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LETTER: Storm a reminder of city's lack of 'environmental policy'

City workers, tasked with maintaining and improving our infrastructure, need the right tools to do their jobs, says citizen
photo to go with tom griffith letter
Last night's storm provides a perfect example of why the city is making a mistake in its placement of a new sewage pumping station, says Cedar Island resident Tom Griffiths.

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This picture is of Lake Couchiching near the creek outlet by Cedar Island Road after yesterday's rainfall. Note the turbidity that comes from the creek. 

The city is planning to erect a sewage pumping station beside the creek, 150 metres away on reclaimed land also on the flood plain. 

Is the city's decision to locate this facility at this "high risk location" based on any environmental input? Absolutely not. The city owns the land. Never mind it is beside the creek and the Lightfoot Trail and will cause pedestrian and vehicular traffic issues beside the single-lane bridge and sharp turn.

I suggest there is a parallel with the selection of the pumping station's location and the recent destruction of butterfly habitat at Rotary Place. 

City staff simply do not have the environmental training to prevent these negative outcomes. The city has no documented environmental policy to engage staff and external resources to protect the environment as a fundamental part of their job.

Orillia City Council have endorsed the Mayor's Task Force on Sustainability and committed $10,000 - in part, so the group could rally residents to the cause through a two-day community event earlier this year. 

This commendable effort raised the awareness of the public to various environmental issues but what about the city workers? 

They are the ones who are tasked with maintaining and improving our infrastructure. They require the right tools to do their jobs.  This is 2019.

Tom Griffiths