Congratulations to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper for their innovative application to the Ontario Environmental Commissioner, to force Toronto to give public notice when it bypasses sewage into Lake Ontario due to wet weather- about three times a month.
The Environmental Bill of Rights allows anyone to filed a request for review of an existing practice or policy. Waterkeeper’s wants the province to ensure that the city starts notifying residents when it bypasses sewage into Lake Ontario. Despite an ambitious 25 year Wet Weather Flow Master Plan, Toronto dumped more than 4-billion litres of sewage last year alone. Sewage in the water means that people who are paddling, surfing, and boating could get sick – and they don’t even know it.
The Ministry of the Environment has two months to respond to the request. In the meantime, Waterkeeper set up a website so that people who paddle, surf, sail, or boat on the Toronto waterfront can identify themselves and support Waterkeeper’s call for a new bypass alerts program in the city. They hope that people who use the waterfront will be concerned and will create more pressure for the steps needed to reduce sewage bypasses.
The Waterkeeper submission is online here.
Mark Mattson’s blog post is here.