Request to Intervene: application for a long-term low-level waste management facility in Port Hope, Ontario
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has an interest in the matter being heard. We are a charitable organization dedicated to the restoration of a swimmable, drinkable, ﬁshable Lake Ontario and many of our members reside in the project area. The remediation efforts as well as the long-term waste management facility pose considerable risk as well as restoration opportunity for our watershed.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper also has signiﬁcant expertise, experience, and information in matters relating to protection of waterways in our watershed, landﬁll development, the regulatory process, potential environmental effects of the project, public concerns, and the project history. We hope to offer these resources to the Commission during this licencing process.
Terms and conditions to be included in the licence:
That water discharge criteria be at least as protective of the environment as Ontario’s Provincial Water Quality Objectives.
That, if the CNSC believes it has jurisdiction, the more comprehensive water discharge criteria listed in the CNSC Staff report be included in the licence itself and/or that the licence contain a clause requiring that AECL’s water discharges comply with PWQO generally. At a minimum, water discharge criterion consistent with the PWQO must be added to the licence.
That an exhaustive list of the industrial waste sources be included in the licence, to conﬁrm that the legal agreement and the environmental assessment assurances are met. This list should be included regardless of whether the CNSC has jurisdiction over the industrial waste itself.
A guarantee that only properly licenced waste materials be accepted at the facility.
That cleanup criteria be included in the licence itself and that the criteria comply with CCME benchmarks for land use.
That the public be afforded an opportunity for notice and comment regarding the “hold point” documents.
That the decision to release a hold point be written and released to the public.
That all regulatory documents, reports, etc. relating to the Port Hope Project be available to the general public.
That the licence mandate the formation of a funded Community Liaison Committee with the primary mandate of increasing and improving communication and the sharing of information between the proponent and the general public.
Actions to be taken by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
The Commission should direct AECL to apply to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for permits to take and discharge water, pursuant to the Ontario Water Resources Act.
The CNSC should direct AECL to apply to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for a licence to operate a waste site, pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act.
The CNSC should direct AECL to apply for any other outstanding approvals.
The location of all small-scale waste sites should be released to the public.
The CNSC should direct and require AECL to provide proper ﬁnancial guarantee and decommissioning information. Such information should, amongst other things, answer the following questions: Have the wastes been fully characterized (including radiological life-time)? What is certainty surrounding the proponent’s long-term ﬁnancial estimates? Has the federal government placed these estimates on its books as "contingent liabilities" as it did for the Chalk River wastes? Are any other considerations required, given the potential privatization/sale of all or parts of AECL?
The CNSC should direct AECL and the Low Level Radioactive Waste Management Ofﬁce to update and subsequently maintain up-to-date information about the project status on their websites.
Read the entire submission by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission here.