Clean-up work on the sewage-polluted Chedoke Creek is expected to resume today (Wednesday) almost a month after it was paused to consult with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.
Representatives for the HCCC had sought to have its own environmental monitors on site before clean-up work continues but spokespeople for the City of Hamilton’s watershed management department said it has yet to negotiate an agreement with the HCCC regarding the clean-up.
“The city is hopeful to reach an arrangement with HDI and HCCC to have environmental monitors during the dredging project at Chedoke Creek,” the city said in an email to the Two Row Times.
The HDI – Haudenosaunee Development Institute – is the administrative arm of the HCCC.
The city said the same conversations are happening with Six Nations and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation with regards to environmental monitors during the dredging project at Chedoke Creek.
The city has also reached out to the Huron-Wendat but has not heard back and added that both Six Nations and MCFN are “anxious to see the work commence.”
As part of the City of Hamilton’s Chedoke Remediation plan, preparatory work will start Wednesday, with in-water dredging to begin four to five days later.
The targeted dredging work is anticipated to take four months to complete, wrapping up by Dec. 31 or sooner, in alignment with the deadline specified in an order issued to the city by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP).
Construction mobilization, including the construction of the Dredge Material Management Area and other ancillary works began in late July. The arrival and set up of the dredge machine began on Aug. 17. The city paused the work when Six Nations man Trevor Bomberry and HDI lawyer Aaron Detlor visited the work site on Aug. 18 amid concerns the HCCC was not consulted on the project.
On Sept. 14, city council agreed to begin negotiations with First Nations stakeholders who have been part of city consultation efforts with regards to environmental monitoring agreements during the dredging process.
The city says it consulted with First Nations communities on the project, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat Nation, Six
Nations of the Grand River Elected Council and the HDI.
“The city has taken all necessary steps to ensure wildlife and species at risk located within Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise are protected throughout the remediation process,” the city noted in a press release. “The dredging plan has received input from the MECP, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Ministry of Transportation, Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Royal Botanical Gardens.”
In-water work will take place seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The city said excess noise, dust or smells are not expected as part of this work.
However, the city said over the coming weeks, residents may notice an increased level of truck traffic along Macklin St. North and temporary construction sites at the base of Longwood Road South near the Desjardin Trail as well as Macklin St. North across from Kay Drage Park. Kay Drage Park will remain closed for public access for the duration of construction activities.
Also, the access trail located behind Nicholas Mancini Centre will remain closed for the remainder of dredging activities.
“The City of Hamilton continues to be committed to the health of the watershed and to ensuring members of the public receive regular updates on the city’s efforts,” the statement said. “Given the significance of this project, the city has launched a dedicated project website to share timelines, permitting status details, a construction schedule and information on each offsetting remediation/mitigation project identified in the Cootes Paradise Workplan.”