Ausenco identified the environmental and socio-economic information required to prepare for an assessment by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board and successfully navigate the Yukon water licensing process.
Since September 2013, Ausenco has been managing a multi-disciplinary team to support Yukon Energy Corporation’s (YEC’s) exploration of the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Concept (“the Concept”). The Concept envisions increasing the existing winter storage range on Marsh, Tagish, and Bennett Lakes in the southern region of Yukon. This water can then be used to generate additional renewable electricity at the Whitehorse Rapids Generating Station in the winter when electrical demand is at the highest.
Ausenco worked with a team of sub-contractors to provide information for YEC to help decide whether or not to advance the Concept. We identified the environmental and socio-economic information required to prepare for an assessment under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and successfully navigate the Yukon water use licensing process. We coordinated more than 25 internal and sub-contractor technical specialists with expertise in socio-economics, heritage and archaeological resources, aquatic resources, wildlife and terrestrial habitat, hydrology, hydrogeology, geomorphology, coastal engineering, and First Nations consultation. Our assessment and regulatory specialists then completed a regulatory risk register identifying priority items for consideration as the Concept approaches environmental and socio-economic assessment and territorial and federal regulatory processes, including First Nations consultation. Ausenco managed, conducted, and coordinated additional baseline data collection related to both abiotic (e.g., wind, groundwater, hydrology, wave modelling) and biotic (e.g., lake trout spawning and survival, wetlands assessment) parameters. Management and specialist teams produced reports, mapping products, technical memos, and presentations for YEC.
Phase two of this project involved the design and initiation of an engagement and consultation process for local stakeholders, communities, First Nations, and regulators. Our human and biophysical teams have participated in public meetings focused on issues, potential effects, and options. Our team produced presentation material explaining the potential effects of the Concept, summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of the predictions, and descriptions of proposed mitigation.
Based on work that was completed in 2017 to address First Nations’ interests in the project, YEC will make a final determination on whether to prepare a Project Proposal (EA) for assessment under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and to subsequently gain regulatory approval. Pending approval to proceed, Ausenco will finalize the EA and support YEC during the review process. We are pleased to have supported YEC in their efforts to generate F.A.R.E. electricity for Yukon.