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Ontario Waterpower Association releases guide to advance environmental protection measures for hydro development

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The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) has completed a best practices guide to assist hydropower project developers in mitigating environmental impact issues during development.

The resource covers 38 best practices categorized by activity, including civil construction, vegetation management, in-water work and more. Prepared by GENIVAR Inc., National Resource Solutions Inc., and other industry experts, the resource was designed to assist developers and environmental planners in their daily decision-making and project planning by equipping them with best practices to ensure minimal environmental impact, OWA says.

“This document brings together the current state of knowledge with respect to waterpower development,” says OWA President Paul Norris. “Its use will provide a solid basis for environmentally responsible projects and continuous improvement.

The “Best Management Practices Guide for the Mitigation of Impacts of Waterpower Facility Construction” document has been added to OWA’s Best Practices series, alongside similar resources aimed toward fish protection, specifically lake sturgeon, American eel and channel darter.

The resource is intended to support Ontario’s growing hydropower sector, which currently supplies one quarter of the province’s energy. Ontario has an installed hydro capacity of about 8, 127 MW, with an additional 3,000 MW of untapped development potential.

“My ministry is committed to advancing our government’s objectives with respect to renewable energy on Crown Land. These Best Management Practices will help support waterpower project development across the province,” says Michael Gravelle, Natural Resources Minister. “This is an excellent example of industry and the government working together to achieve and maintain high environmental standards in Ontario.”

The Best Practices guide is available for purchase at the OWA web site: http://owa.ca/waterpower-information/waterpower/

Founded in 2001, OWA represents the interests of the province’s hydropower sector through responsible resource management and sustainable development. 

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