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Archive for the ‘VRS Comments’ Category

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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Vermilion River Watershed – Greater Sudbury Watershed Studies

VRS is recommending that a portion of the funding be assigned to a Master Watershed Study for the Vermilion River Watershed. This study would take a big picture perspective, and consider the cumulative effects that development, stormwater runoff, and wastewater and mining effluent are having on the Vermilion River. This would better inform potential mitigation measures required for the subwatersheds contained within it.

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Ramsey Lake Subwatershed Terms of Reference

The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS), is grateful for this opportunity to comment on the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Ramsey Lake Watershed Study; however, the short deadline for comments has made it challenging to make a thorough review.  VRS requests that a minimum comment period of 30 days be provided in all future requests for public feedback.  This would allow for an adequate opportunity to review and prepare a comprehensive and meaningful submission.

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Lower Vermilion Source Water Quality Monitoring Project – Final Report, by VRS

This is the result of a 3 year water quality sampling project on the Lower Vermilion River, within the Vermilion River Watershed.

A big thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding this important Project!!

Another big thank you goes out to KGHM International Ltd. for their generous donation and for Conservation Sudbury’s in-kind contribution towards the extension of our Project into the 3rd year!!

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Press Release: Sudbury Takes Strong Action to Protect its Citizens

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The VRS wishes to thank the City of Greater Sudbury, Jacques Barbeau, Michael Vagnini, and Sudbury Water/Wastewater staff for taking strong action to protect the health and safety of its citizens“, said Linda Heron, Chair of the VRS.

The City of Greater Sudbury has provided a Sewer Bypass Alert Notification, whereby you can register to receive email notification whenever there is a sewage bypass or wastewater overflow at any of their wastewater treatment facilities.

The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) lobbied for this real-time Alert to ensure those families relying on the receiving lakes and rivers for their household water and/or recreational activities are notified whenever a bypass occurs, and can take appropriate action.

You are encouraged to register here to receive Alerts when a sewage bypass or spill occurs.  All bypass events will be posted at this location for a period of 7 days after the bypass has ended. Monthly bypass and overflow reports are also available on the Stewardship page.

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Heavy Metal Contamination on Wabagishik Lake, Vermilion River – ORA presentation to MOECC

In July of 2014, the Chair of the Vermilion River Stewardship made a presentation to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change staff regarding concerns about heavy metal contamination in the Vermilion River that was not properly addressed by the proponent in consideration of the Wabagishik Rapids Generating Station Environmental Report:

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Development and Application of a Water Quality Model for Lakes in the City of Greater Sudbury – Hutchinson Report

Excerpt:

The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) wish to express our concerns regarding the recent report entitled, “Development and Application of a Water Quality Model for Lakes in the City of Greater Sudbury” (Report), by Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Inc. We understand that this report was initiated in late 2011 for the development of a watershed-based water quality model for the City of Greater Sudbury using the Lakeshore Capacity Model.

We have had an opportunity to review this Report in detail, and feel that it falls far short of its purpose, which is to provide technical guidance for the development and redevelopment of unserviced shoreline lots in support of Official Plan policies that are protective of water quality, technically sound, defensible, and which meet the intent of the Provincial Water Quality Objectives (PWQO) and Provincial Policy Statement. Our areas of concern are as follows:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Proposed Wabaghishik Rapids Generating Station – ORA & VRS Part II Order Request

Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River

Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River

Excerpt:

“This proposed Wabagishik Rapids GS ER as written does not meet the criteria of “Sustainable Development”, or contribute to “the betterment of the people of the whole or any part of Ontario by providing for the protection, conservation and wise management in Ontario of the environment.”   For all the reasons noted above, this project could compromise ecosystems for decades into the future as well as the ability of our future generations to meet their own needs.
Clean water is essential to life.

In all the years that Part II Order requests have been available to the public as a way to initiate a more rigorous Independent Environmental Assessment, there has never been one granted for a waterpower project. VRS and ORA submit that because of all the serious potential environmental impacts, the lack of attention to crucial components of the proposal, and the seeming inability of Xeneca to step up to the plate and do its due diligence for the environment and the people of Ontario, if ever there was an instance where an elevation is warranted – this would be it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Lively/Walden Wastewater Treatment System – Part II Order Request

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Algae on Simon Lake – Lively, Ontario

The City of Greater Sudbury is proposing to decommission the Lively Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and upgrade the Walden WWTP.  Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) has requested tertiary treatment, which is a third means of effluent treatment, to improve water quality on the lower Junction Creek, Simon Lake, McCharles Lake, and the lower Vermilion River.  VRS is making a request to the Minister of Environment to issue a Part II Order to elevate this proposal to an Individual Environmental Assessment.  See attached letter – Click to Download.

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Park Beach on Simon Lake

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Update: Cliffs Amended TOR formally submitted to MOE – Also

As you may be aware, Cliffs is currently undertaking an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Cliffs Chromite Project.  A number of studies and reports are required as part of the Environmental Assessment process.  One of these documents is the Terms of Reference (ToR), which specifies the studies to be conducted and the information to be provided by Cliffs as part of the EA to meet the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.  A Record of Consultation accompanies the ToR to provide documentation of communications and engagement activities with interested parties.

Cliffs has now formally submitted the Final Amended ToR and Amended Record of Consultation for the Individual Environmental Assessment of the Project to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). This initiates the Ministry review period, after which a decision on the Final Amended Terms of Reference will be made by the Minister.

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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.