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Anti-nuke group hopes to crash assessment

Posted By ASHLEY HOUSE, Simcoe Reformer

http://www.simcoereformer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1629156

A local anti-nuclear group hopes to secure funding to participate in the environmental assessment of Bruce Power's proposed plant in Nanticoke.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency announced yesterday it is providing $100,000 to help individuals and groups who want to take part in Phase I of the environmental assessment process.

Jim Elve, spokesperson for Grand Erie Energy Quest, a group against a nuclear power facility in Nanticoke, said they'll definitely apply for the funding.

"We're just in the process of consulting with other members and seeing what our action plan is," Elve said. "I suspect we'll have a number of issues with their guidelines, like if they have included a permanent long term plan for the spent fuel. And if they do what is it?"

The funding can be used for hiring experts or lawyers or for office space, travel and lodging to attend the panel in Ottawa.

Elve hopes the money could also be used for advertising and organizing public meetings, which has been a problem for the grassroots group "with no money to speak of."

"We're not incorporated or a registered charity," Elve said. "It seems there is a preference of corporated non-profits (for funding)." After speaking with the assessment agency, Elve is under the impression a single group can get as much as $20,000.

The $100,000 participant funding is for the first phase of the environmental assessment process, which includes reviewing and commenting on the draft guidelines for Bruce Power's environmental impact statement.

But the guidelines haven't been released, Elve said, adding he put a call into the assessment agency yesterday.

"It's hard to review and comment on guidelines that for all we know haven't even been drafted," Elve said.

Bruce Power's project includes constructing and operating two nuclear reactors in Nanticoke that would generate 2,200 to 3,200 megawatts of electricity.

Individuals and organizations either against or in support of the project have until July 27 to apply for the participant funding.

Applications can be found at the agency's website at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Additional funds will be made available for Phase II of the assessment for people to review the environmental impact statement and participate in public hearings.

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