Lake Simcoe's Proposed Phosphorus Reduction Strategy and Amendments to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Lake Simcoe Protection Act, R.S.O. 2008 S.O. 2008
Summary of Proposal:
Phosphorous Reduction Strategy

The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan states that the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy should be long term, coordinated, and phased in its approach to reducing loadings. Aggressive actions are proposed to reduce phosphorus loading in the lake and its watershed that build on previous scientific work such as the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy (1981) and Intergovernmental Action Plan (2006), and new data and analysis completed since the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan was approved in June 2009. The actions are designed to protect and restore the lake’s ecological health and a self-sustaining coldwater fish community, through reductions in phosphorus and other pollutants.

The proposed Phosphorus Reduction Strategy adopts a watershed approach to phosphorus reduction, with the goal of achieving proportional reductions from each major source of phosphorus, including sewage treatment plants (STPs), stormwater runoff from urban areas and new/proposed development, runoff from rural and agricultural areas, agricultural polders such as the Holland Marsh, private septic systems located close to the lake and atmospheric sources of phosphorus such as dust and windblown erosion. As monitoring and research work on phosphorus loading continues and as our understanding of each major source’s contribution to the phosphorus problem improves, recommended actions will become more stringent and detailed for each source.. To ensure that the Province meets its long-term objectives for the Lake Simcoe watershed, the proposed Phosphorus Reduction Strategy will use Adaptive Management to incorporate the latest scientific knowledge, best practices and innovative design and technology as they become available. This approach will allow the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy to evolve and adapt over time, in the light of better scientific information and as agencies gain experience with implementation.

Lake Simcoe Protection Plan Amendments

Under section 13 of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008, the Minister may propose amendments to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. At this time, amendments are being proposed to provide updates to policies related to the implementation of the proposed Phosphorus Reduction Strategy. Additional Lake Simcoe Protection Plan amendments are likely as new science becomes available and policy implementation continues. Future
amendments may include matters related to a shoreline protection regulation, including an amendment to describe the area to which a shoreline regulation may apply. A detailed list and description of the proposed amendments can be viewed through the Environmental Registry Link.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
March 23, 2010
Comments Due Date:
April 3, 2010