I write in response to a letter published in The Independent, “Muskrat Falls – Public Perceptions”, which posed several questions and comments about the amount of public information available on the Muskrat Falls development.
Nalcor continues to make every effort to deliver open, accurate, and timely information about this development. This is a complex project and our team works very hard to deliver information on the project in a clear and responsible manner. We’ll continue to do this in many ways and through as many forums as we can.
Over the last two years, we’ve held almost 30 public open houses and information sessions across Newfoundland and Labrador, over half of which were held between April and June of this year.
Earlier in 2011, we participated in the 45-day public hearings for the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project. These hearings are a vital part of the Environmental Assessment process of the generation project. The hearings gave the public and interested groups the opportunity to give presentations to the Joint Review Panel and ask questions of Nalcor. Each of these presentations is available on our website and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website at: www.ceaa.gc.ca.
Corporately, Nalcor is committed to open and transparent communication with the public. Every year we publish a Business and Financial report and a Transparency and Accountability report, both of which are located on our website at nalcorenergy.com. We also hold a public Annual General Meeting. This year’s meeting, held on June 22 in St. John’s, included an extensive briefing on Muskrat Falls and question and answer period with Ed Martin, Nalcor’s CEO. For those who could not attend, we’ve posted the presentations and videos of this presentation and question and answer session on our website.
We recently established Twitter and Facebook accounts where we provide project information and enable social media discussions. We also publish a blog, where various members of Nalcor’s and Hydro’s team share information related to their project area. You can find the direct links to all these sites from nalcorenergy.com.
Nalcor also regularly submits letters to the editor and participates in open line radio programs to respond to questions and concerns posed by members of the public.
We also have a specific section on our website for the Lower Churchill Project which we update regularly. On this site, you’ll find presentations, information sheets and links to the environment assessment process for the Muskrat Falls and Gull Island generation projects. Through this site, you can submit a question to our team, which we will respond to as quickly as possible.
As you can see, communicating on this project is an important part of our work and we welcome every opportunity to share information and project updates.
The development of Muskrat Falls and the Labrador-Island Transmission Link is an important part of the future of Newfoundland and Labrador and we’re committed to keeping people throughout the province well informed.
Throughout the life of this project, we’ll continue to share information, listen to feedback and ensure community members have the information they need to inform their opinions about the project’s development, and understand associated employment and business opportunities.
I appreciate feedback from the public and look forward to further discussion on the Muskrat Falls development. For more information, please visit our website or send us an email at [email protected] and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
Vice President, Lower Churchill Project