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Third-Party Report on the Second National Assessment of Environmental Effects Monitoring

Prepared by Shinichi Nakagawa, PhD., for the Mining Association of Canada, July 2012.

Environment Canada (EC) recently released a report titled “Second National Assessment of Environmental Effects Monitoring Data from Metal Mines Subjected to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations” (hereafter called, the 2nd assessment). In this report, EC presented several statistically significant and negative impacts of mining effluent on fish and invertebrate communities. In the light of the results reported in the 2nd assessment, Mining Association Canada (MAC) sought independent reviews. MAC asked Dr David Huebert (Stantec Consulting Ltd.) to write an independent review on the 2nd assessment. I (Dr Shinichi Nakagawa, University of Otago) have also been asked to provide an independent review on the 2nd assessment. At the same time, I have been asked to review Dr Huebert’s evaluation (hereafter called, Stantec’s assessment).

As a third party and independent review, the aim of the current review is to assess both the 2nd assessment and Stantec’ assessment. My evaluation will focus on whether the  analyses employed in these two reports were technically and statistically sound and also whether the stated conclusions of the two reports were appropriate given the results. As the two reports show, disagreements between these two parties (i.e. EC and Stantec) reside almost exclusively in their interpretations of the meta-analytic results, which EC presented in the 2nd assessment. Therefore, I concentrate my review on the metaanalytic methods EC used and the interpretations of meta-analytic results by these two parties. This report have three main parts: (i) an evaluation of the 2nd assessment, (ii) an evaluation of Stantec’s assessment and (iii) a brief concluding section.

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