The purpose of this information notice is to advise the public that the Assessment Report document, prepared for the Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Area in accordance with section 15 of the Clean Water Act, has been approved by the Director.
This notice is being published as an information notice on the Environmental Registry, as required under section 18 of the Clean Water Act, and is for information only.
The purpose of the Clean Water Act is to protect existing and future sources of drinking water, as part of an overall commitment to human health and the environment.
The Act requires the preparation of an Assessment Report to assess the vulnerability of and identify threats to sources of drinking water. The Assessment Report was developed in accordance with the Minister of the Environment approved Terms of Reference, the Clean Water Act, Ontario Regulation 287/07 (General) and the Technical Rules: Assessment Report (November 2009).
Assessment Reports are being prepared for each of the 38 source protection areas in the province. Subsection 17(2) of the Act sets out that the Director shall make a decision on each of the 38 Assessment Reports.
Section 18 of the Act requires that “As soon as reasonably possible after an assessment report is approved by the Director, the Director shall publish a notice of the approval on the environmental registry established under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993”.
Once the Assessment Report is approved by the Director, Source Protection Committees will proceed to prepare the Source Protection Plan. Source Protection Plans will set out policies to manage the risks posed by land use activities to sources of drinking water identified in the assessment reports. Source Protection Plans are to be submitted to the Minister of the Environment no later than August 20, 2012.
When making a decision on the submitted Assessment Report, the Director considered whether legislative requirements were met and how the Source Protection Committee considered comments received from the public, municipalities, band councils and other stakeholders.
During preparation of the Assessment Report, the Source Protection Committee consulted with the public through three consultation periods. The first was a 35-day consultation period on a draft proposed Assessment Report, which included a public meeting. The Source Protection Committee is required to consider any comments submitted during this first public consultation period and to incorporate these comments, as necessary, into a revised document called the proposed Assessment Report. This proposed Assessment Report would then be posted for the second consultation period for 30 days. The Act requires the submission of the proposed Assessment Report to the Director, along with any public comments received during this second public consultation period, any comments the Source Protection Authority wishes to make, as well as a summary of any unresolved comments made by municipalities and First Nation bands during the first consultation period on the Assessment Report.
Consultation on the assessment reports was done jointly for the Saugeen, Grey Sauble, Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Region. During the second round of consultation on the proposed reports, several comments were received from one member of the public.
Based on the review and analysis of the proposed Assessment Report, including consideration of whether all legislative requirements as set out in the Act, associated regulation and Director's Technical Rules were followed during preparation of the proposed AR, it was determined that the report was non-compliant with the Technical Rules.
The Director returned the proposed Assessment Report to the Source Protection Authority directing that amendments be made to the report, also that new or updated technical work be added to the AR, and that public consultation be held, as appropriate.
The Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Authority consulted widely from to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the amendments made as a result of the Director’s directions, as well as on the new updated information included in the amended proposed Assessment Report. The Source Protection Committee engaged the public, municipalities and property owners on whose properties significant drinking water threats have been identified.
Several comments were received during the consultation period mainly from landowners requesting more information who have been identified as having a significant drinking water threat on their property. Some of the comments were more generally about activities that could be a threat to source water. The comments received were considered by the Source Protection Committee.
The amended proposed Assessment Report was submitted on June 30, 2011 to the Director for consideration.
The amended proposed Assessment Report for the Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Area has addressed all of the concerns originally raised by the ministry and new updated work was also completed. The amendments and updates of the proposed AR have refined the significant threat counts, but this total number has not drastically changed.
The Source Protection Authority did not submit comments on the proposed or amended proposed Assessment Report for the Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Area and there are no unresolved comments from municipalities or the First Nation bands.
The amended proposed AR has satisfactorily addressed the legislative and regulatory requirements as set out in the Clean Water Act, Ontario Regulation 287/07 (General), and the Technical Rules: Assessment Report (November 2009).
The amended proposed Assessment Report has been approved as submitted.