North Bay-Mattawa Drinking Water Source Protection Plan Receives Approval from Province

Mar 05, 2015 -
The North Bay-Mattawa Source Protection Plan was granted approval by the province today, putting in place policies to protect the drinking water sources of Callander, Mattawa, North Bay, Powassan and South River from significant threats identified through the source protection planning process.

"This is an important day for the communities in our region for the protection of drinking water.  The Plan is the culmination of scientific analysis, community consultation and extensive work by the Source Protection Committee (SPC), the policy working group and staff that began in 2005.  We have appreciated the financial and technical support of the Province and now turn our focus to Plan implementation," said Jeff Celentano, Chair of the North Bay-Mattawa SPC.

Development of the SP Plan was overseen by the local SPC and involved consultation with watershed residents, municipalities, property owner, farmers, industry, health officials, community groups, and others.

As mandated by the Clean Water Act, source protection committees across Ontario identified potential risks to local water quality supply, and created plans to reduce or eliminate these risks.  Conservation authorities were given the responsibility of overseeing the administration and management of the source protection program throughout the province.

"Protection of our municipal drinking water sources is paramount for the health of these communities and our watershed.  For the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to be asked by the province to oversee this program, supporting locally-appointed multi-stakeholder Committee, it was a recognition of the importance of local expertise and the needs of our communities," said Dave Mendicino, Chair of the NBMCA and Source Protection Authority.

The Source Protection Plan (SP Plan) contains policies to address all activities identified in the 2011 Assessment Report, revised and approved in 2015 that could pose a threat to sources of drinking water.  The objective is to ensure that such activities either never become or cease to be significant drinking water threats.

The policies range from education and outreach programs and best management practices, to official plan amendments and other local bylaws.

The SP Plan designates bodies to implement the policies including municipalities, provincial ministries, Source Protection Authority, the Technical Standards & Safety Authority and North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority Source Protection staff at the NBMCA are currently assisting local municipalities with policy implementation.

Funding for the Source Protection Program has been provided by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

The SP Committee is comprised of local representatives from municipal, commercial/industrial, agriculture, and transportation sectors as well as the community at large and includes John MacLachlan, Maurice Schlosser, George Stivrins, Dennis MacDonald, Lucy Emmott, Roy Warriner, Beverley Hillier and Randy McLaren.  The late George Onley was a municipal rep and the process for appointing a replacement is currently underway.  The SPC was chaired by Barb Groves from 2007-2013; John MacLachlan was interim chair 2013-2014.  Jeff Celentano was appointed by the province to chair the local SPC July 2014.  Sue Miller is the Manager of the Source Protection Program.

To view the Approved SP Plan, or for more information visit www.actforcleanwater.ca
email dwsp.comments@nbmca.on.ca or call 705-474-5420