The Regional Municipality Of York


York Region and Durham Region receive Environmental Assessment approval for Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant

Duffin Creek plant is a top-performing facility located on the shore of Lake Ontario in the City of Pickering

Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York and The Regional Municipality of Durham will proceed with the proposed treatment and operational enhancements at the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant after receiving approval of a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) to Assess Outfall Capacity Limitations from the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“On behalf of York Region, I offer a thank you to the Ontario Government and the decision from Minister Jeff Yurek to approve the Duffin Creek plant Environmental Assessment,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “The decision will allow both York Region and Durham Region to advance this critical project and move forward with our approved growth plans.”

The Duffin Creek plant is one of the top performing wastewater treatment facilities of its scale in the entire Great Lakes basin – for both Canada and the United States. The plant treats wastewater from 80% of the residents and businesses in York Region and from all residents and businesses in the City of Pickering and Town of Ajax.

In 2013, a Class EA was completed recommending optimization of existing processes at the Duffin Creek Plant to operate at a treatment capacity of at least 630 megalitres per day. Following requests to elevate the Class EA to an Individual EA, York and Durham Regions prepared a Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan and submitted it to the province for review. With the Minister’s decision, the Regions are now able to implement the solutions identified in the Class EA and Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan.

The Duffin Creek plant continues to have the lowest phosphorus discharge limits of plants discharging to the open waters of Lake Ontario and the least impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The plant consistently provides a high-quality effluent with no untreated bypasses, meaning even when the amount of wastewater flowing into the plant is at its peak (due to heavy rainfalls), wastewater is held until it’s eventually treated before being released back into Lake Ontario.

York and Durham Regions are proud of the exemplary record of the Duffin Creek plant as a leader in wastewater treatment. The Regions, along with the provincial and federal governments, have invested more than $850 million over the past 10 years in new technologies, equipment, training and best practices to ensure the Duffin Creek plant continues to protect our near shore water and local environment.

For more about the Duffin Creek plant, visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 52,000 businesses with over 636,600 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at


Media Contact:

Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 77272 Cell: 905-251-6416

Duffin Creek; York Region; Duffin Creek Plant The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release