3 years ago

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Consequently, the

Consequently, the Niagara River RAP Coordinating Committee has concluded that the Beach Closings Beneficial Use continues to be impaired due to the Queens Royal Beach. However, further monitoring and actions in the work plan are now underway to address this remaining beach. Impaired It is important to recognize that beach closings continue to occur in Southern Ontario due to a variety of causes including high E. coli levels. From June to the end of August, Niagara Region Public Health collects weekly water samples from the beaches which fall within their jurisdiction (Chippawa Conservation, Ball Street and Queen’s Royal beaches). This is complemented by the City of Hamilton’s Safe Water program which provides beach water quality updates on a regular basis from Victoria Day to Labour Day on beaches which fall within their jurisdiction (Binbrook Conservation beach). When water sample tests show a particular beach is not safe for swimming, Public Health Officials post signs at the beach warning swimmers that it is not safe to enter the water. It is important to heed these warnings. Information regarding beach postings is updated every week from June to the end of August. For the status of Niagara Region beaches, please visit the Niagara Region’s website or to call the Beach Hotline at 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7789 For the status of the City of Hamilton beaches, call Safe Water Hotline at 905-546-2189 Delisting Criteria: Delisting criteria were not developed as this BUI component was never shown to be Impaired - only Requiring Further Analysis. This Beneficial Use Impairment was reviewed by: Dr. Tom Edge, Research Scientist (Study Leader for Waterborne pathogens in the Water Science and Technology Directorate at Environment Canada) 64

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update 3.8 BUI Assessment: Fish Tumours and Other Deformities (designated only as Requiring Further Assessment) This BUI was first identified in the Stage 1 for the Niagara River AOC as Requiring Further Assessment. However, at that time there was very little data and/or anecdotal evidence (e.g., stakeholder complaints) demonstrating a concern regarding this BUI within the Canadian AOC boundaries. In 2009, several regulatory agencies were contacted to assess if they have had any new data or anecdotal evidence. It was found that: }} The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had not received any complaints about tumours from the commercial, recreational or bait fishers in the area. Anything that has been observed was dismissed as lamprey scars or some kind of fungal infection 101 . }} The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has had no external tumours encountered during the Angler Diary (2002 to current) 102 . To help further address the concern relating to the lack of empirical evidence to evaluate the status of this Beneficial Use, brown bullheads (Ictalurus nebulosus) were collected from 2 locations (Black Creek, a nearfield site and Queenston, a farfield site). The fish used to assess this BUI were only from the Black Creek site though (nearfield) as it was assumed this would represent the worst case scenario. Table 16: Sampling locations for fish tumours in the Niagara River (Ontario) AOC Location UTM Coordinates # of Fish Collected in 2004 # of Fish Collected in 2008 Black Creek Near field N42 57.136 W78 58.128 40 61 Queenston Far field N43 11.016 W79 03.448 43 59 In 2009, a study was commissioned by Environment Canada with Dr. Paul Baumann to evaluate the status of this BUI in all of the Canadian AOCs (Draft Assessment of Fish Tumours and other deformities BUI for the Canadian AOCs, 2009 by Dr. P. Baumann). This study examined tumour prevalence in brown bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus) fish within each of the AOCs and if so if it is significantly different from that at reference sites (e.g., a natural or background prevalence of tumours). This study determined that liver neoplasms (cancers and “benign” tumours) are the best indicator of chemical carcinogens and that skin tumours would no longer be used as a primary evaluation criterion. Thus, it was decided that the assessment process would be driven by the prevalence of liver neoplasms in brown bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus) fish in each of the AOC populations. The data that was available for reference locations was combined to develop a total reference target for non-urbanized locations and urbanized locations. The non-urbanized reference target has a prevalence of 1.05% (N= 761) of liver neoplasm in brown bullheads (Ictalurus nebulosus). It is this reference condition against which the data for the Niagara River AOC was compared, using a statistical significance value of P = 0.05. 101 Personal Correspondence Randy Tippin, Lake CO MNR 102 Personal Correspondence Jocelyn Baker/Ian Barrett, NPCA 65

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