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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

2000: The

2000: The Niagara River RAP Implementation Annex The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority assumed the role of RAP Coordinator in 1999 through a three-party agreement with the federal and provincial governments. In November 2000, the Niagara River RAP Implementation Annex 139 was produced with the intent to compliment the goals, objectives and ecosystem approach vision expressed in the RAP Stage 2 report. The Annex identified agencies that are responsible for implementing Recommendations, and provided a schedule of activities, timelines and projected costs. This format enabled integration of the Stage 2 RAP with partners including the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP), the Ministry of the Environment, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority programs, Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, community groups and committees. The RAP Stage 2 Recommendations were organized into the following six key theme categories: 1. Beneficial use impairment related to persistent toxic load to the Niagara River. 2. Stage 2 RAP goals related to improving recreational opportunities, aesthetics and habitat features on the Niagara River. 3. Beneficial use impairment of Niagara River tributaries as a result of issues unique to the Niagara River Area of Concern. 4. Beneficial use impairment due to stressors common to areas with similar rural and urban land management. 5. Recommendations that can not be implemented at the local level and are feasible to implement only at the Federal or Provincial level. 6. The Niagara River RAP Implementation framework. Grouping the Recommendations into theme categories allowed for the creation of a successful and manageable implementation organization to work towards restoring beneficial uses. Since the completion of the Stage 2 Report and the Annex, the Niagara River (Ontario) RAP is well into the implementation and monitoring phase of the RAP process. 2002 and 2007: The Canada – Ontario Agreement (COA) The COA provides the long-standing mechanism through which the governments of Canada and Ontario work together, as well as with other groups and individuals, in the Basin to achieve the vision of a healthy, prosperous and sustainable Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem for present and future generations 140 . As a result, entire communities are mobilized to tackle pressing problems in their areas, benefiting the whole Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. 139 Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. November 2000. Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Implementation Annex. 140 Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem 2002-2003 Biennial Progress Report. 96

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update The first COA was signed in 1971; subsequent COAs were signed in 1976, 1982, 1986, 1994, 2002 and 2007. The current 2007 COA was signed on June 25, 2007 and consists of a framework agreement and four annexes. Annex 1 of the 2007 COA addresses initiatives that directly support the restoration and protection of environmental quality and beneficial uses in AOCs. 141 2002: A Status Assessment Report by the IJC The International Joint Commission submitted a report on the ongoing remedial and preventive efforts by responsible governments and organizations relative to restoring and protecting the water quality of the Niagara River in June 2002 142 . The Commission’s Status Assessment confirmed successes as well as challenges in the restoration of beneficial uses within the Niagara River AOC. It also outlined the following recommendations: }} Quantify remaining needed remedial actions and associated budget requirements. }} Enhance coordination of efforts to restore Beneficial Uses. }} Enhance public outreach efforts. }} Consider appropriate technologies for long term solutions. These recommendations are being taken into consideration throughout implementation and progress in the RAP. 2002: Nutrient Management Act The Ontario Government introduced the Nutrient Management Act in 2002 in response to recommendations in Justice O’Connor’s Report of the Walkerton Commission of Inquiry. It came into force in July 2003. The Act was developed by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as part of the government’s Clean Water program. Under this Act, farmers must develop nutrient management plans to deal with animal waste and other substances that are kept on farm properties or spread on fields. Nutrient management plans help ensure that farms are managed in an environmentally responsible way to prevent contamination of lakes, streams and groundwater 143 . The Nutrient Management Act also impacts the management of municipal sewage biosolids and industrial biosolids and residuals. The Niagara Region land applies liquid biosolids generated at its wastewater treatment plants and in accordance with the regulation has prepared Nutrient Management Strategies for those facilities of an approved design capacity greater than 45,400 m 3 (wastewater flow) per day. Nutrient Management Plans exist for the Niagara Falls, Welland, Port Weller and Port Dalhousie WWTPs. 141 Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem 2007. 142 International Joint Commission. June 2002. Niagara River Area of Concern Status Assessment. Submitted to the Governments of the United States and Canada. 143 97

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