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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

This recommendation is

This recommendation is ongoing through the NPCA and NWQPS. 31. Establish a Geographic Information Systems repository for the Niagara River AOC. The NPCA has almost completed the establishment of a Geographical Information System (G.I.S.) restoration database. The RAP is a priority of the Conservation Authority and the G.I.S. tool will assist in determining priority areas for remediation within the watershed. The Restoration database is the RAP flagship GIS product as it is a tool that can quantify and report on the remediation effort and success of NPCA stewardship based Restoration programs. The NPCA’s 2004 G.I.S Program Status and Direction Report highlights some of the NPCA’s G.I.S. initiatives and successes. A “clearing house” for the Niagara Water Quality Protection Strategy and water related information is being established. The clearing house is intended to provide document warehousing, G.I.S applications, and a monitoring data repository. An Information Management Working Group has been formed with representatives from the NPCA, MOE and RMON who have a G.I.S or data management background to work out the details on development and implementation of the clearing house. This recommendation is not linked to delisting and the committee suggests that, in light of the developments that have taken place in G.I.S, it should be revised. Suggested Revised Recommendation: That the NPCA maintain its G.I.S. restoration database as a tool in determining priority areas for remediation within the watershed and collaborate with NWQPS in G.I.S. information management. 32. Establish an International RAP. The creation of an International RAP for the Niagara River AOC has long been supported by Ontario, Canada and Niagara River RAP participants. The International Joint Commission (IJC) has consistently called for an International RAP in international boundary waters. However, New York State opposed the idea of an International RAP and this has resulted in two separate RAP efforts being undertaken for the Niagara River. Both RAPs operate within a broader context of intergovernmental cooperation. Joint initiatives include the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP) and the International Board of Control under the Niagara River Treaty. 122

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update The NRTMP 181 has been implemented since 1987 by four environmental agencies in Canada and the U.S., referred to as “The Four Parties” (i.e., Environment Canada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region II, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation). The NRTMP is the program designed to reduce the concentrations of toxic pollutants in the Niagara River. Eighteen “priority toxics”, ten of which were thought to have significant Niagara River sources, were specifically targeted for reduction. The Four Parties re-affirmed their commitment to the NRTMP in a “Letter of Support” signed in December, 1996. Establishment of an international RAP is not essential for successful implementation of all remaining RAP actions in the Canadian portion of the AOC. A case for a partial delisting can be made if it can be demonstrated that the remaining beneficial use impairments in the Niagara River can be attributed only to sources and causes in the US portion of the AOC or from upstream in Lake Erie. Cross-border efforts are underway by the Niagara Region (NR), Environment Canada and the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo. A bi-national Summit was held in May 2006 with the theme: “One Niagara – Our Shared Resource,” and a proposed action plan to delist the Niagara River within the 2009 – 2012 timeframe was discussed. No further action is suggested for this Recommendation and it should be considered completed to the best of our abilities. Efforts will focus on the development of a rationale for partial delisting. Also, efforts will continue to seek out opportunities for international cooperation, as suggested through Recommendation #22. 33. Secure recognition of the remedial action plan as having fulfilled some of the requirements of the environmental assessment (EA) process. Subsequent review of this Recommendation indicates that it is not achievable because the RAP does not satisfy the requirements of either the Federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act or the Provincial Class Environmental Assessment process. Also, the recommendation does not move the AOC towards delisting; it is not supported by the regulatory agencies; and, it should be considered not applicable. 34. Develop model ‘terms of reference’ for remediation projects by community liaison committees. This Recommendation is not relevant to delisting the AOC. Currently, there are many models of “terms of reference” and Best Management Practices (BMPs) available to community liaison committees. 181 Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP) Progress Report and Work Plan. September 2005. 123

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