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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

1.3 Brief overview of

1.3 Brief overview of the Niagara River RAP A history of the Niagara River RAP reports is outlined below. NIAGARA RIVER AREA OF CONCERN (AOC) Remedial Action Plan Process Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (1987) ‣ Identification of 43 AOCs ‣ Identification of 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI) Stage 1 (1993) Problem definition Scope of AOC F U T U R E P R E S E N T P A S T Stage 1 Update (1995) Stage 2 (1995) Implementation Annex (2000) Stage 2 Update (2009) Stage 3 (2015?) Data on the 14 sediment sites Identification of improvements in pollution point sources (industrial and municipal) and non-point sources (rural) Identification of 16 Goals Identification of 37 Recommendations Development of Delisting Criteria RAP actions underway (e.g. Atlas Reef - sediment cleanup) Implementation Activities (work plan) Section I - Review / refine delisting criteria Section II - Progress made ‣ Review Goals, Recommendations and Implementation Activities that are designed to support ecosystem recovery Section III - Impairment evaluations ‣ Review status of individual BUIs against Delisting Criteria through analysis of most current data Section IV - Redesignation of individual BUIs ‣ Change of status (requires further assessment / impaired / not impaired) Section V - Monitoring plan Confirmation through monitoring that BUIs and ecosystem health are restored The Niagara River (Ontario) AOC Remedial Action Plan process 6

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update The Niagara River AOC Stage 1 report 15 (“Environmental Conditions and Problem Definition”) was completed in September 1993. This report was followed by a Stage 1 Update report 16 detailing restoration initiatives underway by various RAP partners. The Stage 1 Update report 17 includes new information (e.g., studies) that was previously considered “outside” the scope of the Stage 1 report at the time. The purpose of these reports was to describe the current environmental conditions in the AOC, identify sources of contamination, and outline the extent of beneficial use impairments (BUIs). RAPs address local contaminant sources within the AOC. However, sources of problems outside the AOC may also contribute to BUIs, but dealing with these sources is beyond the scope of the RAP. Table 3 shows the connections between the sources of local contaminants. Table 3: Niagara River (Ontario) Area of Concern: Causes of Beneficial Use Impairments within the AOC BUIs Fish Consumption Restrictions Degradation of Fish Populations Degradation of Wildlife Populations Degradation of Benthos Eutrophication Undesirable Algae Beach Closings Loss of Fish Habitat Loss of Wildlife Habitat # 1 3 3 6 8 8 10 14 14 Sources of problem within AOC Industrial Point Sources ? ? Municipal Point Source ? ? ü ü ? ? Combined Sewer Overflows ? ? ü ü ? ? Urban Runoff ? ü ü ? ü Rural Runoff ? ? ü ü ? ü Sediments ü ü Spills ? ü ? Natural Sources (e.g., Mercury) ? ? ? Fish Barriers ü ü Septic Systems ü ü ? Development Pressures ü ü ü Water Level Fluctuation ? ? ? ? ü Legend: ü = YES ? = MAYBE 15 Niagara River Remedial Action Plan. September 1993. Stage 1: Environmental Conditions and Problem Definition. 16 Niagara River Remedial Action Plan. March 1995. Stage 1 – UPDATE: Environmental Conditions and Problem Definition. 17 Niagara River Remedial Action Plan. March 1995. Stage 1 – UPDATE: Environmental Conditions and Problem Definition. 7

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