Ontario Cuts Red Tape, Makes It Easier to Keep Power Dams Safe

Published on June 20, 2019

Dam owners benefit from simplified process


NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE - The Ontario Government is cutting red tape and making it easier to keep hydro-generating dams in first-rate working condition.

Today Toby Barrett, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced the government has entered into a 10-year agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to reduce regulatory burdens and ensure necessary work on dams is carried out with proper documentation and reporting requirements in place. The agreement will make it easier for OPG to repair, alter and improve its dams, while ensuring they maintain or exceed Ontario's stringent requirements for dam safety, emergency management and public safety.

"Our government is making it easier for industry to comply with Ontario's stringent regulatory requirements to protect our communities," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "This agreement is win-win for government, for industry, and for the people of Ontario. It will provide certainty around the timing of projects and will lower costs for OPG, while freeing up ministry staff to focus on other important dam safety and water management needs in Ontario."

"With less red tape, we're helping industry invest money where it matters most - on the operation and maintenance of infrastructure, instead of on paperwork," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "We're also supporting an industry that is vital to our quality of life. A quarter of our electricity comes from waterpower. This industry has played a critical role in Ontario's economic development and it will continue to be a vital part of our future."

"This agreement will help OPG save significantly in costs and offers a real opportunity to achieve effective improvements to public safety in the province," said Mike Martelli, President of Renewable Generation at OPG. "As a trusted partner, OPG commits to working with the ministry to promote these best practices."

OPG's dam management program has been independently assessed by internationally recognized experts as being one of the best examples of a managed system for dam owners to follow.

"OPG is an expert and experienced dam operator, with a proven track record in dam safety," said Barrett. "We have worked together on numerous initiatives over the years related to dam safety, water management planning and environmental protection and we will continue to work closely together into the future."

"On behalf of the entire industry I want to thank and recognize the leadership of the Ontario government in taking this initiative forward," said Paul Norris, President of the Ontario Waterpower Association. "This targeted measure will reduce costs while advancing public safety across the province."

Quick Facts

  • Waterpower producers directly employ more than 1,600 people and support an additional 2,000 jobs in communities across the province.
  • The waterpower industry invests more than $300 million in the operation and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • The sector contributes more than $125 million annually to the province through royalties.

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