The NunatuKavut Community Council issued a statement Monday saying it expects an agreement with government on methylmercury mitigation at Muskrat Falls to be honoured.
Nalcor says it won’t lower the water levels at Muskrat Falls until mid-July so it can install safety equipment. But a deal between the province and three indigenous groups said the water levels were supposed to be lowered to normal levels in the spring.
Nunatsiavut issued a statement Friday saying it expects the deal to be honoured. NunatuKavut President Todd Russell released a statement of his own on Monday.
“Nalcor issued a public statement on June 12, stating that it would be releasing water from the Muskrat Falls reservoir in mid-July in order to install a safety boom across the Churchill River,” Russell said in his statement. “NCC staff were first made aware of these plans during an Independent Expert Advisory Committee planning meeting in mid-May and expressed our concerns to Nalcor at that time. Nalcor President and CEO Stan Marshall also forwarded a letter in regard to Nalcor’s plan to all three Indigenous groups on May 25th.
“It is very disappointing that Nalcor did not acknowledge or address our concerns immediately so that our experts could appropriately review the data. This would help determine whether there would be elevated production of methylmercury as a result of prolonged impoundment during the spring months.
“The Nunatsiavut Government and NCC, in a joint letter to the Premier this past week, stated our expectation that the agreement on methylmercury mitigation reached during the October 26, 2016 meeting between Labrador’s three Indigenous groups and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador be honoured. We have also been communicating and have held meetings with Nalcor officials on this issue.
“The health and well-being of Southern Inuit is NCC’s focus and priority. It is very important that the appropriate mitigation measures are taken to reduce the potential impact of methylmercury on Southern Inuit health and way of life.”