NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONT. — The Ontario government has announced it is streamlining the process for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to undertake improvements to its hydro dams.
As part of its mandate to reduce red tape for businesses, said a June 20 release, the government will allow OPG to complete certain alterations, improvements and repairs to their dams without obtaining approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
The MNRF has entered into a 10-year agreement with OPG laying out requirements under Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA) agreements that enable dam owners with “mature programs and the resources to demonstrate their ability to safely manage a portfolio of dams” to complete improvements without obtaining approval from the MNRF, the statement said.
The LRIA Alterations, Improvements and Repairs to Existing Dams Technical Bulletin details policy requirements that a dam owner must satisfy to be eligible for an agreement, such as ownership of a portfolio of dams; extensive experience in operation and maintenance of dams; and demonstrated successful design and implementation of similar proposed improvements at dams.
The agreement will make it easier for OPG to improve its dams while ensuring the projects maintain or exceed Ontario’s requirements for dam safety, emergency management and public safety, the release indicated.