Wasteland to parkland: the Cherry Farm/River Road Remediation by JG Goeddertz, JH Kyles, MS Raybuck
Niagara River toxics 2000 by Niagara River Secretariate
Involving youth in water quality issues by J Spisiak
Remedial action plans in Lake Ontario Basin
Coarse monomedia filtration: a solution to wet weather flow by BT Smith and KM Miller
Water resources management history project by RD Hennigan
Managing Mercury in Erie County by MC Rossi
President's message by AJ Zabinski
Executive director's report by P Cerro-Reehil
Fall 2000 Vol. 30, No. 3
Remedial Action Plans (RAPS) were called for by the 1987 amendments to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, signed by the federal governments of the United States and Canada. The federal governments, in cooperation with state and provincial governments, committed to develop and implement RAPs in 43 Area of Concern (AOCs). The RAP process strives to identify environmental problems (beneficial use impairments); identify pollutants causing the problems; identify the sources of the pollutants; recommend and implement remedial activities to restore the beneficial uses and document progress towards restoration. The ultimate goal, therefore, is to restore the areas beneficial uses and be able to delist the AOC. Read on to find out about what's happening with the Lake Ontario RAPS. You can also find information on the following websites: www.cciwca/glimr/program-RAPs.html or wwwgreat-lakes.net/places/aoc/ontaoc.html.
Currently, the RAP is continuing the investigation and assessment of creek sediments; evaluating possible sources of PCBs and other contaminants; remediating inactive hazardous waste sites in the area; monitoring the creek; improving combined sewer overflows (CSOs); and continuing surveillance activities. Three New York State Clean Air / Clean Water Bond Act grants have been awarded to the City of Lockport; two projects will reduce CSOs and one will expand wastewater treatment capacity in the City's sewage treatment plant. Additional implementation activities that continue include: core sampling and investigation of the hazardous waste site at Williams Street Island.
Monroe County Department of Health takes the lead role in implementing the RAP. Currently four oversight committees are developing delisting criteria and monitoring needs. Implementation activities include lawn care education, pollution prevention for auto recyclers, phosphorus removal at small wastewater treatment facilities, creating a water quality education collaborative organization, establishing a phosphorus loading goal, and preparing small watershed plans.
Habitat restoration was identified as the key activity which needs to be addressed to move the RAP to implementation. The Remedial Advisory Committee will focus on the recommendations, next step remedial strategies, and restoration/protection criteria for the area of concern. Important elements of the RAP remedial strategies include upstream watershed activities involving power dam relicensing requirements regarding habitat and flow, inactive hazardous waste site remediation including the Onondaga Lake cleanup, continued fish flesh studies involving Lake Ontario and the Oswego River area, contaminated river sediment determinations, and identifying and conducting investigations to assist in use impairment assessments.
RAP implementation continues with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority as the local coordinating agencies. The City of Toronto is developing a wet weather flow plan to address the CSO problem, and an interagency, coordinated watershed monitoring framework is being developed to track progress towards delisting. At the November 1999 Clean Water Summit, two hundred and thirty participants called for protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine the headwaters of the Toronto AOC watershed. 1999 RAP Award winners were recognized for the 15 km Bartley Smith Greenway plantings and naturalization in the Don River Valley, the Etobicoke Storm Water Exfiltration System, a 2-km in-system retrofit storm water management technology that allows storm water to filtrate back into the soil, and the Peel Children's Ground Water Festival, educating some 5000 children a year about water resources and the environment.
The Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth is currently undertaking major improvements at the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant at an expected cost of $21 million. Shoreline habitat construction has resulted in an increase in the number of fish species and the area of aquatic plant vegetated cover. (Northeastern Shoreline, LaSalle Fact Sheets, 1998) Pending the results of an environmental assessment and public review, the Randle Reef contaminated sediment clean-up project is expected to begin in the summer 2000.
Contaminated sediment from the harbour is to be removed to a low level radioactive waste storage facility. A conceptual plan for the facility was developed and approved in 1999 with local endorsement. Natural Resources Canada is currently negotiating a draft agreement with the town of Port Hope. Cleanup of the contaminated sediments in the harbour would lead to the restoration of this area of concern.
RAP implementation activities continue to be focused on restoring and protecting habitat, optimizing sewage treatment plant operations and reducing phosphorus loadings, and increasing farm acreage converted to conservation tillage. Habitat gains are
being realized and there are now a greater diversity of top order predators in the fishery. Delisting criteria are being reviewed considering the gains made to date.
Comprehensive information on the Lakewide Management Plan for Lake Ontario is available on the web.
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