Statement: New Scientific Report Finds Muskrat Falls Project an Environmental Disaster in the Making; Will Significantly and Adversely Harm Human Health and Well-Being
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, April 20, 2016 – NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) President Todd Russell today issued the following statement:
“Upon review of the Lake Melville: Avativut, Kanuittailinnivut Scientific Report released by Nunatsiavut Government on April 18, we support the findings on the serious impacts to Lake Melville and the significant exposure to methyl mercury as a result of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. The report concludes that methyl mercury levels could rise by 1500%, cause serious food insecurity and disrupt a way of life that is heavily dependent on the land and the water.
We thank the Nunatsiavut Government and researchers from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Harvard University and the University of Manitoba for continuing to bring attention to this important environmental and human rights issue.
We have previously expressed our support for Nunatsiavut Government’s “Make Muskrat Right” campaign and continue to do so. Our people and communities share the same waters, the same land and depend on the same resources and we share the same concerns. Time and again we have raised these concerns around the Muskrat Falls project, and we have done so through political advocacy, protests and in the courts. We fully understand that destruction and contamination of the ecosystem and wildlife, due to damming, will have significant and adverse affects and cause harm to the Southern Inuit just as it will cause harm to those who were part of the study.
Nalcor is already refuting the report’s findings and, while their response is disappointing and dangerous, it is not unexpected. The company’s refusal to recognize the irreparable harm to those who depend on the ecosystem as a way of life further demonstrates their disregard for the rights and title of the Southern Inuit and all peoples impacted.
We, the Southern Inuit of NunatuKavut, will continue to fight for our health and well-being and we will not allow our way of life to be so negatively affected.”
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For further information, please contact:
Kelly Nippard, Director of Communications, NCC, 709-280-5965