Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe is calling on Premier Dwight Ball to halt flooding at the Muskrat Falls reservoir until more is done to mitigate the effects of methylmercury.
“We are extremely disappointed with how the Premier has handled the whole Muskrat Falls fiasco,” wrote Lampe, in the statement.
“He has repeatedly betrayed our trust by refusing to address our concerns, opting instead to place the health, culture and way of life of Labrador Inuit at risk. In the spirit of reconciliation, we call on the Premier to do the right thing and direct Nalcor not to flood the reservoir until the concerns of Labrador Inuit are meaningfully addressed.”
Earlier this month at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry, Premier Ball revealed government had “unintentionally” missed a deadline for wetland capping at the Muskrat Falls reservoir and could not offer a specific rationale on why the deadline was missed.
In April 2018, the Independent Expert Advisory Committee put forth a recommendation to cap the wetlands at the reservoir in an effort to mitigate the release of methylmercury into the Muskrat Falls reservoir. Nalcor Energy applied to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment for a permit to carry out the capping in July 2018, but the permit was not enacted and nothing was done with the wetlands.
The estimated $30 million wetland capping project would ultimately have a minor effect on the release of methylmercury into the reservoir, with estimates that the measure would reduce methylmercury output by one or two per cent.
Lampe says the lack of action is paired with a lack of information shared with Nunatsiavut.
“We were informed that the application was not processed, yet we have not received any reason as to why,” wrote Lampe.
“Now we are being told, by both the Premier and Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall, that it is too late to carry out any mitigation measures; that flooding is eminent.”
Requests for comment from Premier Ball, Nalcor, and other indigenous groups have been issued.