Chedoke Creek dredging to begin in the next week, City of Hamilton says

A dredging boat in Chedoke Creek near Kay Drage Park Hamilton, Ont. Global News

The City of Hamilton is set to begin long-awaited remediation work in Chedoke Creek Wednesday after a month of delays amid a dispute over treaty rights in the cleanup area.

In a release on Tuesday, city staff said they would begin preparations for dredging contaminated sediment from the waterway Sept. 21 following the release of 24 billion litres of untreated wastewater between 2014 and 2018.

Actual in-water dredging is expected to start four to five days later.

“The targeted dredging work is anticipated to take four months to complete, wrapping up by December 31, 2022 or sooner,” the city said in its statement.

In November 2020, a director’s order was issued to the city by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) requiring remedial measures to alleviate environmental impacts on both the creek and Cootes Paradise.

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The city hopes to remove close to 11,000 cubic metres of contaminated sludge through a $6-million initiative it originally said would take six months to do.

Dredging was to have started last month but halted on Aug. 18 due to a dispute over proper consultation with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) – an agency representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

HDI lawyer Aaron Detler told Global News last month the city was required to submit an application as per a tenet of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

City staff say consultations are ongoing with First Nations groups – including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat Nation, and two others representing Haudenosaunee people – in regards to monitoring of the cleanup.

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In-water work will take place seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. with little “excess noise, dust or smells,” according to the city.

Residents are being alerted of increased truck traffic along Macklin Street North and that temporary construction sites will be visible at the base of Longwood Road South near the Desjardin Trail as well as Macklin Street North across from Kay Drage Park.

Kay Drage will be closed to public access for the entire operation, as will the access trail behind Nicholas Mancini Centre.

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