Ministry Approval sets City’s Submitted Risk Management Plan in Motion


The City of Belleville was pleased to learn the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has accepted the Risk Management Plan (RMP) submitted by the City in response to a Ministry Director’s Order. The Plan outlines measures to be taken in order to protect human health and the environment in the general area east of Victoria Harbour and south of the railway tracks. The Ministry has requested that implementation of the approved RMP measures proceed.

Victoria Harbour has been an industrial/commercial harbour since before the 1850’s. It has been used for numerous industrial activities such as: open-pile coal storage, canning operations, scrap metal storage, coal gas manufacturing, railway lines, and bulk oil and gasoline storage. Historically the harbour area has also had significant amounts of “fill” material put there.

The City of Belleville retained consultants to prepare the RMP. The RMP was submitted to and accepted by the Ministry. The Ministry is satisfied that the RMP presents appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment. A general overview of the Risk Management Plan measures includes:

• For the property located at 100 South Church St. the main proposed risk management measure is ‘capping’ of the site with either an appropriate soil cap, or hard cap (asphalt or concrete) as a barrier to potential skin contact and exposure.

• For the property located at 105 Pinnacle St. the main proposed risk management measure is to either maintain and monitor the current surface condition, or construct a fill cap.

• Circulation of a notice regarding ‘shallow soils’ in order to inform area residents of potential risks and identify basic precautionary or mitigative measures that may be taken.

• Development and implementation of municipal instruments (such as a Health and Safety By-law) as administrative controls for property changes and development works that involve excavation and soil disturbance within an identified area. This is to ensure that works which require municipal approval or permits will implement risk management measures (as appropriate) in order that they are conducted in a safe and planned manner and are protective of human health and the environment.

• To develop guidance for, and ensure site specific Health and Safety Plans are used for new construction or municipal infrastructure works within an identified area.

“The City has been leading past and ongoing environmental investigations and other activities to address a Ministry Director’s Order,” stated Mayor Mitch Panciuk. “The City’s primary concern and focus is the protection of the health of residents and the public, and the environment. The results of the investigations, as confirmed by the Ministry, are that the City has both properly characterized the risks, and that those risks can be properly managed through the proposed Risk Management Plan.”

If you have questions regarding the information above please contact:

Cameron Smith, Environmental Project Manager, City of Belleville
csmith@belleville.ca

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