Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant – Federal Review Denied

 

For Immediate Release:  27 May 2021

Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant – Federal Review Denied

The Coalition for the West Credit River is disappointed that Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Environment and Climate Change Canada, decided not to designate the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant as a Project under the federal Impact Assessment Act.  Minister’s Letter to the Coalition for the West Credit River

Judy Mabee, Chair of the Coalition and President of the Belfountain Community Organization stated that, “The Coalition is not deterred by the Minister’s Decision.  We will continue on with our work to protect this highly valued coldwater Brook Trout population in the West Credit River. We are more than willing to work with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and other federal and provincial regulators, including the Town of Erin and its consultants, to advocate for a wastewater plant that sets a new best in class industry standard for the protection of sensitive coldwater receiving streams.”

Brook Trout are the ‘canary in the coal mine’, and the West Credit River has one of the few remaining self-sustaining native Brook Trout populations in Southern Ontario. Brook Trout are a highly sensitive species requiring cold and pristine waters. 

The Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant will pose a significant threat to Brook Trout with the daily discharge of 7.2 million liters of warm sewage effluent into West Credit River coldwater habitat.  The release of this sewage effluent will create an oxygen depleted and toxic plume that will extend several hundred meters downstream into Brook Trout spawning, rearing and nursery habitat.

Ms. Mabee said, “We will leave no stone unturned in our effort to protect Brook Trout and the unique coldwater habitat of the West Credit River”.

The Coalition would like to thank all those people, organizations and municipalities for supporting the Coalition’s Designation Request by signing our petitions, writing letters to decision makers, calling the Ministers’ offices, their MPs and MPPs to speak up for Brook Trout, Redside Dace, reintroduced Atlantic Salmon, and a healthy West Credit River ecosystem. The Cut the Crap, Keep the Credit petition has garnered over 22,000 signatures – so thank you everyone for your strong support. We are still wading through all the federal Impact Assessment documentation, but stay tuned, because we have more work to do”, said Mabee. 

The Coalition for the West Credit River represents the following organizations: the Belfountain Community Organization, Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club, Ontario Rivers Alliance, Ontario Streams, Trout Unlimited Canada – Greg Clark Chapter and the West Credit River Watch.

For more information contact:

Judy Mabee

President, Belfountain Community Organization

Chair, Coalition for the West Credit River

President@Belfountain.ca

Belfountain.ca

(416) 670-3879

www.CWCR.ca

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Town of Caledon – LDD Moths ( f.k.a. Gypsy Moths)

May 26, 2021 – As a result of current LDD moths (formerly known as gypsy moths) levels, Town Council directed staff to explore additional avenues to manage infestations on Town property in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation Authority.

“I understand the impact that LDD moths have had on our residents, and I share their frustration,” said Mayor Allan Thompson. “This is why we’re asking staff to investigate other avenues to control the spread of LDD moths, and further educate residents about how to handle the infestation on their property.”

Staff have been asked to look into reported problem areas and determine an action plan for the remainder of 2021. Council allocated $100,000 in emergency funds to immediately manage the issue on Town land. Staff will be bringing this plan to Council in July. In addition, staff were directed to develop control strategies and a management plan for Town property in 2022. 

Educational Resources

Join TRCA for an online introduction to LDD moth management. Learn about their life cycle, how to identify them, and what actions you can take to minimize their impact to trees.

Tuesday June 8, 2021 | 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Register: LDD Moth Management: Protecting our Forests

Learn more about LDD moth and how to protect trees on your property including tree wrapping and pheromone traps: caledon.ca/LDDmoths.

LDD moth on town property

If LDD moths are seen on Town property, please contact Service Caledon – 905.584.2272 x. 7750 or info@caledon.ca for investigation by a Town arborist.

Staff will survey the area to determine what trees in question are on Town property and decide what to do based on the severity of the infestation, level of defoliation, tree health, tree species and available resources. This may include working with external contracted services to identify the best option to manage LDD moths while they’re still in their caterpillar stage.

LDD moths on private property

Property owners need to consult with their chosen tree care professional to determine the best way to manage their own property. The Town does not provide service to private properties.

Community members can also report LDD moth sightings to the Invading Species toll-free hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or email info@invadingspecies.com (on public or private property).

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Gypsy Moth

Deforestation in Ontario has increased from 47,000 hectares in 2019 to 586,000 in 2021 There are about 500 plant species on their diet.   Another couple of years of infestation combined with hot summers and pests like cankerworm, can be deadly to our forests.  The worms love oak, maple, birch, alder, hawthorn, crab apple, beech, spruce and pine. Cedar, ash, azalea, holly and viburnum are less susceptible.

What to do?

It is a bit late for the scraping of eggs off tree trunks into a bucket of water with a bit of bleach or soap and leaving it sit for a few days before disposing, but this works in fall/early spring.  **Wear gloves. The caterpillar hairs can cause irritation.

Burlap banding can help. Take a 3 foot wide strip of burlap that will encircle the trunk, fold it in half lengthwise, wrap around the trunk and tie with twine, (within arms’  reach) and drape top half of burlap over bottom half.  When the caterpillars crawl in they are trapped and you can do the soapy water disposal…..daily.  Apparently other butterfly species do not like burlap.

Home Hardware supposedly sells “Tanglefoot”.  Budson’s in Erin sells supplies to help combat Gypsy Moth. 

The add says: Keep destructive bugs at bay with Tree Tanglefoot® Insect Barrier. This super- sticky, non-drying compound makes it impossible for pests like cankerworms, gypsy moths and other crawling insects to climb into your trees. The long- lasting compound works all season long. For the best results, use with Tangle Guard Banding Materials for easy removal. Looking for natural products? Tree Tanglefoot® is even OMRI rated and certified for organic gardening. 

  1. b) BTK Spraying

The deadline for signing up for Zimmer Air helicoptor spraying has passed  (March).  They spray at the 1/2 inch stage which is mid  to end of May.  They require your property roll number, area you wish sprayed, etc., and waivers from your adjacent neighbours if they do not wish to participate.  Something to think about for next year. 

Safer’s brand of BTK, is now available in Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and Glen Echo Nursery. The label says:  biological insecticide –  controls caterpillars, including cabbage worm, tomato hornworm, tent caterpillars, leafrollers and gypsy moth.

Mother Earth magazine (American) has an ad that says:  BTK is 100% natural/biological control/ no synthetic toxins. 

It is apparently harmless to honey bees and other beneficial insects and can be used up to a day of harvest of vegetables.

Finally, we have heard that the TRCA plans to spray some areas in Caledon, Brampton, Woodbridge, Stouffville….

 

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Send Comments to Minister Wilkinson

Residents of Belfountain,

Minister Wilkinson will make his decision May 26, 2021 as to whether he will designate the Erin Waste Water Treatment Plant for a full Federal Impact Assessment. It is important that he hear from you to know you support this designation. Your comments over the next week can make the   difference.  

 You can support the Coalition’s Designation Request in the following ways:

  • Sign this fully editable Petition letterto express your support, and it will go directly to Ministers Wilkinson, McKenna and Jordan, as well as the Impact Assessment Agency.
  • Sign the Cut the Crap, Keep the Credit Petition.
  • Call your local MP to ask them to support the Coalition’s Designation Request.
  • Call Minister Wilkinson at 819-938-3813R  to encourage him to Designate the Erin Wastewater Treatment Project.

Alternatively, you can send your own letter:

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BCO Annual General Meeting – This Tuesday May 11th at 7PM – You need to register this year

Hello,

Would you like to know what is going on in and around Belfountain?   Every year, our AGM is the best way to keep up to date and get the latest information.   

This year the AGM will be held via Zoom meeting or dial in by phone.   We need to send you an invitation with the access instructions so please register at rsvp@belfountain.ca.    If you do not have the instructions, you will not be able to get into the meeting.

 This is the link to the agenda for the meeting:  BCO AGM 2021 Agenda

Please join us on Tuesday May 11th, 2021 at 7PM via Zoom and phone dial in.   You can also access by phone therefore you do not need a computer to attend.

See you there !!

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Seniors Month – Free Swag Bag

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Fireworks

In addition to the risk of fire, fireworks are very disruptive to many people, our local wildlife, horses, livestock, and pets. 

The Town of Caledon prohibits setting off fireworks on:

  • public property
  • parklands and parks
  • roads and sidewalks

You can only set off fireworks on your property on:

  • Canada Day
  • Victoria Day

In the event of rain on any of the two days above, you may set off fireworks the following day. Please see the Fireworks By-law (2009-097) for more information. Any person who violates any provisions of the Fireworks By-law is guilty of an offence.

  Safety Guidelines

 

 

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Please Register and Attend Cataract Quarry Meeting – Tuesday April 27th, 6pm – 7pm

The B.C.O. encourages you to register and attend this meeting regarding the Cataract Quarry. We have received the invitation below regarding this. 

I’m working with CBM Aggregates on an upcoming application to licence and operate a dolostone quarry in Caledon.

The site is located between Main Street/Cataract Road and Mississauga Road, around Charleston Sideroad, and is identified as an area of High Potential for aggregate development in the Region of Peel and Town of Caledon Official Plans. The proposal is still in a very early stages of development.

We have held a series of virtual meetings with neighbours within a kilometer of the potential site, as well as a larger Caledon Open House on April 7, which included invitations to the residents of Belfountain.

We are planning a separate virtual presentation and Q&A on the proposal for members of the Belfountain Community Organization on Tuesday April 27, from 6-7pm.

Please let your members know that if they are interested in attending, they should email me at kevinp@campbellstrategies.com, and I will send them an invite for the session.

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Kevin Powers

Principal

Campbell Strategies

199 Bay St. Suite 3210

Toronto, ON M5L 1E7

647-673-8407

www.campbellstrategies.ca

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Belfountain Community Organization (BCO) Annual General Meeting 2021 – Please Register to receive the Zoom Information

The Belfountain Community Organization Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday May 11th, 2021 at 7 pm via Zoom and phone call.    

Please preregister by emailing rsvp@belfountain.ca.   We will need your email to send you the Zoom invite.  You are able to phone into the meeting as well as participate by computer.  Once you register, meeting instructions will be sent to your email in response.

Belfountain Community Organization (BCO)
Annual General Meeting 2021

  1. BCO Board of Directors Elections will be held:
    • Tuesday
    • May 11th, 2021
    • 7:00PM
    • Zoom Meeting or Dial In
  2. Calls for Nominations have been:
    • Posted on http://Belfountain.ca
    • Emailed to the current distribution list to reach residents in Belfountain and environs.
  3. NOTE: Nominations forms are available at Belfountain Community Organization Board of Directors Nomination Form 2021
  4. Rules for the Election Procedure
    • To be able to stand for election, must be a registered resident of Belfountain or environs
    • To register, please provide your address, telephone number and email address to secretary@belfountain.ca.
    • Nominations must be received 48 hours in advance of the AGM
    • Must be present for the meeting and agree in writing to serve on the board
    • No proxies will be accepted.

5.  The meeting agenda will be posted at Belfountain.ca and sent to our mailing  list by email prior to the meeting date.

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Exciting Update JDCL Erin Pit Expansion

Please join us in celebrating our successful objection to accepting the “James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) “Erin Pit Expansion – Caledon Side” License Application” as it was originally presented.

While we celebrate these accomplishments, there is some unfinished business. We have legal and expert fees that still need to be paid.

We have donors who are prepared to match dollar for dollar up to $15,000 but only until the end of April 2021.

This is great because we need over $35,000.

As your 100% volunteer organization, we really need your financial help. The BCO wishes to thank our community for its generosity of spirit in supporting this ‘David and Goliath’ challenge!

What Happened?

After more than a year of hard work and effort, we have reached a legal settlement that represents the needs of the community of Belfountain as well as directly affecting the residents who live in proximity to the pit.  We avoided a costly five-day LPAT (Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) hearing which could have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars without a guaranteed outcome, and we avoided the personal suffering if the case were lost.

Belfountain residents formally delegated and stated their objections to the Zoning By-law Amendment at a Town of Caledon public meeting in February 2020. To the surprise of residents, the Town Council quickly approved the required Zoning By-law Amendment without insisting on water quality protection for private wells or completion of social impact studies.

There was one item of merit that occurred at that February meeting, when conditions were added to the Zoning By-Law Amendment through a motion made by Ward 1 Regional Councillor, Ian Sinclair.    https://www.caledonenterprise.com/news-story/9858793-caledon-councillor-demands-conditions-on-erin-pit-application/ The motion required LPAT to be advised that rezoning for the Erin Pit be conditional upon three things being part of the approved site plan.   These included:

  1. Details of the proposed conveyer tunnel design under Winston Churchill Road, including maintenance and decommissioning.
  2. A peer review protocol be conducted regarding the Credit River recharge springs.
  3. An outline of private well compensation be included if loss of water occurs.

In preparation for the LPAT process, the Belfountain Community Organization contacted residents and asked for financial support.   With the donations received, we were able to go to the Case Management Conference (CMC), the first stage of the LPAT, with legal representation.  

It was at the CMC, Oct 26, 2020, that we learned that both the Town of Caledon and the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC) removed their objections to the licence application and that the Town had chosen to proceed to LPAT with participant status only. This meant they would provide a written submission to LPAT rather than be a commenting party at the hearing.  This was particularly surprising given the motion that had added Zoning By-law requirements in February 2020. The CVC did not participate at all.  Without support from the Town of Caledon and the CVC at LPAT, the Belfountain Community Organization was left to fend for itself.

The CVC was involved in the review process and raised initial objections to the ARA application on the basis that technical and planning matters remained unresolved pertaining to the West Credit River, significant cold-water fisheries and associated Significant Valley Land located just south of the subject property. There was no confirmation of Top of Slope conducted by the CVC, nor was there geotechnical confirmation to prevent extraction in that part of the licensed area.  

Our arguments outlined:

  1. The need for drinking water requirements, water temperature and water quality in the West Credit River and ground water impact had not been addressed in the site plan
  2. The impact to Species at Risk, Endangered Species, and Natural Heritage features
  3. Concern for compliance with overlapping laws and regulations
  4. The impact of the additional traffic on the community of Belfountain

Experts were hired: a planner, a hydrogeologist, a biologist and a traffic expert were engaged to peer review the reports presented by JDCL’s application and support our arguments. Site visits were conducted with the JDCL counterparts to identify exceptions and provide evidence to address community needs.

BCO asked if there was sufficient evidence to support shutting down the pit. It became apparent that this was unrealistic.

A haul route already exists on Winston Churchill. Our traffic expert advised that concerns about traffic impact would not have been a strong position at LPAT. There were however stronger issues related to hydrogeology, biology and planning which allowed the process to continue to a LPAT hearing.   

The LPAT was scheduled for March 22, 2021. To appear at LPAT and not appear frivolous, which can have significant financial and legal repercussions, our lawyer and experts, including a planner, needed to prepare the objections.  

The residents of Belfountain had identified the Pit as their third greatest concern in our community survey.  Once again, we came to the community requesting financial support after the experts were hired and the reviews began.   We set up the Small Change Fund to help those who asked for tax receipts.   While donations trickled in, more funding was required.

We continued to strategically align our arguments with the support of our experts to appear at LPAT. We were not able to disclose the discussions or the results of the studies to the community as that could compromise the outcome of the hearing.  

Hydrogeology was communicated to our expert as the area of greatest concern for the residents. 

Setbacks for a Significant Woodlot on Shaws Creek Road needed to be increased.  This area is habitat for protected bats and other wildlife as determined by the MNRF. The MNRF had increased the requirements for setbacks on three sides of this Significant Woodlot.  Our biologist noted that the setbacks around this Significant Woodlot were not the same in all areas and needed to be increased on the southern side.

Our biologist also identified that the Significant Valleylands north of the West Credit River “Top of Bank” was reportedly determined by eye and not by the CVC.  There is no indication that the Long-Term Stable Top of Slope (LTSTOS) was ever determined by a geotechnical engineer.

There is also an important natural forest north of the West Credit River on the west side of Shaws Creek Road.  This woodlot, south of the southern lot line, north of the West Credit River, is owned by JDCL but not part of the licensed area for this specific ARA license. There were no provisions to prevent JDCL from applying for an extraction license in this area or foresting. We learned that the aggregate in this location was of high quality.

There were several meetings to discuss the experts’ opinions, prepare for LPAT and to attempt to reach agreement on these issues.

What Was the Outcome?

While there were many conversations between JDCL and residents, there was nothing on the ARA License to fall back on.   The BCO’s efforts have changed this, and these items are included on the ARA license.

Our hydrogeologist was able to reach an agreement with JDCL that adds:

  1. Protection for private wells including door to door well monitoring within 500 meters of the pit
  2. Protection for private wells that may be impacted by bacteria in the dolostone aquifer with corrective measures to be made at the expense of the licencee
  3. Well water interference complaint response mechanism to compensate well owners
  4. Temperature monitoring program and contingencies to address any thermal impact to the West Credit River detected because of groundwater flow from the site into the river and
  5. Notification that increases in groundwater discharge to the Wilson pond due to elevation will not result in a significant impact to the pond.

During the negotiation, JDCL offered the BCO a lease agreement of a portion of the natural forest area.   The BCO would be required to take on the obligations of a tenant, police the land which could only be used by BCO members, have responsibility for garbage, insurance, damages and could be removed at any time.   The BCO, not having experience as a land management company, chose not to take on these obligations.  Instead, we continued to negotiate for protections of the natural forest entirely. 

We are pleased that we have come to an agreement with JDCL that the natural forest on Shaws Creek Road directly north of the West Credit River will not be harvested or used for aggregate extraction for the next 41 years. There are now provisions that prevent any applications under the ARA, the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act or the Planning Act on the lands for the purpose of expanding an existing or establishing a new pit or quarry in this area.  There is a provision for a single-family home to be built on this land at some point in the future. 

JDCL did agree to adhere to an addition to the identified setbacks on the south side of the woodlot.

There will be an increase to thirty meters of re-forestation between the natural forest and the Significant Woodlot beside Shaws Creek Road which will be reforested before June 2022.

We had to walk away from pursuing the Top of Bank and the Long-Term Stable Top of Slope as we could not negate the information JDCL had regarding the CVC.  Our hope was to establish a wildlife corridor between the Significant Valleyland and the Significant Woodlot on Shaws Creek.

To pursue these issues would have cost $100,000+.  This was money we did not have and we settled.

The experts, lawyers and BCO attended a required one day at LPAT on March 22, 2021.  The LPAT is where the agreement between BCO and JDCL officially became part of the ARA license.   The executed agreement between the BCO and JDCL will also be registered on the title of the JDCL property.

What Now: 

While we celebrate these accomplishments, there is some unfinished business. We have legal and expert fees that still need to be paid.

We have donors who are prepared to match dollar for dollar up to $15,000 but only until the end of April 2021.

This is great because we need over $35,000.

As your 100% volunteer organization, we really need your financial help. We are asking everyone to please donate generously by either:

  1. a) Donating directly to the B.C.O: 100% of donations made are used to pay legal fees, experts’ invoices, and administration costs. No tax receipts are available.  The B.C.O. is an incorporated non-profit organization supported by volunteers. You can donate directly to the B.C.O. by cheque, cash or e-transfer by contacting  treasurer@ belfountain.ca, or use your account at PayPal at BCO to support the initiatives. You can tell us whether you would like your donation allocated to a specific project or to the B.C.O. in general, to be distributed where needed.   B.C.O. administration costs are outlined in our financial statements which are reviewed publicly at the Annual General Meeting and posted to our website.
  2. b) Donating to Small Change Fund: For those of you who would like a tax receipt, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Small Change Fund.  When you donate $25 or more to any of the three projects, you will receive a tax receipt.  SCF does retain a percentage of the funds donated to support the services they provide as outlined on their website. Choose the project: Gravel-pit-threatens-Belfountain As projects are resolved and donations received are higher than the invoices for the project, the overage will be applied to the most urgent of the remaining two issues.
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