Chedoke Creek Remediation Update: Ministry approves Chedoke Creek Workplan extension
HAMILTON, ON – On October 22, the City of Hamilton received Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) approval to extend the compliance deadline for the completion of the approved Chedoke Creek Workplan by 14 months to December 31, 2022.
The workplan is associated with the first part of an order the MECP issued the City in late 2020, related to the targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek. The Order requires the City to complete targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek, and undertake remediation activities in Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area. All other aspects of the Order remain in effect and are unchanged.
All parties recognized that the timelines outlined in the Order were challenging to achieve, largely due to the agency approvals required to process through the in-water construction. The compliance deadline was requested and extended after assessing and progressing through the necessary multi-agency permitting and approvals process, and assessing the in-water construction restrictions which included engagement and consultation with the following agencies:
- Hamilton Conservation Authority
- Ministry of Transportation
- Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
- Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
- Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
- Transport Canada
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
- Royal Botanical Gardens
- Indigenous Nations and partners including:
- Huron-Wendat Nation
- Six Nations of the Grand River
- Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
- Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council as represented by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute
This level of engagement, approvals and permitting to continue with in-water work is required to ensure remediation activities do not disturb the sensitive ecosystem including species at risk that may interact with the project.
The City continues to advance the permitting and approvals process and will inform the various internal and external stakeholders of this amendment to the Order. The City is making progress on remediation activities in preparation for the dredging work in Chedoke Creek including completion of topographic surveying, sediment testing, pre-qualification of contractors, species at risk investigations, and completion of hydraulic modelling.
The City of Hamilton is committed to the health of the watershed and to ensuring members of the public receive regular updates on the City’s efforts.
Timeline of recent events related to the Orders
- November 20, 2020 – City receives Provincial Officer’s Order from the MECP. The Order requires the City to submit a work plan outlining dredging for Chedoke Creek, and a report outlining remediation plans for Cootes Paradise by January 22, 2021. Additionally, a work plan and implementation plan related to the remediation of Cootes Paradise would be required within five weeks of the Cootes remediation plan being approved.
- November 25, 2020 – City requests a review of the Provincial Officer’s Order to seek clarity on what specific work needs to take place and what specific water quality standards the City is being asked to meet under the Order. The City also asked the Director to consider if eight weeks is a reasonable time frame to adequately develop a plan that meets the MECP’s expectations.
- December 4, 2020 – City receives Director’s Order from the MECP, which is in response to the request for review of the Provincial Officer’s Order. The MECP extended some deadlines outlined within the original Order, but did not extend the overall time required to complete the work.
- December 9, 2020 –The MECP issues charges to the City related to the discharge into Chedoke Creek, under the authority of the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act.
- December 16, 2020 – City chooses not to appeal the MECP’s Director’s Order and begins planning for the work outlined in the Order.
- January 15, 2021 – The City was required to submit to the MECP a written notice that the City retained the services of a consultant to complete the workplan.
- February 22, 2021 – The first part of the Order was submitted to the MECP, which included a workplan outlining plans for targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek.
- March 22, 2021 – The City submits the Cootes Paradise Report to the MECP which proposes remediation/mitigation methods to offset the added nutrient loading to Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.
- June 11, 2021 – The City receives MECP approval for the Chedoke Creek Workplan and Cootes Paradise Report.
- July 23, 2021 – The City submits a workplan to the MECP that details the remediation/mitigation methods to offset the added nutrient loading to Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.
- August 13, 2021 – The City receives MECP approval for the Cootes Paradise Workplan.
- September 8, 2021 – The City completes installation of small-scale aeration system close to the Kay Drage Park bridge.
- September 17 & 18, 2021 – The City completes installation of floating treatment wetlands just inside the Princess Point Embayment.
- October 22, 2021 – The City receives MECP approval extending the compliance deadline for the Chedoke Creek Workplan to December 31, 2022.