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Category Archives: Environmental Assessment Act

ERO-019-7891-Proposing to Revoke the Municipal Class EA and make a New Regulation

Toronto Harbour Sewage Bypass – CBC

This proposal has the potential to pose major environmental and public safety risks to stakeholders, the public, and Indigenous communities. Consequently, the ORA is strongly opposed to all aspects of this proposed new MPAP regulation and highly recommends the complete withdrawal and permanent abandonment of the entire MPAP Regulation and revocation of the MCEA.

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ERO-019-7356 – Development of a Project Evaluation Policy under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act

This government has been systematically removing public consultation opportunities for projects and issues of strong public interest, which goes against the spirit and intent of section 35 of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR).

Provincial parks and conservation areas must not be exempt from the Environmental Assessment Act as there will be no legal requirement to consider:

  1. Potential environmental effects;
  2. Mitigation measures;
  3. Alternative ways of carrying out the undertaking, and
  4. Alternatives to the undertaking.

There is also no decision-making mechanism which considers the environmental advantages/disadvantages of the undertaking.

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ERO-019-4219 Project List Amendments; ERO-019-6693 Municipal Class EA; ERO-019-6705 Improving Timelines for Comprehensive EAs

Scanning Wabagishik for mussels.

For the reasons set out below, CELA and other aligned organizations and First Nations conclude that the various environmental assessment (EA) proposals set out in these Registry notices are highly problematic, unsupported by persuasive evidence, and contrary to the public interest purpose of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA), namely the betterment of Ontarians by providing for the protection, conservation, and wise management of the environment. 

Accordingly, we collectively recommend that these current proposals should be withdrawn and re-considered by the Ontario government. 

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ERO-019-4867 – EA Requirements for Advanced Recycling Facilities – Joint

“Advanced recycling” is an umbrella term, sometimes also called “chemical” or “molecular recycling” that encompasses an ever-growing list of technologies that are speculative when it comes to recycling plastic. The reality is that there is no known commercial example of an “advanced recycling” facility anywhere in the world that turns plastic waste back into plastic products or packaging.

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DRAFT PROJECT LIST REGULATION UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT ACT (ERO 019-4219) – Joint

West Credit River. Photo by Steve Noakes.

 Accordingly, we request that the Ministry revise and re-post the draft regulation for further public review/comment to ensure that it fully implements the stated purpose of the EAA, namely, the betterment of the people of Ontario by providing for the protection, conservation, and wise management of the environment. 

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ERO 019-4219 – Moving to a project list approach under the EAA

West Credit River Brook Trout – Photo by Steve Nokams

When these unregulated projects come home to roost, and the environmental impacts begin to damage or destroy highly valued public interests, such as our lakes and rivers, endangered species, our drinking water, and the economy, the government will pay a very high price.  Unfortunately, the damage that will result from these irresponsible and negligent actions will not easily be undone, and in many cases will not be resolved in our lifetimes.

If the government wants to incorporate “one-project, one review”, then it must be a robust EA process with fulsome public and Indigenous consultation, or it may find the process much longer than it might have intended.

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EBR Application for Investigation of Town of Erin – Proposed Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant – Joint

West Credit River Brook Trout. Photo by Steve Noakes.

The Belfountain Community and Planning Organization and Linda Heron are filing an Application for Investigation of the Corporation of the Town of Erin, under Part V, of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993. We are very concerned that the Town is moving forward to the construction phase of the Project when it has not yet fulfilled key commitments it made in its Town of Erin Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class Environmental Study Report.  The Ministry will investigate whether the Town contravened or violated Section 38 of the Environmental Assessment Act. 

Please click on this Google Drive link to view or download the Application for Investigation and Appendix A.  Continue reading


ERO-019-3268 – Strengthening our Environmental Compliance Approach

West Credit River, Photo by Steve Noakes

The ORA offers strong support for polluters being held accountable; however, that isn’t what’s happening here.  Rather than strengthening enforcement tools that hold polluters accountable, this government is systematically and persistently dismantling, weakening or bypassing all environmental policy and legislation that was designed to protect the environment and deter those industries, corporations or individuals who would pollute and/or destroy the environment.

These ERO postings consistently mislead the public, especially in the top several paragraphs and titles, which contain misleading introductions to the proposed policy the government is proposing.  In fact, you can always count on these “modernization” policy changes to be a further attack on environmental policy and legislation. It is even more despicable that these attacks have largely been carried out during the government’s declared COVID Emergency, where no public consultation is required, and what consultation that does take place is meaningless when the main objective is to cut red tape and remove any roadblocks to development and pollution, in spite of the public’s strong recommendations to protect the environment.

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Erin WWTP – Concerns over Brook Trout and Fish Habitat on the West Credit River

Redds just below culvert.

To confirm our position that the habitat within the culvert is not degraded and supports Brook Trout throughout the year, we draw your attention to a video by Steven Noakes, a local videographer, entitled, Brook Trout fry at proposed outfall location Erin WWTP, taken on the 30th of April 2021 in and around the culvert at the proposed effluent discharge site. The video confirms that Brook Trout fry are abundant in and around the culvert and demonstrates that the culvert habitat is not degraded, removing any question that it supports Brook Trout. In addition, Brook Trout spawning activity occurs a short distance above and below the culvert, where redds are abundant within 75 to 100m of it. There is no question that this area supports Brook Trout in various life stages.

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Concerns over Brook Trout and Fish Habitat on the West Credit River

West Credit River. Photo by Steve Noakes.

The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) strongly disagrees with your response to our numerous concerns and recommendations when you assert that you “have concluded that temperature effects have been adequately assessed using field data, a nearby wastewater treatment plant’s effluent temperature data, and CORMIX – a state-of-the-art mixing model”. Your response totally ignored a key issue we raised that will impact on every aspect of stream health and Brook Trout survival, both over the short term and into the future. 

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