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Chedoke Creek remediation update: Crews conducting aerial LiDAR drone mapping and sediment testing in preparation for targeted dredging

HAMILTON, ON – The City of Hamilton is conducting aerial LiDAR drone mapping work at Chedoke Creek, Princess Point and the eastern shoreline of Cootes Paradise this morning in preparation for remediation activities in the area later this year. Crews are also completing sediment testing in the area, also in preparation for the dredging work.  

In accordance with all Canadian Aviation Regulations and other required approvals, crews will be flying aerial drones above the Chedoke watershed on Friday, April 23, 2021.

Quick facts about the LiDAR drone mapping

  • The City is using the Genius Drone LiDAR system to complete this topographic mapping work
  • LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of pulsed lasers to measure and map distances between objects
  • The survey will gather detailed topographic information on approximately 20 metres of the shoreline along both sides of the study area
  • LiDAR is an efficient and accurate way to capture data for a topographic survey
  • The information gathered through the LiDAR mapping will help staff identify specific locations and details for future targeted dredging.

Quick facts about the sediment testing

  • The testing includes measuring sediment thickness and collecting samples for laboratory analysis
  • Sediment samples are being collected using a specialized coring device.
  • The collected cores are sliced into sections for analysis of discrete layers within the sediment profile.
  • Multiple samples will be collected from each core to provide an understanding of the chemical composition within each layer and to inform future targeted dredging design plans.
  • Crews will also complete a bathymetric survey to assess the depth of the water in the sample areas using GPS-enabled sonar and manual measurements. 

This remediation work is required by Orders issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) in late 2020. The Orders require the City to complete targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek and undertake remediation activities in Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.

The City submitted a workplan outlining plans for targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek to the MECP in February 2021 and is now beginning sampling and testing work required to implement the work outlined in that plan. At this time, MECP approval of the workplan for Chedoke Creek is pending.

The City of Hamilton continues to be committed to the health of the watershed and to ensuring members of the public receive regular updates on the City’s efforts.

Timeline of recent events related to the Orders

  • November 20, 2020 – City receives Provincial Officer’s Order from the MECP. The Order requires the City to submit a work plan outlining dredging for Chedoke Creek, and a report outlining remediation plans for Cootes Paradise by January 22, 2021. Additionally, a work plan and implementation plan related to the remediation of Cootes Paradise would be required within five weeks of the Cootes remediation plan being approved.
  • November 25, 2020 – City requests a review of the Provincial Officer’s Order to seek clarity on what specific work needs to take place and what specific water quality standards the City is being asked to meet under the Order. The City also asked the Director to consider if eight weeks is a reasonable time frame to adequately develop a plan that meets the MECP’s expectations.
  • December 4, 2020 – City receives Director’s Order from the MECP, which is in response to the request for review of the Provincial Officer’s Order. The MECP extended some deadlines outlined within the original Order, but did not extend the overall time required to complete the work.
  • December 9, 2020 –The MECP issues charges to the City related to the discharge into Chedoke Creek, under the authority of the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act.
  • December 16, 2020 – City chooses not to appeal the MECP’s Director’s Order and begins planning for the work outlined in the Order.
  • January 15, 2021 – The City was required to submit to the MECP a written notice that the City retained the services of a consultant to complete the workplan.
  • February 22, 2021 – The first part of the Order was due to the MECP, which included a workplan outlining plans for targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek. The workplan is pending approval.
  • March 22, 2021 – The second part of the MECP’s Director’s Orders are due to the Ministry. This includes a report proposing remediation/mitigation methods for Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area. The report is pending approval by the MECP.

Additionally, in September 2020, the City retained the services of a consultant to complete a Chedoke Creek Water Quality Improvement Framework Study. Independent to the work in the Order, the study has identified short-term and long-term operating, capital and policy work that will improve water quality within the entire Chedoke Creek watershed.

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