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Archive for the ‘Concerns’ Category

Wirtanen Road Access to Vermilion River Properties

The Vermilion River Stewardship is writing to request that Council support the Motion to maintain jurisdiction and maintenance over the Wirtanen Road and stub, and all other Trespass Roads throughout the Greater City of Sudbury.

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Assessing landscape and contaminant point-sources as spatial determinants of water quality in the Vermilion River System, Ontario, Canada

As part of the Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Monitoring Project, funded through a 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, Carrie Strangway completed her Master’s Thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree of Master of Science in the Faculty of Science, Applied Bioscience, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.  What follows is Carrie’s published Thesis:

Abstract The Vermilion River and major tributaries (VRMT) are located in the Vermilion watershed (4272 km2) in north-central Ontario, Canada. This watershed not only is dominated by natural land-cover but also has a legacy of mining and other development activities. The VRMTreceive various point (e.g., sewage effluent) and non-point (e.g., mining activity runoff) inputs, in addition to flow regulation features.

Further development in the Vermilion watershed has been proposed, raising concerns about cumulative impacts to ecosystem health in the VRMT. Due to the lack of historical assessments on riverine-health in the VRMT, a comprehensive suite of water quality parameters was collected monthly at 28 sites during the ice-free period of 2013 and 2014. Canadian water quality guidelines and objectives were not met by an assortment of water quality parameters, including nutrients and metals. This demonstrates that the VRMT is an impacted system with several pollution hotspots, particularly downstream of wastewater treatment facilities. Water quality throughout the river system appeared to be influenced by three distinct land-cover categories: forest, barren, and agriculture.

Three spatial pathway models (geographical, topographical, and river network) were employed to assess the complex interactions between spatial pathways, stressors, and water quality condition. Topographical landscape analyses were performed at five different scales, where the strongest relationships between water quality and land-use occurred at the catchment scale. Sites on the main stem of Junction Creek, a tributary impacted by industrial and urban development, had above average concentrations for the majority of water quality parameters measured, including metals and nitrogen. The river network pathway (i.e., asymmetric eigenvector map (AEM)) and topographical feature (i.e., catchment land-use) models explained most of the variation in water quality (62.2%), indicating that they may be useful tools in assessing the spatial determinants of water quality decline. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lower Vermilion Water Quality Monitoring Project – VRS presentation to Vale

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Water and Wastewater Master Plan – VRS Comments

Large volumes of untreated and undertreated wastewater are being released into our local creeks, rivers, and lakes when heavy rain events occur, and this will become increasingly problematic as the climate warms.  For example, on the 4th of April last spring, within 24 hours a Major primary bypass of 122,404 m3, or 122,404,000 litres, of raw sewage was released into the Vermilion River, and in February 65,169 m3, or 65,169,000 litres, was released. Read the rest of this entry »

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Milfoil Madness – April 11, 2017 – 6:30 pm, Lockerby Legion, Sudbury

The Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance extends an invitation to attend an information session, “Milfoil Madness” on April 11th, 2017, at 6:30 pm, Lockerby Legion, Long Lake Road.

Featuring 2 presenters from the Ottawa area:  Giorgio Vecco and Rob Perrins.   As 18 lakes have been invaded by Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) in our City of Lakes, there is avid interest in their latest research and new technology to control/manage EWM.

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Journey with Jim: A river runs through it

October 26, 2013, the Sudbury Star

We can hear the rapids before we see them, a sibilant rumble that sounds almost like the name of the place we’re visiting.

Wabagishik, the word for both the whitewater ahead and the wind-ruffled lake behind us, turns out, however, to be only accidentally onomatopoeic. According to Linda Heron of the Ontario Rivers Alliance, who consulted a First Nations teacher for the definition, it’s the Ojibwe term for white cedar.

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Simon Lake Community wants reprieve from Algae

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The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) is writing to express concern over an HCI Grant Application by the Simon Lake Community Stewardship Group (SLCSG), requesting that the City of Sudbury purchase a mechanical harvester to remove algae from Simon Lake. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wabagishik still at risk – but it’s not over until it’s over

An update on the previous post found here.

It appears that what we thought was a done deal, is still uncertain.  Xeneca has now invited all requesters to take part in a Project Liaison Committee meeting.

On the 11th of July, 2016, shortly after receiving the lists indicating that all of Xeneca’s FIT Contracts had been terminated, ORA and VRS wrote to the Minister protesting his decision to approve the Wabagishik Rapids GS, with conditions, on the grounds that it was based upon inaccurate and unsupported responses contained within the Ministry Review (Review) document, Xeneca Power Development Inc.’s (Xeneca) correspondence, and the Environmental Report (ER).  The Minister’s office responded on the 16th of August, 2016, basically declaring that if we had questions about what was or was not contained in the ER that we should ask Mark Holmes.  On that same day, Xeneca contacted the Chair of ORA and VRS with an invitation to attend the PLC. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spatial-determinants of deteriorating water quality in the Vermilion River, by Carrie Strangway, UOIT

As part of the Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Monitoring Project, funded through a 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, Carrie Strangway completed her Master’s Thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree of Master of Science in the Faculty of Science, Applied Bioscience, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.  What follows is a poster of her more detailed manuscript, which will be published shortly:

Abstract 

The Vermilion River and major tributaries (VRMT) receive various point and non-point inputs, in addition to several flow regulation features, along their continuum. Further development in the Vermilion watershed has been proposed, raising concerns about cumulative impacts to the ecological health of the VRMT. To assess the current state of riverine health, water quality metrics were monitored monthly at twenty-eight sites during the ice-free period of 2013 and 2014. Generation of landscape-scale data revealed a broad range of land-cover and road density in the watershed at differing landscape-scales. Sites on the main-stem of the Junction tributary had above average concentrations for the majority of water quality parameters measured, specifically, sites within Copper Cliff Creek and Junction Creek (i.e. CC- 12 and JUN-13) were the most impacted. The river network pathway (i.e. asymmetric eigenvector map (AEM) eigenfunctions) and topographical features (i.e. catchment land-use) explained most of the variation in water quality (62.2%), thus both proved to be useful spatial determinates of deteriorating water quality.

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Victory for the Vermilion River – A Roller Coaster Ride

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Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River

The Vermilion River has been under threat from the proposed development of 4 modified run-of-river hydroelectric facilities since finding out about them late in 2010.   The proposed Wabagishik Rapids Generating Station was the first of the 4 to move forward, and in November of 2013, the Vermilion River Stewardship, Ontario Rivers Alliance, and over twenty other individuals and organizations made Part II Order requests to the Minister of Environment, indicating that in our opinion Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca) did not meet the requirements of the Class EA for Waterpower in several areas, and requested that the Environmental Report (ER) be elevated to an Individual Environmental Assessment, a more rigorous environmental assessment.   Read the rest of this entry »

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THANK YOU ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION, KGHM INTERNATIONAL & CONSERVATION SUDBURY FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!

The Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Program is a 3 year study to characterize the lower Vermilion River to identify all negative inputs and outputs affecting water quality, and to ultimately recommend a course of action to protect and restore water quality on the Vermilion River system.