13 February 2008
CBC TV News at Six yesterday carried a story about an unending row of trucks dumping huge amounts of fill on land owned by Richcraft at Maple Grove Road very near the Carp River. Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown was interviewed. See a story about this in the February issue of the ORK newsletter.
It turns out that the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority had issued a permit last April (which expires on March 15) for this so-called “pre-loading” activity, specifying that the fill must stay clear of the 1983 100-year flood line and that this line must be staked out first and silt barriers put in place.
Problem is: What good is the 1983 flood line today? Over the years, the MVCA has allowed many intrusions into the flood plain, causing the water to accumulate elsewhere.
One of the Carp River Coalition members commented to John Price, Watershed Management Coordinator at the MVCA:
“I’m surprised that you can justify the filling based on the 1983 floodline? With all the development over the past 25 years with little or no SWM control one has to assume the 2008 flood level is likely higher than the 1983 level. Also, with so much current discussion on the reliability of the hydrological data wouldn’t it have been prudent to hold off until an updated and correct data set has been determined?”
That is also the point made by Ted Cooper in a letter to Councillors. He points further to a March 2007 decision by the Mining and Lands Commissioner which clearly states that Planning Act approvals must come before Conservation Authorities Act approvals. A fill permit is issued under section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act. Approval of Richcraft’s Plan of Subdivision is under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Updates (Feb 14):
– Councillor Qadri wrote to Ted Cooper on February 13: “Mr. Cooper, just to let you that staff have had discussions with Richcraft and they have agreed to stop work on the site for the time being. The staff will monitor the situation and have further discussions with Richcraft and the MVC.”
– The Ottawa Citizen [article no longer online] carried a story on this on February 14, page B3.