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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

2005: Provincial Policy

2005: Provincial Policy Statement This Provincial Policy Statement was issued under Section 3 of the Planning Act and came into effect on March 1, 2005. It replaces the Provincial Policy Statement issued May 22, 1996, and amended February 1, 1997. The Provincial Policy Statement provides policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. As a key part of Ontario’s policy-led planning system, the Provincial Policy Statement sets the policy foundation for regulating the development and use of land. It also supports the provincial goal to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Ontario. See www.mah.gov.on.ca/ 2005: Niagara Regional Policy Plan Amendment 187 In December 2005, Niagara Regional Council adopted Regional Policy Plan Amendment 187 setting out new environmental policies for Niagara, consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement and the Greenbelt Plan. This is an important milestone as the existing environmental policies were more than 25 years old and no longer adequately addressed the public interest in environmental quality or the Regional Council’s goals and strategic directions. 152 Regional Policy Plan Amendment 187 establishes a comprehensive new policy framework for protecting and enhancing environmental quality. It embodies a landscape-based, ecosystem approach to planning. Implementation will involve partnerships among the Region, the Conservation Authority, the local municipalities, landowners, and Provincial and Federal agencies. The Region has been a leader in addressing water resource issues through the development of the Niagara Water Quality Protection Strategy. The Amendment is an important step forward in implementing the action programs recommended by the Strategy. 2009: Niagara – 2031 - Regional Growth Management Strategy Niagara 2031 is a major Regional planning initiative examining where and how Niagara should grow over the period to 2031. It provides a strategic approach to linking land use, infrastructure and capital investment to meet the Region’s environmental, public health, social, cultural, financial and economic goals. Niagara 2031 also addresses Provincial requirements for compliance with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Places to Grow Act and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In February 2009 Regional Council adopted Option D, the Preferred Growth Management Option. Option D met Provincial policy objectives for containment of sprawl, intensification within existing built up areas, and higher Greenfield development densities. It demonstrated that growth could be accommodated within existing urban areas, even at the somewhat higher levels of population and employment forecast. It also met the Region’s strategic objectives to shift a larger proportion of future growth to south Niagara. 152 www.regional.niagara.on.ca 102

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update Lakewide Management Plans for the Great Lakes In the amended Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987, Canada and the United States, in consultation with State and Provincial Governments, agreed to develop and implement Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs) for lake waters as well as Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) for Areas of Concern (AOCs). The LaMPs are intended to identify critical pollutants that impair beneficial uses in the lake proper and to develop strategies, recommendations and policy options to restore these beneficial uses. Although LaMPs are underway for each of the Great Lakes, those for Lakes Erie and Ontario have a more direct bearing on the Niagara River and are briefly described below: Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan The Lake Ontario LaMP is essentially a progression from the Lake Ontario Toxics Management Plan (LOTMP) in which the toxics problem in Lake Ontario was defined in the late 1980s. The completed LOTMP was published in 1989 and updates were completed in 1991 and 1993. In 1996, the Four Parties signed a Letter of Intent agreeing that the LaMP should provide the binational framework for environmental protection efforts in Lake Ontario and continue actions to move towards the restoration of beneficial uses and achievement of virtual elimination of critical pollutants. For further information see: www.epa.gov/greatlakes/lakeont/ Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan The goal of the Lake Erie LaMP is to preserve, restore and protect the beneficial uses of Lake Erie. Although Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are the lead agencies for the LaMP, an array of federal, local, state and provincial agencies and stakeholders are involved to design and implement the Lake Erie LaMP. Of all the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is exposed to the greatest stress from urbanization, industrialization and agriculture, reflecting the fact that the Lake Erie basin supports the largest population. A research and monitoring agenda was drafted as part of the 2004-2006 “Paths to Achievement” work plan. The LaMP plans to have all beneficial use impairments re-assessed in depth by 2008. For further information see: www.epa.gov/greatlakes/lakeerie/ 103

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