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Letter: 2nd Ave. project could worsen blue-green algae

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Jul 28, 2014 - 2:56 PM |
Re: City hall reporter Darren MacDonald’s July 22 column “Did activists hijack 2nd Ave. consultations?

Concerns over the proposed Second Avenue widening and reconstruction has provoked a great deal of interest and concern, along with severe and too often malicious criticism and condemnation of certain people who have objected to the processes surrounding the project.

It is expected, either legally or ethically, that everyone, including municipalities and engineers, take measures to protect the environment when embarking on any project, no matter what the size. 

Without question, the Second Avenue proposed road project will influence the environment, and without serious and professional expert research, can adversely affect an import aspect of our Sudbury environment.

Again this year, Ramsey Lake is plagued by serious levels of blue-green algae. Ramsey Lake supplies 40 per cent of our drinking water.

Although the drinking water quality from the David Street has not been affected (yet!), the recreational value of Ramsey Lake has been seriously compromised and poses a health risk.

In 2011, after a two-year study of Ramsey Lake, it was established that a major influence on the contaminants that cause blue-green algae emanate from Frobisher Creek that runs adjacent to Second Avenue, and is part of the general drainage system entering the lake. This runoff drains an upstream watershed that includes the Sudbury Transit bus depot.

Without any study, disturbance of this system can exacerbate current contamination levels. The upstream contaminants entering Frobisher Creek and the general drainage area must be controlled. The contaminants have been identified as fertilizers, soaps and other materials from driveways and road systems.

Therefore, justifiably, people should strongly and seriously question the City of Greater Sudbury, especially the roads department engineers, for their determination to proceed with the road project without first addressing the environmental issues and concerns that were already identified five years ago.

It is highly irresponsible for city staff to persist in trying to move ahead with this costly and questionable project.

It will prove too late and prohibitively costly to try to remedy the environmental impacts afterwards as the contaminant burden on Ramsey Lake increases beyond remedy. Time to ask some very serious questions.

Lionel W. F. Rudd

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