Expert advice and technical support for YESAB.

Surface & Ground Water, Fish & Fish Habitat Assessments – Validation

Challenge

To develop a guidance document for the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) Environmental Assessors for assessing the significance of adverse effects on aquatic resources.

Background

EcoMetrix has provided technical support and expert advice to YESAB since 2008 in areas related to environmental effects on aquatic resources associated with mining and milling activities, including those on surface and ground water and fish and fish habitat.

Our support to YESAB has been provided in the context of Designated Offices Evaluations and the Executive Committee Screenings for major mine development proposals in the Yukon. Over the years we have been retained to support YESAB reviews for mine development projects including Mactung, Casino, Eagle Gold, Coffee Gold, Kudz Ze Kayah, Minto and Keno Hill Silver District.

Project

To achieve the guidance document development objective, EcoMetrix reviewed the legislative and regulatory context in Yukon and surveyed approaches and protocols from Yukon and other relevant jurisdictions. EcoMetrix team leader, Lynnae Dudley stated, “We proposed principle and technical approaches to develop functional thresholds that are in line with the purpose of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, and meet any relevant characteristics that are typically used to determine significant adverse effects in Environmental Assessments.” The functional thresholds were then used to establish guidance to support assessors in completing their duties under the Act.

Outcome

The work done for YESAB is a good example of EcoMetrix’s Environmental Intelligence in action. In this case we brought together a team that had years of pertinent experience in environmental assessments for major development projects in Canada and internationally. Our team of specialists, including Lynnae Dudley, Bruce Rodgers, Don Hart and Robert Eakins, integrated the regulatory and policy foundation that is specific to Yukon with the industry standard technical aspects of the guidance.