The purpose of this information notice is to advise the public that the Assessment Report document, prepared for the Grey Sauble 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.
Public consultation for the Grey Sauble Source Protection Area was undertaken jointly for the Saugeen, Grey Sauble, Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Region. During preparation of the Assessment Report, the Source Protection Committee (SPC) 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 SPC 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.
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 SPC 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 directed amendments included a correction of the calculation used to evaluate threats related to the use of land as livestock grazing or pasturing land, an outdoor confinement area, or a farm-animal yard, as well as an administrative change to provide updated information related to the decommissioning of the Presqu’ile drinking water system that was converted to a pressure booster station. Updates to the proposed AR completed by the SPC include a WHPA E delineation for GUDI wells, transport pathway adjustments, and an IPZ evaluation.
The SPC consulted widely 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 SPC 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 who have been identified as having a significant drinking water threat on their property requesting more information. Some of the comments were more generally about activities that could be a threat to source water. The comments received were considered by the SPC.
The amended proposed Assessment Report was submitted on June 30, 2011 to the Director for consideration.
The amended proposed Assessment Report for the Grey Sauble Source Protection Area has addressed all of the concerns originally raised by the ministry and new updated work was also completed according to the Director’s directions. The delineation of a WHPA E for GUDI wells has increased the significant threat count from just over 1600 to just over 2600.
The Source Protection Authority did not submit comments on the proposed or amended proposed Assessment Report for the Grey Sauble Source Protection Area and there are no unresolved comments from municipalities or the First Nation bands.
The Source Protection Committee made changes to the amended proposed Assessment Report post-submission in order to provide further clarity regarding the delineation of a WHPA E for GUDI wells. These changes did not require further consultation as the Source Protection Committee, during the consultation period for the amended proposed assessment report, consulted with property owners undertaking activities identified as a drinking water threat.
The amended proposed AR, with minor post-submission changes, satisfactorily addresses 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) and the amended proposed AR has been approved.