OTTAWA — Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna has announced approval of the proposed Project 4 All-Season Road Connecting Berens River to Poplar River First Nation in Manitoba.
June 27 statement indicated the 94-kilometre gravel public highway, located on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and the project can proceed.
The federal Environmental Assessment Report explained that the project is one component of Manitoba's East Side Large Area Transportation Network plan to provide year-round transportation service for the isolated communities on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.
The new road would extend all-season road access northward from the all-season road currently being constructed to Berens River from Provincial Public Highway 304.
The project includes bridge crossings of the Berens, Etomami, North Etomami and Leaf Rivers; numerous smaller crossings of wetlands and small streams; temporary camps, access roads and quarries during construction; and permanent quarries and access roads for road maintenance during operation.
Upon operation, the proposed road, right-of-way, bridges, culverts and quarries would have a footprint of approximately 980 hectares and the project would convey up to 300 vehicles per day over an expected indefinite lifespan.
As part of the Environmental Assessment Decision Statement, the minister established legally binding conditions, including mitigation measures and follow-up requirements that the proponent must meet throughout the life of the project.
As a next step, the proponent is required to obtain the appropriate regulatory authorizations and permits before construction can begin.