August 29, 2010
Fourteen months after City Council accepted the Third Party Review (TPR) report, staff posted Notices of Completion for the amended Kanata West / Carp River environmental assessments. By the August 29, 2010 deadline, several Part II Order Requests had been filed:
+ Six individuals jointly sent in an 8-page letter. Signatories, also speaking for Friends of the Carp River, Ottawa Riverkeeper and Sierra Club Canada, included all those who, writing as the erstwhile Carp River Coalition, had submitted a Request in 2006. Their key grounds for requesting an Order under section 16 of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act are that a so-called “worst-case” approach to safeguarding against increased flooding along the Carp River is invalid; that (as they argued in 2006), the Restoration project should extend to the River’s “sufficient outlet” below the Village of Carp; that the absence of documentation on key input and performance data raises suspicion that the proponents (the City of Ottawa and the Kanata West Land Owners Group) have something to hide; and that filling in 28 hectares of the flood plain is against the Province’s flood plain policy. Additional grounds of both substance and process are raised as well.
+ Paul Renaud, for South March Highlands – Carp River Conservation Inc., made a 6-page submission (362 KB) which, among several issues, raises questions about the integration of the assessments with the Terry Fox Drive Extension project and with the Glen Cairn flooding investigation.
+ At least half a dozen other individuals submitted a non-technical Request that focusses on process issues. Read an example here.
+ Darlene Conway submitted a 7-page letter, supported by detailed Appendices (Appendix A+B – 21 pp. ; Appendix C – 47 pp, 4.7 MB). Darlene spells out the many ways in which the Restoration project fails to meet “the requirements and criteria of virtually every policy, guideline, and standard practice developed over the last 30 years in this province to guide the management of stormwater and floodplains”. She further details her concerns about “additional modeling errors and a number of technical assumptions” and demonstrates how “the planning process for these projects has failed to meet fundamental requirements” of the rule book for Class Environmental Assessments in the Province. (Look here for a critique of Darlene’s earlier this year that in part covered the same ground, and another one in 2008.)
+ Ted Cooper also submitted a 7-page letter, supported by an 18-page Appendix and 45 Attachments (Attachments 1-10, 3.4 MB; Attachments 11-16, 5.2 MB; Attachments 17-24, 3.1 MB; Attachments 25-37, 3.3 MB; Attachments 38-45, 2.5 MB). Ted argues that the proposed stormwater management criteria for the development “do not provide for the adequate protection of natural resources, interests of riparian landowners, other uses, and natural amenities”.
Despite their multiple and severe criticisms, both Darlene and Ted set out an alternative implementation plan that would allow some development to proceed in the interim. As Ted’s summarizes, his plan (which Darlene supports) would be:
“* consistent with an ecosystem approach to environmental protection and resource management;
* implement infrastructure for growth and remedial measures to resolve existing servicing problems thereby considering the effects of decisions on current and future generations, consistent with sustainable development principles; and
* would proceed in a cautionary, science-based approach that meets the demands of immediate development pressure, while ensuring decision-making protects public health and safety, and the environment”.
It is impossible to predict when the Minister will make his decision.
31 August 2010
Update: Media coverage:
“Civic engineers poke holes in City of Ottawa flood modeling plan” by David Johnston in the Kanata EMC of 16 September 2010. [article no longer online]
“Carp River plan flawed, engineers say — Kanata development project meant to improve drainage” by Kate Jaimet in the Ottawa Citizen of 16 September 2010. [You need an OPL card number to access thise article]