March 6, 2011




Minutes from CRD Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting 23 Feb:

- Item #10 - discussion of Saanich Peninsual Biosolids (sewage sludge) program and "harmonizing" the SaanPen sludge program
with regional sewage treatment strategy - motions postponed until next ESC meeting

Item #10 -  Report on Saanich Peninsula Biosolids Management Program:


(2) Lorne Argyle and Karen James, CRD Sewage Treatment Plant Site Tour of February 18, 2011

(3) Letter from the Capital Regional District, dated February 11, 2011, Re: Request for Public Forum on Community Benefits



Attached are two letters, from the Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, rejecting McLoughlin Point as sewage plant site.
Both the VEHS and GVHA letter have several concerns, but its most interesting that the VEHS letter points to the MP site not " having undergone a thorough
environmental impact study". In fact, there has been no environmental impact study yet completed on the marine area of McLoughlin Point, because the 2009
Golder Stage 1 Environmental Impact Study only included Finnerty Cove (near Haro Woods), and Colwood's Albert Head area, but not McLoughlin Point. 



Sharon Tiffin
Victoria News AND Saanich News
March 03, 2011

A liquid-waste sewage treatment plant planned for McLoughlin Point will cut into Victoria’s already shrinking working harbour and discourage cruise ship tourists from visiting, says the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

“It would be one thing if they were going to use it for something that was going to be water-related, but they’re not,” said Dermot Loughnane, acting chair of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which owns and operates Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf and Ship Point, among other ports

“It’s amazing really how little (industrial land) there is left,” Loughnane said, adding that an industrial ship dock or light industrial site for marine manufacturing are two example alternatives the site could be used for.

The harbour authority is calling on the Capital Regional District to address its list of concerns related to harbour protection.

CRD board chair Geoff Young said he recognizes the dwindling number of waterside industrial properties, but the advantages of the chosen sewage site are stronger.

“At the same time people have to be aware that moving (sewage treatment) facilities far from the water is also expensive,” Young said, adding that advantages of McLoughlin Point include the need for treated effluent to flow downhill and out a nearby outfall.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees also recently weighed in on the sewage debate to encourage the CRD  to ensure the public control of sewage treatment.

The CRD made the right choice in listening to residents who overwhelmingly rejected privatization, said CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill in a release. 

“They need to stay the course here and stay public,” he added.

The harbour authority also worries the facility will be unsightly and repel some of the almost 500,000 visitors who come to Victoria by cruise ship every year.

“You only have one chance to make a good impression,” Loughnane said. “If you don’t do that then they’re not going to come back.

“I don’t think there’s much doubt that people come ashore and spend money.”

Aesthetics is also a CRD priority, Young noted.

“We’ll try to make it as attractive, or at least as inconspicuous as possible, given that it (will be) a big building,” Young said.


ARESST: Also see Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Treatment plant  letter from former-worker about illnesses he got in plant.


CFA 1070
March 3, 2011

A project to generate heat from waste water is going to be up and running soon, in North Saanich.

It's somewhat experimental in nature...trying to draw enough heat from the Saanich Peninsula sewage treatment plant to service the Panorama Recreation Centre. The equipment is now in, and the pipes are in the ground, albeit several months later than originally hoped, and testing has been underway for a couple of weeks. Chair of the Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Commission, Geoff Orr, says final tweaking of the control equipment is underway, and formal commissioning will likely occur sometime this spring.

The federal government contributed 2.7 million dollars to the project. Ultimately, engineers hope to show they can deliver heat to a user more than 500 metres away. That's been the generally accepted limit in the past. Once the rec centre is using the system, the plan is to expand it to the nearby federal plant health station, a middle school, and perhaps eventually some homes in the neighbourhood.



ARESST: Note tht Minister Kent is "deviating" from tradition "end-of-pipe" measures of water quality!  Excerpt from his speech below:
Environment Canada launched the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (also known as CABIN), a program that assesses the health of freshwater ecosystems by looking at the quality and quantity of the organisms that live in the water. This deviates from the more traditional "end of pipe" approach to water quality monitoring. By focusing on the condition of the key organisms that live in water, our scientists get a more accurate sense of the overall quality of the water. They are able to measure both the site-specific and cumulative effects of environmental stressors like contaminants and climate changes.

Speaking notes
The Honourable Peter Kent
Minister of the Environment

National Water Conference
Ottawa, Ontario
March 3rd, 2011

Check Against Delivery

I'm delighted to be here today: thank you for the invitation to speak with you.

As a federal Cabinet Minister, I am no stranger to the art of delivering earnest insights into the blindingly obvious. So, I'll dispense with the dramatic recitation of why water is so very important to the life of the planet and to all life forms that inhabit it. Even those of us without the benefit of your collective knowledge and expertise know that humans can go a month without food but just days without water.

Water is an issue of particular resonance in Canada: our country has more surface lakes than any country in the world, and nine per cent of our land mass is covered with fresh water. The Great Lakes Basin is 750,000 square kilometres in size and the lakes in that Basin provide drinking water to 8.5 million Canadians.

More specifically, however, a National Water Conference with a focus on innovation and the options for "Responding to the Opportunities" related to water is very much in synch (pun intended) with the Harper government's agenda.

Because we take the issue of water so seriously, we're trying to ensure that we are among the leaders when it comes to monitoring water quality. To that end, in 2006 Environment Canada launched the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (also known as CABIN), a program that asses the health of freshwater ecosystems by looking at the quality and quantity of the organisms that live in the water.

This deviates from the more traditional "end of pipe" approach to water quality monitoring. By focusing on the condition of the key organisms that live in water, our scientists get a more accurate sense of the overall quality of the water. They are able to measure both the site-specific and cumulative effects of environmental stressors like contaminants and climate changes.

This approach reflects the need to preserve and protect Canada's exceptional water resources. But with privilege comes responsibility, which is why water lies at the heart of our efforts on every other environmental file-from climate change to biodiversity to chemicals management.

When it comes to tackling the many environmental challenges posed by the development of Canada's oil sands, for example, the initial focus is on water.

Late last year, Environment Canada accepted the recommendations made by an independent scientific advisory panel to review the monitoring around the Athabasca River and connecting waterways. In a few weeks, we'll be releasing the promised, peer-reviewed plan for surface water quality monitoring to follow through on those recommendations. And although we've deliberately limited the initial scope of this response, it's an important first step toward making sure we have a world class system.

Once that is done, we'll develop monitoring plans for water quantity, air quality and biodiversity. Let me hasten to ad that we remain determined to address the GHG emissions from oil sands production, an increasingly urgent issue as production ramps up.

Both CABIN and our oil sands water monitoring  are based on the belief that, while it's important for individuals to understand the role that they-and their consumer decisions-have when it comes to the stewardship of water, strong leadership is the key to success. So let me tell you a bit more about what we-and our strategic partners-are working on.

In terms of the big picture, the Harper Government's comprehensive approach to water includes significant investments in monitoring science, the clean-up of problem areas and building partnerships to protect our fresh water.

We've done much more than just talk the talk: This Government has spent over $140 million on water-related programs and science in the past year alone.

Under the Action Plan for Clean Water, we are investing almost $100 million to restore Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and several areas of concern in the Great Lakes such as Hamilton Harbour, the Niagara River, St Claire River, and the Detroit River.

Our Chemicals Management Plan, which we've worked on over the past four years, is an integral part of this plan: It has made Canada a world-leader in regulating harmful chemicals from industrial and household use and their disposal.

Our national waterways are directly protected by these rules. For example, by establishing a national standard that limits the amount of phosphorous added to household detergents and cleaning products, we've taken action and made a difference.

Environment Canada is also the key federal Department responsible for monitoring and reporting on Canada's water quality. Working in co-operation with other federal, provincial and territorial governments, we monitor watersheds at 400 sites across Canada.

Around the oil sands, we've increased short-term water monitoring in the area four-fold to almost 100 sites and we've invested $1.6 million in a new program that helps us determine if oil sands tailings are leeching into groundwater.

The Government of Canada is working together with Alberta to address concerns about water quality and quantity related to the oil sands. But that's not where it stops.  Not by any means.

Working with provinces, municipalities and other levels of government across Canada, we are developing new wastewater effluent regulations to deal with the untreated and under-treated discharges that remain in Canada.

The federal regulations, which are targeted for later this year, would create the first-ever national standard for Canada's more than 4,000 wastewater facilities. That means standards for secondary treatment or equivalent for the remaining untreated and under-treated discharges, risk-based implementation timelines and, of course, monitoring and reporting requirements.

To help fund the municipal actions necessary to clean up the treatment and disposal of wastewater, the Harper Government has created a permanent Gas Tax Fund-and doubled it to $2 billion a year-to make sure that municipalities can count on the money to address wastewater related and other infrastructure issues.

One of our top priorities in this area is to implement a comprehensive plan to provide better water and wastewater services to First Nations, supported by the $330-million First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan.

It's not all just about us either. Fully recognizing that water is a global issue-something that's well reflected in the programme and attendance here today-, we've engaged internationally on water as well, committing to invest $2.5 million over five years to support the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Environment Monitoring Systems (or GEMS), an international water science program aimed at understanding inland water quality issues around the world.

In closing, I'd like to commend you for gathering, sharing knowledge and advancing the issue of water. It's a priority for the Government of Canada. And we're committed to making it a priority for individual Canadian households as well.

Every drop counts. Thank you!