October 31, 2005

Government partners provide up to $105 million to restore Hamilton Harbour, develop industrial park

A funding partnership involving the federal, Ontario and Hamilton municipal governments of will provide up to $105 million for improvements to the city's wastewater treatment system, which will support the cleanup of Hamilton Harbour, and the development of North Glanbrook industrial business park.

Investments of up to $75 million for improvements to Hamilton's wastewater treatment system will significantly reduce the amount of chlorine in wastewater effluent; help reduce the number of combined sewer overflows into Hamilton Harbour during heavy rains; and improve the ability of Windermere Basin to remove sediment from wastewater treated at the Woodward wastewater treatment plant and from Red Hill Creek.

The federal government's commitment of up to $35 million to this project will come from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). The $4-billion CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects leading to environmental benefits, improved quality of life and sustainable growth.

The $40 million from the Ontario and Hamilton governments includes up to $15 million from the former and $25 million from the latter. Ontario's contribution will come from its ReNew Ontario infrastructure investment plan, a five-year, $30-billion program to improve public infrastructure.

The project will address priorities under the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (RAP), with the funding allocated to three specific activities.

The first of these is the dechlorination of wastewater: ultraviolet (UV) light and improved chemical treatment will be used to reduce the bacteria in wastewater, which in turn will limit the amount of chlorine released into the environment once the wastewater is treated.

The second activity will focus on controlling combined sewer overflows (CSOs) by helping Hamilton capture and store excess runoff water from heavy rainfalls. This excess will be redirected later to the wastewater treatment plant where it will be treated after the peak treatment period has ended. Improving the system will prevent this untreated sewer overflow from being released into Hamilton Harbour during heavy rains.

The third phase of the project involves the naturalization of Hamilton Harbour's Windermere Basin. The Woodward facility discharges treated wastewater into Windermere Basin, allowing sediment to settle out before the water is returned to the environment. Improvements to the Windermere Basin will see it returned to a natural wetland and floodplain state, eliminating the need for dredging.

Ontario and Hamilton are also providing up to $30 million for the North Glanbrook industrial business park development. This 680-acre project, currently zoned industrial, responds to the lack of shovel-ready industrial land over five acres in size and adjacent to a major highway or arterial road within the city limits. As a sustainable growth initiative, the industrial and business park development will attract new industry, while permitting the retention and growth of existing business and industry in Hamilton.

The $30-million investment will be directed toward improving roads and water and sewer services, so that a first phase of development can proceed. Initial projects will include installing 4,100 metres of watermain on Rynal, Nebo and Twenty Road, and 1,750 metres of sanitary sewer on the future Dartnell Road Extension easement. Road improvements will be made on Nebo and Twenty Road as well.

In accordance with federal and provincial requirements, the city of must meet applicable conditions before project funds can be released, including federally and provincially accepted environmental assessments and the negotiation of formal contribution agreements.

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