The Ontario Ministry of the Environment is giving the City of Hamilton until August 31 to complete the cleanup of Chedoke Creek.
In an email to Global News, spokesman Gary Wheeler said the city had “no need to delay cleanup activities” and the city had been instructed to begin dredging the creek as soon as the time would permit.
“It is critical that remediation work begin to improve the watercourse and restore Chedoke Creek to its pre-spill condition,” Wheeler said.
Hamilton says Environment Department has agreed to Chedoke Creek dredging extension ‘in principle’
In December, the ministry agreed in principle to give the city until the end of 2023 to complete targeted dredging of the creek to avoid further ecological impacts on this waterway and adjacent Cootes Paradise.
At the time, Cari Vanderperk, the city’s director of watershed management, revealed the extension in a memo to councilors following a dialogue with the ministry’s superintendent and district manager about the “complexities, challenges and delays” that the city and its contractors endured during the execution. the 2022 work plan.
However, Wheeler said that has now been changed by the province since “the city has obtained all required work permit extensions and renewals,” for starters.
The city has received orders from the Department of Environment, Conservation and Parks to complete dredging of the creek to mitigate environmental impacts following the discharge of 24 billion liters of untreated sewage between 2014 and 2018 .
The city hopes to remove nearly 11,000 cubic meters of contaminated sludge through a $6 million initiative that it says will take six months and be completed by the end of 2022.
However, the project was met with a halt via Indigenous protesters who challenged improper consultation with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), an agency representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.
The HDI, in previous communications with the City of Hamilton, said the Council of Chiefs does not recognize the jurisdiction of the provincial government.
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HDI spokesperson Aaron Detlor insists that the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant treaty with the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee in addition to the Cross-Lakes Purchase Treaty with the Mississaugas of the First Nation de Credit of 1792 are the agreements in play.
In October, the city asked the ministry to issue an order preventing IDH from causing further disruption.
Detler says the last communication the group had with the city was a March 3 email from Hamilton Water manager Nick Winters saying the city was continuing with the operation.
“We’ve already received responses, but they haven’t engaged with us,” Detlor said.
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“They didn’t tell us about the sanitation,” Detlor said. “We just asked them to consider the impacts on treaty rights.
He said IDH hopes for a good faith discussion from the city and the other two levels of government on how to move forward “to honor and respect” the treaty rights that will be affected. by sanitation.
Global News has contacted the City of Hamilton to confirm receipt of the ministry’s August 31 remediation deadline. Spokespersons have yet to comment at the time of this article’s publication.
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