NIAGARA RIVER TOXICS MANAGEMENT PLAN

PROGRESS REPORT: PART I

ACTIONS IN FULFILLMENT OF COMMITMENTS IN THE NIAGARA RIVER DECLARATION OF INTENT

The Progress Report is made up of two parts. Part I focuses on actions taken by the Four Parties, together or individually, and relates them to the commitments made in the 1987 Declaration of Intent. The shaded boxes with bold letters are the Declaration of Intent commitments. The numbers in brackets after many of the commitments refer to reports that are listed in the Bibliography at the end of the Progress Report. Part II examines how the actions are related to results at sources and to conditions observed in River water, sediments, and fish.


1. JOINTLY ESTABLISH A COMMON BASIS FOR IDENTIFYING, ASSESSING, AND QUANTIFYING TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS INTO THE NIAGARA RIVER.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties agreed to protocols to be used in an "Upstream/Downstream" water quality monitoring program for identifying and calculating toxic chemical loadings to the Niagara River [70-72]. Reports on concentrations and loadings have been issued for each year's data since 1986 [62-69].
  • The Four Parties compiled a "Categorization Report" comparing the levels of 76 substances found in water and fish to U.S./Canadian standards, criteria, and guidelines. The report placed the substances in categories of toxicity, so that actions could focus on reducing the most harmful substances [1].
  • A 1993 progress report determined that existing data collection programs would not allow the Four Parties to report on the 50% reduction commitment with as much scientific confidence as envisioned in the DOI [28].
  • The Four Parties established a new approach for reporting progress under the Plan. The new approach shows a more complete picture of River conditions by reporting on concentrations of toxic chemicals and trends over time of chemicals in water, fish, and sediments. The approach relates, more effectively, the results of remedial actions to the health of the River and its inhabitants (30, 76-70).

USEPA/ NYSDEC

  • USEPA/NYSDEC have contributed to the "Upstream/ Downstream" monitoring program within the Four-Party arena (see "FOUR PARTIES" above).

EC/MOEE

  • EC established, funds, and runs an "Upstream/ Downstream" water quality monitoring program, with sampling stations at Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake.


INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFY AND ESTABLISH PRIORITIES FOR CONTROL MEASURES TO REDUCE LOADINGS.

INDIVIDUALLY IMPLEMENT CHEMICAL POLLUTANT CONTROL ACTIVITIES IN THE NIAGARA RIVER




USEPA/NYSDEC
  • See specific information under DOI commitments Sections 3, 5, 10b, l0c

EC/MOEE

  • See specific information under DOI commitments Sections 3, 5, 10b, 10c


INDIVIDUALLY AND JOINTLY MONITOR AND EVALUATE THE SUCCESS OF CONTROL ACTIVITIES




FOUR PARTIES

The Four Parties produced progress reports on the reduction of toxic chemicals in the Niagara River in 1988, 1990, 1993, and 1994 [31-34]. For more information, see DOI commitments 3, 4, and 7.

USEPA/NYSDEC

  • NYSDEC produced reports on the control of toxic chemicals coming from New York point sources in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1995 [46-51]. For more information, see 10b.
  • USEPA/NYSDEC track the remediation progress of significant U.S. Niagara River hazardous waste sites in reports produced in 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996 [83-89]. For more information, see DOI commitments 3 and 10c.

EC/MOEE

  • MOEE has produced reports on the control of toxics coming from Ontario point sources in 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, and 1996 [21-25]. For more information, see 10b.
  • EC/MOEE have produced reports on biomonitoring near hazardous waste sites and landfills in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 [8,15,17,18].
  • MOEE has produced reports on the impact of Canadian landfills on the Niagara River in 1991, 1993 [14,16,19]. For more information, see 3 and 10c.


2. TAKE INTO ACCOUNT APPLICABLE WATER QUALITY AND DRINKING WATER STANDARDS AND SET AS A TARGET A REDUCTION LEVEL OF 50% FOR PERSISTENT TOXIC CHEMICALS OF CONCERN* FROM POINT SOURCES IN ONTARIO AND NEW YORK BY THE YEAR 1996. THIS ACHIEVEMENT WILL DEPEND ON THE PROGRESSIVE EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGIES, PERMITS, STANDARDS, LAWS, AND REGULATIONS IN BOTH COUNTRIES.

* A MUTUALLY AGREED UPON LIST OF PERSISTENT TOXIC CHEMICALS OF CONCERN WILL BE DEVELOPED FROM:

I) NRTC GROUP I AND II LISTS OF CHEMICALS OF CONCERN

II) IJC WATER QUALITY BOARD'S 1985 LIST OF "CRITICAL POLLUTANTS"

III) RESULTS OF POINT AND NON-POINT SOURCE MONITORING ACTIVITIES UNDERWAY.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties identified 18 priority toxic chemicals that exceeded water quality or fish tissue standards, objectives, and guidelines in the Niagara River or Lake Ontario. The 50% reduction commitment applies to the 10 chemicals of concern (out of 18 priority toxics) for which there is evidence of significant Niagara River sources. The priority toxics include PCBs, PAHs, pesticides, other organics, and metals. See 10d for additional information.


3. REPORT BY JULY 1987 AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER ON PROGRESS MADE IN IDENTIFYING AND QUANTIFYING LOADINGS OF TOXIC CHEMICAL POLLUTANTS ORIGINATING FROM NON-POINT SOURCES IN ONTARIO AND NEW YORK. TO THIS END, THE PARTIES WILL WORK TOWARDS ACHIEVING A REDUCTION OF AT LEAST 50% OF PERSISTENT TOXIC CHEMICALS OF CONCERN (SEE ABOVE) BY THE YEAR 1996 TAKING INTO ACCOUNT SITING ISSUES, TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE, LAWS AND REGULATIONS.


FOUR PARTIES

  • In 1989, the Four Parties evaluated agency efforts to monitor non-point sources in Ontario and New York [38].
  • A 1993 report discussed the difficulties associated with developing non-point source loadings to the Niagara River, and recommended instead that efforts be focused on actions taken to reduce the loadings and to identify new sources for reductions [28].
  • See 10d for more information on efforts to achieve 50% reduction.

USEPA/ NYSDEC

  • USEPA/NYSDEC have assumed that hazardous waste sites are the largest contributor to non-point source toxic pollutant loadings.
  • USEPA/NYSDEC have produced progress reports on the remediation of significant U.S. Niagara River hazardous waste sites in 11/89, 3/ 93, 7/93, 6/94, 12/94, 6/95, and 2/ 96 [83-89].
  • NYSDEC evaluated the impact of nonpoint sources on NY water bodies, including the Niagara River, in a 1988 report [51]. NYSDEC developed a plan to manage non-point sources in a 1990 report [52].

EC/MOEE

  • MOEE produced reports in 1991 and 1993 on the status of Canadian landfill sites believed to contribute contaminants to the Niagara River. The reports showed that the landfills had minimal impact on the river [15,17,20].


4. ESTABLISH AN IMPROVED SYSTEM OF MONITORING TO ENSURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ALL MONITORING PROGRAMS AND SCHEDULES.


FOUR PARTIES

  • In 1993-94, the Four Parties, led by NYSDEC, conducted the Fort Erie Representativeness Study to determine if the Fort Erie sampling station of the Upstream/Downstream program adequately represents water entering the Niagara River from Lake Erie.
  • Every two years, audits of the Upstream/Downstream's field and laboratory operations are conducted.

US EPA/NYSDEC

  • In 1990, a model of the fate of toxic chemicals in the Niagara River was developed to help make improvements in the river monitoring program [55].

EC/MOEE

  • In 1986, for the NRTMP, MOEE established quarterly sampling of all point sources, in addition to the regulatory monitoring required by Certificates of Approval or MISA regulations. Reports were produced in 1987, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995 [21-25].
  • In 1991, all point sources were sampled monthly to determine the reliability of quarterly sampling and to determine seasonal variability.
  • 13 tributaries were sampled monthly throughout 1988/ 89. Results were reported in 1993 [12].


5. ENFORCE LAWS AND REGULATIONS TO ENSURE THE MAXIMUM REDUCTIONS IN LOADINGS. IN GENERAL, POINT SOURCE CONTROL MEASURES WILL BE BASED UPON THE APPLICATION OF EXISTING BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY AND THE RESULTS OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION. THE PLAN WILL BE UPDATED TO REFLECT DEVELOPMENTS IN THESE AREAS.


USEPA/NYSDEC

  • The National/State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (N/SPDES) is used to achieve reductions in loadings. Permits are issued to limit or ban point-source release of toxic chemicals.
  • Pretreatment programs at wastewater treatment plants are used to require industries that discharge waste into municipal sewage treatment plants to meet limits on the amounts of toxic chemicals in their effluents.
  • USEPA and the 8 Great Lakes states have produced the Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative (GLI) that, when adopted by the states in 1997 will place more stringent controls on U.S. discharges of persistent toxics consistently throughout the Great Lakes, and implement antidegradation measures.
  • A legal agreement was negotiated with the City of Niagara Falls to treat dry-weather flow from the Falls Street Tunnel at the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.

EC/MOEE

  • MOEE uses Ontario's Environmental Protection Act to issue Certificates of Approval regulating emissions to the environment from air, wastewater treatment, and waste handling and disposal sites/ systems.
  • MOEE uses the Ontario Water Resources Act to issue Certificates of Approval regulating discharges to water.
  • CEPA requires the pre-screening of substances for their environmental and health effects prior to introduction into the market place.
  • Ontario Clean Water regulations (MISA) set technology-based effluent limitations for each industry, supplemented with water quality-based limitations.


6. USE THE PLAN AS A MEANS OF ALERTING THE JURISDICTIONS TO THOSE CHEMICALS FOR WHICH REDUCTIONS ARE NOT OCCURRING, SO THAT APPROPRIATE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS CAN BE TAKEN.


FOUR PARTIES

  • In 1989, the Four Parties informed the IJC of the toxic chemicals of concern in the Niagara River and requested their help in addressing upstream sources of chemicals to the river [29].
  • Subsequently, the Four Parties decided that the proper mechanism for addressing upstream sources was the Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP). The Four Parties alerted the parties developing the Lake Erie LaMP of the priority toxic chemicals in the Niagara River so that they could be incorporated into the LaMP toxic chemical reduction actions.


7. REVIEW AND UPDATE THE PLAN ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. AS PART OF THE REVIEW A PROGRESS REPORT WILL BE PUBLISHED AND PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT. THE REPORT WILL INCLUDE AN IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE PROPOSED FOR THE COMING YEAR, THE RESULTS OF MONITORING, A LIST OF ACTIONS UNDERTAKEN WITH RESPECT TO POINT AND NON-POINT SOURCES, UPDATED INFORMATION ON CHEMICALS OF CONCERN, AND SCIENTIFIC EVALUATIONS OF NEW AND DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES RELEVANT TO THE PROGRAM.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties updated The Plan in 1988, l 990, 1993, and 1994. The Updates presented progress in meeting The Plan's commitments, and included a schedule of new commitments [31-34].
  • The Four Parties issued interim status reports in l 990, and 1993. The status reports presented the results of monitoring and recent information on priority toxic chemicals [28,36,37].
  • The Four Parties held meetings and workshops to discuss the updates and status reports with the public in 3/87, 6/87, 7/87, 11/87, 1/88, 10/88, 6/89, 12/89, 9/90, l/93, 7/93, 5/94, 6/94, 12/94, and 5/96. See Sections 8, 10e, 10f for more information on issue-specific meetings.


8. IN 1988 AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, REVIEW AND REPORT IN DEPTH (BASED TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE ON EXISTING PARTIES' REPORTING REQUIREMENTS) ON THE STATE OF NEW AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES APPLICABLE TO HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILL SITE REMEDIATION WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON SUCH TECHNIQUES AS THE EXCAVATION, REMOVAL, AND ON-SITE DESTRUCTION OF CONTAMINATED MATERIAL.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties held technology exchanges during two U.S. hazardous waste site tours on May 5. 1993, and May 24, 1994, hosted by USEPA and NYSDEC.
  • An overview of U.S. waste site remediation activities was presented by USEPA at a meeting in Toronto on August 23, 1993, hosted by EC.

USEPA/ NYSDEC

  • Superfund and RCRA issue reports on new and emerging technologies for the remediation of hazardous waste sites [82].
  • Annual hazardous waste site reports describe technology applications at U.S. sites [83-89].
  • For remediations that result in contaminants remaining on site above certain health-based levels, Superfund reviews the site every S years to confirm that the remediations are still protective of human health.

EC/MOEE

  • MOEE published an inventory of innovative hazardous waste treatment technology projects in Ontario in January 1989 [26]
  • EC, MOEE, and USEPA are collaborating with Canadian and U.S. universities to develop and apply an innovative computer model for predicting groundwater flow and contaminant migration in fractured bedrock at a former PCB storage site in Smithville, Ontario. The site has a similar hydrogeologic setting to the Niagara River-area hazardous waste sites, so that the technologies developed may be applicable at those locations.
  • EC/MOEE reviewed remediation activities at 8 U.S. hazardous waste sites in a 1995 report prepared by Raven Beck [61].


9. SUBMIT THE PLAN AND PROGRESS REPORTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION AS PART OF THE COMMISSIONS REMEDIAL ACTION PLAN PROGRAM FOR THE GREAT LAKES.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Plan and all progress reports were submitted to the International Joint Commission Water Quality Board on June 16, 1994.


10. ADOPT THE FOLLOWING GOALS FOR EACH COMPONENT OF THE PLAN:



10A. RIVER MONITORING
  • DETERMINE THE TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS TO THE NIAGARA RIVER FROM LAKE ERIE (INPUT);
  • DETERMINE TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS FROM THE NIAGARA RIVER TO LAKE ONTARIO (OUTPUT)
  • DETERMINE TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS FROM SOURCES ALONG THE NIAGARA RIVER BY COMPARING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OUTPUT FROM THE RIVER AND INPUT FROM THE RIVER FROM UPSTREAM SOURCES (INPUT-OUTPUT DIFFERENTIAL RIVER MONITORING IDENTIFIED BY THE NRTC);
  • ATTEMPTS WILL BE MADE TO DETERMINE THE LOADINGS WITH SUFFICIENT CONFIDENCE TO MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CONTROL PROGRAMS.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties agreed to protocols to be used in an "Upstream/Downstream" water quality monitoring program for identifying and calculating toxic chemical loadings to and from the Niagara River [70-72]. The sampling station at Fort Erie (upstream) determines toxic chemical loadings to the Niagara River from Lake Erie. The sampling station at Niagara-on-the-Lake (downstream) determines toxic chemical loadings from the Niagara River to Lake Ontario. The difference between data from the two stations determines toxic chemical loadings from sources along the Niagara River.
  • The Four Parties have interpreted Upstream/Downstream data in reports from 1984/86 through 1993/94. The reports include loading estimates [62-69].
  • A 1989 progress report [35] established the statistical criteria and confidence limits to determine trends in loadings reductions that will help evaluate the effectiveness of toxic chemical reduction programs. A 1993 progress report [28] concluded that because data collection programs were not specifically designed to measure 50% reduction, trends could not be reported with full scientific confidence.
  • The Four Parties contracted Dr. A.H. El-Shaarawi (National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Ontario) to determine statistically significant trends in the Upstream/Downstream data for the 18 priority toxic chemicals and to make the developed methodology available as a user-friendly computer program.

USEPA/NYSDEC

  • In l 990, a model of the fate of toxic chemicals in the Niagara River was developed to help make improvements in the river monitoring program [55].

EC/MOEE

  • EC established, funds, and runs an "Upstream/ Downstream" water quality monitoring program, with sampling stations at Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake.


10B. POINT SOURCES

  • DETERMINE TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS FROM INDUSTRIAL AND MUNICIPAL FACILITIES.
  • ESTIMATE ALLOWABLE TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS FROM INDUSTRIAL AND MUNICIPAL SOURCES AS PROVIDED IN REGULATORY SPECIFICATIONS.
  • ESTIMATE REDUCTION OF TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS AS A RESULT OF IMPLEMENTED CONTROL MEASURES AND SCHEDULED REDUCTIONS BASED ON PLANNED CONTROL MEASURES.
  • IMPLEMENT REMEDIAL AND CONTROL PROGRAMS SO AS TO ACHIEVE THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE REDUCTION OF TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS TO THE NIAGARA RIVER.




FOUR PARTIES
  • The Four Parties reported on compliance monitoring and estimated toxic chemical loadings from 1986/87 to 1988/89 in the "Niagara River Point Source 50% Reduction Progress Report," September 1990 [57].
  • The Four Parties reported on compliance monitoring and estimated point source loadings for 1986/87 to 1989/90 the "Progress Report on Reduction of Priority Toxics in the Niagara River", January 1993 [28].
  • The Four Parties reported in 1993 that existing data collection programs would not allow them to report on the 50% reduction commitment with as much scientific confidence as envisioned in the DOI [28].

USEPA/NYSDEC

  • A U.S. point source plan was presented in a NYSDEC/USEPA 1989 report [50]. The plan identified activities that would be undertaken to meet the 50% reduction commitment.
  • USEPA/NYSDEC identified dry weather flow from the Falls Street Tunnel as the greatest source of pollutants from any of their point sources. They negotiated a legal agreement for the treatment of the dry weather flow at the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • NYSDEC identified the 29 most significant point sources of toxic pollutants to the River, of which 26 are still operating. NYSDEC tracked the loadings reductions in point source reports published between 1987-95 [46-51].
  • USEPA conducted multi-media inspections at facilities known to discharge toxic chemicals to develop pollution prevention plans.
  • USEPA has funded Erie County to train municipal pretreatment inspectors to conduct pollution prevention inspections.
  • USEPA and the 8 Great Lakes states have published the Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative for the states to adopt consistent and rigorous standards for bioaccumulative toxic chemicals.
  • NYSDEC continuously collects data under SPDES compliance monitoring program to determine point source loadings.
  • USEPA established a "33/50 Program" for industries to implement pollution prevention practices to reduce the releases of 17 toxic chemicals (3 are NRTMP priority toxic chemicals). Participating industries in New York State as a whole achieved a 72% reduction in the release of the targeted chemicals between 1988-1994 (1995 data still being analyzed).
  • See Section 5 for more information.

EC/MOEE

  • A Canadian point source plan was presented in 1989 and 1993 reports [23,25]
  • MOEE collects and receives data to determine point source loadings under voluntary and compliance monitoring programs.
  • Ontario's Clean Water Regulations (MISA) and Certificates of Approval require regular monitoring of point sources and set effluent quality limits.
  • EC published a paper in 1989 which discussed the problems with existing point source data [5].
  • EC produced a 1992 report outlining the inability of existing source monitoring programs to measure toxic chemical loads with scientific confidence [92].
  • See Section 5 for more information.


10C. NON-POINT SOURCES

  • ESTIMATE TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS FROM TRIBUTARIES AND LEAKING HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL SITES;
  • ESTIMATE REDUCTIONS IN TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS AS A RESULT OF IMPLEMENTED CONTROL MEASURES, AND SCHEDULED REDUCTIONS BASED ON PLANNED CONTROL MEASURES;
  • IMPLEMENT REMEDIAL AND CONTROL PROGRAMS SO AS TO ACHIEVE THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE REDUCTION OF TOXIC CHEMICAL LOADINGS TO THE NIAGARA RIVER. IN ADDITION, ON ALL SITES, EXCAVATION, REMOVAL AND DESTRUCTION OF CONTAMINATED MATERIAL WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A MEANS OF ELIMINATING CONTAMINANTS TO THE RIVER.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties have had difficulty quantifying non-point source loadings of toxic chemicals to the river.

USEPA/NYSDEC

Waste Sites

  • Based on limited information available in 1988, USEPA and NYSDEC identified the 26 hazardous waste sites with the greatest potential for toxic chemical loadings into the Niagara River [2]. The 26 significant sites were put on accelerated remediation schedules, where possible.
  • Remedial construction at 6 sites has been completed: Bell Aerospace Textron, Oxy-Durez at Niagara Falls, Stauffer Chemical, DuPont-Buffalo Ave. Frontier Chemical Pendleton, Oxy-Durez at No. Tonawanda. over 30,500 m3 (40,000 yd3) of contaminated soils were removed, and the rest capped. At the Stauffer site, a system is cleaning-up contaminated soils by "vacuuming" toxic chemicals out. Contaminated groundwater is being pumped inward, away from the site boundaries, and treated. over 14,500 kg (32,000 lbs) of organic contaminants have been removed from the ground-water. The sites are constantly being monitored to ensure that the remediations are effective in keeping toxic chemicals from moving off the sites.
  • Remedial construction is underway at 11 sites. The following is a highlight of the most significant accomplishments. At the Occidental-Buffalo Ave site, bedrock groundwater is being collected and treated. The same will be done for overburden groundwater once the collection drain is installed in June 1997. At the CECOS site, groundwater is being collected and treated at the facility. The Hyde Park site has been capped, and is collecting and treating overburden and bedrock groundwater. At the 102nd Street site, contaminated soils have been removed from the embayment and site perimeter, a storm sewer has been installed, and construction of a slurry wall has begun. At Occidental's S-Area site, overburden and bedrock groundwater are being collected and treated. Barrier walls on 3 sides of the site are installed. At Buffalo Color Area D , a cap, slurry wall, and groundwater collection system are being constructed. Contaminated sediments in the Buffalo River are being removed. At the River Rd & Niagara Mohawk Cherry Farm sites, contaminated areas are being capped with clean soil, groundwater collection trenches and recovery wells are being installed, and contaminated river sediments are being removed.

Tributaries and Contaminated Sediments

  • Tributaries associated with waste sites have been cleaned-up, removing contaminated sediments from Gill Creek (6,000 m3 or 8,000 yds3), Bloody Run Creek (22,000 m3 or 29,000 yds3), and Pettit Creek Cove (18,000 m3 or 23,500 yds3). Monitoring continues to ensure the effectiveness of the remediation.
  • Sampling to track down sources of toxic pollutants in tributaries has been conducted, using sensitive detection tools that can be installed along the length of the tributary.
  • USEPA assessed the nature and extent of contaminants in Buffalo River bottom sediments. Possible remedial actions were evaluated. A new treatment technology (low temperature thermal desorption) was demonstrated [79,80].
  • NYSDEC has compiled an inventory of NY Great Lakes contaminated sediments data that is periodically updated [38,39]. It is used to prioritize "hot spots" of contaminated sediments for remediation or other appropriate actions.

Pollution Prevention/Other Non-point Source Control Methods

  • USEPA has funded county-level collections of unused agricultural pesticides so that they are disposed of in an environmentally safe manner ("Clean Sweeps"). In 1993-95, over 21,000 kg (46,000 lbs) of toxic substances, including DDT, dioxin, chlordane, and arsenic were collected in four New York counties in the Niagara River/Lake Erie basin.
  • See "EC/MOEE", second bullet for information on joint U.S.Canada program.
  • See also 10b for more information.

EC/MOEE

Waste Landfills

  • In the Niagara River Toxics Study (1981-84), five municipal landfills were identified as having the potential to contribute contaminants to the river. Studies conducted by MOEE in 1991 and 1993 showed that the landfills had minimal impact on the river.
  • CYTEC Niagara ceased operations in 1992 and is being decommisioned in 1995/96.
  • Improvements at all landfills have been made to reduce the potential for contaminant migration.

Tributaries and Contaminated Sediments

  • MOEE reported on water and sediment quality in the lower Welland River in a 1993 report [13].
  • MOEE conducted a survey of the 13 Niagara River tributaries in 1988 and reported the findings in 1993, including the number of detections of chemicals of concern [12].
  • EC/MOEE and other partners removed 10,500 m3 (13,800 yd3) of heavy metal and oil and grease contaminated sediments from the Welland River, using innovative dredging techniques. Studies of the extent of contamination and alternatives for remediation of the adjacent wetland are ongoing.

Pollution Prevention/Other Non-point Source Control Methods

  • Ontario's Pollution Prevention Pledge Program (P4) promotes pollution prevention initiatives in the industrial, commercial, and governmental communities [14]. The Ontario/Canada Niagara River Remedial Action Plan has targeted P4 for greater implementation in the Niagara River area.
  • A Canadian-U.S. partnership to promote comprehensive municipal pollution prevention was established with Hamilton-Wentworth and Erie County to promote and implement pollution prevention initiatives for attaining the mutual goal of a sustainable community.


10D IDENTIFY AND MAINTAIN A LIST OF CHEMICALS OF CONCERN (AS DETERMINED BY THE NRTC, WITH FURTHER MONITORING, RESEARCH AND PRIORITIES ESTABLISHED BY THE IJC WATER QUALITY BOARD) WITHIN THE NIAGARA RIVER ECOSYSTEM AND PROMOTE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF UNIFORM ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN HEALTH CRITERIA FOR THOSE CHEMICALS.


THE FOUR PARTIES:

  • In 1987, the Four Parties compiled a list of MOEE and NYSDEC water quality objectives, standards, criteria, and regulatory guidelines.
  • In 1987, the Four Parties developed a master list of persistent toxic chemicals in the Niagara River.
  • In 1988, the Four Parties identified chemicals of concern subject to the 50% reduction commitment.
  • In 1990, the Four Parties compared the standards and criteria of the four agencies, judged their adequacy for the NRTMP, and recommended plans for criteria development where necessary [75].
  • In 1990, the Four Parties updated the categorization of toxic substances (418 chemicals) in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, based on data collected between 1976 and 1989 [1].

USEPA/NYSDEC

  • Newly developed criteria to protect fish-eating birds and animals were presented in a 1987 report [54].
  • USEPA and the 8 Great Lakes states have published the Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative for the states to adopt uniform environmental and human health criteria for bioaccumulative toxic chemicals.
  • See first bullet of EC/MOEE column for more information.

EC/MOEE

  • MOEE and NYSDEC jointly collected and analysed sport fish from the Niagara River in 1994 and 1995, and are working on better communication of both New York state and Ontario advice and interpretations regarding fish consumption.
  • MOEE's Provincial Water Quality objectives were revised in 1984 and again in 1994. Provincial Sediment Quality Guidelines were added in 1993. Council of Canadian Resource and Environment Ministers guidelines came out in 1990. MOEE published the new "Guidelines for Use at Contaminated sites in Ontario" in 1996 [9].


10E. CARRY OUT RESEARCH, TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS TO ASSIST THE FOUR JURISDICTIONS IN ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS OF THE NIAGARA FRONTIER.




THE FOUR PARTIES:
  • Conducted an International Symposium on toxic chemicals in the Niagara River in February 1987 [4].
  • Conduced a "Zero Discharge Seminar" in September 1987.
  • Held a point-source monitoring technical workshop in January 1988.
  • Held a hydrogeology technical workshop in May 1988.
  • Held a Niagara River/Lake Ontario tributary monitoring experts meeting in August 1992.
  • Contracted Dr. A.H. El-Shaarawi (National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Ontario) to determine statistically significant trends in the Upstream/Downstream data for the 18 priority toxic chemicals and to make the developed methodology available as a user-friendly computer program.

USEPA/NYSDEC:

  • USEPA/NYSDEC developed modeling charts to predict the bioaccumulated concentrations of dioxin in fish from various dioxin loads.
  • In 1990, a model of the fate of toxic chemicals in the Niagara River was developed to help make improvements in the river monitoring program [55].
  • In 1993, USEPA/NYSDEC funded the development of a Niagara River regional groundwater model [90].

EC/MOEE

  • EC, MOEE, and USEPA are collaborating with Canadian and U.S. universities to develop and apply an innovative computer model for predicting groundwater flow and contaminant migration in fractured bedrock at a former PCB storage site in Smithville, Ontario The site has a similar hydrogeologic setting as U.S. hazardous waste sites along the Niagara River, so that the technologies developed may be applicable at those locations.
  • EC/MOEE demonstrated sediment dredging and treatment technology in Chippawa Creek in 1989, and in the Welland River in 1991 and 1995.


10F. COMMUNICATION PLAN - PRESENT INFORMATION AND SCIENTIFIC REPORTS TO THE PUBLIC, AND SEEK THEIR INPUT TO THE PLAN.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties have held public meetings and workshops to discuss Updates and Progress Reports with the public in 3/87, 6/87, 7/87, 11/87, 1/88, 10/88, 6/89, 12/89, 9/90, 1/93, 7/93, 5/94, 6/94, and 12/94.
  • The Four Parties held a public workshop in 5/96 to seek public input on new ways of reporting progress, based on goals and milestones that are more meaningful to the public and more closely related to protecting human health, aquatic life, and wildlife in the Niagara River/Lake Ontario basins. The Four Parties also verbally reaffirmed their commitment to the Declaration of Intent.
  • The Four Parties convened ad hoc Public Working Group meetings in 1995 to develop recommendations on how to enhance public involvement and improve public communication in the NRTMP.
  • The Four Parties have mailed documents and fact sheets to the public prior to meetings.
  • The Four Parties have made technical documents available to the public in six U.S. and Canadian repositories.
  • The Four Parties developed Public Involvement Plans with public input to better define and enhance the public role in the Plan [58-60].

USEPA/NYSDEC

  • In 7/95, USEPA/NYSDEC held a public meeting to discuss an update to the U.S. hazardous waste site report. Previous updates to the report were discussed at Four Party meetings listed above.
  • In 1991, USEPA prepared a newsletter to educate the public on toxic pollutant reduction activities in the Niagara River basin [81].
  • USEPA established and funds a Public Information office in Niagara Falls to respond to questions about the Plan, provide reports, and forward public comments about the Plan to the Four Parties.

EC/MOEE

  • MOEE made a presentation on the Plan at a Niagara River Remedial Action Plan workshop in 1995.
  • MOEE makes presentations on NRTMP activities to monthly Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Public Advisory Committee Meetings.


10G. ORGANIZATIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION - ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE TO ENSURE THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN IS EFFECTIVELY MONITORED.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Plan is implemented under the following management structure:
  • Coordination Committee: the group that makes policy decisions.
  • Secretariat: the group that oversees the day-to-day implementation of the Plan and reports to the Coordination Committee.
  • Technical Advisory Work Group and River Monitoring Committee provide input on technical issues
  • Public Involvement Committee provides input on public involvement issues.


10H. REPORTING - UPDATE THE PLAN ANNUALLY AND ISSUE STATUS REPORTS AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH CALENDAR YEAR.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties updated The Plan in 1988, 1990, 1993, and 1994. The Updates present progress in meeting The Plan commitments, and schedule new commitments [31-34].
  • The Four Parties issued interim status reports in 1990, and 1993. The status reports present the results of monitoring and recent information on chemicals of concern [28,36,37].
  • The Four Parties held public meetings and workshops to discuss the updates and status reports with the public in 3/87, 6/87, 7/87, 11/87, 1/88, 10/88, 6/89, 12/89, 9/90, 1/93, 7/93, 5/94, 6/94, 12/94, and 5/96.


11. INITIATE ACTIVITY ON A LAKE ONTARIO TOXIC MANAGEMENT PLAN WHICH WILL BE SIMILAR IN CONTENT AND SCOPE TO THE NIAGARA RIVER TOXICS MANAGEMENT PLAN AND COMPATIBLE WITH IJC ACTIVITIES. THE LAKE ONTARIO DOCUMENT WILL BE COMPLETED BY JANUARY 1, 1988.


FOUR PARTIES

  • The Four Parties developed a Lake Ontario Toxic Management Plan (LOTMP) in 1989 and implemented toxic chemical reduction activities under it [68].
  • The Four Parties are expanding the LOTMP into a Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) for critical pollutants, to fulfill commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.