The City of Hamilton announced plans to move forward with the dredging of Chedoke Creek in 2021, in compliance with orders from the province.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) ordered the City to undertake further efforts to clean up the creek and Coote’s Paradise following the leak of billions of litres of combined sewage and stormwater runoff into the watercourse.
The City sought to extend their deadlines for planning and executing the orders, and they were partially granted in that they were able to obtain a later deadline for plans to be submitted to the MECP but the date by which the work is expected to be done by remains Oct. 31, 2021.
“The City will be moving ahead with the work outlined in the Order and do its best to mitigate any potential challenges that may arise in completing the work under the prescribed timelines, which likely includes obtaining the required permits from all levels of government before beginning the dredging of the creek,” the city’s release said.
“Once permits are obtained, dredging is expected to take several months, weather dependent.”
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Earlier this month, the MECP issued several charges against the City of Hamilton under the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act over the spill.
In late 2019, the City revealed the discovery of a leak of approximately 24-billion litres of stormwater runoff and sewage into Chedoke Creek over a span of more than four years.
The City has undertaken efforts to remove ‘floatable material’ from the waterway in West Hamilton and has initiated several measures to improve water quality and wastewater monitoring throughout the city.
The dredging of Chedoke Creek and Coote’s Paradise is expected to further improve the water’s quality, possibly to a higher standard than even before the leak. Reports peg the cost of dredging at more than $2 million.
“The City will continue to cooperate with the Ministry to the best of our ability as we have since reporting the discharge in 2018, and seek clarity on what specific work needs to take place and what specific water quality standards we are being asked to meet,” the release said.
Timelines for the order require the City to have a remediation plan to the MECP by February 22, 2021, and for all remediation be complete by October 31, 2021, which requires the City to obtain permits from the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks, and Transport Canada.