Namakan dam project in spotlight

The public will be able to get more information on—and provide input into—the Namakan River hydro development project, being proposed by the Ojibway Power and Energy Group (OPEG), during an open house here tonight.
The purpose of the session, which will run from 7-9 p.m. at La Place Rendez-Vous, is to provide information on the environmental approval and public consultation process.
It’s also an opportunity for OPEG to receive public input, information, and comments on the project, which proposes “run-of-river” hydroelectric facilities on the Namakan River at High Falls and Hay Rapids.
OPEG will take information received during this consultation into consideration in the environmental screening process.
OPEG staff also will be on hand tonight to share information on the project, answer questions, and discuss its next steps in the project.
OPEG is a partnership between Lac La Croix First Nation and Chant Construction Ltd. to develop hydroelectric generating stations within the traditional territory of the Lac La Croix First Nation.
According to OPEG, “the primary purpose of these projects is to provide electrical generation capacity to the Province of Ontario in a manner that is environmentally-sustainable, responsible, and will ultimately provide a long-term sustainable benefit to the Lac La Croix First Nation community.”
The proposed project was the subject of some controversy last summer when Borderland residents with property in the Namakan River area spoke out at an International Joint Commission meeting in International Falls, Mn.
At that time, residents and community groups, such as the Rainy Lake Conservancy, mainly were concerned about maintaining the natural environment for its beauty and historic value.