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Manitoba denies request for North End Treatment Plant compliance extension

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Manitoba Conservation and Climate said the province has denied a request by the City of Winnipeg to extend the deadline for an additional two years to submit an interim Environment Act licence compliance plan for the North End Water Pollution Control Centre.  The province said it will instead take action to assist the City of Winnipeg in meeting the requirements of its licence.

According to the Government of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg’s Environment Act licence requires them to meet nutrient limits, initially set in 2005, by December 31, 2019.

Manitoba said it provided direction to the City of Winnipeg in January 2019, requiring a Notice of Alteration to extend the compliance date. The Notice of Alteration was to include details of alternatives and a revised implementation timeline with options to expedite construction and meet the targets for phosphorus removal.

The City of Winnipeg submitted a request for an extension to December 31, 2021, to develop and submit an interim licence compliance plan, but did not include any proposed target date to meet the limits set out in its licence.

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The province said it has reviewed this request and determined the City’s response does not meet the requirements of the January 2019 letter and, therefore, the Notice of Alteration is not approved.

As of January 1, 2020, the City of Winnipeg is expected to be out of compliance with its Environment Act licence and operating without an approved plan, according to the province. The Manitoba government is requiring the City to participate in a project steering committee and a project advisory committee, both to be co-chaired by Manitoba Conservation and Climate with the City of Winnipeg.

The project steering committee will oversee implementation of both an interim phosphorus reduction strategy to commence by February 1, 2020, as well as implementation of the upgrades to meet the licence requirements.

The project advisory committee will provide advice to the project steering committee and will include representation from the City of Winnipeg and multiple provincial government departments, as well as key stakeholders such as the International Institute of Sustainable Development, Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective.

About the North End Sewage Treatment Plant

First commissioned in 1937, the North End Sewage Treatment Plant treats an average of 195 million litres per day, approximately 70% of all wastewater treated in Winnipeg. The plant is currently undergoing upgrades to accommodate future growth, increase nutrient removal and reuse, better handle wet weather events and improve life cycle costs.

The letter to the City of Winnipeg will be posted on the public registry.

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