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Potential Environmental Assessment Conditions

The following potential conditions in relation to the Rainy River Project (the Project) are being contemplated by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for recommendation to the Minister of the Environment for inclusion in a Decision Statement under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.  Such conditions would become legally binding on the proponent if the Minister of the Environment ultimately issues a decision statement indicating that the Project may proceed.

The conditions issued to the Proponent by the Minister of the Environment (should the Project be allowed to proceed) would contain a definition section for terms used and identification of the reporting requirements. These administrative sections are not presented in the current document.

Definitions

Aboriginal groups
means the Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee.

Components of the Designated Project associated with authorizations for section 35(2) of the Fisheries Act and the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations
means:
  • Tailings Management Area (TMA) – entire geographic area;
  • Water discharge pond – entire geographic area;
  • Constructed wetland – entire geographic area;
  • Overburden pile – entire geographic area;
  • West Mine rock pile – entire geographic area;
  • Water management pond – entire geographic area;
  • Loslo and Marr creek headwaters upstream of TMA;
  • All of pre-existing Clark and West creeks that will be permanently altered or destructed; and
  • All of the diversion channels and ponds to be constructed.

1. Best available knowledge and application of best available mitigation strategies

1.1. The Proponent shall, throughout all phases of the Designated Project, inform its actions in meeting the conditions by the best available information and knowledge, based on validated methods and models, undertaken by qualified individuals and apply the best available economically and technologically feasible mitigation strategies.

2. General conditions

2.1. The Proponent shall consult Aboriginal groups on the most appropriate manner in which to engage in consultation with them to meet the requirements of the conditions.

2.2. The Proponent shall carry out consultation for the plans required in a manner whereby it:

2.2.1. provides, to each agency, organization and Aboriginal group to be consulted:

2.2.1.1. an opportunity to provide input during the development of the plan;

2.2.1.2. a draft plan of sufficient detail and completeness to allow that agency, organization and Aboriginal group to prepare its views or information on the draft plan; and

2.2.1.3. a reasonable period for that agency, organization and Aboriginal group to prepare and present its views or information on the draft plan;

2.2.2. considers, fully and impartially, the views or information received; and

2.2.3. is able to demonstrate to the Agency its appropriate consideration of the views or information received.

2.3. The Proponent shall make all final plans and annual reports required as conditions available on its website.

3. Water flow and water quality

3.1. The Proponent shall maintain water flows and water quality of the Pinewood River and modified Minor Creek System to support a functioning aquatic ecosystem year round throughout all phases of the Designated Project.

3.2. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada, a water quality and quantity management plan to address potential environmental effects to the aquatic environment for all phases of the Designated Project, including acid rock drainage and metal leaching.

3.3. The water quality and quantity management plan shall apply to the Pinewood River and adjacent water bodies, including the modified Minor Creeks System and any other creeks in proximity to mine infrastructure (e.g., roads, transmission line, pipeline crossings).

3.4. The plan shall include:

3.4.1. identification of measures to manage potentially acid generating (PAG) rock;

3.4.2. the results of groundwater and surface water quality modeling supported by pertinent geochemical data;

3.4.3. identification of baseline water levels and flow rates;

3.4.4. identification of water quality parameters to be monitored and water standards to be met, using as appropriate, parameters set out in the:

3.4.4.1. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (CEQG) – Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life;

3.4.4.2. Ontario Provincial Water Quality Objectives (PWQO);

3.4.4.3. any site-specific water quality objectives approved by Ontario; and

3.4.4.4. Metal Mining Effluent Regulations;

3.4.5. identification of water level and flow parameters to be monitored;

3.4.6. identification of the geographic extent and duration of water quality, level and flow monitoring;

3.4.7. baseline sampling of parameters established in accordance with conditions 3.4.4 and 3.4.5;

3.4.8. monitoring of parameters established in accordance with conditions 3.4.4 and 3.4.5;

3.4.9. identification of potential preventative measures to limit acid generation and metal leaching;

3.4.10. identification of potential preventive measures to accommodate year to year variations of runoff (water supply) conditions;

3.4.11. identification of potential mitigation measures if water quality, levels or flow rates impacts are observed; and

3.4.12. a process for implementing mitigation measures to address water quality, levels or flow rates impacts, if necessary.

3.5. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Aboriginal groups, a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

3.6. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction.

3.7. The Proponent shall implement the plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during construction, operation and for the first 25 years after decommissioning.

4. Fish and fish habitat

4.1. The Proponent shall maintain a functioning aquatic ecosystem to ensure the continued availability of fisheries resources in Pinewood River and adjacent water bodies, including the modified Minor Creeks System and any other creeks in proximity to mine infrastructure (e.g., roads, transmission line, pipeline crossings).

4.2. The Proponent shall prepare and submit to the Agency an annual schedule identifying the location and timing of construction activities that may impact fish or fish habitat 90 days prior to such activities occurring.

4.3. The Proponent shall prepare, in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a fish and fish habitat management plan.

4.4. The fish and fish habitat management plan shall apply to the Pinewood River and adjacent water bodies indicated in condition 3.3, unless stated otherwise.

4.5. The Proponent shall, as part of its fish and fish habitat management plan:

4.5.1. design and construct infrastructure (e.g. road crossings, pipeline crossings and outfalls) to minimize disturbance to creeks. New road crossings for the realignment of Highway 600 shall allow fish passage and meet the:

4.5.1.1. Environmental Guide for Fish and Fish Habitat of the MTO; and

4.5.1.2. Highway Drainage Design Standards of the MTO;

4.5.2. design and construct water intakes meeting the Freshwater Intake End-of-Pipe Fish Screen guideline of DFO;

4.5.3. recreate fish habitat in the West Creek Diversion Channel, West Creek Pond, Stockpile Pond Diversion Channel, Stockpile Pond, Clark Creek Diversion Channel, Clark Creek Pond, Teeple Pond;

4.5.4. monitor changes to fish and fish habitat baseline conditions in the Pinewood River and adjacent water bodies, including the modified Minor Creeks System and any other creeks in proximity to mine infrastructure (e.g., roads, transmission line, pipeline crossings); and

4.5.5. monitor to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures and to verify the accuracy of the predictions made during the environmental assessment on fish and fish habitat.

4.6. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada a draft copy of the fish and fish habitat management plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

4.7. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final fish and fish habitat management plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction.

4.8. The Proponent shall implement the fish and fish habitat management plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during construction and for the first 10 years of operation and every 5 years thereafter until such time as the aquatic ecosystem in the Pinewood River watershed and adjacent water bodies has stabilized.

4.9. The Proponent shall develop an offsetting plan, in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to offset residual serious harm to fish and monitor the effectiveness of offsets, in accordance with subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act.

4.10. The Proponent shall conduct an analysis for any physical fish habitat offsets proposed in the offsetting plan, in consultation with Environment Canada and Aboriginal Groups, that includes:

4.10.1. the effects on migratory birds and their habitats;

4.10.2. the effects on terrestrial species and their habitats;

4.10.3. the effects on species at risk and species at risk habitat;

4.10.4. the effects on current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Aboriginal peoples; and

4.10.5. identification of potential sources of contamination (e.g. mercury).

4.11. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the results of the analysis in condition 4.10, including a description of how the information has been taken into account in finalizing its fish habitat offsetting plan within 30 days of finalizing the offsetting plan.

4.12. The Proponent shall develop fish habitat compensation plan, in consultation with Environment Canada, in accordance with the MMER.

4.13. The Proponent shall conduct an analysis for the fish habitat compensation site(s), in consultation with Environment Canada and Aboriginal Groups, that includes:

4.13.1. the effects on migratory birds and their habitats;

4.13.2. the effects on terrestrial species and their habitats;

4.13.3. the effects on species at risk and species at risk habitat;

4.13.4. the effects on current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Aboriginal peoples; and

4.13.5. identification of potential sources of contamination (e.g. mercury).

4.14. The fish habitat compensation plan shall include specific performance measures that assess whether the compensation actions are producing the desired results (e.g., fisheries productivity).

4.15. The Proponent shall submit the results of the analysis in condition 4.13 and the performance measures prepared in accordance with condition 4.14, including a description of how the information has been taken into account in finalizing its fish habitat compensation plan proposal within 30 days of finalizing the fish habitat compensation plan.

5. Migratory birds

5.1. The Proponent shall carry out construction and operation activities of the Designated Project in a manner that avoids disturbance and destruction of migratory birds and their active nests.

5.2. The Proponent shall prepare and submit to the Agency an annual schedule, describing the location and timing for construction and operation activities, 90 days prior to initiating any of these activities.

5.3. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Environment Canada, a plan to monitor and mitigate potential disturbance of breeding migratory birds in and adjacent to the Designated Project site during construction and operation.

5.4. The plan shall include measures to undertake construction and operation in a manner that avoids disturbance to active nests and possible mortality to nesting birds.

5.5. The Proponent shall, in preparing the plan, consult:

5.5.1. Environment Canada's policy on Incidental Take of Migratory Birds in Canada;

5.5.2. Environment Canada's avoidance guidelines on General Nesting Periods of Migratory Birds in Canada; and

5.5.3. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change of Ontario's NPC-300 Guidelines.

5.6. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency and Environment Canada a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

5.7. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction. When submitting the final plan, the Proponent shall provide to the Agency, an analysis that demonstrates how it has appropriately considered the input, views or information received from Environment Canada.

5.8. The Proponent shall implement the plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during construction and for the first 5 years of operation.

6. Migratory birds habitat

6.1. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Environment Canada, a plan that addresses potential effects on migratory bird habitat of the components of the Designated Project associated with authorizations for section 35(2) of the Fisheries Act and the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations.

6.2. The plan shall include:

6.2.1. the implementation of compensatory habitat for Eastern Whip-Poor-Will and Bobolink, monitoring of the compensatory habitat for nesting and implementation of corrective measure should no nesting be recorded in the compensatory habitat;

6.2.2. the implementation of artificial nesting structures for Barn Swallows; and

6.2.3. measures to undertake the components of the Designated Project in a manner that allows habitat restoration for migratory birds when revegetating the sites of the components of the Designated Project, as well as at decommissioning.

6.3. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency and Environment Canada a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

6.4. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction. When submitting the final plan, the Proponent shall provide to the Agency, an analysis that demonstrates how it has appropriately considered the input, views or information received from Environment Canada.

6.5. The Proponent shall implement the plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during construction, operation and for the first 10 years of decommissioning.

7. Health of Aboriginal Peoples – water and air quality

7.1. The Proponent shall undertake the Designated Project in a manner that protects the health of Aboriginal peoples, by ensuring that exceedances of Ontario's Ambient Air Quality Criteria are avoided and by managing the potential effects of air emissions.

7.2. The Proponent shall implement dust control management measures to ensure that changes to the environment caused by the Designated Project do not create risks to the health of Aboriginal groups directly or through the consumption of country foods.

7.3. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Aboriginal Groups, an air quality management plan to ensure exceedances of those ambient air quality objectives are avoided at human receptor sites located outside the Designated Project site.

7.4. The plan shall include:

7.4.1. measures to avoid or minimize exceedances of Ontario's Ambient Air Quality Criteria, including for Total Suspended Particulates (TSP), Particulate Matter (PM2.5, PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and key metals (including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury);

7.4.2. measures to minimize or manage the potential effects of air emissions;

7.4.3. measures to manage fugitive dust using best practices; and

7.4.4. procedures to alert Aboriginal Groups in cases of exceedance of air quality standards and to address those exceedances.

7.5. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency and Environment Canada a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

7.6. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction. When submitting the final plan, the Proponent shall provide to the Agency, an analysis that demonstrates how it has appropriately considered the input, views or information received from Environment Canada.

7.7. The Proponent shall implement the plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during construction and for the first 5 years of operation.

7.8 The Proponent shall provide a copy of the same version of its annual reporting on ambient air quality as provided to the Agency and in the same timeframe to Aboriginal Groups.

8. Health of Aboriginal Peoples – water quality

8.1. The Proponent shall undertake the Designated Project in a manner that protects the health of Aboriginal peoples, by ensuring that exceedances of federal and provincial water quality objectives are avoided and by managing the potential effects of mine waters.

8.2. The Proponent shall, after consulting Aboriginal groups, monitor dedicated wells used by these Aboriginal groups located in a 2.5 km radius from the open pit for water levels and water quality as established under condition 3.4.

8.3. The Proponent shall develop, in collaboration with Aboriginal groups, procedures to alert the groups in cases of low water levels or exceedance of water quality standards and to address those issues.

8.4. The Proponent shall monitor key contaminant, including mercury, arsenic, cadmium and lead, for their concentrations in Northern Pike and Walleye.

8.5. The Proponent shall establish procedures to alert Aboriginal Groups in cases of exceedance of the Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish and to address those exceedances.

9. Current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes

9.1. The Proponent shall undertake all phases of the Designated Project in a manner that manages impacts to current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by engaging with Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee to identify and develop mitigation measures for specific effects of the Designated Project, where feasible.

9.2. The Proponent shall, in providing compensatory habitat for the Eastern Whip-Poor-Will and Bobolink under condition 6.2.1, consult with Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee to preserve their current use of land, including preserving white-tailed deer and moose hunting, as well as plant harvesting.

9.3. The Proponent shall consult MNRF and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee in the development of:

9.3.1. a strategy for relocating New England Violet and Field Sedge prior to construction;

9.3.2. monitoring to validate if the relocated plants are able to survive; and

9.3.3. conservation measures to ensure the viability of relocated rare plants, such as seed recovery.

9.4. The Proponent shall avoid the use of herbicides and minimize removal of vegetation along the transmission line corridor.

9.5. The Proponent shall throughout all phases of the Designated Project undertake habitat restoration or development of habitats capable of supporting a diversity of wildlife species, including ungulates and furbearers, as well as native plant species.

9.6. Habitat restoration shall include:

9.6.1. Revegetating and recolonizing of disturbed areas as part of progressive restoration during operation and decommissioning.

9.6.2. Separating and stockpiling removed organic rich material during construction (of open pit and during tailings dam stripping) for use as topsoil during revegetation.

9.6.3. Revegetating in a manner that ensures selected native plant species recolonize easily in the Designated Project site, such as on mine rock stockpiles.

9.6.4. Revegetating that eliminates all exposed dust sources.

9.7. The Proponent shall restore access to Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee to the Designated Project site following decommissioning, to the extent that such access is safe.

10. Archaeological, heritage and cultural resources

10.1. The Proponent shall construct and operate the Designated Project in a manner that avoids, minimizes or manages impacts to local archaeological, heritage and cultural resources.

10.2. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee, an Aboriginal archeological, heritage and cultural resources plan covering all phases of the Designated Project.

10.3. The plan shall include:

10.3.1 a strategy to for the Proponent to avoid culturally significant sites;

10.3.2. a procedure for Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee to safely access the Designated Project site and nearby accessible areas for cultural and ceremonial purposes;

10.3.3. means to assess additional significant sites, if discovered;

10.3.4. preservation of any discovered burial sites;

10.3.5. salvage and preservation of any artifacts that cannot be maintain in-situ;

10.3.6. transfer of artifacts in condition 10.3.5 to a facility identified by Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee, following direction on curatorial services.

10.4 The Proponent shall submit to the Agency and Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

10.5. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction. When submitting the final plan, the Proponent shall provide to the Agency, an analysis that demonstrates how it has appropriately considered the input, views or information received from Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee.

10.6. The Proponent shall implement the plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during all phases of the Designated Project.

10.7. The Proponent shall provide a copy of the same version of its annual reporting on Aboriginal archeological, heritage and cultural resources as provided to the Agency and in the same timeframe to Rainy River First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island), Big Grassy River First Nation and Metis represented by the MNO Region 1 Consultation Committee.

11. Species at risk

11.1. The Proponent shall address and monitor potential effects of the Designated Project on species at risk.

11.2. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Environment Canada for terrestrial species (and Fisheries and Oceans Canada for aquatic species if relevant at a later date), a plan setting out measures to address potential effects of the Designated Project on species at risk.

11.3. The plan shall include:

11.3.1. measures to mitigate environmental effects on species at risk;

11.3.2. measures to undertake the Designated Project in a manner that allows habitat restoration for species at risk when revegetating the Designated Project site, as well as at decommissioning;

11.3.3. an approach to managing the use of herbicides and pesticides in areas that could impact species at risk;

11.3.4. an approach to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures and to verify the accuracy of the predictions made during the environmental assessment on species at risk; and

11.3.5. an approach for tracking updates to the status of listed species identified by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and the Species at Risk Act, and implementation of additional measures to mitigate effects of the Designated Project on the affected species should the status of a listed species change during all phases of the Designated Project.

11.4. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency, Environment Canada, (Fisheries and Oceans Canada if relevant a later date) and Aboriginal groups a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

11.5. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction. When submitting the final plan, the Proponent shall provide to the Agency, an analysis that demonstrates how it has appropriately considered the input, views or information received from Environment Canada, (Fisheries and Oceans Canada if relevant a later date) and Aboriginal groups.

11.6. The Proponent shall implement the plan and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting an analysis and summary of the implementation of the plan during construction and for the first 10 years of operation, with the exception of condition 11.3.5 for which reporting will continue for all phases of the Designated Project, as appropriate.

12. Accidents and malfunctions

12.1. The Proponent shall construct, operate and decommission or abandon the Designated Project in a manner that prevents accidents and malfunctions that may result in adverse environmental effects.

12.2. The Proponent shall develop, in consultation with Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Agency, a plan to prevent accidents and malfunctions and outline procedures in case of occurrence of an accident or malfunction.

12.3. The plan shall include:

12.3.1. an identification of potential accidents and malfunctions associated with the Designated Project that may result in adverse environmental effects that;

12.3.2. for each potential accident or malfunction identified,

12.3.2.1. measures to prevent its occurrence;

12.3.2.2. a communication plan in case of occurrence , including notifications to be provided;

12.3.2.3. measures to be implemented in case of an occurrence to minimize any adverse environmental effects; and

12.3.2.4. a reporting process on any environmental effects of the occurrence.

12.4. The Proponent shall submit to Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Agency a draft copy of the plan for review 90 days prior to initiating construction.

12.5. The Proponent shall submit to the Agency the final plan a minimum of 30 days prior to initiating construction.

12.6. The Proponent shall implement the plan, review the plan on an annual basis and provide to the Agency on an annual basis, a report presenting any updates required to the plan. In the event of an occurrence, the Proponent shall update the plan to incorporate new procedures and measures to avoid a reoccurrence.

13. Implementation schedule

13.1. In addition to any specific schedules required, the Proponent shall submit an overall implementation schedule for all other conditions and obtain approval from the Agency 90 days prior to construction.

13.2. The Proponent shall submit an update to this implementation schedule in writing to the Agency every two years, from the date of the initial submission of the implementation schedule until completion of operation activities and decommissioning activities have commenced.

13.3. The Proponent shall provide the Agency with notice of any implementation schedule changes for the initial schedule and any subsequent updates three months prior to the implementation of the change.

14. Record keeping

14.1. The proponent shall record, retain and make available upon demand to the Agency the following information in respect of any monitoring data collected or analyses performed at a facility close to the Designated Project area:

14.1.1. the place, date and time of any sampling;

14.1.2. the dates and the analyses that were performed;

14.1.3. the analytical techniques, methods or procedures used in the analyses;

14.1.4. the names of the persons who collected and analyzed each sample and documentation of any professional certifications relevant to the work performed that they might possess; and

14.1.5. the results of the analyses.

14.2. The proponent shall retain and make available upon demand to the Agency any monitoring data, results of sampling conducted or analyses performed for a minimum of twenty-five years or five years after the end of mine operations, whichever is longer, unless otherwise specified, at a facility close to the Designated Project area.

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