Chair appointed to Independent Expert Advisory Committee
MUSKRAT FALLS, NL — Kenneth Reimer has been appointed chair of the Independent Expert Advisory Committee (IEAC), established to make recommendations on mitigating potential impacts of methyl mercury from the Lower Churchill Project at Muskrat Falls
Reimer is a retired university professor with a unique background in environmental research and applied project management. He was selected by an oversight committee comprised of federal, provincial, municipal, Nunatsiavut Government, Innu Nation, NunatuKavut Community Council and Nalcor representatives.
The terms of reference for the committee have been agreed upon, and the members of a sub-committee comprised of scientific and traditional knowledge experts were expected to be announced within days of this Aug. 4 announcement.
The establishment of the committee was a key commitment agreed upon by the provincial government and the three Indigenous leaders of Labrador in October 2016.
“Our government looks forward to our continued partnership with the Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut Government, and the NunatuKavut Community Council through the Independent Expert Advisory Committee,” Municipal Affairs and Environment Minister Eddie Joyce stated in the press release.
Joyce said government has remained committed to the establishment of the committee.
The Innu Nation fully endorses the creation of the committee and welcomes the appointment of Reimer as chair, according to Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee.
“We commend the provincial government, Indigenous groups, and other stakeholders for their commitment to the process,” Qupee stated in the press release. “The Lower Churchill Project is on Innu lands and the health of our land and people is important to us.
“We are committed to using all available tools to secure environmental protection and we look forward to the IEAC’s important examination of the potential impacts of methyl mercury on our lands and downstream of the Project.”
Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe was also pleased to see reamer accept the position.
“The IEAC has important work to do to ensure that appropriate mitigation is taken in a timely manner that protects the health, culture and way of life of Labrador Inuit,” Lampe stated in the release. “While it is long overdue, we are anxious to see the work of the IEAC begin.” NunatuKavut Community Council President Todd Russell echoed similar sentiments. “The NunatuKavut Community Council is pleased that the IEAC is finally moving forward with its work on methyl mercury mitigation in relation to the Muskrat Falls project,” he stated. “We thank Dr. Reimer for agreeing to take on the important role of chair and we offer our sincere appreciation to all members for agreeing to sit on the oversight committee.
“We believe that this is a formative and positive process and has great potential to help protect and preserve our environment, health and way of life for now and for the generations who will follow.”