RAP History


In 1987, under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States, 43 areas of concern (AOC) were identified as having experienced significant levels of environmental harm. Of these 43 areas of concern, 12 are located in Canada and 5 are shared bi-nationally.

Once identified, Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were developed for each AOC, aimed at “restoring water quality and beneficial uses of the ecosystem by cleaning up severely contaminated and degraded locations around the Great Lakes.”

In 2012, an updated version of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement confirmed that both countries are actively engaged in this goal.

Below, you’ll find some major milestones for the North Shore of Superior AOCs: Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Jackfish Bay, and Peninsula Harbour. You’ll also find PDF documents provided by the government which list why each area was designated as one of concern, what has been accomplished at each, what is left to do at each area, outlooks for each area’s recovery and delisting. 

Thunder Bay Area of Concern

ECCC projects Thunder Bay’s AOC will be delisted by 2025. Here is a list of major accomplishments along the way:

Thunder Bay Timeline

2018 – Release of SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT OPTIONS EVALUATION – FINAL ADDENDUM, Thunder Bay North Harbour, City of Thunder Bay 2018, Cole Engineering.

2019 – Release of REVIEW OF INCINERATION AS POTENTIAL SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT OPTION, Technical Memorandum, Golder, 2019. Review of incineration as a potential sediment management option (SMO). Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of incineration, and the feasibility of this as an option. The review concludes that incineration is not feasible primarily due to increased costs and the risks associated with recovering vaporized mercury.

2019 – Release of PEER REVIEW OF THUNDER BAY NORTH HARBOUR SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT— OPTION 9, Technical Memorandum, Golder, 2019.

2019 – Release of GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY AT THUNDER BAY NORTH HARBOUR, THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, Technical Memorandum, Golder, 2019. Geophysical survey of the North Harbour lagoon system using ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology to develop a bathymetric map.

2019 – Release of THUNDER BAY NORTH HARBOUR SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT OPTIONS UPDATE, Resilient Consulting, 2019. Further assessment and refinement of the sediment management options (SMOs) for the Thunder Bay North Harbour area. During previous work by Cole Engineering (2015), SMOs were assessed but a preferred option was not selected. This update provides additional collection and review of relative background information, further consideration of two sediment options, further revision of the cost estimates, and a review and update of the top-ranking SMOs.

2020 – Release of PEER REVIEW OF THUNDER BAY NORTH HARBOUR RISK ASSESSMENT, Technical Memorandum, Golder, 2019. Peer review of the previous risk assessment (conducted by Franz Environmental 2013). Overall, their review of the Franz report indicates that the work was “generally conducted in accordance with accepted methods and practices in the field of risk assessment, including guidance for federal contaminated aquatic sites”. Furthermore, Golder’s peer review concluded that “on balance, the risk characterization yields broadly similar conclusions to what Golder would have likely produced given similar scope.”


2020 – Release of THUNDER BAY NORTH HARBOUR SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT OPTIONS WORKING GROUP REPORT TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, Resilient Consulting, May 2020. The objective of this report is to build on previous work and to further assess the three SMOs currently under consideration by the Thunder Bay North Harbour Sediment Management Working Group.

2022 – Release of THUNDER BAY NORTH HARBOUR SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT PROJECT UPDATE, Government of Canada, June 2022. This memorandum documents the work completed by the TBNH Senior Management Committee for Phase I – selection of the preferred Sediment Management Option (SMO). 

Thunder Bay North Harbour Presentations:

·       September 7, 2017 – Métis Nation of Ontario

·       October 2018 – Presentation to Working Group

·       February 4, 2019 – Presentation to the City of Thunder Bay

·       February 24, 2020 – Fort William First Nation meeting

·       February 25, 2020 – Red Sky Métis Independent Nation

·       February 25, 2020 – Métis Nation of Ontario

·       February 26, 2020 – public meeting

·       May 27, 2020 – Presentation to Working Group

·       July 27, 2020 – City of Thunder Bay


Nipigon Area of Concern

Here is a list of major accomplishments along the way:

Nipigon Bay

Jackfish Bay Area of Concern

ECCC has declared Jackfish Bay an Area in Recovery. Here is a list of major accomplishments along the way:

Jackfish Bay

Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern

Here is a list of accomplishments along the way:

Pen Harbour
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