Lyons Creek East Sediment Cleanup Project

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About the project

A portion of Lyons Creek East is contaminated with historic sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). It is the last of 14 sites identified for cleanup as part of the Niagara River RAP.

Collaborative monitoring has been ongoing for more than 15 years as part of a natural recovery approach in 2008, selected through scientific evidence and public consultation. Monitoring included many lines of evidence such as: sediment, water, fish, aquatic bugs, turtle eggs.

Recent results suggest a more active remediation approach is needed. Throughout the next year, we will be gathering additional information to determine future cleanup options for the site, and engaging with the community to support decision-making.

We encourage you to continue checking back for updates on this project.


HOW TO GET INVOLVED & PARTICIPATE:

  1. Review documents, FAQs, and resources on this page.
  2. Review PowerPoint presentation from May 30, 2023 information session (Documents).
  3. Submit written comments or questions using the Q&A tool below.
  4. Visit niagarariver.ca to learn more about the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan including other efforts to improve water quality and ecosystem health.

All questions / comments are reviewed by staff but we may not be able to reply to all of them. For inquiries not related to this project, please visit npca.ca/contact.

About the project

A portion of Lyons Creek East is contaminated with historic sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). It is the last of 14 sites identified for cleanup as part of the Niagara River RAP.

Collaborative monitoring has been ongoing for more than 15 years as part of a natural recovery approach in 2008, selected through scientific evidence and public consultation. Monitoring included many lines of evidence such as: sediment, water, fish, aquatic bugs, turtle eggs.

Recent results suggest a more active remediation approach is needed. Throughout the next year, we will be gathering additional information to determine future cleanup options for the site, and engaging with the community to support decision-making.

We encourage you to continue checking back for updates on this project.


HOW TO GET INVOLVED & PARTICIPATE:

  1. Review documents, FAQs, and resources on this page.
  2. Review PowerPoint presentation from May 30, 2023 information session (Documents).
  3. Submit written comments or questions using the Q&A tool below.
  4. Visit niagarariver.ca to learn more about the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan including other efforts to improve water quality and ecosystem health.

All questions / comments are reviewed by staff but we may not be able to reply to all of them. For inquiries not related to this project, please visit npca.ca/contact.

Frequently Asked Questions & More

We welcome you to ask us a question! Before you ask your question, kindly review the existing FAQs below as you may find your answer there.

Note that questions can be responded to privately or publicly. If you wish to receive a private response, kindly state this in your question.  

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  • Share What quantity of sediment is targeted for removal? on Facebook Share What quantity of sediment is targeted for removal? on Twitter Share What quantity of sediment is targeted for removal? on Linkedin Email What quantity of sediment is targeted for removal? link

    What quantity of sediment is targeted for removal?

    Paul asked 29 days ago

    The volume of sediment targeted for cleanup is not yet determined. A project to identify options for sediment management within the impacted area of Lyons Creek East (e.g., removal, capping, or combination) is being undertaken in 2024. If sediment removal is selected as a sediment management option, we will determine the volume targeted for removal at that time.

  • Share The issue I want to raise is the water levels in the creek. We have lived on it for 7 summers now and each year the water level is lower. This results in more exposed sediment, less water flow, and narrowing passages. Given the sediment is the cause for concern, I believe lower water levels to be an issue. I would like to know if this will be addressed in future studies and actions, possibly by increasing Seaway flow from the canal or rehabilitation efforts to maintain the size and depth of the waterway. Can you speak to this? on Facebook Share The issue I want to raise is the water levels in the creek. We have lived on it for 7 summers now and each year the water level is lower. This results in more exposed sediment, less water flow, and narrowing passages. Given the sediment is the cause for concern, I believe lower water levels to be an issue. I would like to know if this will be addressed in future studies and actions, possibly by increasing Seaway flow from the canal or rehabilitation efforts to maintain the size and depth of the waterway. Can you speak to this? on Twitter Share The issue I want to raise is the water levels in the creek. We have lived on it for 7 summers now and each year the water level is lower. This results in more exposed sediment, less water flow, and narrowing passages. Given the sediment is the cause for concern, I believe lower water levels to be an issue. I would like to know if this will be addressed in future studies and actions, possibly by increasing Seaway flow from the canal or rehabilitation efforts to maintain the size and depth of the waterway. Can you speak to this? on Linkedin Email The issue I want to raise is the water levels in the creek. We have lived on it for 7 summers now and each year the water level is lower. This results in more exposed sediment, less water flow, and narrowing passages. Given the sediment is the cause for concern, I believe lower water levels to be an issue. I would like to know if this will be addressed in future studies and actions, possibly by increasing Seaway flow from the canal or rehabilitation efforts to maintain the size and depth of the waterway. Can you speak to this? link

    The issue I want to raise is the water levels in the creek. We have lived on it for 7 summers now and each year the water level is lower. This results in more exposed sediment, less water flow, and narrowing passages. Given the sediment is the cause for concern, I believe lower water levels to be an issue. I would like to know if this will be addressed in future studies and actions, possibly by increasing Seaway flow from the canal or rehabilitation efforts to maintain the size and depth of the waterway. Can you speak to this?

    lyndsey.ferrell asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your question. This project is to examine the potential sediment cleanup options to manage historic PCB contaminated in the creek bed. At this timemonitoring or managing the water level in the creek is not included in this project. Water levels may be a consideration for future cleanup options. 

    Discussions with representatives of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority is underway to better understand and maintain water levels in Lyons Creek East. 

  • Share Where is Lyons Creek East? on Facebook Share Where is Lyons Creek East? on Twitter Share Where is Lyons Creek East? on Linkedin Email Where is Lyons Creek East? link

    Where is Lyons Creek East?

    about 1 year ago

    Lyons Creek is a small watercourse located in Welland, Ontario. It flows into the Welland River and eventually the Niagara River. The project area is the creek itself, east of the Welland Canal extending approximately 7 km to McKenney Road.


  • Share What is the problem at Lyons Creek East? on Facebook Share What is the problem at Lyons Creek East? on Twitter Share What is the problem at Lyons Creek East? on Linkedin Email What is the problem at Lyons Creek East? link

    What is the problem at Lyons Creek East?

    about 1 year ago

    Chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discovered in a portion of Lyons Creek East in the 1990s. While PCBs were banned in the 1970s, they remain in the environment for a long time. PCBs can negatively impact the environment and human health depending on the concentration and type of exposure.

    Learn more: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/environment/pcbs.html

  • Share What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)? on Facebook Share What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)? on Twitter Share What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)? on Linkedin Email What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)? link

    What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)?

    about 1 year ago

    Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs are human-made chemicals used in industrial applications (e.g., lubricant and in electrical equipment) from the 1930s to 1970s. The chemical was banned in 1977 due to its negative impact on the environment. PCBs do not break down easily and remain in the environment for a long time.

  • Share Can PCBs make people sick? Is there a risk to human health if I live near the site? on Facebook Share Can PCBs make people sick? Is there a risk to human health if I live near the site? on Twitter Share Can PCBs make people sick? Is there a risk to human health if I live near the site? on Linkedin Email Can PCBs make people sick? Is there a risk to human health if I live near the site? link

    Can PCBs make people sick? Is there a risk to human health if I live near the site?

    about 1 year ago

    PCBs can negatively impact human health depending on the concentration and type of exposure.

    The contaminants are deep in the bottom of the creek. A human health risk assessment concluded the risks to humans was low and related to eating fish caught from Lyons Creek East. A community survey and field observations showed fish consumption was not occurring within the area of interest.

    As an additional way to reduce risks to human health, there are fish consumption advisories in place by the Province of Ontario that limit the number and type of fish that can be eaten based on set guidelines.

    Please refer to the Guide to Eating Ontario Fish for more information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/guide-eating-ontario-fish

    Learn more about the potential health effects: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/environment/pcbs.html#he

  • Share When was the PCB contamination in Lyons Creek East discovered? on Facebook Share When was the PCB contamination in Lyons Creek East discovered? on Twitter Share When was the PCB contamination in Lyons Creek East discovered? on Linkedin Email When was the PCB contamination in Lyons Creek East discovered? link

    When was the PCB contamination in Lyons Creek East discovered?

    about 1 year ago

    The PCB contamination was discovered in 1990 following an accidental spill from a transformer in Lyons Creek West (on the other side of the Welland Canal).

    The spill triggered an investigation to determine the extent of contamination and led to the discovery of historic (deeper) contamination in both Lyons Creek West and East which most likely predated the construction of the Welland Canal By-Pass. 

    Lyons Creek West was remediated in 2007.

  • Share Is there still a source of PCBs going into the creek? on Facebook Share Is there still a source of PCBs going into the creek? on Twitter Share Is there still a source of PCBs going into the creek? on Linkedin Email Is there still a source of PCBs going into the creek? link

    Is there still a source of PCBs going into the creek?

    about 1 year ago

    No, there are no ongoing sources of PCBs in Lyons Creek. The chemical was banned in the 1970s. Based on the type of PCB and its depth in the bottom of the creek, the source is deemed historic when PCBs were used broadly across Canada.

  • Share Does the contamination extend along the entire length of Lyons Creek? on Facebook Share Does the contamination extend along the entire length of Lyons Creek? on Twitter Share Does the contamination extend along the entire length of Lyons Creek? on Linkedin Email Does the contamination extend along the entire length of Lyons Creek? link

    Does the contamination extend along the entire length of Lyons Creek?

    about 1 year ago

    No, the PCB contamination is limited to a specific area of Lyons Creek, east of the Welland Canal to McKenney Road. The area from Doans Ridge Road to McKenney Road is the least contaminated and currently showing signs of natural recovery.

  • Share Are the levels of PCBs the same throughout the contaminated sediment area? on Facebook Share Are the levels of PCBs the same throughout the contaminated sediment area? on Twitter Share Are the levels of PCBs the same throughout the contaminated sediment area? on Linkedin Email Are the levels of PCBs the same throughout the contaminated sediment area? link

    Are the levels of PCBs the same throughout the contaminated sediment area?

    about 1 year ago

    The Lyons Creek East project area is divided into zones based on the level of PCBs determined by sediment core sampling. The highest level of PCBs in sediments are in Zones 1-4 and decrease further downstream into Zones 5-7 (see map).

    Monitoring shows that the highest concentrations of PCBs are in deeper layers of the creek bottom (depth of 25-50 cm). Cleaner sediments are closer to the surface.

Page last updated: 16 Jun 2023, 12:48 PM