Contributing to the multi-stakeholder policy evaluation: Evaluating environmental assessments performed for infrastructure projects on the Oak Ridges moraine
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Infrastructure projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine have become an issue of interest for their role in facilitating further development in an area of environmental sensitivity. The Oak Ridges Moraine is a glacial landform, which stretches 160 km just north of the Greater Toronto Area in Southern Ontario. It is a multi-jurisdictional region composed of 34 municipalities and is protected under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2002) which restricts the types of activities that are allowed in certain designated areas. The local governments are required to implement the ORMCP through their official plans and decision-making. Infrastructure however is mandated through infrastructure master plans that do not have provincial oversight and have no clear requirement to implement ORMCP. Infrastructure projects are required to undergo environemtnal assessment. The purpose of this study is to contribute to monitoring the implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan through an evaluation of infrastructure environmental assessments. The methodology used in this analysis was developed by Broughton (2008) using multi-source criteria. The criteria were used to assess two selected cases: the Leslie Street Class Environmental Assessment Bethesda Sideroad to Bloomington Road and the North Richmond Hill Elevated Tank and Yonge Street Watermain. Both of the cases complied with the majority of the criteria, however, a connection to broader issues identified in the literature such as growth was not established. The works presented will contribute to the next Monitoring the Moraine Status Report to be prepared by the Monitoring the Moraine Project.