Methymercury workshop held in St. John’s to discuss Nalcor plan for Muskrat Falls

Published on March 24, 2016
Environment Minister Perry Trimper

Minister of Environment and Conservation Perry Trimper has a decision to make following a workshop in St. John’s on March 22.

The workshop, which featured officials from numerous government departments, was to discuss the science behind potential methylmercury impacts from Muskrat Falls.

Some of the attendees were Nalcor Energy, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, the Department of Health and Community Services. It was hosted by a facilitator with the Office of Public Engagement and was titled Methylmercury and Muskrat Falls: Sharing and Understanding Our Varied Perspectives.

“This workshop was an opportunity to convey perspectives, to allow for an open dialogue, and to ask questions of each other,” said Trimper. “Based on information from Harvard researchers previously presented by the Nunatsiavut Government, and information discussed at the workshop, we have come to understand there is common ground in all stakeholder perspectives.”

The Nunatsiavut government declined to attend the event, stating they had already presented the information to Nalcor and didn’t see why they would do it again. The document that lead to the workshop was Nalcor’s Human Health Risk Assessment relating to Muskrat Falls and the different conclusions Nalcor and Nunatsiavut had reached with their respective research.

 “The Human Health Risk Assessment plan for the Lower Churchill Project is currently under review by my department,” said Trimper. “This plan is designed to mitigate impacts on the health of people living downstream of the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project by identifying any potential health concerns as early as possible so that appropriate measures can be taken.”

Trimper said he hopes to announce his decision in the near future.