Technology Assessment and Nova Scotian Tidal Power Projects

  • Cynthia Lamson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 20)

Abstract

Proposals to construct and operate large-scale energy projects, particularly coastal and marine energy projects, tend to be controversial and highly politicized. Because technological change outpaces our understanding of the possible effects a new technology may have on the environment, and because scientific understanding about ecosystem dynamics is incomplete, development decisions are often based on limited information and are made in a climate of uncertainty. Decisions to proceed with (or delay) a project are, therefore, frequently the product of consensus-seeking with respect to the question: what constitutes politically acceptable levels of risk? “Until recently, evaluating the risks of technology has been considered a technical problem, not a political issue, a problem to be relegated to expertise, not to public debate. But controversies have increasingly politicized the issue of risk.”1

Keywords

Nova Scotia None None Environmental Impact Assessment Tidal Power International Joint Commission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Dorothy Nelkin and Michael Pollak, “Consensus and Conflict Resolution: The Politics of Assessing Risk,” in Technological Risk,Meinoff Dierkes, Sam Edwards, Rob Coppock (eds.), Cambridge: Delgeschlager, Gunn and Hain, Publishers, Inc. (1980), pp. 65–75, at p. 65.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid.,pp. 65–66. See also, G. Bruce Doern, The Peripheral Nature of Scientific and Technological Controversy in Federal Policy Formation. Science Council of Canada. Background Study 46 (1981).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See,for example, Liora Satter and Debra Slace, Public Inquiries in Canada. Science Council of Canada. Background Study No. 47 (1981); L. Graham Smith, “Alternative Mechanisms for Public Participation in Environmental Policy-Making,” Environments V. 14, No. 3 (1982) pp. 21–34; and John E. Carroll, Environmental Diplomacy: An Examination and a Prospective of Canadian-U.S. Transboundary Environmental Relations (1983).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See,for example, Northern Development and Technology Assessment Systems: A Study of Petroleum Development Programs in the Mackenzie Delta-Beaufort Sea Region and Arctic Islands,George R. Francis and Sally C. Lerner. Science Council of Canada. Background Study No. 34 (1976).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dexter P. Cooper Inc. promoted plans for an international two-basin scheme using the tides of Passamaquoddy and Cobscook Bay; in 1935, the U.S. began construction of a facility on Cobscook Bay but suspended operations when project funding ceased. The governments of Canada and New Brunswick investigated a site at the mouths of the Petitecodiac and Memramcook Rivers in 1944, and the International Joint Commission investigated the costs of developing tidal power in Passamaquoddy Bay in 1956. The Atlantic Development Board sponsored surveys in the Shepody and Cumberland estuaries and Minas Basin from 1963 to 1966. See Atlantic Tidal Power Programming Board, Report, 1969: 9–10.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Atlantic Tidal Power Programming Board, Report,1969: 28.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ibid.,p. 159.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ibid.,p. 170.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fear Quebec Will Turn Tide Against Fundy Development,“ (Halifax) Mail-Star,April 29, 1971; ”Hydro-Quebec Could Undercut Tidal Power,“ (Halifax) Chronicle Herald,January 31, 1984.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fundy Power: `Further Studies Necessary,’ “ (Halifax) Chronicle Herald, January 31, 1984.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ottawa Agrees to Review of Tidal Study,“ (Halifax) Mail-Star,April 1, 1971.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    Bay of Fundy Tidal Review Board, Preliminary Reassessment of the Feasibility of Tidal Power in the Bay of Fundy, Report, 1974: 11.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bay of Fundy Tidal Review Board, Reassessment of Fundy Tidal Power (Report), 1977.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ibid.,p. 385 (emphasis added).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibid.,p. 387.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid.,p. 390.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., pp. 390–391.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ibid.,p. 391.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid.,pp. 387–389.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid.,p. 393.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ibid.,p. 404.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    See Tidal Power Corporation. Fundy Tidal Power: Update ‘82 (1982).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    More Funding for Tidal Power Studies,“ (Halifax) Chronicle Herald,May 24, 1984.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Alcan Studies Investor Interest in Fundy Tidal Power Project,“ (Halifax) Chronicle Herald,July 1, 1985.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Donald C. Gordon, Jr. and Alan R. Longhurst, “The Environmental Aspects of a Tidal Power Project in the Upper Reaches of the Bay of Fundy,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, v. 10 (1979), pp. 38–45.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fundy Tidal Power and the Environment,“ Proceedings of a Workshop on the Environmental Implications of Fundy Tidal Power, Wolfville, N.S. (November 4–5, 1976), p. iii.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Information provided through interviews conducted by Peter N. Duinker with Dr. D.C. Gordon, Jr. (FESC Chairperson, 1977–82); Dr. G.R. Daborn (current chairperson, FESC), and Dr. F.J. Simpson (APCS chairperson), in the summer of 1983. A valuable compendium of information is available in Update of the Marine Environmental Consequences of Tidal Power Development in the Upper Reaches of the Bay of Fundy, Donald C. Gordon and Mike C. Dadswell (Eds.) Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences - No. 1256 (1984).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    See Regional Scientific Needs in Fundy Tidal Power Development,Report of a workshop held at the University of New Hampshire (November 20–21, 1983). Not all scientists share this view of modeling predictions, see Fundy Tidal Power Development: Preliminary Evaluation of its Environmental Consequences to Maine,P.F. Larsen and J.A. Topinka (eds.). A Report to the Maine State Planning Office by the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (1984).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    See G.F.D. Duff, “Numerical Modeling of Tides in the Bay of Fundy,” Tidal Power and Estuary Management, R.T. Severn, D. Dineley, L.E. Hawker ( Eds.) Bristol: Scientechnica (1979), pp. 93–98.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    See Fundy Tidal Power Development: Preliminary Evaluation of its Environmental Consequences to Maine, supra note 29.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    See Background Paper on the Proposed Bay of Fundy Tidal Power Project,prepared for the New England Governors’ Conference for First Annual Bilateral Symposium on New England Eastern Canadian Affairs (Providence, Rhode Island, May 24–25, 1984).Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    U.S. Senate 98th Congress, 1st Session. “The Effect of the Proposed Tidal Hydro-Electric Project in the Bay of Fundy,” Proceedings of a Hearing before the Committee on Environment and Public Works (Augusta, Maine, July 25, 1983). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England Division, sponsored a public meeting to discuss its activities (October 30–31 and November 1, 1984 at Rockport, Maine).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Tidal Power Experiment Agreement Today,“ Chronicle-Herald,January 29, 1980. By 1982, the cost of the project was approaching the $52 million mark.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Guidelines and Information Requirements for an Environmental Impact Assessment of the Annapolis Royal Tidal Power Station, Annapolis Royal, N.S.,“ Nova Scotia Dept. of the Environment, Environmental Assessment Division (August, 1979), File No. 1750-A3.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    MARTEC Ltd., Annapolis Tidal Power Project: Environmental Impact Assessment, 1980, 5: 11.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ibid.,p. 5–11-5:16.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Public Input First,“ Mirror February 13, 1980.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    See“Guidelines and Information Requirements”, op. cit.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    File Documents, Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, 1750-A3 and 1570–3 (April 11, 1980), and 1570–2 and 1750-A3 (June 11, 1980 ).Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Voice Concern over Impact,“ Mirror May 7, 1980.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    G. Bruce Doern. The Peripheral Nature of Scientific and Technological Controversy in Federal Policy Formation. Science Council of Canada. Background Study No. 46 (July, 1981 ), p. 88.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Fishermen Get Few Answers to Concerns About Fundy Power,“ Chronicle-Herald April 15, 1983.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
  45. 45.
    Greater U.S. Input Needed on Fundy Effects Daborn,“ (Halifax) Chronicle-Herald, June 1, 1984.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Environmental Politics May Kill Tidal Project,“ (Halifax) Chronicle-Herald September 11, 1985.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    G.R. Daborn and M.W. Couley (Eds.), Energy Options for Atlantic Canada. Halifax: Formac Publishing Co.,Ltd in association with Acadia University Institute (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Lamson

There are no affiliations available

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