A Remedial Action Plan or a “RAP” is an important scientific endeavor that is part of many communities around the Great Lakes. A RAP is the response of government, industry, and the local community to environmental concerns that are believed to impair the use of various resources such as drinking water, fish, and recreation. A RAP is a process to remove the Area of Concern designation by the International Joint Commission (a Canadian-American environmental “watchdog”). In this process, the environmental concerns and various resources are placed into Beneficial Use Impairments that can be monitored and assessed so that ultimately the AOC can be delisted.
For the Bay of Quinte, the RAP process was started after 1985 when it was designated as an Area of Concern. A Stage One report was written in 1990 that defined the environmental conditions and problems. It outlined four ecosystem problem areas: excess nutrients, bacterial contamination, toxins, and loss of fish and wildlife habitat. In 1993, a Stage Two report was completed. This report listed eleven Beneficial Use Impairments and made 80 recommendations for remedial actions to address these “BUIs”. It also established delisting criteria (i.e. targets and measures) that need to be met to restore the BUIs.
The Bay of Quinte is currently in Stage Two and has made significant progress since 1993. The next phase in the process is Stage Three. Through the RAP process, the Bay is very close to reaching Stage Three. The RAP is working to complete monitoring to ensure that delisting targets and measures for the ten BUIs have been met and to document the completion of the 80 recommendations for remedial actions. When Stage Three is complete, the Area of Concern is “delisted”. The decision to delist an Area is made by the federal, provincial, and local RAP participants, with advice from the International Joint Commission. When an Area is delisted, however, it doesn’t mean all the work is done. Continued diligence is essential to ensure that the environmental quality is sustained into the future.
The International Joint Commission originally identified 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) the Bay of Quinte has 11 BUIs.
A Beneficial Use Impairment is a condition that interferes with the enjoyment of a water use.
View our brochure which covers the 11 BUIs.