15. Environmental Impacts and Mitigation – Terrestrial Ecosystems and Species at Risk

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Key Findings

  • The Study Area largely consists of agricultural lands intercepted with remnant woodlands and wetlands.
  • A naturalized woodland is present within the vicinity of the existing Highway 6 / Hanlon Expressway and Wellington Road 34 intersection.
  • Portions of the Study Area are designated as ‘Significant Wildlife Habitat’ and ‘Mill Creek Puslinch Provincially Significant Wetland’.
  • Field investigations confirmed the presence of SAR bats and birds within the Study Area.
  • No SAR plants have been identified within the Study Area.

Did you know?

A 3-year field investigation and subsequent genetic testing of salamanders was undertaken for Highways 6 and 401 Improvements project. It was confirmed that no Jefferson Salamanders (SAR) are present within the Highway 6 / Hanlon Expressway Midblock Interchange Study Area.

Potential Impacts

  • Impacts on terrestrial vegetation and wildlife habitat, including SAR and SAR habitat.
  • Impacts on environmentally significant areas.
  • Impacts to habitat connectivity.
  • Potential for long term accumulation of contaminants in flora and fauna due to operation and maintenance of the road.

Mitigation Measures

  • Buffers, protective fencing and erosion and sediment control measures will be utilized during construction to mitigate impacts to environmentally sensitive features within the Study Area.
  • Temporarily disturbed areas will be restored / re-vegetated following construction.
  • Timing restrictions for removal of habitat (i.e., trees and shrubs) are imposed by regulatory agencies to avoid harm to migratory birds and SAR.
  • Ongoing consultation with regulatory agencies and permitting efforts will finalize the mitigation for construction and compensation for SAR potentially impacted by the Project.
  • Culverts will be replaced with larger culverts, designed to achieve proper drainage function as well as improve wildlife connectivity by accommodating crossing of amphibians and reptiles where these species and their habitat are known to exist on either side of the roadway.

Did you know?

SAR habitat will be created and/or enhanced to compensate for the loss of SAR habitat associated with the construction of the Highway 6 / Hanlon Expressway Midblock Interchange. Compensation areas will be maintained and monitored up to 20 years upon commencement of the construction activities.

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