What is a RAP?
The Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is a plan to “delist” Hamilton Harbour, one of 43 “Areas of Concern ”(AOC), in accordance with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
(GLWQA) between Canada and the United States. Three steps are involved: Stage 1, “State of the Harbour”, 1992; Stage 2, “Remedial Action Plan”, 1992 and updated 2002; and Stage 3, “Delisting of AOC”, proposed 2020. The GLWQA is complemented by the Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA) which sets out the interests of the federal and provincial governments in implementing the GLWQA.
Who is Involved?
A stakeholder group representing over 40 agencies from industry, environment and government developed the RAP Stage 1 and 2 reports. Implementation is mandated to the Bay Area Implementation Team (BAIT) representing 18 key government and industrial stakeholders, co-chaired by Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Overseeing public participation to both scrutinize and encourage remedial actions is the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) with its own elected president and board. A “who does what best approach” to implementation is used by the various RAP stakeholders.
Work on defining the “State of the Harbour” was first initiated in 1985, a “Remedial Action Plan” followed in 1992, and delisting is anticipated in 2020.
Progress to Date
The RAP is just past the halfway point toward meeting its objectives and implementing the various remedial actions. As can be seen from the representative thermometers some actions have progressed faster than others. It is important to note that most actions are interrelated and many improvements will not occur until all related actions have been completed and nature is given time to respond.