Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
From the city’s top lawyer…
Sent: March 07, 2013 4:07 PM
To: Watson, Jim (Mayor/Maire); =City Council
Cc: + Management – Executives; Young, George; Arpin, Serge; Box, Steve; White, David; Huxley, Stuart; Allaire, Lisa
Subject: Environment Canada – Charge – Fisheries Act
Sent on behalf of M. Rick O’Connor, City Clerk and Solicitor
De la part de M. Rick O’Connor, Greffier et Chef du contentieux
French version to follow/La version française suivra
Mayor Watson and Members of Council:
The purpose of this e-mail is to advise Members of Council that yesterday afternoon, Environment Canada advised my Office that it has commenced a prosecution against the City of Ottawa under the federal Fisheries Act. I understand that this matter relates to an incident that occurred on October 22nd, 2011, at Lansdowne Park. In short, the allegation is that during staff’s cleaning/washing of a line-painting machine (the machine used to mark lines on the then exiting sports-field at Frank Clair Stadium), some paint/wash was allegedly discharged into a storm sewer which ultimately flows into the Rideau Canal.
Lansdowne staff cooperated with the federal Department’s investigation into this matter in late 2011 and early 2012. Although the City has not yet been served with the charging document, we are advised that the charge is under Subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. This provision provides that no person shall deposit a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish. The range of possible fines for such offences is determined by a number of factors, including the extent of any discharge. The legislation provides for varying maximum fines and there is no statutory minimum fines. Generally speaking, the maximum fine would be up to $300,000. However, based on my understanding of the circumstances of this case, I do not anticipate that a fine, if imposed, would be at the maximum range.
My Office will be contacting Environment Canada to coordinate the service of the charging document and to confirm the first court appearance date which I currently understand to be March 27th, 2013. Finally, I will undertake to advise Members of Council of significant developments relating to this matter.
I trust that the above is satisfactory.
M. Rick O’Connor, CMO
Certified Specialist (Municipal Law: Local Government) | Spécialiste agréé (Loi sur les municipalités: gouvernement local)
City Clerk and Solicitor | Greffier de la Ville et chef du contentieux
City of Ottawa | ville d’Ottawa
The city’s real-time control system has picked up another award after receiving one from the Consulting Engineers of Ontario last year.
From the city:
Ottawa River Action Plan receives Public Works Project of the Year Award
Ottawa – The City of Ottawa received an environmental award last week from the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA). The award recognizes Real Time Control System improvements made to the City’s combined sewer system as part of the Ottawa River Action Plan.
“I am proud to hear that the City received an Ontario Public Works Award and I would like to thank the partners, stakeholders and City staff involved with the implementation of this key element of the Ottawa River Action Plan,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The Real Time Control project is an important part of the City’s commitment to reduce our environmental impact and improve the water quality in the Ottawa River.”
“I am pleased to see that the hard work that the City has done to improve water quality in Canada’s Capital has not gone unnoticed,” said River Ward Councillor, Maria McRae, Chair of the Environment Committee. “The Real Time Control project is 1 of 17 projects identified under the City’s Ottawa River Action Plan to improve water quality. In the second year of operation, the Real Time Control project has already demonstrated its value by reducing combined sewer overflows to the Ottawa River by almost 70 per cent.”
The OPWA Project of the Year in the Environment (over $10 million category) was awarded at the annual conference and awards luncheon of the OPWA last week. The award was granted jointly to the City of Ottawa, and other stakeholders and partners involved in the Real Time Control project including, Stantec, BPR-CSO, Louis W. Bray Construction and Doran Contractors.
The OPWA Public Works Project of the Year Award was established in 2001 to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who work together to complete public works projects.
I’m back at City Hall today after an extended holiday. Hundreds of emails to go through and here’s a recent one from the Ontario Concrete Pipe Association, which gives the the city a big tsk-tsk for the Hwy. 174 sinkhole. The report will be the subject of questions and debate at tomorrow’s environment committee meeting.
Since “sinkhole” is pretty much a dirty word in the City of Ottawa now, any crater that opens up on a city street is bound to create some buzz. Here’s the explanation provided today to some councillors and staff at City Hall by one of the top infrastructure managers.
I wanted to follow up on today’s watermain break on Elgin Street. It is recognized that there were watermain breaks on Elgin Street last January, but today’s occurrence is not related to aging infrastructure, it is not on the same watermain section and the break occurred as a result of drilling work being done by a contractor for the installation of a gas main. The pipe that was damaged is a 305 mm PVC watermain that was installed in 1999. It is also worth noting that the last watermain break reported on Elgin in May 2012 was in fact related to the service on the Provincial Courthouse property and not on the City’s portion of the watermain.
Drinking Water Services are attending to the repair.
From a renewal perspective related to the section that was subject to previous watermain breaks, there are both water and sewer renewal needs on Elgin between Catherine and Gloucester that require coordination. The intent remains to initiate in 2013 the preliminary design for the renewal of that section of Elgin. Detailed design would be carried out in 2014. At this point the earliest construction window that has been identified to limit overall service impacts is 2015 and 2016, or beyond 2017 after the 150th Celebrations. This timeline will be refined as we progress through the design and public consultation process in order to identify construction funding in future capital budget submissions.
I hope this information is helpful.
Alain C. Gonthier, P.Eng.
Manager, Asset Management / Gestionnaire, Gestion des actifs
City of Ottawa / Ville d’Ottawa
Infrastructure Services / Direction des services d’infrastructure