Appointed by NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), an Inuit community in Labrador, as external advisor for the Independent Expert Advisory Committee (IEAC) on Muskrat Falls. This large and highly controversial hydroelectric project has been widely opposed by many affected Indigenous residents. The mission of the IEAC was to use science and Indigenous Knowledge to recommend measures to protect the health of the Indigenous and local population from the effects of methylmercury related to Muskrat Falls. As NCC’s external advisor to the IEAC (2017-2018), TGG’s Brigid Rowan:
In 2016-2017, TGG participated in the most significant reform of the Canadian environmental assessment process in a generation. Following the election of the Liberals in 2015, the Canadian government initiated major environmental and regulatory process reviews. The purpose of the reviews was to establish improved rules to better protect the environment, fish and waterways and rebuild public trust. Indigenous engagement and reconciliation were seen as key aspects of the process. These reviews led to major changes to Canadian environmental laws and energy regulation. The Federal Environmental Assessment Review resulted in the creation of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC). IAAC has a much broader mandate (including consideration of environmental, health, social and economic impacts of proposed projects) than its predecessor the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). Other significant consequences of the reviews included the dismantling of the National Energy Board and the creation of the Canadian Energy Regulator, as well as important changes to federal acts governing fisheries and waterways.
TGG provided expert testimony on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux in the legal proceedings related to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Represented by Earthjustice, the Tribes have waged a long-term legal battle to stop the pipeline, in parallel with the historic protests of the pipeline in North Dakota. Since 2016, the Tribes have argued that the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) should deny DAPL permits to cross the Missouri River and undertake a full environmental review. In late 2016, the Obama administration supported the Tribes’ position, and USACE committed to a full environmental review. Days after his inauguration in January 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum to grant the final permits and expedite the construction process.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) of South Dakota retained TGG in 2015 to provide expert testimony in the Keystone XL (KXL) permit recertification case before the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). TGG’s written expert testimony, Changes to the Economic Costs and Benefits of the Keystone XL Pipeline for South Dakota, was filed on behalf of the RST in April 2015 (and withdrawn in July 2015).