Coalition for the West Credit River – September 2021 Update

 

COALITION FOR THE WEST CREDIT RIVER  CWCR.CA

 

Dear Friends,
 
Thank you for your continued support of the Coalition for the West Credit River.  Over the summer the Coalition continued its efforts to ensure the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant does no harm to the West Credit River and its coldwater Brook Trout population.  In this update you will find:
 

Coalition Members file an Environmental Bill of Rights Application for Investigation of the Corporation of the Town of Erin
 
Belfountain Garage Sale – Sat Sept 25th
 
Colouring Contest Winners
 
Share your Story about the Wastewater Treatment Plant


Application for Investigation of the Town of Erin Under the Environment Bill of Rights

On 9 August 2021, Judy Mabee, President of the Belfountain Community Organization, and Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance, filed an Environmental Bill of Rights Application for Investigation of the Corporation of the Town of Erin.   

The Application alleges that the Town of Erin is moving forward to the construction phase of the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant (Project) when it has not met key commitments it made in its Town of Erin Wastewater Servicing Class Environmental Study Report (ESR).  Here is a brief timeline:

29 August 2019:
The Project received Minister Jeff Yurek’s conditional approval, with a promise in the ESR to submit an Addendum to the ESR once the final Project site was chosen. 
 
18 August 2020:
At a Town of Erin Council Meeting the chosen Project site was announced, including a confirmation that an Addendum to the ESR (Addendum) would be completed.
 
13 July 2021:
Mayor Alls informed the Coalition Chair, Judy Maybee, that the Town would not be issuing an Addendum and that the Project had been put out to tender to three pre-qualified contractors.  They expected to award the contract sometime in mid-August.  It is interesting to note that no bids were received by the tender due date.
 
Failing to issue an Addendum on site selection, which includes a 30-day public comment period, deprives stakeholders, the public, and Indigenous communities of the opportunity to be consulted and provide input into this highly controversial Project.

 

Brook Trout holding in the West Credit River.  From the surface these fish are nearly invisible.  An underwater camera and a healthy dose of patience is needed to snap a photo like this. 

 

The ESR also committed to an Environmental Management Plan, an Arborist Report for all affected areas, and additional bird and bat surveys. The Coalition is not aware if these additional commitments were completed before brush was cleared and burned, trees ripped out by the roots and a coldwater Brook Trout nursery and tributary to the West Credit River was severely damaged by heavy machinery in and around the Project study area.

If successful, the Application for Investigation will hold the Town of Erin accountable to the commitments it made in the ESR and provide an opportunity for the public to provide input into the Project site location and any additional studies and reports.

The Minister of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) and the Environmental Bill of Rights Office will review the application.  If an investigation is required, the results of the investigation will be reported by 8 December 2021.  If an investigation is not required, the Coalition will be notified by 11 October 2021. 

The Office of the Auditor General will also review the Application for Investigation and the Minister’s decision to assess whether the MECP is in compliance with the regulatory requirements, and whether a thorough and just review and decision was reached.

Belfountain Community Garage Sale

In place of the Salamander Festival the Belfountain Community Organizations (BCO) is holding a Fundraising Garage Sale on Saturday Sept. 25th from 11 am – 3pm. 
 
Proceeds from the Garage Sale will help fund the BCO’s fight to preserve their community and the West Credit River. 
 
The Coalition will have a booth at the Garage Sale dedicated to raising awareness about the West Credit River.  Stop in to say hello, pick up a Credit River fish poster and try your hand at fly casting. 
 
For more information see the BCO website

 

Prize winning Colouring Contest submission by Norma

 


Colouring Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated in the West Credit River Colouring Contest. 

The winning submissions in the children’s division were James – age 7, Addison – age 5 and Lincoln – age 1.

In the adults division winners were Norma, Melissa and Dale

All winners received prizes for their help in raising awareness about the West Credit River.

Share your Story about the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Do you kayak, yoga, hike or bird-watch along the West Credit River?  Are you a downstream landowner or business impacted by the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant?  If you have a unique perspective on the impacts of the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant and would like to share your story, please contact us at info@cwcr.ca.

Thank you for your continued support!

Regards,

 

 

 

Judy Mabee,
Chair, Coalition for the West Credit River

Support the Coalition for the West Credit River by Donating to our Small Change Fund

 

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