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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report


2.0 REVIEW THE GOALS OF THE NIAGARA RIVER RAP In 1995, the PAC identified environmental issues of concern in the Niagara River AOC. These issues were consolidated into a concise set of 16 goals in the Stage 2 report. These goals were used to guide the development of the RAP delisting criteria for restoring beneficial uses within the AOC. There was consensus during the review that the original goals would remain unchanged. Table 5: Goals for the Niagara River AOC 1. Preserve and restore a good quality sustainability habitat in the Niagara River through the virtual elimination of the discharge of pollutants, with the ultimate goal of zero discharge of persistent bioaccumulative toxics. 2. Seek extensions to the NRTMP goal of a 50% reduction of 10 chemicals, for further reductions by the year 2000, with eventual complete elimination of toxic discharges. 3. Continually improve the quality of treated discharges of municipal and industrial sewage effluent, with no spills or discharges causing fish kills or other undesirable impacts. 4. Reduction and virtual elimination of Combined Sewer Overflows. 5. Improve environmental quality so that there are no adverse effects or risks to human, animal and plant life so that consumption guidelines are eliminated, and water can be used without restriction for all desired uses. 6. Remediate and restore the Niagara River ecosystem so that human health is protected from deterioration from persistent toxins and pathogens. 7. Control nutrient loading levels to a point that excessive weed and algal growth do not occur. 8. Reduce and maintain bacterial, visibility, and toxic chemical levels to permit safe swimming. 9. Ensure water quality is sufficiently free of contaminants to be suitable for potable water after treatment in a modern plant, for industrial uses with minimal treatment, and for agricultural use. 10. Identify and correct high erosion areas so that non-storm suspended solids are less than 80 mg/l, sedimentation is reduced on fish spawning beds, and all life levels of desirable fish species are unimpeded. 11. Maintain and improve fish and wildlife habitat to encourage populations at healthy, contaminant free, selfsustaining levels without fear of bio-accumulation. 12. Sustain and improve the compatible Niagara River recreational and scenic resources. 13. Maintain and improve the recreational and scenic resources through enhancements to the existing paths along the Niagara River and its tributaries, controls on the placement of fill along the gorge face, reduction of debris and litter on shore and in the water, the encouragement of natural regrowth, and the restoration of avian and other habitat along watercourses. 14. Aesthetic impact issues to be clearly addressed in any development in the AOC. 15. Reduce non-point sources of pollutants, including sediments, and eventually eliminate discharges of persistent bio-accumulative toxics. 16. Identify and correct contaminated sediment sites so that benthic community structure and toxicity is similar to unimpacted sites. 12

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update 2.1 What work has been done (Recommendations and Implementation Activities) In order to assess RAP progress, it was necessary to examine the Implementation Annex and identify the theme categories and implementation activities that were relevant to the RAP recommendations. (See Table 6 – next page). Each of these relevant initiatives was then reviewed to determine the status of their progress in the Niagara River AOC. Did You Know? The Yellow Fish Road Program is a nation-wide environmental educational initiative launched by Trout Unlimited Canada in 1991. Participants remind the community of the importance of clean water and of properly disposing of hazardous waste by painting yellow fish near storm drains and distributing brochures. 24 The program is coordinated locally by the NPCA and is being promoted throughout municipalities within the Niagara Peninsula. 
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