April 14, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, "Mining giant Vale Inco has started the work necessary to build a nickel processing facility in Long Harbour, Nfld., despite the downturn in the world economy. Vale Inco officials say the company began late last week clearing the site of the project, located about 100 kilometres west of St. John's. The plant, expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of nickel a year when it comes online in 2013, would be the first in the mining industry to use hydromet technology for commercial purposes."

In July 2008 the CBC reported that, "The company has planned to build the plant at Long Harbour, at Placentia Bay, to process nickel from Voisey's Bay Labrador. Part of the plan includes dumping tailings produced from the processing of the nickel in nearby Sandy Pond, a freshwater pond. The environmental impact statement for the plant outlines precautions the company will put in place to ensure the waste remains contained. But environmental groups have spoken out against the tailings disposal plan, saying Vale Inco should be forced by the provincial government to find a better way to dispose of the waste."

April 11, 2009

The Financial Post reports today on Atlantic Canada's 'new energy economy'. It quotes Charles Cirtwill, executive vice-president of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, who says, "it is being driven for the most part by private-sector investors..."

The article highlights, "renewable energy will be the cornerstone of (the drive to New Brunswick shedding it's 'have-not' status by 2026, premier Shawn) Graham said, as abundant sources of hydro, wind and possibly tidal power are channelled through the New Brunswick energy hub to hungry New England markets."

"To get it there, Graham is proposing a north-south energy corridor capable of exporting between 1,200 to 1,500 megawatts through to the state of Maine, a co-signatory to the project."

"Already, new projects are lining up behind the north-south proposal, which would be built by Irving Oil and increase four or fivefold the volume capacity of existing hydro lines."

April 10, 2009

The Dogwood Initiative writes, "The approval process for tar sands related tankers and pipelines in British Columbia is inadequate and time is running out to get our voice heard. We only have until Tuesday April 14th."

They ask that you "Write to Stephen Harper and let him know the Enbridge Northern Gateway project needs a comprehensive public inquiry, not a rubber stamp."

"The current approval process run by the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is set up to assess how a project proceeds, not if a project proceeds. It won't consider the consequences of eliminating the longstanding tanker ban, the impact of pipelines on the expansion of the tar sands nor the projects relationship to Canada's policy on global warming."

"Write the Prime Minister and tell him that proposals to ship half the current production of the Alberta  tar sands to Asia via pipeline to tankers in the waterways of the Great Bear Rainforest needs real scrutiny."

"The comment period for the scope of the NEB/CEAA review ends Tuesday April 14th so don't delay."

April 10, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports that, "federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Ottawa is reviewing its (carbon emissions) policy to ensure its conforms with whatever climate change legislation is passed in Washington...Mr. Prentice said that while the final outcome of U.S. climate change debate remains uncertain, Ottawa must ensure its regulations and enforcement mechanism are 'comparable' to the U.S. to avoid 'trade-related consequences.'"

"A bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week would establish U.S. national emission caps and a trading system for emission allowances. It would also impose border duties on importers whose home governments are deemed to be lax in the climate change fight."

But Alberta and Saskatchewan are saying that "any federal climate change policy needs to be consistent with their own approaches to greenhouse gas regulations, which set industrial emission standards based on levels of production rather than strict caps."

April 10, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports that, "Dow AgroSciences LLC has decided to sue the federal government over Quebec's ban on the residential use of pesticides. The U.S.-based company, maker of the herbicide 2,4-D, is claiming $2-million (U.S.) in damages, using controversial provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement that allow businesses to sue governments over regulations that harm their interests."

"The case has attracted wide interest because so-called cosmetic pesticide bans are becoming increasingly popular, with Ontario recently following Quebec's lead in introducing one and many retailers removing chemical bug and weed killers from their shelves."

"(Dow says) Quebec has 'no scientific basis to impose the ban.' It says 2,4-D, a weed killer often used on dandelions, has received extensive testing and there is 'no evidence' it poses a 'health or safety risk to humans when used according to label directions.'"