One River environmental assessment
The overall goal of the One River Environmental Assessment (EA) is to improve the health of the Thames River and its social role in central London. The One River EA covers the Thames River from Boler Road Bridge to the Forks of the Thames and Harris Park. The One River EA incorporates a number of ongoing plans, partnerships, and studies, including Back to the River, the Pollution Prevention and Control Plan, the Thames River Clear Water Revival, the London Official Plan, and the Thames Valley Corridor Action Plan to find integrated solutions to their broad social, economic, and natural environment issues.
The Thames River is both our inheritance and our living legacy. It is our collective responsibility to maintain and enhance its shared natural, cultural, recreational and aesthetic resource. The One River EA will consider the area historically influenced by the Springbank Dam, and will provide a plan that coordinates critical infrastructure projects in ways that preserve for future generations this valuable resource, and allow people of all abilities to enjoy and access this designated Canadian Heritage River. This study, in the context of many other ongoing initiatives to improve the Thames River, will endeavor to align important projects in a way that enhances the river overall, maintains the vision of the Back to the River’s “The Ribbon of the Thames” concept plan, and identifies potential impacts to downstream communities and where possible avoid them.
A notice of completion has been issued.
The objective of Stage 1 was the selection of a preferred option for the future of the Springbank Dam which will be an influential factor in the identification and evaluation of the overall river management plan going forward. The option selected will inform the decision-making process on the overall river management plan. Following comprehensive review of each option, the evaluation identified Option 2, Free-Flowing River, as the preferred option. Option 2 ranked highest overall and provided the most benefits and best met the objective of the One River EA Problem/Opportunity Statement.
With the option for the Springbank Dam selected, alternative strategies for river management, which consist of different types of projects related to infrastructure and river improvements, will be developed and assessed. Stage 2 is currently being carried out and is anticipated to be concluded in early spring 2019. This stage also includes stakeholder consultation, including consultation and engagement with First Nations and Metis, government approval agencies, interest groups and the general public. At this time, the Springbank Dam and “Back to the River” designs at the forks are completing the detailed screening process as prescribed for Schedule B Municipal Class Environmental Assessment projects. Following consultation, the master plan will be completed and provided to the public for review.
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With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record of the study.
The study is being conducted according to the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, which is a planning process approved under Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act.