• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Yurek turns down bump-up requests for Midhurst Secondary Plan

In Agriculture
Nov 22nd, 2019
1 Comment
Midhurst bell -Paul Fleming photo

AWARE News Network

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek has turned down five bump-up applications that would have ordered the Midhurst Secondary Plan proponents to address specific environmental issues under Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act.

20191122—Letter-from-Jeff Yurek-re-MSP-EA

Yurek has imposed some conditions, including that the township identify species at risk that might be affected by the MSP and update information on the habitat of the globally rare Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly, which has the Minesing Wetlands as its only known Canadian habitat. COSEWIC Report on the Hine’s Emerald

News release from the Township of Springwater

The Township of Springwater has received correspondence from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) regarding the Phase 3 & 4 of the Midhurst Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Midhurst Secondary Plan area.

The Midhurst Secondary Plan guides development in Midhurst and identifies areas for growth and expansion. Springwater Council adopted the Midhurst Secondary Plan (OPA 38) on November 3, 2008 and has held numerous public meetings and consultations as the Plan moved through the planning process.

In September 2018, the Township of Springwater submitted Phase 3 & 4 of the EA to the MECP to determine specific water, wastewater and transportation infrastructure requirements to accommodate future growth within the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

The MECP received five Part II Order requests, asking that the Township prepare individual environmental assessments for all the projects proposed in the EA. On November 21, 2019 the Township received correspondence from Minister Jeff Yurek indicating that an individual environmental assessment would not be required however, eight conditions have been imposed on the municipality with respect to the projects in the Environmental Assessment.

In summary, the conditions outlined by the MECP require the Municipality to:

  • Prepare a plan to identify any species at risk that may be adversely affected by the work related to the undertakings in the EA. This plan is to be approved by the Director of Ministry’s Species at Risk Branch and is to be implemented by the Township prior to any work or construction activities;
  • Update the “Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in the Minesing Wetland and Midhurst Development” memorandum with further information since it was written February 7, 2017;
  • Inform and consult with landowners that may be impacted by source water protection policies, as a result of new municipal wells. These discussions may include potential Risk Management Plans related to source water protection; and,
  • Prepare an Odour Mitigation Plan for the design and operation of any proposed wastewater facilities, which will be part of the Environmental Compliance Approval application. This plan will be available to the public on the Township website prior to any construction activities.

Prior to any construction, including site preparation works, all of the conditions listed in the correspondence must be met.

Staff will meet with the Township engineers and solicitors to determine next steps.

For additional information on the Midhurst Secondary Plan and Environmental Assessment or to view the letter from the Ministry, please visit www.springwater.ca/MSP


One Response to “Yurek turns down bump-up requests for Midhurst Secondary Plan”

  1. SANDY BUXTON, MRA President says:

    Your opening sentence is misleading. He ACCEPTED some of the major arguments we made, turning them into new conditions that must be fulfilled to Twp satisfaction before the MSP can go ahead. What he did refuse is an Individual Environmental Assessment. These are almost never granted; we did not expect an IEA to occur, although, of course, we asked for it. Even conditions are not common. The Director of Species at Risk branch must be satisfied re proposed SAR protections or else will order changes to the MSP to ensure it. Such changes would likely fundamentally alter its design due to the WWTP discharging into Willow Creek so near the Minesing Wetlands. And I have not touched on the implications of the source water protection conditions. As such, I am cautiously encouraged. What would have been truly disheartening is a total dismissal of the important issues we raised in our 165 page bump-up. Instead, he’s kept the door open for the end of the MSP by imposing key conditions. The SAR directorate is well-aware that Environment Canada is also looking closely at safeguarding habitat – perhaps enlarging it – for the most endangered occupant of the MW – the Hine’s Emerald dragonfly. Found nowhere else in Canada and very fussy. The climate and environment lobby , so influential now as shown in recent elections, will be watching.

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