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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

}} Completion of a new

}} Completion of a new work plan for the Niagara River AOC; }} Completion of a draft monitoring plan for the Niagara River AOC; }} Fish barrier mitigation program is 80% complete; }} Natural Heritage Inventory of the Niagara River AOC report and mapping near completion; }} Monitoring and data that has been collected through the Welland River Eutrophication Study; }} Fisheries Community Monitoring and Implementation of Walleye restoration project in the Welland River West and habitat enhancement projects planned (with some already implemented); }} 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) Based on the aforementioned progress and review of suggested Delisting Criteria, the Coordinating Committee recommended updating the criteria. The recommended Delisting Criteria in this document also utilize a standard definition of reference site. Reference site conditions are important as they are the baseline by which meeting environmental delisting targets will be gauged. One should bear in mind that AOCs were designated in 1987 because they were deemed to be more degraded compared to non- AOC sites. With many AOCs making substantial progress in implementing restoration actions, there is a need for greater clarity with regards to measuring when delisting has been attained. Hence, current thinking is that reference conditions will be based on conditions in areas that are outside of the AOC and have similar physiographic characteristics and land use pressures. This document also ensures consistency with the wording and usage of a reference site between the various Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). Specific locations for reference sites that will be chosen for each of the delisting criteria are still under review. These recommended Delisting Criteria will be presented to the general public of the Niagara River AOC for their review and comment during the review of the Stage 2 Update (2009). Sincerely, Valerie Cromie (Niagara River AOC RAP Coordinator) On behalf of the Niagara River AOC Coordinating Committee 136

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update Summary of Delisting Criteria (NI = Not Impaired; RFA = Requires Further Assessment) Beneficial Use Impairment 1) Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption Typically broken into two sections when assessed: }} fish consumption }} wildlife consumption 2) Tainting of fish and wildlife flavour Stage 1 Status (1993) Stage 2 Status (1995) Suggested Delisting Criteria ( June 2007) Impaired Impaired }} There be no restrictions on the consumption of fish in the Ontario portion of the AOC. The probable source of contaminants causing the restrictions will be considered, and comparisons will be made with contaminant levels in appropriate fish species from a suitable non- AOC reference site or sites. Proposed Delisting Criteria (March 2009) 1. No restrictions on the consumption of sport fish in the Ontario portion of the AOC due to locallycontrollable contaminant (PCBs and dioxin-like PCBs) sources. The probable sources of contaminants causing the restrictions will be considered; locally-controllable contaminant sources will be addressed by the Niagara River RAP. Any regional or upstream sources that are likely the cause of remaining restrictions on sport fish consumption in the AOC will be identified and referred to a broader regional program (i.e., Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan, Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan and Niagara River Toxic Management Plan). Restrictions on sport fish consumption in the AOC will be evaluated through comparison to restrictions present in appropriate fish species from a suitable non-AOC reference site or sites. 2. OR if a contaminated site (as designated by the Niagara River Contaminated Sediment Technical Advisory Group*) fails to meet the criteria described above in regard to fish and wildlife consumption, then a risk based Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy must be in place with appropriate monitoring and mitigation measures and/or administrative controls. RFA RFA (Note: A delisting criteria will be developed if this BUI component is shown to be Impaired) NI NI 137

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