Provincial government plans...
Provincial government plans green hydro project
To view a timeline of events regarding the Bala Falls hydroelectric project, go to the Nov. 21, 2012 Bracebridge Examiner or Gravenhurst Banner, page 10 & 11 in the print editions.
BALA - Bala Falls is once again on the Minister of Environment’s to-do list. Residents, the Township of Muskoka Lakes, and Save the Bala Falls sent 60 appeals after the director of the Ministry of Environment approved an addendum that would allow Swift River to begin construction on the contested hydroelectric station.
The appeals have put the Bala Falls project in front of the Minister of Environment for the second time.
Kate Jordan, media relations officer for the ministry, said the ministry realizes there is a great deal of public interest in the case.
“The minister is now reviewing and considering all the requests made and any issues identified both in the previous requests to the ministry as well as any new issues that have been raised in the project,” Jordan said.
Bala Falls was brought to Minister Jim Bradley’s attention in March 2011 when the public appealed the director of the Ministry of Environment’s decision to deny elevation requests to the environmental assessment. The minister approved the director’s decision in May this year.
Swift River then filed an addendum to move the environmental assessment to Option 1, the director again approved it, the public appealed, and the minister will now review the case.
Jordan said there could be several outcomes to the process.
“Generally speaking the minister could uphold the director’s decision, could deny the director’s decision, could refer issues for further mediation, so there are options,” she said.