Researcher raises Muskrat methylmercury alarm, but Nalcor contractor says levels safe



a large body of water: This photo shows a portion of the new reservoir created by the Muskrat Falls dam on the Lower Churchill River in Labrador.


© Jim McCarthy/Wood
This photo shows a portion of the new reservoir created by the Muskrat Falls dam on the Lower Churchill River in Labrador.

There’s mixed messaging emerging from the debate over methylmercury contamination in Labrador, with a U.S. researcher again raising the alarm about the toxic organic compound, while a contractor monitoring the effects of Muskrat Falls — backed up by the Department of Environment — says there’s no need to worry.

Ryan Calder co-authored a 2015 study by researchers at Harvard University saying hundreds of Labrador Inuit will be exposed to dangerous levels of methylmercury once the Muskrat Falls reservoir is fully flooded.

The report was rejected at the time by Nalcor Energy, the government-owned corporation building the controversial hydroelectric generating station and dam on the Lower Churchill River.

Calder has since moved on to research university Virginia Tech, but has continued to follow the findings of

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