Nuclear waste projects need due process, public participation: appeal to Environment Minister

Norm Rubin and Mark Mattson
April 11, 2002

April 11, 2002

Hon. David Anderson, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment
National Office
Ottawa ON, K1A 0H3

Submitted by email:

Dear Mr. Anderson,

We are writing to request that the Environmental Assessments for the Port Hope and Port Granby Long-Term Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Projects be referred to a review panel, according to Section 28(1)(b) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. We believe that a single review panel to hear both Assessments may be preferable, on balance, to two separate panels.

Lake Ontario Keeper and Energy Probe are charitable organizations representing individuals in communities throughout Canada, and both are projects of Energy Probe Research Foundation. Lake Ontario Keeper works to protect Lake Ontario and the interests of the communities in its watershed through the enforcement of environmental laws. Energy Probe is a research-based consumer, environment and energy public-interest group with a long history of involvement in nuclear issues and radioactive contamination in the Port Hope and Port Granby region.

We are concerned that the currently proposed screening processes are “self-assessments” which promise little independent or objective decision-making and inadequate opportunity for public consultation. Our extensive experience in the assessment of the impacts of nuclear undertakings including those involving nuclear wastes support this opinion.

These screenings are not acceptable processes by which to determine the effects of the radioactive waste projects on the Port Hope community and its environment. We therefore urge you to refer the matter to an independent review panel.

The attached documents, submitted in response to the Draft Scope of the Environmental Assessment for each of the two projects, outline our concerns in detail. Our argument in favour of a review panel can be found primarily in Section 1 of each submission.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Yours truly,

Mark Mattson
Lakekeeper & Counsel
Lake Ontario Keeper
Norman Rubin
Director, Nuclear Research
Energy Probe
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