Completion of the CBRA (Community Based Risk Assessment)

On this last day before the election, I will blog about the issues as I see  them  and as I have been able to extrapolate from the last 4 years.  Please feel free to comment and discuss the issues.  I do not have all the answers but feel free to contact me.  I am willing to discuss them.

This issue appears to have been placed on the back burner or many citizens are either not aware or have forgotten about it.  I would also venture to say that two of the Ward 2 candidates have no idea what the letters mean.

CBRA is a risk assessment process that is used to examine the environment in and around an area that may have been contaminated as a result of commercial, industrial or mining activity.  These environmental reviews, ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, are not uncommon.  What made this one different was the estimated large scale of the environmental damage and health risks to every resident of the city, especially those in close proximity to the primary subject site in the East Village.  As such, Port Colborne was the first Ontario community to be the subject of a CBRA that included the entire municipality.

When the Ministry announced it, they advised the City that the process should be completed within 2 years.  That was 12 years ago and we are still waiting.  The Ministry is in possession of all of the required documents, comments and final draft report and yet we have heard nothing.  Ministry officials are silent and don’t want to answer any of our questions.  There appears to be no time line for the release of this critical final report.

Some people have indicated that its has taken so long that it no longer matters what the MOE or the report says.  I beg to differ.

In the past few years, the city has been approached by developers that have proposed some significant projects for Port Colborne and, in particular, Ward 2.  Because of the lengthy delay in releasing the final report, these business people have been unable to attract partners, investors or obtain financing.  The lack of a report is costing a lot of people a lot of money.  The biggest loser is the City and its residents.  For every day the report is delayed, another day goes by without new development.  Another day without new development is a day that the city does not receive new tax revenues.  Another day without new tax revenues is a day that the City Council has to continue struggling with decisions that could see taxes raised beyond the rate of inflation and/or service cuts.

The City of Port Colborne needs closure to this long drawn out affair so that this City can proceed with the growth that can happen.  I know that my colleagues on City Council are with me when I say to the Ministry of Environment, please, finish the job!  That’s all I and everyone in this city is asking for and it’s all we have been asking for more than a decade!

FINISH THE JOB!

Election 2014 is all about the issues that are important to you.  Read more about me and what I will do for you.  If you have any questions, there may be an answer in my Frequently Asked Questions.  Feel free to  contact me with your own comments and questions.  Thank you for your continued support.

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4 thoughts on “Completion of the CBRA (Community Based Risk Assessment)”

  1. Yvon, this is a subject that the City should be harassing the Ministry of Environment over. I sat on the PLC for the CBRA, and it actually started in 2000, which will make it going onto 15 years. I was one of the team that made the final recommendations to the Ministry. Vale is sitting on a lot of land that can be developed, but cannot be, because of waiting on the report from the MOE. There are 2 prime parcels of land on Killaly Street East alone, that would be able to give us subdivisions. Hopefully, our new council will be on the Ministry for them to release their recommendations.

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    1. Agreed. This is my point. We need to place pressure on the ministry to release a final report ASAP. I have been doing this since I got back on. I wish to continue to do that so we can have Vale release some of lands that can be productive and possibly developed. The MOE, as I indicated doesn’t seem to wish to do that and has not given us any timeline for such. I want a timeline and I want results.

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      1. The problem with this whole procedure is that it will set a precedent for other cleanups (or consideration of) around the province. And, I have always felt that there has been beaurocratic ideas that if they drag it on long enough, everyone will just forget about it. And, many have. Unfortunately, there are still property values at stake and land development. How do we get the MOE to make their final report? That is a good question. I hope that council will be able to continue to hound them, and we get our closure to this shadow that has been over the east side (and all of Port Colborne) for so many years.

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      2. You are hitting all the correct responses Rosemari. I want the city to apply pressure on the MOE. We need to find a way for the city to place that pressure. I am hoping that the new mayor will be able to do that with his connections. Lets hope it can be done ASAP. I know that Vale doesn’t appear to want this to happen. I keep wondering whether they know something we don’t.!!!!! I will be asking John to help me with this issue so we can get that final report off the desks and on our agenda.

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