Chedoke Creek Spill Update

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City of Hamilton issued a media release today, following an update the General Issues Committee received about ongoing mitigation and remediation of Chedoke Creek.

For more details, please continue reading below…

Chedoke Creek spill update: City responds to Orders from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks

MARCH 17 2021

The full City of Hamilton release can be found here.

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier today, the City of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee (GIC) received an update on a proposed remediation and mitigation work in Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area. The update included information associated with the second part of an Order issued by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) related to the discharge in Chedoke Creek.

The Order, issued in late 2020, requires the City to complete targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek, and undertake remediation activities in Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.

The second part of the Order, which is related only to the remediation and mitigation works to offset the impacts associated with nutrient loading to Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area, must be submitted to the MECP on March 22, 2021.

GIC received information about the ongoing stakeholder consultation process that is needed to address the requirements described in the Order. The City is leveraging broad stakeholder consultation that was previously initiated as part of the Chedoke Creek Water Quality Improvement Framework Study.

The benefit of having conducted broad stakeholder consultation through the previously initiated Framework Study allowed the City an initial level of feedback on those options being considered to address the Order requirements. This consultation included discussions, meetings and correspondence with key stakeholders and agencies, including:

  • Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) with MT Planners (RBG Consultants)
  • Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA)
  • Ministry of Transportation (MTO)
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
  • Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC)
  • Environment Hamilton (EH)
  • Independent Indigenous Representatives
  • Conservation Halton (CH)
  • Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP)
  • MPP Hamilton West (Sandy Shaw)

The City of Hamilton continues to be 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 MECP’s Director’s Orders were submitted to the Ministry. This included a workplan for targeted dredging in Chedoke Creek.
  • March 22, 2021 – The second part of the MECP’s Director’s Orders are due to the Ministry. This includes a report proposing remediation/mitigation methods for Cootes Paradise and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area.

Today, the City has launched a new page on its website summarizing the Chedoke Creek spill and remediation activities. It includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the spill and remediation activities, a chronology of events and links to consultant reports. The website is available at www.hamilton.ca/chedokecreek

Additionally, in September 2020, the City retained the services of a consultant to complete a Chedoke Creek Water Quality Improvement Framework Study. Independent to the work in the Order, the study has identified short-term and long-term operating, capital and policy work that will improve water quality within the entire Chedoke Creek watershed. Last week the City launched the Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Master Plan study, which will help determine the short and long-term water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure needs to support the city’s growth to the year 2051. The Master Plan consists of a review of growth projections, servicing policies, design criteria and how it impacts water, wastewater and stormwater services. Residents are invited to learn more and share their questions about the Master Plan by visiting: engage.hamilton.ca/wwsmasterplan

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office here.