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NIRB File No.

: 08MN053
NWB File No.: 2AM-MRY1325 - Amendment No. 1/G1

September 14, 2018

Megan Lord-Hoyle
Director, Sustainable Development
Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation
2275 Upper Middle Road East
Oakville, ON L6H 0C3

Sent via email: megan.lord-hoyle@baffinland.com

Re: Results of the NIRB’s Conformity Review of Baffinland’s FEIS Addendum


Submission for the Phase 2 Proposal, Mary River Project

Dear Megan Lord-Hoyle:

On August 23, 2018 the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB or Board) acknowledged receipt
of Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation’s (Baffinland or Proponent) Final Environmental Impact
Statement Addendum (FEIS Addendum) submission for the Phase 2 Proposal, a proposed
amendment to the approved Mary River Project (NIRB File No. 08MN053). On September 4,
2018 the NIRB initiated an internal review of the submission for conformity with the EIS
Guidelines issued by the Board on October 6, 2015.1

The NIRB has now completed its conformity review of Baffinland’s FEIS Addendum
submission and determined that it does not conform to the NIRB’s EIS Guidelines, as the
submission contains deficiencies which must be addressed to facilitate an efficient technical
review of the document by all parties. Until the deficiencies in the submission as identified by
the NIRB in this letter have been addressed and the NIRB subsequently determines that the FEIS
Addendum conforms with the EIS Guidelines, the technical review of the submission will not
commence.

FINDINGS FROM NIRB CONFORMITY REVIEW

General areas where deficiencies have been encountered in the FEIS Addendum submission can
be summarized as follows:

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Public Registry ID: 317362

P.O. Box 1360 Cambridge Bay, NU X0B 0C0 Phone: (867) 983-4600 Fax: (867) 983-2594
1) Environmental Management Plans (EMPs):

While some of the updates to EMPs that would be required to support implementation of the
Phase 2 Project are described generally, there is insufficient information provided to understand
how the proposed project would be carried out, to assess the accuracy of impact predictions
presented, and to evaluate the adequacy of proposed mitigation and environmental management
that would be applied.

Within its main EIS document, Baffinland has described its approach to developing the EMPs
required to support the assessment of the Phase 2 Proposal:

“Most of the EMPs listed will require only modest updates, if any, in terms of
incorporating the scope of the Phase 2 Proposal. Given that each of these are
operational plans registered under Baffinland’s Environmental Management System,
updates will be prepared prior to implementation. Copies of the current versions of (most
of) these plans are available on Baffinland’s document portal…”2

The instructions included within Section 9.1 of the NIRB’s EIS Guidelines for the Phase 2
Proposal acknowledge that some information required under the EMPs for the proposed project
may not be available until following the successful conclusion of the NIRB’s assessment during
subsequent licensing/regulatory processes; however, recognizing that the Phase 2 Proposal
describes a proposed amendment to an approved project under active operation, it is expected
that the majority of relevant existing EMPs and their proposed updates should be presented with
the FEIS Addendum to support the required public technical review. Directing reviewers to
access copies of current EMPs from Baffinland’s document portal – which have not been
updated to address the Phase 2 Proposal – is insufficient.

2) Concordance table: The NIRB encountered significant difficulties with locating


information required to support the conformity review, owing to the format used for the
concordance table.

A key for the terms used in the concordance table was not provided within the FEIS Addendum
submission and, while a description of terms used was provided by Baffinland via email in
response to a request from NIRB staff, it remains unclear what the references to “n/c” or “not
concorded” is intended to imply. A revised concordance table is therefore needed and must
include a clear explanation of terms used, the name of the relevant volume/document/appendix
where the information can be found as well as both section number(s) and page number(s) as
required by Section 4.2 of the NIRB’s EIS Guidelines:

“the EIS shall contain a concordance table directing reviewers to the location
(document, section, and page number) where specific information addressing
the Guidelines and the NIRB's Minimum EIS Requirements may be found.”

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FEIS Addendum main document, page 98

P.O. Box 1360 Cambridge Bay, NU X0B 0C0 Phone: (867) 983-4600 Fax: (867) 983-2594
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3) General comments:

Throughout the NIRB’s cursory review of the FEIS Addendum and supporting documentation, a
number of spelling/grammatical, formatting, and referencing errors have been noted (e.g.
duplicate paragraphs on page x of Executive Summary in all languages, numbering errors within
table of contents for technical supporting documents, etc.). While some errors are to be
anticipated within large submissions such as an EIS or FEIS Addendum, a greater frequency of
occurrence corresponds with increased difficulty for reviewers and the general public to access
the information and develop an understanding of the proposed project and its potential effects.

Specific deficiencies in the FEIS Addendum submission as identified by the NIRB are
highlighted in the enclosed table. Items highlighted in red signify that the section does not
appear to meet the requirements of the EIS Guidelines. Items highlighted in purple signify that
the section may require significant revision and/or additional information to meet with the
expectations of reviewers. Finally, items highlighted in yellow signify that the section requires
clarification and/or additional information to assist with determining its conformity with the EIS
Guidelines.

CONCLUSION

The NIRB requests that Baffinland review the enclosed table and advise the Board of its
anticipated submission date for a revised FEIS Addendum submission which adequately
addresses the identified deficiencies. Upon receipt of a revised FEIS Addendum submission, the
Board will conduct a conformity review of the submission against the EIS Guidelines and the
enclosed table, and will communicate its determination in as timely a manner as possible.

In closing, I invite you to contact the NIRB’s Director of Technical Services, Tara Arko at (867)
983-4611 or tarko@nirb.ca to discuss any additional clarification that may be necessary
regarding the Board’s information requirements or the conformity review process.

Sincerely,

Ryan Barry
Executive Director
Nunavut Impact Review Board

cc: Mary River Distribution List

Enclosed: NIRB Conformity Review Table (September 14, 2018)

P.O. Box 1360 Cambridge Bay, NU X0B 0C0 Phone: (867) 983-4600 Fax: (867) 983-2594
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