Atmosphere & Energy
SASKATOON - Coal-fired power plants got more regulatory breathing room than expected to release greenhouse gases Wednesday, something federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says is necessary to protect Canada's power supply.
The final regulations for coal-powered plants, released Wednesday, stipulate they can emit no more than 420 tonnes of greenhouse gases per gigawatt hour of electricity generated.
This number is significantly higher than the 375 tonnes per gigawatt hour Kent proposed in earlier draft regulations released in August.
While admitting the new rules are "at the high end" of the 360 to 425 tonne per gigawatt hour range he considered, Kent said the decision was made to avoid putting the "consuming public at risk of inadequate power supply."
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On Sept. 4th an official announcement was posted with the details for new Darlington hearings. Greenpeace and NorthWatch are working to coordinate the public participation on these. For more info you can contact Sarah Sherman at Greenpeace: email@example.com. They have provided many links to info to help you participate fully - see below.
Here is the public hearing announcement:... Read more »
The amount of sea ice in the Arctic is at an all-time low, suggesting that climate change is leading to a dramatic shift in the north, according to a new report.
In an analysis released this week, the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said that Arctic sea ice cover has melted to a record low, breaking the previous record set in 2007.
Satellite data from August 26 showed that sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers, the lowest amount ever seen since observations of the polar cap began three decades ago.
On September 18, 2007, the date of the previous record low, sea ice extent was measured at 4.17 million square kilometres.
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OTTAWA — The federal government’s budget legislation has forced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to cancel nearly 3,000 screenings into potential environmental damage caused by proposed development projects across Canada, including hundreds involving a pipeline or fossil fuel energy, according to published records.
Out of 2,970 project reviews that were stopped by the legislation that rewrote Canada’s environmental laws and weakened federal oversight on industrial development, 678 involved fossil fuel energy and 248 involved a pipeline, including proposals from Alberta-based energy companies, Enbridge and TransCanada.
Critics of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to tankers on the British Columbia coast say there is no time for the science to be completed before a federal deadline for the environmental assessment currently underway.
Documents filed with the National Energy Board show the environmental review panel studying the Northern Gateway project asked Fisheries and Oceans Canada for risk assessments for the bodies of water the proposed pipeline will cross. The pipeline is to traverse nearly 1,000 streams and rivers in the upper Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat watersheds.
The department didn't have them.