Sault Ste. Marie – A plan to protect the sources of municipal drinking water in the Sault Ste. Marie Region has been approved by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) announced today.
“After seven years of meetings, technical studies and public consultations, it is a great satisfaction to the local Source Protection Committee (SPC) to finally have our plan approved,” said SPC Chair Peter McLarty.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Plan will reduce the risks to local sources of municipal drinking water. It includes science based policies which were developed in consultation with the local community, to address known drinking water threats.
“As Chair of the SPC, I would like to express much gratitude to the partners who helped us attain our objective: the staff of the SSMRCA, City of Sault Ste. Marie staff, the Township of Prince, the PUC and the MOECC,” McLarty said.
The Source Protection Plan was approved on March 10, 2015. The MOECC has specified an effective date for the plan of July 1, 2015. Most of the policies contained within the plan apply to relatively small and specific areas surrounding municipal water supplies. The policies encourage best management practices, risk reduction measures and, in certain limited circumstances, prohibition of certain activities.
“The Committee’s work is not over. We now move into the implementation phase. The local Risk Management Inspector and Risk Management Officer have been appointed and are ready to implement the plan. In the meantime, the Committee will continue its work in public education and outreach and will be actively involved in reviewing and updating the plan as required,” said McLarty.
The SSMRCA is a community-based agency who’s mandate includes flood control, flood management, flood warning and integrated watershed management; one of Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities. More information is available at www.ssmrca.ca/drinking-water-source-protection/source-protection-planning/approved-source-protection-plan.
The Drinking Water Source Protection program at the SSMRCA which facilitated the development of the plan was directed and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change under the Clean Water Act, 2006.