March 8, 2007
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York surpasses conditions set by the Ministry of the Environment on York Durham Sewage System projects

2nd Annual YDSS Report provides comprehensive overview
 
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York continues to go above and beyond meeting the 54 conditions placed on the York Durham Sewage System project by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). 
 
In October 2004, the MOE placed additional conditions on the remaining YDSS projects, including a mandate to submit an annual report to the Ministry indicating the date that each condition was fulfilled and the results of the conditions having been fulfilled. 
 
To date, 35 of these conditions have been met, with York Region exceeding Ministry expectations on 18 conditions.  Compliance on the remaining conditions will be achieved as the projects progress to completion.
 
“The YDSS Annual Report exemplifies York Region’s respect for the environment as well as the commitment of our project teams to take the lead in terms of environmental protection,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “For the past two years, we have not only met, but exceeded the conditions placed on our YDSS projects and we continue to demonstrate unparalleled environmental stewardship.”
 
The York Durham Sewage System is comprised of sewage pipes, pumping stations, treatment plants and other infrastructure that fully contain the sanitary wastes from serviced communities within York Region and parts of Durham Region.  As communities within both Regions continue to grow in accordance with their Official Plans and provincial directives, the ongoing protection of the environment and public health depends upon the timely delivery of many of these projects. 
 
The 2006 YDSS Annual Report documents the commitment of Regional Council to protect the interests of the public and the environment.
 
“This Annual Report showcases the accomplishments on these projects to date, as well as provides a blueprint for our future efforts,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of York Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “York Region will continue to report annually to the Ministry of the Environment until the work is completed and each of the 54 conditions has been satisfied.”
 
Copies of the report and related project information may be viewed through York Region’s website.  For more information on the YDSS or to view the 2006 Annual Report online, please visit www.york.ca and follow the links on the main page titled, “York Durham Sewage System information.”
 
Please see backgrounder below.
 
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Media Contact: Patrick Casey, Director, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 1235 or Cell (905) 715-8211
 Email: patrick.casey@york.ca


Backgrounder

 
York Durham Sewage System 2006 Annual Compliance Report
York Region exceeds Ministry of Environment expectations

Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant State of Compliance

a)   Of the 10 conditions set out by the Minister’s letter of October 2004, three that dealt with construction dewatering are not applicable at this time, as detailed preliminary geotechnical studies have indicated that significant construction dewatering is not required.
b)   Compliance with six of the remaining Conditions was completed at the time of filing the Notice of Completion of the Final Environmental Study Report (ESR) with the Ministry of the Environment.
c) Compliance with the final condition is met by the preparation and submission of the 2006 Annual Report.
Above and Beyond Compliance
a)   In terms of consultation, York Region has conducted public workshops, plant tours and a Public Information Consultation.
b)   York Region has made public copies of the Draft ESR available for comment and discussion, and subsequently held three workshops for the Town of Ajax and its consultants to discuss the content of the draft ESR.
c)   York Region held four Stakeholder Advisory Committee meetings.
d) York Region implemented an enhanced work plan in various project areas, such as the technical studies and reviews normally considered outside the scope of the Class EA requirements.
Southeast Collector Trunk Sewer
State of Compliance
a)   Of the nine conditions set out by the Minister’s letter of October 2004, progress has been made on each of the conditions.  The Individual Environmental Assessment (IEA) will continue throughout 2007 with the development of the preferred sewer option.  The filing of the IEA documents is planned for early 2008.
Above and Beyond Compliance
a) As a result of York Region’s diligence in soliciting public and stakeholder feedback on the Terms of Reference (ToR), there have been several improvements made in the project to date, including expanding the study area to allow for more alternatives.  Additional Public Information Sessions were held throughout 2006 and more are planned throughout 2007.
b) In response to condition C-2(3), York Region has assessed the impacts of the dewatering activities through 39 monitoring wells and nine test extraction wells.  Additionally, pumping tests are planned for 2007 to assess the groundwater and surface water impacts along the short-listed routes.
c) Consultation with First Nations is continuing as a parallel process to the public consultation forums in an attempt to provide opportunities for consultation First Nations on the various key steps of the IEA process.
d) York Region will consider, where appropriate, the use of state-of-the-art technology to minimize the environmental impacts of the preferred solution.
 
YDSS Interceptor Trunk Sewer State of Compliance

a) All 11 of the conditions have been met and/or completed with the Public Information Centre on Monitoring and Mitigation measures for the Permit to Take Water (PTTW) for the project.
Above and Beyond Compliance
a) Based upon the input received during the consultation process, York Region has made improvements to its Well Complaint Review Committee Process, initiating a proactive well mitigation program which included visits to all residents on private wells within the potential Zone of Influence of ground water pumping. 
b) York Region has posted all relevant documentation pertaining to this project, including the New Comparison of Alternative Route Alignments (Routing Report), to the project website, and has also made such information available at public meetings, in Regional and Town Halls, clerks’ offices, consultant offices and in some town libraries.  York Region has attempted to provide the public and project stakeholders with broad access to these documents.
c) York Region has created and implemented an Environmental Management Plan Awareness and Compliance Training (EMPACT) as a requirement for all project team staff, including the Region, the consultant and the contractor/crews.
d) Regular construction bulletins are delivered or mailed to residents adjacent to the project route.  Regular monthly meetings offer members of the public the opportunity to speak with the Regional Project Manager, the consultant and the contractor.
e) York Region created a “name the tunnel boring machine contest” which initiated an educational program with students at Redstone Public School in the Town of Richmond Hill.
Bathurst Collector and Langstaff Trunk Sewer
State of Compliance 
a)   All 10 conditions have been addressed.
Above and Beyond Compliance
a) Fulfilling condition C-6 has resulted in the decision to hold a second Public Information Meeting in May 2006.
b) In an effort to foster broad public consultation on the PTTW application, York Region placed 1,800 telephone calls to notify residents, tenants and other stakeholders and solicit comments.
c) Due to York Region’s decision to stipulate the use of Earth Pressure Balance tunnelling technology, dewatering will need to be carried out only on a contingency basis.
 

For more information, the media should visit the York Region Web site: www.york.ca or contact:
Patrick Casey, Director, Corporate Communications, Office of the CAO, York Region
905-830-4444 / Toll Free:  1-877-464-9675 ext. 1235 / Cell: 905-715-8211 email: patrick.casey@york.ca
 
 

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