March 6, 2006

Terms of reference approved for major sewer project EA

TORONTO, ONT-Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten has approved the terms of reference for an environmental assessment (EA) of York Region's proposed Southeast Collector trunk sewer, at the same time stipulating that the proposed project will have to undergo a full, individual EA before it can proceed. A number of conditions have been attached to the approval, among them the listing and evaluation of alternative routes, the development of monitoring and mitigation measures for any dewatering activities that may occur, and an assessment of alternative design and construction techniques for the project. Approval of the terms of reference, which were submitted to the Ministry of Environment last July, will allow the regions of York and Durham-the project co-proponents-to move forward with the EA and related activities. The Southeast Collector trunk sewer is one of a series of projects designed to add capacity to the York Durham Sewage System (YDSS). The existing Southeast Collector is expected to reach capacity by 2010, and the EA will examine various options for dealing with the capacity constraint in this section of the YDSS, including additional sewers along other possible routes and measures such as water efficiency initiatives. It will also consider a proposed twinning route to the existing collector, although a preferred route has not yet been determined. The proponents will be implementing various public outreach and consultation activities relating to the project, including a series of public information forums. More information is available on the project Web site, http://sec.cenet.ca.

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