test effluent to ensure compliance with the regulated limits and to determine any impact on fish, fish habitat, and fishery resources. The Department of the Environment publishes annual performance summaries of metal mines with respect to selected standards prescribed by the MMER. The Mont-Wright Mine The Mont-Wright Mine is considered one of the largest in North America and covers a total area of 140 km 2 . The AMMC Corporation previously estimated that 169 million tonnes (MT) of materials would be extracted in 2014, of which 103 MT were to be stored as waste rock in dumps, 44 MT to be sent to the tailings management facility, and 22 MT shipped as iron concentrate. In total, over 585 MT of materials, including 331 MT of ore, were extracted since the beginning of mine operation in 1975. The current mining plan expects production activities to continue until 2042. The AMMC Corporation employs 1 500 individuals at the Mont-Wright Mine in addition to 1 200 employees at its Port-Cartier industrial complex, both of which benefit the regional economy. On July 20, 2013, the AMMC Corporation submitted a Notice of Application to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency), as required under the federal environmental assessment process. In light of the information contained in the Notice of Application, the Agency concluded that the proposed tailings management plan for the Mont-Wright complex is not a designated activity, based on the Regulations Designating Physical Activities under Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. (see footnote 4) Consequently, an environmental assessment is not required. Lake Hesse Among the three basins that sub-divide Lake Hesse, Hesse Centre and South Hesse basins manage and treat effluent as well as are natural water bodies that are frequented by fish. The Centre Hesse basin is used as a settling pond to settle the particles (i.e. sand, gravel) contained in the water that is used to transport tailings, as well as to collect drainage water from the tailings management facility. This water from the Centre Hesse basin is then rerouted to the concentrator, which is a plant that processes raw ore to separate the valuable materials (concentrates) from the non-valuable materials (tailings). The South Hesse basin is used as a polishing basin, which is the last step of effluent treatment before the final effluent is discharged into the natural environment. The North Hesse basin has been used to store the solid fraction of tailings since the beginning of operations in 1975 (before the MMER came into force in 2002). The North Hesse basin is not a natural water body frequented by fish nor does its current form correspond to that of the original lake. Therefore, the North Hesse basin is not included in the additions to Schedule 2 of the MMER. Accordingly, when Lake Hesse is mentioned in the remainder of this document, it refers only to the Centre and South Hesse basins. Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet Upstream from the North Hesse basin there are two nameless lakes that the AMMC Corporation refers to as “Lake #1” and “Lake E2.” Lake #1 is located northeast of the tailings management facility and covers an area of 7.3 hectares with an average depth of 0.56 m. The first 30 m of the outlet stream from Lake #1 has an average width of 1.5 m and an average depth of 0.15 m. Brook Trout, Pearl Dace, and Burbot fish species inhabit Lake #1, while only Brook Trout and Pearl Dace inhabit the first 30 m of the outlet stream. Due to the shallowness of Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, the lake serves mainly as a feeding ground for young Brook Trout and no spawning habitat has been found within it. It is not a viable habitat as it is likely a very large part of the water body freezes during winter. Therefore, the potential of Lake #1 for fish production is limited. The natural topography of the site and the extension of the tailings management facility have recently led to a progression of red-coloured water (see footnote 5) from the tailings management facility towards Lake #1. A portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 Lake E2 is not included in the future expansions of the tailings management facility and will not be affected by the disposal of tailings. A portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 will be affected. The stream discharging waters from Lake E2 provides habitat for Pearl Dace and Northern Pike. The stream from Lake E2 is a relatively homogeneous stream located northeast of the tailings management facility. It is 1 815 m long with an average width of 1.5 m and an average depth of 0.30 m. Figure 1: The Mont-Wright Mine illustrating the location of Lake Hesse, Lake #1, and Lake E2 Objectives The objective of the Regulations Amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (the Amendments) is to allow the AMMC Corporation to utilize three water bodies for the disposal of tailings from the Mont-Wright Mine. Description The Amendments The Amendments add the following three water bodies to Schedule 2 of the MMER: Lake Hesse; (see footnote 6) Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet; (see footnote 7) A portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2. (see footnote 8) The addition of Lake Hesse to Schedule 2 is delimited to the north by the dam and to the south by the control spillway (see item 4 in Figure 1). Located in the expansion area of the tailings management facility (circled in Figure 1), Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, extending from the mouth of the stream to a point 30 m downstream from Lake #1 is added to Schedule 2 of the MMER. A portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 extending from the northern limit of the proposed expansion of the tailings management facility, over a distance of 1 815 m south of that proposed limit, is also added to Schedule 2 of the MMER. The AMMC Corporation, and any future owner or operator, under section 27.1 of the MMER, is required to develop and implement fish habitat compensation plans, to offset the resultant loss of fish habitat. The AMMC Corporation, and any future owner or operator, must submit a letter of credit ensuring that funds are in place should the company fail to address all elements of the fish habitat compensation plans. Fish habitat compensation plans The AMMC Corporation has implemented fish habitat compensation plans for the loss of the fish habitat with ongoing monitoring, as specified in section 27.1 of the MMER. Fish habitat compensation plan — Lake Hesse The Lake Hesse fish habitat compensation plan was submitted to and reviewed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The AMMC Corporation has already completed a large portion of the proposed habitat improvement work. In May 2010, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans accepted the approach to offsetting the loss of fish habitat in Lake Hesse based on several factors including the biological characteristics of Lake Hesse and the planned fish habitat improvements within the compensated area. The habitat improvement work was carried out in August 2010 at Barbel Lake (see footnote 9) to create quality spawning, fry rearing, resting and feeding areas for Brook Trout as well as to promote the free movement of fish in problematic areas. The total habitat area created was 962 m 2 . The fish habitat compensation plan also includes a monitoring program in the five years following the completion of the work. The first monitoring, performed in 2011, led to updates of the compensation plan and, since then, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been satisfied with the work carried out. Submission of the next and final monitoring effort to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is anticipated in January 2016. Fish habitat compensation plan — Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 The fish habitat compensation plan for Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 was submitted to and reviewed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who accepted the approach to offsetting the loss of fish habitat. The main objective of the fish habitat compensation plan is the improvement of Brook Trout habitat at the Moiré Lake outlet, which is located approximately 2 km east of the mine. This is achieved by expanding and alternating quality spawning, fry rearing, resting and feeding areas, while promoting the free movement of fish in the targeted sector. The improvements cover an estimated length of 145 m in developed habitat. In total, 14 improvements and structures, and 70 m 2 of spawning areas have been implemented, including the replacement of two sagging culverts located approximately 50 m from the Moiré Lake outlet with new structures that will improve the free movement of fish; the development of four spawning areas for Brook Trout (totaling 70 m 2 ); and the development of basins in order to diversify the habitat of Brook Trout over a minimum length of 120 m. Some fish habitat compensation plan improvements were completed in summer 2014. A report detailing the work was submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Three monitoring programs will be conducted by 2019. Reports summarizing the results of these monitoring programs will be submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “One-for-One” Rule The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to the Amendments, as they will not impose new administrative requirements on the regulated community. Small business lens The Amendments will not trigger the small business lens, as the Mont-Wright Mine, owned and operated by the AMMC Corporation, is not considered a small business. (see footnote 10) Consultation Consultations on the proposed Amendments prior to publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I Two consultation sessions were conducted and co-chaired by the Department of the Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, one in 2013 and the other in 2014. The purpose of the consultation sessions was to give participants the opportunity to comment on the proposed Amendments. Participants were also invited to submit comments in writing following the consultation sessions. The participants consulted were from the AMMC Corporation, mining industry associations (national and provincial), Aboriginal groups and communities (national and local), and environmental non-governmental organizations. In addition to the consultation sessions organized by the Department of the Environment, the AMMC Corporation consulted local Aboriginal groups and communities. In February 2012, the AMMC Corporation signed an Impact Benefit Agreement with the Uashaunnuats and the Innu Band of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam. (see footnote 11) Lake Hesse The Lake Hesse consultation was held on March 27, 2013, in Ottawa. A summary of the comments follows: An Aboriginal representative asked about the compliance rate and the number of infractions involving the Mont-Wright Mine site. The Department of the Environment replied that the performance of the Mine in relation to the compliance of effluent concentrations was very good and that the public could consult the report entitled Summary Review of Performance of Metal Mines. A representative from an environmental organization made reference to the red waters incident of 1977 and to the water treatment plant built thereafter. The representative asked whether the mine drainage waters that flow through Webb Lake and ultimately into the Pékans River were treated. The AMMC Corporation responded that mine drainage waters that flow through Webb Lake are treated to an extent within the Hesse Centre and South Basins. Monitoring indicates releases from the final discharge point (Point 4 in Figure 1), which is upstream of Webb Lake, are compliant with the MMER. A representative of an environmental organization asked about the treatment process and, more specifically, the potential impact of the flocculent used to treat red water. The AMMC Corporation stated that the red colour stemmed solely from the nature of the iron ore and that the red colouring of water was not linked to the flocculent or to acid drainage. Flocculent is primarily used to settle suspended particles and has no impact on water colouration. Potential impacts downstream of the final discharge point will be minimal, given effluent is treated to an extent prior to discharge, and monitoring indicates that releases from the final discharge point are compliant with the MMER. An Aboriginal representative said that, in his opinion, the aspect of land use by Aboriginal peoples was not given much consideration. The Aboriginal representative added that he was quite familiar with the site and that a trap line was located on it. In addition, a communal camp is located at Daigle Lake. The Pékans River and, to a larger extent, the Moisie River watershed are part of a territory used for both water consumption (drinking) and for goose hunting. The AMMC Corporation replied that Aboriginal concerns were taken into consideration and, following an agreement in principle, an agreement was signed in February 2012 with the Aboriginal peoples at the local level. To resolve specific practical issues, communication between the AMMC Corporation and local Aboriginal peoples will be ongoing. A representative from an environmental organization asked whether Carheil Lake (located 14 km from Fermont) had been considered in the choice of the fish habitat compensation plan because Carheil Lake is known to be contaminated by cyanobacteria since 2005. In addition, Carheil Lake is used for sport fishing by the inhabitants of Fermont and the Innu. The AMMC Corporation explained that, to its knowledge, Carheil Lake is located in the headwaters area. Because of the lake’s location, the Lake Trout (a fish of the family Salmonidae) that is a slow-growing species, as well as the development of spawning grounds, would have been difficult to introduce. The sites in proximity of Fermont were considered, but no site was retained. Ultimately, Barbel Lake was chosen. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans added that, when searching for a fish habitat compensation plan, no public consultations were conducted and that, in general, the site choice is made by the consulting firm mandated by the company, with possible involvement from local inhabitants. A representative from an environmental organization asked why in 1975 an environmental assessment was not conducted for the mine. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans replied that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act came into force in 1984 and that it did not contain any requirements for pre-existing projects. In addition, as there had not been any major changes for numerous years, an environmental assessment was not required. Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 The consultation concerning Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 was held on March 19, 2014, in Ottawa. Stakeholders expressed various opinions and concerns, particularly about when Lake #1 would be affected by the tailings and the implications associated with the listing of the first water bodies in Quebec without an environmental assessment conducted at the provincial or federal level. Environmental non-governmental organizations’ representatives expressed their opposition to these proposed Amendments. The following is a summary of the comments: The representative from an environmental organization asked why a federal or provincial environmental assessment was not conducted for the mine. The Department of the Environment replied that there is no trigger for the CEAA in the current project (e.g. an expansion resulting in an increase in the area of mine operations of 50%). A representative from the mining industry added that a provincial environmental assessment process had initially been started until the mining company realized, in the summer of 2013, that such an assessment was not required and that only a certificate of authorization was necessary. An Aboriginal representative asked when Lake #1 would be affected by the advancing water originating from the current tailings management facility and stated that, in his opinion, the lakes should be protected and that a compensation plan should be chosen as a last resort. The AMMC Corporation replied that, in the short term, the construction of temporary structures, which began in 2013, would guarantee the protection of Lake #1 for a period of about 2 years. The Department of the Environment’s Enforcement Branch is monitoring the situation. An Aboriginal representative asked about the socioeconomic impacts and the Department of the Environment’s expectations after 2025. He also pointed out that, in his opinion, there was a certain lack of planning with regard to tailings. The Department of the Environment replied that the company will have to develop a long-term plan and that any future requests for the addition of water bodies to Schedule 2 must cover all needs until the estimated end of mine life. The AMMC Corporation then stated that the message had been very well and very clearly received. The AMMC Corporation also provided clarification concerning the delays in the time frame. Operations should be able to continue until 2019 with the addition and registration of Lake #1, after which other measures must be put in place. Environmental organizations expressed opposition to the proposed Amendments and think that natural water bodies frequented by fish should not be destroyed to store mine waste. The Department of the Environment understands and respects these concerns. Nonetheless, the proposed Amendments are proceeding in the context of an existing legislative framework under the Fisheries Act and the MMER. The Rationale section within this Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement provides further justification for the Amendments. An environmental organization questioned the fact that the Department of the Environment did not require the AMMC Corporation to assess the alternative solutions for the disposal of tailings in accordance with current Department of the Environment guidelines. The AMMC Corporation submitted to the Department of the Environment a document that assesses alternative solutions including the listing of these water bodies. Given this assessment, the Department of the Environment concluded that the three water bodies of the Amendments is the preferred option for the disposal of tailings. Environmental organizations feel that the public and Aboriginal consultations were not adequate. There have been a number of consultations on the Amendments in March 2013 and March 2014, where both local and national Aboriginal representatives and other stakeholders were invited. Also, the AMMC Corporation met with the local Aboriginal community with regards to the proposed Amendments a few months before the March 2014 consultation. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans stated that the local Aboriginal communities had been invited to submit comments on the fish habitat compensation plan. An environmental organization questioned the fact that a portion of the stream of Lake #1 was probably contaminated without having obtained prior authorization and that penalties should be imposed against the AMMC Corporation. According to the characterization of Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet done by the AMMC Corporation in the summer of 2013, only Lake #1 and the first 30 m of the outlet downstream of the mouth of Lake #1 are considered to be water bodies frequented by fish. At the time of the consultation, no water bodies frequented by fish had been impacted by tailings in this area. An environmental agency suggested to the AMMC Corporation that it bury the tailings in the mine’s pits. At the time of consultation, according to the document on alternative solutions prepared by the AMMC Corporation, the pits were active and not available for the disposal of tailings. Furthermore, the AMMC Corporation did not identify any non-regulatory options for the disposal of mine waste. For any future requests by the AMMC Corporation for another regulatory amendment to Schedule 2 of the MMER, the Department of the Environment will expect the AMMC Corporation to assess the possibility of burying mine waste in pits that will no longer be in operation. Regardless of the preferred mine waste disposal option, effluent from the Mont-Wright Mine will be subject to other provisions of the MMER. Consultations on the proposed Amendments following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I On February 28, 2015, the proposed Amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period. No comments were received. Rationale Regulatory and non-regulatory options for tailings disposal The AMMC Corporation prepared an evaluation of alternatives for tailings and effluent disposal to identify the preferred option taking into consideration economic, environmental, socioeconomic, and technical impacts. Non-regulatory options would have involved the disposal of tailings and effluent in a manner that would not directly impact a natural, fish-frequented water body. The AMMC Corporation did not identify non-regulatory options that would not impact fish-frequented water bodies, due to the occurrence of numerous fish-frequented water bodies and streams on the mine site and within its vicinity. Therefore, there are no non-regulatory options for tailings disposal at the Mont-Wright Mine. Regulatory options involve the disposal of mine waste in a manner that would result in direct impacts (see footnote 12) on one or more natural, fish-frequented water bodies, and would therefore require that the water bodies be added to Schedule 2 of the MMER for the option to be implemented as proposed. The preferred regulatory option adds Lake Hesse, Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 to Schedule 2 of the MMER. This option minimizes the environmental footprint of the tailings disposal area, while allowing the company to continue its current operations. The preferred regulatory option, namely the Amendments, will not be sufficient for the Mont-Wright Mine to continue its activities beyond 2019. The AMMC Corporation is aware they require a more comprehensive, long-term plan to manage mine waste rock and tailings between 2019 and the anticipated end of mine life. Any future request for the addition of water bodies to Schedule 2 of the MMER must ensure the management of mine waste rock and tailings until the anticipated end of mine life. The development of any new tailings management facility and the construction of related structures could trigger an environmental assessment process. Other regulatory options were assessed as part of the Amendments process. New retention basins could have been built as an alternative to the use of Lake Hesse. The AMMC Corporation estimated the construction costs of these new basins at more than $100,000,000. Actually, the creation of new basins would require the construction of dykes, water treatment plants, and pumping stations. As an alternative to the addition of Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, as well as a portion of a stream from Lake E2, to Schedule 2 of the MMER, dykes could have been built around Lake #1 and the stream from Lake E2 in order to protect them from the deposit of tailings. According to the AMMC Corporation, the estimated construction cost of the dykes was in the order of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. In addition to these construction costs, outlet channels would have also been required. This would have resulted in the deterioration or draining of Lake #1 and a stream from Lake E2. Therefore the construction of these dykes could not offer any environmental or economic benefits over listing the three water bodies to Schedule 2 of the MMER. Consequently, this option was not preferred. Analytic framework Due to the absence of a non-regulatory option for tailings disposal from the Mont-Wright Mine, the Amendments, which are the preferred regulatory option, will add fish-frequented water bodies to Schedule 2 of the MMER, which allows the listed water bodies to be used for tailings disposal. Furthermore, given the absence of a non-regulatory option, a meaningful baseline scenario could not be constructed for the analytical framework, and in turn no cost-benefit analysis could be performed. Instead, the impacts on government, business, and the environment resulting from the Amendments are identified below. Cost to Government Government of Canada enforcement activities include inspections, to monitor the implementation of the fish habitat compensation plan, which may incur incremental costs. Some monitoring activities have occurred, as the fish habitat compensation plans are partially implemented. Therefore, some of the associated costs of these monitoring activities have already been incurred. As a result of the Amendments there may be incremental site visit(s), monitoring, and review costs incurred by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, including habitat improvement work at Barbel Lake and Moiré Lake outlet. These incremental costs will be low because monitoring activities will occur during fish habitat compensation plan implementation and will not continue throughout the life of the tailings management facility. Incremental compliance promotion costs may also be incurred, but will be low, given that MMER compliance promotion activities already occur at the Mont-Wright Mine site, and there will be minimal incremental compliance promotion activities associated with the Amendments. Therefore, the total incremental costs to the Government, associated with the fish habitat compensation plan, will be low. Cost to business The Amendments concerning Lake Hesse do not result in additional costs to the AMMC Corporation as it is already subject to the MMER and the habitat improvement work described in the fish habitat compensation plan has already begun. However, there is still a monitoring program report at Barbel Lake that the AMMC Corporation must submit to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2016. Concerning Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream from Lake E2, the AMMC Corporation has implemented some of the habitat improvement work described in the fish habitat compensation plan. The cost of the work and monitoring program undertaken in 2014 was estimated at $200,000. The Amendments to Schedule 2 of the MMER will allow the AMMC Corporation to continue to manage tailings and effluent from the Mont-Wright Mine. Environmental impacts The Amendments will destroy natural, fish-frequented waters of Lake Hesse, Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2. The fish habitat compensation plan for Lake Hesse created a total habitat area of 962 m 2 for quality spawning, fry rearing, resting, and feeding areas for Brook Trout while promoting the free movement of fish in problematic areas in Barbel Lake. The fish habitat compensation plan for Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and for a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2, has implemented 14 improvements and structures, and 70 m 2 of spawning area in Moiré Lake outlet. The improvements also include the development of basins to diversify the habitat of the Brook Trout over a minimum length of 120 m. Rationale summary Natural, fish-frequented water bodies must be destroyed in order for the Mont-Wright Mine to continue to use Lake Hesse for tailings disposal, as well as to expand its tailings management facility into Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet, and into a portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2. However, the use of these water bodies for tailings disposal will only be possible with their addition to Schedule 2 of the MMER. The Amendments will allow for the continued and expanded use of the tailings management facility for Mont-Wright Mine. To offset the resultant fish habitat loss, the AMMC Corporation has implemented fish habitat compensation plans in Barbel Lake and at the Moiré Lake outlet. The Department of the Environment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the AMMC Corporation, Aboriginal peoples, mining industry associations, and environmental non-governmental organizations participated in consultation sessions on the proposed Amendments in 2013 and 2014. Several comments were received including those related to the proposed Amendments, as well as impacts related to the Mont-Wright Mine as a whole. Environmental non-governmental organizations expressed opposition to the proposed Amendments. There were no consultation submissions received on the proposed Amendments following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in 2015. In February 2012, the AMMC Corporation signed an Impact Benefit Agreement with the Uashaunnuats and the Innu Band of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that the Amendments would permit the deposit of tailings into three water bodies for which fish habitat compensation plans have been implemented. As a result, and after the application of these mitigation measures, no important residual environmental effects are expected; therefore a Strategic Environmental Assessment is not required. Implementation, enforcement and service standards The Amendments will enable the AMMC Corporation to operate in compliance with the MMER by utilizing natural, fish-frequented streams and water bodies for disposal of tailings from the Mont-Wright Mine upon their listing in Schedule 2 of the MMER. The AMMC Corporation is already subject to the MMER. Given that the MMER is a regulation made pursuant to the Fisheries Act, enforcement personnel will, when verifying compliance with the MMER, act in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention Provisions of the Fisheries Act (hereinafter the Policy). Verification of compliance with the Regulations and the Fisheries Act will include, among other inspection activities, site visits, sample analysis, review of fish habitat compensation plans and related reports associated with the Amendments. If there is evidence of an alleged offence of the fisheries protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act and/or related regulations, enforcement personnel will decide on an appropriate enforcement action, in accordance with the following criteria, as set out in the Policy: Nature of the alleged violation; Effectiveness in achieving the desired result with the alleged violator; and Consistency in enforcement. Given the circumstances and subject to the exercise of enforcement and prosecutorial discretion, the following instruments are available to respond to alleged violations: Warnings; Directions; Orders by the Minister; Injunctions; and Prosecutions. For more information on the Policy, please consult the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention Provisions of the Fisheries Act at the following hyperlink: http://www.ec.gc.ca/alef-ewe/default.asp?lang=En&n=D6B74D58-1. Contacts Chris Doiron Manager Mining Section Mining and Processing Division Industrial Sectors, Chemicals and Waste Directorate Department of the Environment 351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 Fax: 819-420-7381 Email: [email protected] Yves Bourassa Director Regulatory Analysis and Valuation Division Economic Analysis Directorate Department of the Environment 200 Sacré-Cœur Boulevard, 10th Floor Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 Fax: 819-938-3407 Email: [email protected] Footnote a R.S., c. F-14 Footnote 1 SOR/2002-222 Footnote 2 Government of Canada. 2013. Environment Canada – Guidelines for the Assessment of Alternatives for Mine Waste Disposal. http://ec.gc.ca/pollution/default.asp?lang=En&n=125349F7-1&offset=5&toc=show (Accessed February 18, 2016). Footnote 3 “Acutely lethal effluent” is defined as an effluent at 100% concentration that kills more than 50% of the rainbow trout subjected to it over a 96-hour period when tested in accordance with the acute lethality test (Fisheries Act (1985): Metal Mining Effluent Regulations, SOR/2002-222, section 1). Footnote 4 Government of Canada. 2016. Justice Laws Web site — Regulations Designating Physical Activities (SOR/2012-147). http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2012-147/page-1.html (Accessed February 18, 2016). Footnote 5 In this case, the red-coloured water is not because of acid rock drainage but solely from the nature of the iron ore. Footnote 6 Lake Hesse, which is listed as item 25 of Schedule 2, refers only to the Centre and South Hesse basins, not including the North Hesse basin. Footnote 7 Lake #1 and a portion of its outlet are listed as item 26 of Schedule 2. Footnote 8 A portion of a stream discharging waters from Lake E2 is listed as item 27 of Schedule 2. Footnote 9 Barbel Lake is located approximately 150 km southwest of the mine. Footnote 10 Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat guidance for the small business lens defines a small business as “any business with fewer than 100 employees or between $30,000 and $5 million in annual gross revenues” http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/priorities-priorites/rtrap-parfa/guides/faq-eng.asp. Footnote 11 Stratos Inc. 2014. Mining Association of Canada Towards Sustainable Mining: 22nd Meeting of the Community of Interest Advisory Panel, Post-Verification Review Report, p. 15 http://mining.ca/sites/default/files/documents/PostVerificationReview2014_0.pdf (Accessed February 18, 2016). Footnote 12 “Direct impacts” refer to the infilling of a water body or a portion of a water body with mine tailings. In contrast, indirect impacts may occur downstream as a result of changes in water quality, reductions in flow or other causes.

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