In 2005, with a renewed mandate and refocused organization, Hydro set strategic goals to guide its business into the future. One of those goals highlights the organization’s ongoing and continued commitment to environmental responsibility.

Goal: To Be an Environmental Leader
As a company and a member of the community we have a belief and a responsibility to protect the environment we live and work in. We will strengthen our commitment to protecting the environment and will focus on reducing emissions from our power generation activities. Our Environmental Management System and ISO 14001 certification are key components of this commitment and they will continue to be the cornerstone of our environmental work.

Our structured and consistent management approach to dealing with environmental issues facing Hydro has proven to be successful, and we have committed to continue to build on the success achieved in 2005.

Our Environmental Management Systems (EMS) provide us with a solid framework for environmental management and continual improvement. We are committed to managing our operations to reduce our environmental impact, while balancing our mandate to provide our customers with safe, reliable, least-cost power. All Hydro divisions have been ISO 14001 certified since 2004, and this gives added assurance to all our stakeholders of continued environmental excellence.

The six designated management areas (Figure 1) within Hydro manage their environmental aspects through EMS’s consistent with ISO 14001. Each EMS is certified and registered by a third party, Quality Management Institute (QMI).

In 2005, Hydro continued to show improvements on our environmental Key Performance Indicators, electronic EMS documentation and EMS surveillance audits. General accomplishments resulting from the Environmental Management Programs (EMP) in each of the Management Areas in 2005 are detailed in this section.


The Corporate Management Area consists of the leadership team and a committee of managers with responsibilities for facilities and operations with environmental aspects. The goal of this Management Area is to co-ordinate the development and maintenance of the overall EMS for Hydro and to identify environmental aspects appropriate to the leadership team’s activities and responsibilities. Although the operational and services EMS are managed independently, a common and consistent Corporate Environmental Policy and Guiding Principles sets the standard. Periodic reviews of activities and issues are conducted to ensure consistency with corporate standards.

Two significant environmental aspects were identified in the Corporate Management Area EMS review in 2005. These were:

  • communication of Hydro’s environmental policy and performance to relevant stakeholders; and,
  • management of emerging and critical environmental issues.

Objectives, targets and programs were identified and pursued related to each of these aspects. Some of the accomplishments included:

  • undertaking a process review of the Environmental Performance Report format and production of the annual report in the format chosen;
  • production of a draft fact sheet related to the management of treated wood;
  • advertising Hydro’s environmental commitment and activities in external publications;
  • preparation of the environmental section of Hydro’s Intranet site;
  • production of environmental articles in the Outlet, Hydro’s internal newsletter; and
  • observance of Environment Week at Hydro Place, in St. John's.

As well, in 2005, Hydro’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors reviewed options for managing air emission issues associated with the 490 MW Holyrood Thermal Generating Station and approved a major initiative to improve the quality of air emissions by reducing the specified maximum sulphur content of the bunker “C” fuel burned at this facility from two per cent to one per cent. This change is projected to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide by 50 per cent and emissions of particulate by 40 per cent. Also in 2005, Hydro tracked federal government initiatives relating to emissions of greenhouse gases and evaluated strategies for ensuring compliance.


Currently there are four groups within the Services Management Area that have environmental aspects identified. These groups include: Systems Operations and Customer Services, Engineering, Supply Chain Management and Environmental Services.

In 2005, results included:

  • negotiation and finalization of the Diesel Generating Station Certificate of Approval with the Department of Environment and Conservation;
  • 2005 marked the first full year of production at the Ramea Wind-Diesel Demonstration Project. Through the power purchase agreement with Frontier Power Systems, Hydro purchased 418,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, offsetting about 10 per cent of Ramea’s requirements in 2005 that would otherwise have been supplied by diesel generation;
  • ongoing progress on a program managed by the TRO Engineering Department to improve management of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6 a gas with significant greenhouse gas (GHG) potential, through education and development of handling procedures designed to reduce the potential for releases to the environment;
  • ongoing management of the impact of the Granite Canal Hydroelectric Generating Station’s operations on fish habitat. This involves the development and implementation of controls and procedures to coordinate the operation of the generation facilities with the Fish Habitat Compensation Facility constructed as part of this development; and
  • in 2005, Environmental Site Assessments were carried out on sites throughout Hydro’s system including CF(L)Co. Eleven Phase I site assessments were completed, nine Phase II ESA, complete with Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA); and 10 RBCAs were undertaken based on Phase II ESAs completed during previous years.



The Holyrood Thermal Generating Station is a 490 MW plant located in Holyrood, Conception Bay South. Holyrood’s EMS was initially registered in January 1999, and obtained re-registrations in 2002 and 2005.

In 2005, Holyrood made progress on 13 EMPs, resulting in:

  • an improvement in efficiency of the conversion of fuel energy and associated reduction in selected emissions intensities;
  • inspection and remediation of fuel containment equipment;
  • completion of a study on the control of regeneration wastes;
  • advancement of an emissions reduction strategy and approval to reduce fuel sulfur content from two per cent to one per cent;
  • continued removal of PCB waste and asbestos from the plant; and
  • continued recycling of scrap metal.

Hydro Operations

The Bay D’Espoir Management Area consists of seven existing generating stations on the island with an installed capacity of 604 MW.

In 2005, some of the results included:

  • as a way to minimize the risk associated with undergroun fuel storage systems, three underground fuel systems were removed and replaced with above ground double-walled fuel systems;
  • implementation of a new standard operating procedure for pressure testing of fuel piping systems;
  • switch to environmentally friendly lubricants for Unit 7 at the Bay D’Espoir Generating Station;
  • development and delivery of an Environmental Awareness Program to Hydro generation employees; and a study of energy consumption at the Bay D’Espoir site resulted in new procedures for conservation.

Churchill Falls

The Churchill Falls Hydroelectric Generating Station has an installed capacity of 5,428 MW. Associated with this development is approximately 1,200 km of high-voltage transmission lines, an airport and the Town of Churchill Falls. Environmental aspects of these facilities are included in the EMS. The environmental aspects of the decommissioned Twin Falls Hydroelectric Station are also managed through CF(L)Co’s EMS. The EMS was registered in 2000 and re-registered in 2003.

Some of the results of the 2005 EMPs were:

  • continued use of environmentally-friendly wicket gate grease and transformer oil, with seven of 11 turbines and six of 11 transformers converted to environmentally-friendly products to date;
  • a monitoring program to ensure ability to prioritize maintenance for turbine units that experienced the highest oil losses. One turbine unit is repaired per year;
  • conversion of two drainage sumps in the powerhouse into oil water separators;
  • training was completed by employees in the areas of environmental emergency response planning, basic oil spill response, environmental awareness training, and training by line crews related to the environmental protection plan for transmission and distribution line maintenance;
  • a wind-blown debris fence installed at the town and plant landfill was constructed 7.6 meters high and 120 meters long; and
  • a river oil response building was constructed near the tailrace.

Transmission and Rural Operations

The Transmission and Rural Operations (TRO) Division consists of three regions that manage 23 rural, isolated diesel generating plants (30.2 MW), three gas turbine plants (125 MW), and approximately 7,350 km of transmission and distribution lines and associated switching stations. The three regions share a common EMS. In 2005, Network Services was added to the EMS.

In 2005, significant accomplishments included:

  • updates to the five-year plan for improvements to prevent potential environmental impacts from fuel storage systems;
  • updates to the five-year test plan for the reduction of PCBs to indicate equipment to be tested;
  • a protocol for identification, removal and disposal of PCB contaminated lighting ballasts;
  • continuation of a study for alternate forms of applications to reduce the use of herbicides for vegetation control;
  • completed information collection related to environmental sensitivities for new transmission and distribution lines in TRO Central, Northern and Labrador and
  • utilization of a software package to update and track treated-wood material removed from service, recycled, reused, stored or disposed.

Back to Top Next

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