Cofferdam problems identified in July; public kept in the dark
Nalcor and the provincial government knew about potential cofferdam problems last July. NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) wants to know to know why it took months for the public to find out.
“The Independent Engineer report arising from the Muskrat Falls site visit in July identified, and I quote, ‘a risk of serious leakage’ with respect to the cofferdam,” Michael said in Question Period at the legislature today.
“I ask the Premier, when did Nalcor first learn of this conclusion of the Independent Engineer and when did Nalcor inform the government? Can he explain why we are only now learning that major cofferdam issues were identified in July?”
Michael notes that two government representatives were present at the July site visit with the Independent Engineer. She also wanted to know why the Minister of Natural Resources tried to minimize the potential seriousness of the cofferdam problems.
“Last week in response to a question on the cofferdam the minister downplayed the significance of the leakage. A day later Nalcor’s CEO said problems with the cofferdam will now lead to project infrastructure damage,” Michael said.
“I ask the minister, why did she downplay the issue in the House last week? Had she not read the IE report?”
Media reports in recent weeks say Nalcor’s CEO attributes the missed deadlines to anti-Muskrat Falls protesters. Michael wants to know if the Premier shares these views.