August 2001 Update

This news bulletin is being distributed to 38 primary contacts across 22 different member groups in the Ashfield-Colborne Lakefront Association (ACLA). This information is provided to these contacts to help them keep the members within their associations informed.

This is a brief update on a few key items over the past few weeks. This e-mail provides a capsule summary, and points you to the web-sites where you can learn more. Hopefully you will be able to use this information to keep your members current.

Stream Measurement

Aug 7, Mike McElone provided an update on results-to-date of this 2001/2002 programme to our A-C-W Council. They were impressed by the level of lakefront financial support and the integrity of the sampling method, and somewhat surprised by the high readings. In fact they offered to support the program by sending the results on to the MOE, OMAFRA, and Helen Johns. They also agreed to provide $1500 in funding to help cover sample testing costs. It was pretty clear that the review helped gain strong Council buy-in to the program. Congrats to Mike and the testing team. Well done!

Stream testing results are posted on the ACLA website.

As a reminder, Huron County Health's beach water quality (e-coli) testing results are at Click on 'Water Quality, then Beach advisories, then '...actual result numbers' halfway down the page.

The beach test results for the whole year will be posted on the northwesthuron site at the end of the season in spreadsheet format (similar to last year's format). The Health Unit has expanded their website this year and the test data is available for all dates on which testing was done.

Geene Barns

The battle continues. In addition to the court case in London week of Oct 15 challenging H-K Council's issuance of a building permit, Mr Geene has recently launched an action to be heard in court September 10 to have the stay on construction removed. Significant preparation is underway for these court dates (e.g. depositions and other fact gathering). Adding to the confusion are at least a couple of additional Nutrient Management Plan proposals that we are aware of which describe optional barn configurations and waste spreading plans.

As of a week ago, the poultry barn to be located in Ashfield just south of Amberley still seemed to be in limbo.

Letters to Ministries

We checked and confirmed that e-mail to the Ministries does get treated the same as regular mail i.e. it is logged and processed. Either means can be used to convey your support and views on various issues. Volume of mail, personal views, and facts and perspectives are important.

Bill 81 (Nutrient Management Act 2001) announced June 13, 2001

This new legislation will probably take until late 2001 to be passed, and the all important supporting regulations are projected to take until April, 2002 to complete. Then the phase-in will begin, possibly over 5 years.

Our A-C-W Council has taken the lead in expressing a their concern that section 60 of the legislation that regulations under this bill will supercede municipal by-laws that deal with the same subject matter. The ACLA strongly supports Council's contention that municipalities should have the right to pass by-laws which provide stronger (BUT NOT LESS) environmental protection than will be in the in the provincial regulations.

PROTECT has also issued formal response to the Environmental Bill of Rights registry on several concerns with the new legislation. Note that the inclusion of the item on septic systems as a concern was debated, mainly because the focus of the legislation deals with the spreading of septage, and not the actual septic systems. In the end the ACLA members in the PROTECT group were able to gain other members agreement to include the concern as a means of helping to gain the Province's attention on the larger issue.

Press Article

There was a critical article in the Ottawa Citizen that should help increase public awareness on the concerns with current manure management practices. The National Post also printed a much summarized version of the same article.

Wind Turbine Proposal

The ACW Council has sent out a notice of a public information meeting on August 27 regarding the proposal to build a wind turbine east of Port Albert.

Healthy Futures Grants may be Available for Septic System Upgrades

It has come to our attention that grants may be available under the Healthy Futures Program for septic system upgrades. For more information please contact Doug Hawkins at the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority - 519-335-3557. Application forms are available at the Huron County Planning Department (Courthouse in Goderich). A site visit may be required before an application can be processed. If anyone decides to follow-up on this, we would appreciate some feedback that might be on interest or help to other members.

Written by Dave Cooper.