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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

2009 }} Presentation for

2009 }} Presentation for comments and review of Stage 2 Update to the PAC and implementers. }} Fish Barrier Mitigation project is completed. }} Natural Heritage Inventory of the Niagara River AOC report and mapping near completion. }} Initiation of a comprehensive review of the Welland Official Plan incorporating RAP supported policies for Natural Heritage, urban stormwater, etc. }} Completion of the Niagara River Watershed Fish Community Assessment (2003 to 2007) by the Ministry of Natural Resources. This report indicates that the Welland River Fish Community has begun moving along the path to recovery from the severe pollution in the 1960s (partially due to uncontrolled sewage discharge). 90

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update Appendix 5: The Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP) The Niagara River Toxics Committee report (NRTC) in 1984 provided the first comprehensive catalogue of sources of toxics contamination to the Niagara River. It also provided a preliminary assessment of the environmental condition and extent of degradation of the river and the nearshore area of Lake Ontario. Finally, it laid the basis for the development of a binational toxics reduction plan. In 1987, Environment Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) – the “Four Parties” – signed the Niagara River Declaration of Intent (DOI). The purpose of the DOI is to reduce the concentrations of toxic pollutants in the Niagara River through the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP). Since then, the agencies for the two countries have continued pooling their resources and gathering more information on environmental conditions in and around the Niagara River, perhaps more than for any other water body in North America or, in the world. 121 The NRTMP reflects the philosophy of the International Joint Commission; it states that “this (reduction) is consistent with the goal of virtual elimination of toxic discharges, as agreed upon in 1978 by the Governments of the United States and Canada under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement” 122 . Eighteen “priority toxics” were specifically targeted for reduction, ten (*) of which were designated for 50% reduction by 1996 because they were thought to have significant Niagara River sources. 123 Table 1: Eighteen “priority toxics” identified in the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan Arsenic Benz(a)anthracene* Benzo(b)fluoranthene* Benzo(a)pyrene* Benzo(k)fluoranthene* Chlordane Chrysene Dieldrin Hexachlorobenzene* Lead Mercury* Mirex Octachlorostyrene PCBs (total)* DDT and Metabolites Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)* Tetrachloroethylene* Toxaphene The Four parties re-affirmed their commitment to the NRTMP in a “Letter of Support” signed in December 1996. The revised goal, as stated in that letter, is “to reduce toxic chemical inputs to the Niagara River to achieve ambient water quality that will protect human health, aquatic life, and wildlife, and while doing so, improve and protect water quality in Lake Ontario as well.” 124 121 International Joint Commission. June 2002. Niagara River Area of Concern Status Assessment 122 The Niagara River Remedial Action Plan. September 1993. Stage 1: Environmental Conditions and Problem Definitions. 123 The Niagara River Toxics Management Plan. September 2005. Progress Report and Work Plan. 124 Niagara River Toxics Management Plan. September 2005. Progress Report and Work Plan. 91

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