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Category Archives: Lakes & Rivers Improvement Act

ERO-019-4300 – Exempting 5 LRIA Orders from EBR Stakeholder Consultation Requirements

The ORA is in strong support of ensuring that MNRF is more efficient in issuing permits to remove old and unsafe dams; however, we are strongly opposed to exempting these five LRIA orders from the requirements to consult the public under Part II of the EBR. This would mean that stakeholders, the public and Indigenous communities would have no opportunity to be consulted and provide input on projects that could heavily impact their property values, quality of life, and other important landowner interests!

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Exempting dams from requiring a Permit to Take Water – ERO-019-2517

Melville Dam, Credit River, breached on 26 June 2017

ORA submits that the MECP’s priority must be the pursuit of its Statement of Environmental Values (SEV), and its vision and mandate of “an Ontario with clean and safe air, land and water that contributes to healthy communities, ecological protection, and environmentally sustainable development for present and future generations[i].  There is nothing in the MECP’s SEV that promises to “remove the regulatory burden” from industry or “provide some cost savings for dam owners and operators”.  It is not the MECP’s duty to save dam owners and operators money or ease their regulatory burden. Its duty is to fulfill its Mandate to protect the environment and to follow its promise of environmentally sustainable development for our present and future generations.  Certainly, MECP’s priority should not be to cut regulatory burden at the expense of our air, land and water.  It is a tragedy that today’s cost savings for dam owners and operators will be borne on the backs of our children and grandchildren.

[i] Statement of Environmental Values: Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

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Monitoring of Mercury Near Dams – LRIA, Ontario Regulation 102/20

ORA is very concerned about the extreme deregulation that occurred with the recent waterpower exemption to the Permit to Take Water, and in this new Mercury Regulation where new and significantly redeveloped electricity producing dams have not been addressed. These important legislative requirements were designed to ensure hydroelectric facilities are held accountable for environmental and socio-economic impacts and risks to communities and riverine ecosystems.

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ERO-019-1060 – Proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 454/96 (Construction) to provide alternative regulatory approval requirements for repairs to existing low hazard wetland dams

The Rudd Dam’s headpond had essentially turned into a large wetland created by over 100 years of sediment accumulating behind the dam, and the shallow pond’s water temperature was no longer viable brook trout habitat.  After the removal of the Rudd Dam the water temperature was reduced and brook trout habitat was made more resilient to a warming climate.  It was also an earthen dam that had already failed once, and the dam owner’s objective was to reduce his risk and liability.

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ORA Speaks to the Legislature, Re: Omnibus Bill 132

With the warming temperatures and extreme rain and drought events that climate change is predicted to bring with increasing frequency and intensity as time passes, decision makers and legislators bear a responsibility to strengthen freshwater protection and resiliency – not weaken it.  If this proposal moves forward it will be a precipitous turning point for our future with freshwater in Ontario and beyond.

You will find ORA’s submissions regarding Bill 132 here.

Check out ORA’s speech to the Standing Committee on General Government: Continue reading


Hillsburgh Dam and Bridge Class EA – Part II Order Request

It is imperative that the Town of Erin examines every means possible to make its community more resilient to climate change, and most importantly, to protect its finite freshwater resources and its fishery.  In fact, consideration of climate change was not even mentioned within the EA documentation, and ORA sees this as a major flaw, when it should have been included as a key consideration in the Scoring Matrix.

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Decision Notice: Alterations, Improvements & Repairs to Existing Dams, LRIA

Misner Dam, Port Dover

In November of 2015, Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) commented on EBR 012-5093,  regarding a Technical Bulletin for the Alterations, Improvements and Repairs of Existing Dams.  You can find our submission on our Blog here.  On March 24, 2016, ORA received a Decision Notice, as well as the approved Technical Bulletin. Continue reading


EBR 012-5093 – LRIA – Alterations, Improvements and Repairs to Existing Dams Technical Bulletin

Twin Falls GS, Abitibi River

ORA is very pleased to offer our comments on this EBR posting regarding the administration of Section 16 of the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).  However, to our knowledge, no decision has yet been made on the comments ORA submitted in January of 2014, regarding EBR 012-0562, the Technical Bulletins designed to provide guidance for dam location, operation, maintenance, amendments, reporting and approval under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).  Effective LRIA guidelines and policies are essential to regulating dams and maintaining healthy rivers.

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Hydro Impacts 101 – The Trade-offs

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Hydro Impacts 101 – The Trade-offs

Significant environmental damage from hydroelectric power generation has been ongoing for many decades in Ontario and in other locations throughout the world, yet the public has been led to believe that it provides a clean and green source of energy because there is no smoke, no ash, and no radiation. Indeed, some mistakenly think that all hydro contributes positively to the climate change issue.  “This report will help to set the record straight on just how clean and green waterpower really is”, said Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA). Continue reading


Recommended Phosphorus Reduction Targets for Lake Erie

lake-erie-algae-4[2]

Toxic and nuisance algal bloom occurrences in Lake Erie have increased over the past decade. The blooms threaten drinking water quality, increase costs associated with treatment needs, and occasionally force closures of treatment plants. They clog industrial water intake systems, adversely impact commercial and recreational fishing activities and other recreational pursuits, and degrade fish and wildlife habitat and populations.

Environment Canada solicited input on the draft target recommendations of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) Nutrients Annex Subcommittee from June 30 to August 31, 2015. Following consideration of input received, Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will finalize targets by February 2016. Development of binational phosphorus reduction strategies and domestic action plans to meet the objectives for phosphorus concentrations and loading targets in Lake Erie will be developed by 2018.

For more information about the GLWQA please visit Binational.Net(External link).

Submissions:

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