August 24 2021
HAMILTON, ON – The City of Hamilton has received Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) approval to implement its remediation workplan for work in Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area of Lake Ontario. The workplan is associated with the second part of an Order issued by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) related to the discharge in Chedoke Creek.
The second part of the Order, which is related only to the remediation and mitigation works to offset the impacts associated with nutrient loading to Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area, was due to the MECP in July.
The MECP approved the following projects and initiatives, with detailed information including budgets and timelines for each becoming available over the coming months.
Annual Removal Projects
- Large Scale Floating Vegetative Mats (pending pilot study results)
- Outcomes from Lower Chedoke Master EA Study
One-Time Removal Projects
- Exploratory Study to Dredge beyond Princess Point Embayment in Cootes Paradise
- Sediment Nutrient Inactivation (pending further sediment testing)
Watershed Projects (Point/Non-Point Annual Removals)
- Outcomes from Chedoke Watershed Stormwater Retrofit Master EA Study
- Outcomes from Application of Redevelopment Sites – Stormwater Management Policy
- Outcomes from Application of Retrofits for Road Rehabilitation Projects / Low Impact Development Best Management Practices Policy
- Outcomes from the Ainsley Woods Class EA (Sewer Separation)
It is expected that many of the projects and initiatives identified in the workplan will take time to implement and will include significant community and stakeholder engagement, providing opportunities for residents to contribute ideas to the remediation work. The projects and initiatives are likely to evolve and grow over time.
The City is also working to implement some small-scale works this summer that will help improve the water quality of Chedoke Creek and Princess Point. This work includes a small-scale aeration system and floating treatment wetlands, and work to begin the installation of these is expected in the next two weeks.
- The small-scale aeration system will be installed close to the Kay Drage Park bridge
- The 800sqft of floating treatment wetlands will be installed just inside the Princess Point Embayment
More information and photos of these smaller scale works will follow in the coming weeks.
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 submitted to the MECP, which included a workplan outlining plans for targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek.
- March 22, 2021 – The City submits the Cootes Paradise Report to the MECP which proposes remediation/mitigation methods to offset the added nutrient loading to Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.
- June 11, 2021 – The City receives MECP approval for the Chedoke Creek Workplan and Cootes Paradise Report.
- July 23, 2021 - The City submits a workplan to the MECP that details the remediation/mitigation methods to offset the added nutrient loading to Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.
- August 13, 2021 – The City receives MECP approval for the Cootes Paradise Workplan.