Presentation on theme: "Baffinland Mary River Project Environmental Assessment Methods Marine Environment VECs Workshop Session 02 November 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Baffinland Mary River Project Environmental Assessment Methods Marine Environment VECs Workshop Session 02 November 2011
Contents EA Methods Marine Environment VEC Selection KIs Measurable Parameters
Environmental Assessment Methods General Principles Prediction Methods – “Significance” Tools used in Effects Prediction Mary River EIS Issues – Adequacy of Baseline – Adequacy of Project Description – Thresholds and Magnitude – Significance Determination
Guidelines “ Deficiencies in baseline data increase uncertainties in the prediction of potential impacts, and consequently require an intensification of corresponding monitoring and mitigation programs…..” VECs – Marine and Coastal Habitats including sea ice and seabed sediments – Marine fish and invertebrates – Marine mammals including such representative species as polar bears, seals, bowhead whales, walrus, beluga whales, narwhals. Baseline Data “Descriptions of marine wildlife populations”
Ringed seal “ at least a few million” Walrus “population numbers or trends are not well known” Beluga Eastern High Arctic Baffin Bay(21,213) Western Hudson Bay (57, 300); Eastern Hudson Bay (2,453); Ungava (endangered) Narwhal > 63, 000 Bowhead (Eastern Canada- West Greenland population) – 6,344 Polar Bear Foxe Basin (2,119); Baffin Bay (2,074); Davis Strait ( 2,100)
General Principles What is an environmental assessment? a planning process a tool to communicate a project’s environmental impacts and mitigation measures. an approval process – high level decisions on – overall acceptability of major undertakings.
Timing of Environmental Assessment normally carried out “as early as possible” in the Proponent’s Project definition process. – affects detailed design; however – less than perfect or highly detailed plans are available for the EIS.
Baseline Environment Description Misconceptions – “complete” body of knowledge required for effects prediction Rare to have “perfect” level of information for decision-makers Implies that detailed and final Project description is available
Baffinland Iron Mines Mary River Project MARINE ENVIRONMENT October 18, 2011 Technical Meetings
Marine VECs & Key Indicators Marine Mammals Ringed Seal Bearded Seal * Walrus Beluga Whale Narwhal Bowhead Whale Polar Bear *Added based on an Information Request. Sea Ice Landfast ice in Steensby Inlet Pack ice along southern shipping route * * Added based on an Information Request. Water & Sediment Quality water quality parameters: TSS, nutrients, metals, salinity, & hydrocarbons sediments: focus on metals & PAHs Reliance on CCME – PMAL thresholds Marine Habitat & Biota Marine fish habitat: HADD approach Arctic char
Basis of Effects Predictions VEC/KIModelling Results Data Analysis Literature Review Regulatory Process Professional Judgment Sea Ice Landfast Pack Water & Sediment Quality Water Sediment Marine Habitat & Biota Habitat Arctic char
Basis of Effects Predictions (cont’d) VEC/KIModelling Results Data Analysis Literature Review Regulatory Process Professional Judgment Marine Mammals Ringed seal Bearded seal Walrus Beluga whale Narwhal Bowhead whale Polar bear
Summary of Effects Predictions No Significant Negative Residual Effects PLUS Mitigation Monitoring Adaptive Management
Threshold Values and Population Estimates “….. if there is a public benefit to frontier resource development, then there is a public obligation to ensure that research required to ensure environmental sustainability is done in an orderly fashion. It is neither reasonable nor productive to put this burden on the first proponent in an area.”