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contamination. MPs and other politicians from across the region gathered in LaSalle Park Tuesday to announce the $205,000 being allotted for the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, … Swim Drink Fish also operates Swim Guide, Great Lakes Guide, and other water protection initiatives like our Citizen Science Water Monitoring Hubs. Given the nature of environmental problems which contribute to degradation of aesthetics restricting use of the water (e.g. Waterkeeper has no objection to narrowing the BUI “Impaired” designation to specific locations in the Hamilton Harbour with chronic problems, provided that the public should be given an opportunity to comment on a revised proposal. This is the minimum acceptable rating. In order to delist the Degradation of Aesthetic Criteria the data for the three consecutive years should illustrate that Hamilton Harbour’s waters are no longer impaired for the required length of time outlined in the delisting criteria. LaSalle boat launch 9. When the designation is considered again in the future, a new study should be conducted over three consecutive years and using the correct scoring methodology, at a more representative selection of sites. Remedial Action Plan for Hamilton Harbour: Environmental Conditions and Problem Definition. From the report itself: The failure of any environmental quality Index to consistently flag the presence of a limiting condition for a system under scrutiny is referred to as an "eclipsing problem". Observations made by the team on October 28th & 29th, 2015 found large plastic debris- namely plastic tampon applicators and needles-along the length of the rocky shoreline as well as floating in the water by the Waterfront Trail, which was one of the sampling sites for the Hamilton RAP Report. The tertiary treatment upgrades to the Woodward and Skyway WWTPs were designed to achieve Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan target for nutrient loading. You will not receive a reply. 3. On October 28th, 2015 a storm overwhelmed two of the underground tanks designed to hold wastewater overflow from Hamilton’s combined sewer system. Sediment sampling in Hamilton Harbour begins. The incidents reported above cannot be dismissed as rare or unusual aesthetic incidents. Sites like the Waterfront Trail, LaSalle Park Marina, or the Bayfront Boat Launch are maintained by the City of Hamilton, the City of Burlington, or the marina itself. The Degradation of Aesthetics BUI cannot be changed to “Not Impaired” status as long as sewage pollution causes a persistent accumulation of debris in the Hamilton Harbour. “The Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, supported by the Great Lakes Protection Initiative funding, is a testament to the importance of government and stakeholder partnerships in addressing environmental challenges in the Great Lakes,” he said. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s mission is to ensure our watershed is swimmable, drinkable, fishable for everyone. Like other Areas of Concern, Hamilton Harbour must eliminate fourteen Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). For example, the 12 shoreline locations (2 - 13 listed above) assessed in 2018 were not sampled evenly, or frequently enough. water quality, LaSalle marina 10. Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update: Recommendation FW-4 Page 107 HCA Planning and Regulation Policies and GuidelinesUndertake a feasibility and Pages 36-41, 55 buried streams in the study area. A representative sample should be an accurate and unbiased indication of the whole. To delist Degradation of Aesthetics criteria the HHRAP must present water aesthetics data for 3 consecutive years at consistent and random (unbiased by accessibility of the site) sampling locations. Published on March 12, 2020 by Mark Mattson. Significant progress has been made in addressing the environmental concerns in Hamilton Harbour. In response, a Remedial Action Plan was put in place for Hamilton Harbour. Third, the method used to evaluate water aesthetics in the Hamilton Harbour is flawed. The Remedial Action Plan Office is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the City of Hamilton, the City of Burlington and Halton Region. These pics don’t look like normal algae. Firstly, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and members of the public documented significant debris and pollution in Hamilton Harbour in 2015 and 2018. Waterkeeper, Swim Drink Fish, and the Swim Drink Fish design (icons) are registered trademarks of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. One of which is the Degradation of Aesthetics. Approximately half the flow into HH comes from two large wastewater treatment plants That number may sound comprehensive, but the study itself is deeply flawed. A multi-year, ongoing sewage spill into the Harbour was well-documented in media reports in 2019. The stakeholders include representativesfrom government, industrial, port, recreational and environmental groups which have an interest in the Harbour. Format: Book 1986 to 1992 The Canadian and Ontario governments lead the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) preparation for Hamilton Harbour and submit it to the International Joint Commission (IJC). Parameter Control Threshold Interpretation. Is this the right time? Second Edition of the Stage 1 Report. For enquiries, contact us. The most extreme result of this could be that no further plans are developed to address aesthetic problems with Hamilton Harbour waters (including sewage debris, plastics pollution, and chronic beach debris). The chart below is from Heidtke’s report; it identifies the control threshold for each category, with examples. For more information on the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern, please visit: Bay Area Restoration Council. The Office reports to the BAIT, coordinates day-to-day implementation of remedial measures, and works closely with the BARC to report on progress. In this comment, we provide evidence that shows Hamilton Harbour’s waters are still impacted by unnatural pollution, and particularly plastic and sewage debris. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper followed reports of the spill closely. Lake Ontario experienced higher than normal water levels during the summers of 2017, and 2019. Strong community support for the Remedial Action Plan is the direct result of the active role of the BARC. Figure 1 labels some basic Harbour features. Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan. The Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan identifies key impediments to the ecological health of the harbour and details the path to achieving the delisting of the harbour as an area of concern (AOC). ● Water aesthetic observations at the 12 public and accessible shoreline sites were only taken in 2018. ● Cootes fishway was only observed in 2015-2016, and; ● The Open Water locations were only observed in 2012. Hamilton Harbour waters are not free of debris specifically trash and/or sewage debris. The BARC also maintains a popular website that is the key information hub for the Remedial Action Plan. The average number of visits for the shoreline sites was 12, but the Massaca Bay was only sampled 5 times. The following photos taken during the clean up of Chedoke Creek illustrate the state of the water aesthetics caused by the sewage spill. Locally, the Hamilton Conservation Authority and Conservation Halton both have programs that protect natural heritage, restore habitat and … Similarly, Waterkeeper has no objection to focusing restoration and protection programs in areas where aesthetic issues are most acute. We do this by giving meaning and force to water protection laws and policy. To assess the Degradation of Aesthetics BUI the Hamilton RAP Report uses the Aesthetic Quality Index (AQI) developed for the Toronto RAP. The scores for each category are added together, then divided by four for an overall score (“the AQI”). The Hamilton Harbour and Region Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP) team has released a report entitled Status Report on the Degradation of Aesthetics Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) XI in the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (“Hamilton RAP Report” or 1 the “Report”). Is the Hamilton Harbour waterfront’s aesthetics problem really solved? combined sewer overflows which contribute sewage debris), it is highly likely these problem areas can be missed if sampling is sporadic, infrequent, and only done in augmentation of existing programs intended for other types and purposes of water monitoring. Pier 8, 8. In such cases, critical information is hidden or lost within a simple index value. Link to the instagram post documenting the smell and state of the water at Leander Boat club in Hamilton Harbour: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn04QbjHQel/?igshid=rizp8f1uy48i&fbclid=IwAR3QUrP2xvNIRVVWnFwuHhP uDo8r3eUCjCWTUmd38of-90eRy_VsJ4N324A, The comment on the post states: “Hamilton Harbour smells like an outhouse. Hamilton Harbour aesthetics was deemed impaired in 1992 with the causes listed as occasional oil sheens, algal blooms, objectionable turbidity, floating scum, debris, and putrid material. As a source for social, economic, and ecological progress, significant work has been done to remediate the Harbour and delist it as an AOC using a Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP) Stage 2 Report was completed in November 1992 and subsequently updated in 2002. Hamilton Harbour (HH) is located at the western end of Lake Ontario. Remedial Action Plan for Hamilton arbour Environmental Conditions and Problem Definition Second Edition of the Stage 1 Report October 1992 PREFACE This report provides a summary of conditions as they are presently known in Hamilton Harbour, and in Cootes Paradise, a shallow tributary embayment to the Harbour. The Toronto RAP methodology is based on a 1996 report by Thomas Heidtke and and Eric Tauriainen called “An Aesthetic Quality Index for Rouge River” (the Heidtke’s Report). Bayfront Beach hasn't met the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan's water quality criteria since 1999. The Council encourages community action by offering school programs, volunteer planting events, and community workshops. 100% of our proceeds support our core initiatives so Canadian communities can prosper. Pier 4 5. Waterfront Trail 2. In order to prove whether this criteria has been met, Hamilton Harbour RAP made 952 unique sampling events at 17 locations in 2012, 2015-2016, and 2018. The Aesthetic Quality Index formula is flawed. This is despite the fact that high water levels and wet weather are associated with worse water aesthetics, more litter and debris, and more sewage spills. Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan 3 Urban Runoff Burlington Report Executive Summary For the first time in 100 years the quality of the water in Hamilton Harbour will soon be determined by its watershed runoff. LaSalle spit 12. northeast shoreline adjacent. The city has also focused its efforts on cleaning and revitalizing the Hamilton Harbour with the help of the provincial and federal governments via the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan. The data for the evaluation of water aesthetics was collected on an opportunistic basis at locations where existing programs for water sampling and watershed work were already underway. Submission to Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan Committee. At these 952 unique sampling events 3376 observations were made on the clarity, colour, odour and debris of the water. A Stage 1 RAP completed in 1989 described conditions and impaired beneficial uses. Based on this evidence Waterkeeper concludes that the best course of action for the RAP Steering Committee, provincial, and federal authorities is to leave the “Impaired” designation in place for the Degradation of Aesthetics BUI until the Hamilton Harbour’s waters are free of sewage and plastic debris. The shoreline sample locations in 2018 include: 1. Guidelines relating to Great Lakes Areas of Concern and the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan designed to improve water quality, natural heritage values and aesthetics shall be used in the review of all development applications along the Burlington Bay/Hamilton Harbour waterfront. The Waterkeeper Investigation team was dispatched to Hamilton to record observations of the impact of this sewage spill on the on aesthetics to the Hamilton harbour. Prepared By: Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan P. O. Find event and ticket information. A remedial action plan for Hamilton Harbour was developed in 1992 and updated in 2002. During the 2015 investigation, photographic evidence of sewage debris was gathered. Preceded by planning, public consultations, and design, the upgrade project is intended to manage wet weather flows, provide better treatment capacity and meet a number of objectives defined by the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP) — a long term undertaking to restore the harbour. oil slick, surface scum, algae) for a period of three consecutive years. ● 12% of observations were assessed as having poor (i.e., unacceptable) aesthetic condition. The vast majority of observations reported in the Report had either Good or Excellent scores. Based on the data shared in the Report, water aesthetics data was gathered from a multitude of organizations monitoring the following locations during a specific year: ● 2012 - Open water, 1001, Open water, 9030, Open water, 9031, Open water, 9033. ● 2018 - 12 shoreline sites (listed below). Once the AQI value is determined, an aesthetic condition of Poor, Fair, Good, or Excellent is given. This is a significant difference from Heidtke’s method and suggests that the Hamilton RAP Report scores are higher (more positive) than they should be. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/hamilton-s-waterfront-trail-closed-after-pr otest-reveals-disgusting-sewage-1.3321129, http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6128974-battle-to-end-spills-800-olympic-sized-swi mming-pools-of-sewage-dumped-into-hamilton-harbour/, http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6119931-sewage-in-hamilton-harbour-came-from-late -october-storm/, http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6119362-protest-over-disgusting-pollution-prompts-ci ty-to-close-waterfront-trail/, http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6121647-waterfront-trail-reopens-after-pollution-scar e-city-is-flush-with-prevention-advice/, hamilton harbour, By 2021 upgrades to wastewater treatment plants will be complete and no Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (“Waterkeeper”) does not agree with this assessment. "It can be confused with food. The results of these observations are calculated from the data present in Table 3 of the Report: ● 66% of observations were assessed as having excellent or good aesthetic condition. The Bay Area Implementation Team and Bay Area Restoration will continue to play a role in addressing the important challenges that remain, including: ongoing water quality concerns arising from the high volumes of treated wastewater entering the harbour; algae blooms from the runoff of phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients; and the impacts of invasive species, such as carp. Photographic Evidence from the 2015 Sewage Spill Investigation. ● 21% of observations were assessed as having Fair aesthetic conditions. Second, the method used to assess the aesthetics does not adequately represent the condition of Hamilton Harbour water aesthetics. The problem, however, is that the formula used by Hamilton Harbour RAP (based on the Toronto RAP methodology) does not match the formula in Heidtke’s Report. The RAP includes a set of actions to improve harbour water quality and environmental conditions, and is intended to remove the harbour as an area of concern, designated by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in 1987. Islands of white in brown masses floating at RHYC, Leander boat club and along the waterfront trail yesterday.”. Programs are put in place to clean up sewage debris until infrastructure programs. It also supplies initial and final net loading targets for sources of contaminant discharge into the Harbour. The City of Kingston and Swim Drink Fish Canada unveiled the pier on July 26, 2018. For each observation, a rating between 0–10 is given (e.g., green-coloured water is given an 8, while grey-coloured water would be a 2). In Heidtke’s report, if any of the scores in any of the four categories match a control threshold (a predetermined low number), that “Poor” score overrides the total. Since the inauguration of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP) in 1992, community stakeholders have accomplished a great deal of the work described by the plan - more than half, in fact - and the City of Hamilton and City Council are leading the way. Areas of Concern are scientifically evaluated against a list of 14 standardized issues. You are invited to explore, learn and contribute to ideas and issues regarding the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan and the health and restoration of the watershed. The report mentions they made environmental observations at every site they visited during these years, for a grand total of 3376 observations. 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