The Northern Saskatchewan Environmental Quality Committee (EQC), established in 1995, enables northerners to learn more about uranium mining activities and to see first-hand the environmental protection measures being employed, and the socio-economic benefits being gained. Northern Saskatchewan is the source of one-quarter of the world's uranium supply.
The EQC is currently made up of representatives from some 32 northern municipal and First Nation communities that are impacted by northern mining operations. The member impact communities of the EQC are, in turn, identified in each uranium mine's Human Resource Development Agreement.
The EQC receives technical and organizational support from the Northern Mines Monitoring Secretariat (NMMS), an inter-ministerial committee chaired by Northern Affairs which is dedicated to informing northerners about Saskatchewan's uranium mining industry. The NMMS includes several provincial ministries which regulate and/or support the uranium industry, and also the federal Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The NMMS has a small staff complement based within Northern Affairs in La Ronge. The staff's mission is to help EQC members understand uranium mining and to assist the EQC in making informed comments about the industry.
Increasingly, over the years that the EQC has been operating, the EQC has become a more informed and regular voice, providing input into the decisions of both provincial and federal regulators concerning uranium mining issues in the North.
Regular updates of NSEQC activities can be found in NSEQC News, in each edition of Opportunity North.
EQC's Vision Statement
The Environmental Quality Committee, composed of trusted and knowledgeable people each nominated by his/her community, is a bridge between northerners, government and the uranium mining industry – a bridge built upon a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect.
The Environmental Quality Committee is not vested with regulatory responsibilities, but rather is structured to provide a forum which will ensure consideration of the concerns and recommendations of northerners on the way in which uranium development occurs in northern Saskatchewan.
Through informed dialogue and communication, government, the uranium mining industry and the people of the north, together, will strive to ensure that all uranium mining activity takes place in a manner that considers the needs and aspirations of those people most directly affected – the people of northern Saskatchewan.