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[cdn-nucl-l] " Rupert dam foes dial up pressure on Hydro "
Rupert dam foes dial up pressure on Hydro
Vow legal fight. $5-billion project violates federal laws, environmentalists
JAN RAVENSBERGEN, The Gazette, Saturday, September 15, 2007
Environmental activists yesterday pledged to open two new legal fronts as
they continue a battle to halt the largest hydroelectric project undertaken
in the province this decade.
Hydro-Québec's $5-billion Eastmain project has already received provincial
and federal environmental-impact approvals. Construction began in January.
Completion is scheduled for 2012.
Separate actions will be taken - one under the federal Fisheries Act, the
other under the federal Endangered Species Act - to try to kill the project
through the Federal Court of Canada, said Daniel Green, scientific director
of the Quebec section of the Sierra Club of Canada.
As Abraham Rupert, a Cree elder from the village Chisasibi, addresses the
crowd, a clothesline of T-shirts bearing environmental slogans is strung
outside Hydro-Québec headquarters yesterday
RICHARD ARLESS JR. THE GAZETTE
The Eastmain project will divert about 70 per cent of the annual water flow
along 350 kilometres of the Rupert River in northern Quebec, the province's
largest remaining unaltered river, to new reservoirs that are to flood 350
Fisheries law prohibits acts that make fish unfit for human consumption -
and that legal test will be met because the Eastmain project will severely
raise mercury levels, Green predicted.
The basis for the second court action is that the project endangers the
survival of the unique giant Rupert River brook trout, he explained.
On a website promoting Eastmain, Hydro calls the power it will yield -
enough to supply 425,000 typical Quebec residential power customers - "clean
"We are proceeding with the project and we are taking all environmental
considerations into account," Hydro spokesperson Sylvain Théberge said
yesterday after a lunch-hour anti-Eastmain rally that drew more than 150
people to the front steps of Hydro's headquarters on René Lévesque Blvd. W.
A clothesline temporarily strung along the front of the public utility's
office tower, hung with slogan-emblazoned T-shirts, symbolized energy
conservation and wind power.
A group of 18 international environmental groups - including the United
States-based Natural Resources Defence Council, the Citizens Environmental
Coalition, Project Laundry List and Friends of the Earth U.S. - has
established a coalition to halt Eastmain, billing yesterday's protest as
"the first of a series of international awareness activities."
On the Web: www.hydroquebec.com/rupert/en
The coalition's website is www.savetherupert.org
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