May 16, 2005

Cornwall sediment strategy protocol

The Ministry of Environment has posted for comment a draft administrative controls protocol for the Cornwall sediment strategy, a multi-agency partnership established to develop a strategy for dealing with historically contaminated sediments along the Cornwall waterfront.

The innovative project has brought together scientific experts, governments and industry, and community and environmental groups. Based on the best scientific understanding, the diverse parties have agreed that the best, long-term means of dealing with these sediments is to leave them in place, undisturbed, and allow natural recovery processes to continue. The historical deposits of mercury in Cornwall waterfront sediments are buried beneath a layer of new, cleaner sediment and thus do not pose an environmental or public health risk.

The proposed administrative controls protocol takes into account the various planning approval and permit control mechanisms that the seven regulatory agencies involved in the Cornwall sediments strategy can apply to govern activities along the waterfront. These agencies include the federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as the Mohawk council of Akwesasne.

The protocol would harmonize the mandates of these agencies, integrating their efforts and providing a common approach to ensure that the contaminated sediments remain undisturbed. It represents a unique, inter-agency commitment to collaboration for the long-term protection of the Cornwall waterfront sediments.

Comments are due by June 1, 2005. (Registry reference No PA05R0006)

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