The Government of Ontario announced its approval of the Mattagami Region Source Protection Plan on April 10. The plan will strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water in the protection area, which covers more than 11,000 square kilometres, contains four municipalities, and is home to 48,000 residents, about 90 per cent of which are served by Timmins’ drinking water system. The plan will be implemented for fall 2014.
The City of Timmins will assume a number of responsibilities under the plan, including creating risk management plans for storing pesticides, fuel, and manure; ensuring municipal sewage equipment has proper back-up power systems; updating its road salt management plan; pre-screening land-use planning and building permit applications to prohibit future storage of large amounts of organic solvents; and conducting an education and outreach program with the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority to advise fuel distributors, private fuel outlets, and property owners of the measures to take in case of a spill.
“The Mattagami Region Source Protection Authority and Committee worked with the City of Timmins and surrounding communities to create a plan that protects drinking water from the Mattagami River,” said committee member George Hughes. “The collaborators were sensitive to business and local concerns, working hand-in-hand to ensure that public safety was considered.”