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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Table 4 below shows the

Table 4 below shows the sources of contaminants from outside the AOC and impacts on three of the beneficial uses. Table 4: Niagara River (Ontario) Area of Concern: Causes of Beneficial Use Impairments outside 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 Niagara River (NY) AOC ü ? ? Atmospheric Sources ? Exotic Biological Species ü ü Lake Erie/Lake Ontario ü ? Buffalo River AOC ? Legend: ü = YES ? = MAYBE Input from a Public Advisory Committee (PAC) (1989 – 1998) guided the development of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports. From the Problem Definition presented in the Stage 1 Report, the PAC developed a set of 16 goals. These Goals (listed in section 2.0), formed the premise for and guided the development of the 37 recommendations in the 1995 Stage 2 report. The Stage 2 report “The Cleanup Connection”, was released in 1995. This report outlined the monitoring program needed to track project success and a RAP implementation structure. The 37 recommendations, selected through agency and public consultation, were chosen to help restore the impaired beneficial uses in the AOC (presented in Section 2.1). An action plan to address these recommendations in conjunction with implementation partners was then described in the Implementation Annex. In 1999, the NPCA assumed the role of RAP Coordinator and thus coordinated the RAP team preparing the Niagara River RAP Implementation Annex, 18 identifying actions and stakeholders within the AOC. The Implementation Annex (completed in 2000) laid out implementation activities which included both a work plan and several new actions. This document also provided a framework for annual progress reporting and liaison with the appropriate RAP partners (listed in section 5.1). This report (Stage 2 Update) is the most current information on the status of the AOC and thus replaces both the 1995 Stage 2 report and the Implementation Annex. 18 Niagara River Remedial Action Plan. November 2000. Implementation Annex. 8

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update Since originally being designated an AOC in 1987 many actions have been undertaken in the AOC. Also, influencing factors have changed over time including environmental conditions, remediation technologies, analytical capabilities, and the scientific understanding of environmental issues. In 2004, the lead government agencies (EC, NPCA and MOE) initiated a review of the current state of the Niagara River AOC in Ontario. As a result of the review, the Stage 2 Update reports on the progress and accomplishments achieved to date in the RAP; the current status of the impairments in the AOC; the remaining actions needed to achieve delisting; and, describes how progress will be measured towards delisting. Both of the Niagara River RAPs (Ontario and New York) also draw upon the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP) to support the reduction of toxic chemicals in the Niagara River. There are discussions underway on the principles and process for delisting binational AOCs. Further information on how these will apply to the Niagara River AOC is expected in the future. 1.4 Influences on the RAP since 1995 A number of initiatives and developments have taken place since 1995 that have an influence on the RAP. These influences affect the programs and priorities of RAP partners and agencies. These include a global designation for the Niagara River corridor, Provincial and Regional land use planning legislation, Welland River initiatives and Source Water Protection legislation. Below is a list of these initiatives and developments: Global designation: 1996: The Niagara River corridor global designation as an Important Bird Area Welland River initiatives: 1999: The Welland River Watershed Strategy 2007: Completion of the Welland River Water Level Fluctuation Study Land use planning and development: 2005: The Greenbelt Act 2005: Places to Grow Act 2005: Provincial Policy Statement 2005: Niagara Region Policy Plan Amendment 187 2006: Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Administration of the Waterways, Valleylands and Wetlands Regulation (O. Reg. 155/06) 2009: Niagara 2031 – Regional Growth Management Strategy What is the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP)? In 1987, Environment Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the New York State Department of Conservation – the “Four Parties” – signed the Niagara River Declaration of Intent (DOI). The purpose of the DOI is to reduce the concentrations of toxic pollutants in the Niagara River through the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP). Since then, the agencies for the two countries have continued pooling their resources and gathering more information on environmental conditions in and around the Niagara River. 20 Eighteen “priority toxics” were specifically targeted for reduction, ten* of which were designated for 50% reduction from both point and nonpoint sources in Ontario and New York State by 1996 because they were thought to have significant Niagara River sources. 21 This target has been met or exceeded, except for certain toxics. * - See Appendix 5 for further information on the NRTMP, the list of priority toxics and the Niagara River Mussel Biomonitoring Program. 20 International Joint Commission. June 2002. Niagara River Area of Concern Status Assessment 21 The Niagara River Toxics Management Plan. September 2005. Progress Report and Work Plan. 9

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