Participant Funding Program Review Committee's Report

Allocation of Funds for Participation in the Comprehensive Study of the Proposed Cameco Corporation Vision 2010 Decommissioning Project

The Participant Funding Program (PFP) is designed to promote public participation in the evaluation and review process of projects which are subject to an environmental assessment (EA). The PFP was set up pursuant to the legislative provision contained in subsection 58(1.1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act), which states: "For the purposes of this Act, the Minister shall establish a participant funding program to facilitate the participation of the public in comprehensive studies, mediations and assessments by review panels."

A Funding Review Committee (FRC) has been established for the proposed Cameco Corporation Vision 2010 Decommissioning project (the project) and has examined three funding applications received under the PFP requesting a total of $59,350. The FRC members were: Ms. Patricia Larkin, Certified environmental educator and Mr. Paul Scott (Committee Chairperson), retired Director of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's Pacific Region.

This report explains the administration of the program and provides the applicants, as well as the public, with the rationale behind the FRC's recommended allocation of federal funds and the subsequent decision of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) based on the FRC's recommendations.

BACKGROUND

Cameco Corporation (Cameco) proposed the Vision 2010 project which involves a comprehensive redevelopment of its Port Hope Conversion Facility located in Port Hope, Ontario. The project consists of:

  • decommissioning and demolishing approximately 20 old or underutilized buildings, removing contaminated soils;
  • building materials and stored historical wastes;
  • constructing new replacement buildings.

On-site plant operations would be maintained while the works are being carried out. Three of the twenty buildings, that will be decommissioned include:

  • North UO2/Waste Recovery Building;
  • Metals and East UF6 Plants.

Each of these three buildings are Class 1B nuclear facilities used to refine or convert uranium with a capacity of more than 100 tonnes per year.

Under section 5 of the Act, an EA is required in relation to this project as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission may issue a permit or licence under subsection 24(2) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

On March 5, 2008, the Agency announced the availability of up to $40,000 to help individuals and organizations to take part in the EA of the proposed project through the PFP. The closing date for the public to submit an application for funding was April 11, 2008.

ELIGIBILITY

Individuals, Aboriginal organizations and incorporated, not-for-profit organizations were eligible for participant funding under the program if they could demonstrate that they:

  • had a direct, local interest in the project, such as living in or owning property in the area around the project;
  • had community knowledge or Aboriginal traditional knowledge relevant to the EA; or
  • planned to provide expert information relevant to the anticipated environmental effects of the project.

Parties that were for-profit, had a direct commercial interest in the project and/or represented another level of government, were ineligible for participant funding.

All three of the applications received were deemed to have met the eligibility criteria.

RATIONALE FOR ALLOCATION

The FRC decided that each applicant could potentially contribute new and/or applicable information to the EA process and that valuable local and expert input could be brought forward by the applicants. The FRC found the three applications to be generally well prepared although one application was lacking in details regarding the proposed activities to be undertaken. The FRC noted that most proposed activities were focused on the provision of expert knowledge and advice regarding the impacts of the project on human genetics, on general human health and on water quality issues. The FRC is reasonably confident that each applicant has the capacity to carry out the proposed activities.

Based on the information provided in the applications, the FRC has made some adjustments to the amounts requested for staff salaries and professional fees. This was done taking into consideration possible overlap with the proponent's activities and responsibilities and the timeline for the type of EA to be undertaken (comprehensive study).

RECOMMENDATION

The FRC recommends the allocation of funds totalling $34,400, in accordance with the chart below, to the three applicants to facilitate their participation in the EA of the proposed project.

Dated: April 18, 2008

Funding Review Committee
Cameco Corporation Vision 2010 Decommissioning Project

________________________________
Ms. Patricia Larkin

________________________________
Mr. Paul Scott (Committee Chairperson)
Retired Director, Pacific Region
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Recommended Participant Funding Allocations
Cameco Corporation Vision 2010 Decommissioning Project

Applicant Total amount approved
Families Against Radiation Exposure – FARE $ 15,100.00
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper $ 11,500.00
Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee $ 7,800.00
TOTAL $ 34,400.00

Document Reference Number: 9

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