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Monitoring order from Marriott spill coming to an end

BRACEBRIDGE, ON – As a compliance order is set to expire on the monitoring of a private communal sewage treatment system, conversation about next steps is taking place.

A sewage treatment plant that serves the JW Marriott Resort in Minett experienced a spill over the Canada Day weekend that resulted in an order to follow strict monitoring guidelines.

The District Municipality of Muskoka (District) and the Township of Muskoka Lakes (TML) continue to monitor and facilitate information sharing in regards to a private communal sewage treatment system, following a provincial order that was issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) in July.

District staff were advised that the MECP is satisfied that the order is being complied with. Furthermore, staff were advised that officials from the JW Marriott expressed commitment to addressing the concern.

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The monitoring order expires on September 30th.

A spokesperson with the resort, Michael DiCienzo of the JW Marriott said the order was of extreme importance to the company.

“The JW Marriott is cooperating 100% with the MECP and ownership takes this matter very seriously,” said DiCienzo. “We cannot stress enough that we care about the safe operation of the Sewage Treatment Plant, the guests and staff at the Resort and protecting the environment.”

The District’s Engineering and Public Works Committee received an update about the status of the Order at their regular meeting on September 18, 2019.

Its Chair, Township of Muskoka Lakes Mayor Phil Harding, said it is important that the Ministry of the Environment is satisfied with the protocols being followed.

“It is important that we know that the MECP is satisfied that the order is being complied (with) and that we communicate this to the public,” said Harding.

District Chair John Klink agreed and stated that “I feel it is important that we satisfy ourselves that all government agencies are doing everything possible to address this issue. Minister Yurek did respond to my letter and reassured me that the MECP was fulfilling its mandate.”

The newsroom contacted Lawton Osler, President of the Muskoka Lakes Association, for comment. He indicated a statement was forthcoming ahead of the September 30th deadline.

In July the Association, which represents 2300 cottagers on Lakes Muskoka, Rosseau and Joe among others said, “These kinds of occurrences remind us of why we need to be vigilant in reviewing planning files, aiding in good policy development and continuing our water-quality testing in Wallace Bay and throughout the lakes.”

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