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Ministry throws council a curve ball, halts any Misner Dam repairs for now

The highly anticipated Misner Dam report gets pushed back a week following a curve ball by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

On Monday afternoon, staff received a letter from the Ministry claiming that they just became aware of the pending repairs at the dam.

They state there is a concern related to the characterization and management of contaminated sediment in Silver Lake above the dam and the control of downstream sedimentation during the rehabilitation process.

Staff was advised that they will need to retain the services of a qualified person who can provide the following:

A detailed plan regarding how the sediments are intended to be disposed of or managed at another acceptable site per the ministry’s Soil, Ground Water, and Sediment Standards.

Perform an Ecological Risk Assessment of the sediment which would look at the toxicity information, assess the benthic community structure and determine bio-magnification potential.

And finally, a detailed spill prevention plan to ensure the sediments are not re-introduced into the aquatic environment downstream of the dam during rehabilitation which would hurt fish and other aquatic organisms, as well as other downstream users of the watercourse.

This last part should also include contingency measures to prevent downstream erosion from any potential increase of water volume due to any de-watering of the project.

This information needs to be sent to the ministry and approved before any rehabilitation work can begin on the dam.

Staff also has until July 6th to hire this individual to carry out these tasks.

The current report, which looked to hire a company to repair the dam with a price tag of $1.5 million, has been deferred until next Tuesday so that staff can gauge the cost associated with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change new requirements.