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Province orders 2nd report into Hamilton’s Chedoke Creek sewage spill

How a massive sewage spill is impacting Hamilton
Chris McLaughlin, executive director of the Bay Area Restoration Council, talks about the impact, concerns and priorities BARC has as Hamilton deals with water woes from a sewage spill.

The City of Hamilton has been ordered to come up with another report on the spill of 24 billion litres of sewage that seeped into Chedoke Creek over four years.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton admits Chedoke Creek was flooded with sewage for 4.5 years

The original order by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for an ecological impact study and cleanup plan for Chedoke Creek still has a February deadline.

The new order, due in May, is for a damage report about the Cootes Paradise protected marshland that the creek flows into.

READ MORE: Province gives Hamilton until Valentine’s Day to devise Chedoke Creek cleanup strategy

Chris McLaughlin, executive director of the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC),  says there isn’t much choice but to try and move ahead.

“This isn’t to excuse anything that happened, but we are really in a mood, at this point, to try and find a way forward,” McLaughlin said. “That is BARC’s role: to work with our partners on a remedial action plan to try and find solutions to problems.

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“If you take the view that making the world a better place is always going to be a journey rather than a destination, then we just need to keep striving to do better.”

McLaughlin added: “The province’s investigations branch is there to figure out what went wrong and us tell the whole story, eventually, whenever we receive that report. It would have been nice to have that many months ago. And now the order from the province is for the city to come up with the extent of the damage and have a plan going forward. That is all very welcome news, for sure.”

However, his patience in the matter has its limits.

READ MORE: Hamilton council agrees to full apology for Chedoke Creek spill, release of confidential documents

McLaughlin says if in a year or two, the city doesn’t have a plan and procedures in place to improve the situation, he will be as outraged as many other Hamiltonians.