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Public comment next step in removing drinking water challenge from Bay of Quinte concerns list

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan (BQRAP) Restoration Council seeks input on drinking water in preparation for another environmental challenge for the Bay of Quinte to be lifted, as restored.

For those who live in one of the urban centres around the Bay of Quinte, drinking water comes from the Bay or one of its tributaries.

The challenge, ‘Restrictions on drinking water consumption or taste and odour problems’ has met all its scientific criteria,” said Rhonda Bateman, CAO of Lower Trent Conservation and Co-chair of the BQRAP Restoration Council.

“Now, the public is being asked for input. Do you think this environmental challenge is ready for a status change to restored?”

A 30-day public comment period will run from Thursday, July 25, 2019 – Friday, August 23, 2019.

In 1992, when the RAP was being developed, taste and odour problems had been reported for decades. The problem was caused by excess algae growth compounded by chemicals used in the municipal treatment process.

“Over the years, water quality in the Bay of Quinte has improved, through various actions and recommendations in its Remedial Action Plan. As well, there have been numerous upgrades to the municipal drinking water system like, new carbon filtration methods, and enhanced monitoring programs,” said Bateman.

“Today, municipally treated drinking water from the Bay of Quinte is monitored for compounds that can cause taste and odour problems or health issues and it must meet Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards, which are some of the strictest in the world. A survey of area residents showed the majority of people are happy with the quality of their drinking water. ”
Six environmental challenges are classified as restored – Restrictions on dredging activities, Fish tumours and other deformities, Degradation of fish and wildlife populations, Degradation of benthos, Loss of fish and wildlife habitat and Beach closings.
The four remaining challenges are in the process of either having final reports compiled or a final analysis of the scientific data. After all 11 environmental challenges have completed the formal status change process, the Bay of Quinte can be removed from the Great Lakes Areas of Concern list.

“Public input is vitally important to ensure water quality in the Bay is restored and protected for the long-term”, said Bateman.

The Restoration Council will review and address all comments received through the public comment period. Next, a final report will be sent to Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for review. At this stage, additional technical review or specific work can be requested, or the report will be approved. Once approved, the reports are sent to the governments of Canada and Ontario to seek formal concurrence on the status change.

The final report and supporting information can be found on the BQRAP web site – www.bqrap.ca. Email your comments about whether you support/do not support the recommendation to change the status of this environmental challenge to restored to – drinkingwater@bqrap.ca

The deadline for comments is: Friday, August 23, 2019

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan is in partnership locally with Lower Trent Conservation and Quinte Conservation

Filed Under: Local News

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