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Ajax asks for impact study on Carruthers Creek headwaters

The Town of Ajax has formally requested that a new impact study be commissioned before any development of Carruthers Creek headwaters in northeast Pickering.

“Urban development of these headwaters will significantly increase impervious surfaces and greatly increase the risk of downstream flooding in Ajax,” said Mayor Shaun Collier in a letter to David Piccini, Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

As part of its Municipal Comprehensive Review, the Region of Durham is in the process of identifying Settlement Area Boundary Expansions. The development of the environmentally sensitive Carruthers Creek headwaters in northeast Pickering is under consideration and likely to move forward.

“To protect this sensitive and irreplaceable ecological system and the residents downstream, the enhanced Natural Heritage System (NHS) boundaries identified in the Carruthers Creek Watershed Plan (CCWP) must be added to the Growth Plan Natural Heritage System,” said the town mayor.

“Consideration should also be given to adding these lands to the provincial Greenbelt. Further study should be completed to finalize the boundaries of the enhanced NHS, including restoration and enhancement areas”.

The letter said “the CCWP identifies that this sensitive aquatic ecosystem is near the level of land use development it can sustain long term, and that not enough natural cover, or good quality habitat is available. The water quality is degraded, and the flow of water is degraded, resulting in flooding”.

Should the Settlement Area Boundary Expansion into the headwaters be approved, the town said CCWP requires further studies and assessment, including:

  • A hydraulic assessment;
  • How the risk of flooding and erosion will be assessed and mitigated;
  • How the NHS and Water Resource System will be protected, enhanced and restored;
  • How water quality and quantity will be protected, and
  • How flood mitigation solutions will be funded, including identification of responsible parties for providing the funding.

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