Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has approved the Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Plan which will strengthen drinking water protection in the Sault Ste. Marie area, announced David Orazietti MPP.
“This is a great step forward for our community, and an important part of our government’s commitment to ensure Ontarians have clean and safe drinking water,” said Orazietti. “I would like to congratulate the Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Committee (SPC) on the tremendous amount of work they have put into this plan and the important work they have ahead in implementation and monitoring.”
The plan, developed by local municipal and community partners on the Sault Ste. Marie Region source protection committee, will take effect July 1, 2015.
“After seven years of technical studies and collaboration with our community partners and the MOECC, the Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Committee is very pleased to have our plan approved and is eager to move on to the implementation phase,” said Peter McLarty, Chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Region source protection committee. “Our community can feel confident that our precious drinking-water resource will be diligently monitored and protected by our source protection plan policies.”
Source protection plans are designed to protect the water quality of the lakes, rivers and sources of underground water that supply municipal drinking water systems. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to drinking water sources.
Actions set out in the Sault Ste. Marie Region plan include:
Creating plans to manage fuel handling and storage in the protection zones for the Goulais Well.
Developing a plan to respond to a fuel or fertilizer spill in the Gros Cap intake protection zone.
§ Providing information to residents on the proper management of significant risks such as the handling and storage of manure, commercial fertilizers, biosolids and pesticides; livestock grazing and pasturing; snow storage, and the storage and handling of hazardous liquids.
§ The Clean Water Act established 19 local committees across Ontario. Each committee developed science-based plans that address risks to the water that supplies municipal drinking water systems.
§ Ontario is giving grants to small, rural municipalities to help offset start-up costs associated with implementing their source protection plans – the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Township of Prince received $110,000 in total in funding.
§ The province has invested over $5 million in the scientific assessment and development of the plans for the Sault Ste. Marie Region source protection area.
§ Ontario has already invested over $92,000 in the Sault area under the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program. This program helped landowners make changes to reduce or remove potential drinking water risks on their properties, in advance of the source protection plan approval.
§ The Sault Ste. Marie Region has one large municipal – residential drinking water system that serves approximately 76 per cent of the area’s residents.
§ Sault Ste. Marie Region is the 15th source protection plan to be approved