Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring
A Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring Plan is a requirement of O. Reg. 697/21: [The Bradford Bypass Exemption Regulation].
23. (1) The proponent shall prepare a Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring Plan for the Bradford Bypass Project in accordance with this section.
(2) The Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring Plan shall, at a minimum, include,
- identification of all areas where the Bradford Bypass Project may directly or indirectly affect groundwater;
- a groundwater monitoring program for the identified areas;
- a description of the locations and parameters for the monitoring of groundwater quality and quantity;
- the proposed start date and frequency of groundwater monitoring; and
- a well water survey, including plans to collect appropriate water quality and quantity
information as determined by the proponent.
The title for this plan is potentially misleading. This is not a plan to protect Ground Water or Wells. It is a plan to monitor whatever steps may be taken by the highway contractors to protect groundwater and wells. At best it provides comments and recommendations concerning appropriate steps to be taken.
THE NEXT SECTION OF THE EXEMPTION REGULATION IS ALSO RATHER TELLING:
(4) The proponent shall consider any comments provided on the Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring Plan. [Emphasis added].
(5) The proponent shall provide the final Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring Plan to the Director of the Ministry’s Environmental Assessments Branch.
The Exemption regulation lists a number of provincial and municipal government bodies to whom the report is to be provided for review and comment. The only members of the public included in this list are: Every assessed owner of land within the updated study area and within 500 metres of the borders of the updated study area.
The public only gets to see the report after it is final:
(6) The proponent shall publish the final Groundwater Protection and Well Monitoring Plan on the Project website.
THIS DRAFT REPORT PROVIDES YET FURTHER REASON TO TOTALLY AVOID THIS ESTREMELY ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE CORRIDOR.