- NEW ARESST VIDEO: THE WASTEWATER ISSUE: SCIENCE AND POLITICS AT ODDS IN VICTORIA
- OUR VIEW: SEWAGE FORUM COMES TOO LATE
- CCME CONSULTATION ON DRAFT CANADA-WIDE APPROACH FOR MANAGEMENT OF WASTEWATER BIOSOLIDS
- SOMETIMES COMPROMISE JUST DOESN'T WORK (CRD sewage sludge debate)
- OCEANS DAY 8 JUNE: REMIND GOVERNMENTS THAT OUR CRD MARINE-BASED SEWAGE TREATMENT IS SUSTAINABLE!
- VETERAN POLITICIAN MEL COUVELIER A 'VISIONARY' WITH A PRACTICAL SIDE (supported RSTV concerns)
- CMOS MARINE TALKS REMINDER
NEW ARESST VIDEO: THE WASTEWATER ISSUE: SCIENCE AND POLITICS AT ODDS IN VICTORIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday May 26, 2011, 7:00 AM
The Wastewater Issue: Science and Politics at Odds in Victoria
Victoria, BC – Most CRD residents are resigned to the unpopular political decision to introduce land-based sewage treatment to the CRD.
Now, for the first time, a consensus of expert opinion has been compiled to inform politicians and the general public of the underlying science.
ARESST, an organization of Victoria engineering and public health professionals, is today releasing its short, user-friendly video as a science-based resource for local taxpayers. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
The film is designed to encourage open and informed discussion about the controversy surrounding Victoria’s existing sewage treatment system.
Intensive CRD monitoring and data show clearly that, contrary to much adverse publicity, Victoria’s sewage treatment system has worked well for decades.
Studies of this data by oceanographers on both sides of the border conclude that the finely screened, dilute effluent (99.97% water) entering the ocean is so quickly and widely dispersed that its impact on the marine environment is minimal.
Six BC public health officers say there are no measurable public health risks to the ocean-based system, which naturally dissolves and digests the dilute organic wastes.
Marine scientists report that the ocean’s natural energy is doing the work of a land based system, for free. Organisms on the sea floor act as the equivalent of the proposed land-based digesters, and the vertical mixing
currents act as the equivalent of the proposed aeration ponds.
Not only would the land-based system be expensive, energy-intensive, and technology-dependent, but it would produce a substantial, ongoing ecological footprint.
Federal regulations are not yet in place, nor has funding been approved by the Canadian government.
It is not too late for local citizens to speak up in favor of their existing system, using information now at their finger-tips.
John Bergbusch, Chair, ARESST, 250-478-2869
Dr. Shaun Peck, Director, ARESST, 250-418-5160
Brian Burchill, Engineer, ARESST, 250-592-7138
ARESST: While the original news story only appeared in the online editions, this negative commentary below has appeared in print editions. Incredibly-mistaken viewpoint, but it does give ARESST members an opportunity to publicly challenge this ignorance!
OUR VIEW: SEWAGE FORUM COMES TOO LATE
Goldstream News Gazette - and all Black Press editions
May 31, 2011
Last week, a group of concerned citizens hosted a meeting to discuss plans for creating sewage treatment in Greater Victoria.
Spearheaded by residents from Esquimalt, where the main treatment plant will be located, the event drew about 100 people from both sides of the treatment fence. Members of ARESST (Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment), who have argued against the need for the level of treatment ordered by the province, were prominent.
Such a meeting was needed more than four years ago, when the government dropped the hammer and ordered the Capital Regional District to get going on sewage treatment.
At that time, there might have been enough backlash to force the province to take a more serious look at not only the cost implications to taxpayers, but the impact of pumping sewage out into Juan de Fuca Strait.
Since then, the CRD’s liquid waste management committee and environment department staffers have focused on securing land for a treatment plant and developing a plan for the operational infrastructure. Millions of dollars have already been spent.
The efforts of the forum organizers are admirable. It’s easy to forget that a team of scientists and consultants who, in October 2007, argued that polluted storm water, not sewage, is more harmful to the marine environment. But bringing up similar arguments today will fall on deaf ears. The ball started rolling a long time ago and it isn’t about to stop.
Some folks may believe having a new premier and environment minister presents a window of opportunity to beat the drum again to convince the public that the brakes can still be put on.
But too much black water has run through the pipes. The most pressing need today is to work with the CRD to ensure the level of treatment and the facilities that are built are appropriate for now and in the future.
CCME CONSULTATION ON DRAFT CANADA-WIDE APPROACH FOR MANAGEMENT OF WASTEWATER BIOSOLIDS
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME)
May 30, 2011 - July 30, 2011
Consultation materials for the draft Canada-wide Approach for the Management of Wastewater Biosolids are now available for public review and comment until July 30, 2011.
CCME encourages all interested organizations and individuals to review the consultation materials and provide comment.
DOWNLOAD CCME SEWAGE SLUDGE DRAFT: http://www.ccme.ca/assets/pdf/
CCME is the primary minister-led intergovernmental forum for collective action on environmental issues of national and international concern.
SOMETIMES COMPROMISE JUST DOESN'T WORK (CRD sewage sludge debate)
26 May 2011
You've got to screw up your courage and make a decision.
Case in point...this pilot project on the Saanich Peninsula, to give farmers the option of using bio-solids from the Peninsula sewage treatment plant as fertilizer. It's a contentious notion...many jursdictions have banned the practice, because of concerns about the presence of unhealthy chemicals in the sludge. The B-C government, on the other hand, has said the Capital Region ought to reconsider its rejection of the practice as a means of disposing of the sludge that will be left by the Greater Victoria treatment plant.
The argument at a CRD committee meeting yesterday was long and mildly tedious.
And it's impossible to know whether the right decision was made...because we just don't know what this stuff will do to the land over a period of ten or 20 or 50 or 100 years.
We also don't know what we will need to be doing with the land 50 years from now. So to say that we'll only use sludge where we're growing hay, not vegetables, today, is ridiculous. We might need to grow vegetables there in 50 years. Worst case scenario...we find we can't, because we poisoned the soil...for the sake of growing some hay a little faster 50 years ago. Our grandchildren will think we were awfully stupid.
This is Frank Stanford
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OCEANS DAY 8 JUNE: REMIND GOVERNMENTS THAT OUR CRD MARINE-BASED SEWAGE TREATMENT IS SUSTAINABLE!
ARESST: Oceans Day might be good time to remind governments that environmental threats to Juan de Fuca Strait isn't coming from our CRD's two sewage outfalls, but from other sources like the contaminating storm drains, etc.
VETERAN POLITICIAN MEL COUVELIER A 'VISIONARY' WITH A PRACTICAL SIDE
June 01, 2011
Click here to send letter to editor
Former Social Credit finance minister and longtime Saanich politician Mel Couvelier has died.
Couvelier, 78, was elected to the legislature in 1986 and immediately appointed finance minister by then premier Bill Vander Zalm, whom Couvelier had challenged for leadership of the party. Couvelier served as an MLA until 1991.
Before that, Couvelier had been a municipal politician. He was elected as an alderman in 1974 and successfully made the leap to mayor in November 1977, a position he kept until his election as MLA in 1986.
Couvelier is remembered as a visionary mayor, but one with a strong practical side.
"He was quite a visionary," said Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard.
"He looked for ideas and ways to make good ideas happen. But if something didn't work out, he moved on to the next idea. I learned from him that just because your idea doesn't come to fruition, doesn't mean you don't keep coming up with them."
Couvelier steered Saanich through transition and growth, as it moved from being largely a rural and suburban community to one with more business.
"He moved us along what was quite a progressive agenda for the time," said Leonard, who never sat on council with Couvelier but knew him through community organizations in which the two were involved. Leonard was elected in 1986, as Couvelier moved on to the legislature.
As mayor, Couvelier secured the land for the municipality where the Commonwealth pool is now sited. His plan was for a high-tech park.
"Thirty years ago, that was a pretty radical idea," Leonard said.
Former Saanich mayor and now Liberal MLA Murray Coell said Couvelier was a mentor to him.
"He had a vision of a strong business community delivering taxes for Saanich," Coell said.
Couvelier was key to the development of Saanich's industrial park, as well as its urban containment boundary. That boundary protected much of the farmland that is part of Saanich, and has barely been touched 30 years later, Coell said.
Couvelier's vision wasn't just for Saanich but for Vancouver Island, Coell said.
When Expo 86 was held in Vancouver, Couvelier was key in creating Islands 86, to stimulate activity on Vancouver Island and attract tourists.
Couvelier was a champion of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific - Glendale Gardens. He remained involved with the public garden and teaching centre long after he retired from politics as a member of its board.
"He named it the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific because he envisioned people from around the world visiting it," Leonard said.
Couvelier was still "helping us fulfil that vision" less than two months before his death, Leonard recalled.
On April 12, Couvelier met Leonard and Coell, advocating for the horticulture centre, which is on provincially-owned land.
"I knew he was ill and was surprised to see him, but he had made a commitment and had a belief in the centre, so he was there," Leonard said.
Couvelier retired from politics but took another stab at it in 2008, unsuccessfully running for mayor of Sidney, where he and his wife, Millie, had retired.
He was active in numerous business and community groups, including the Victoria Airport Authority Board, the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Ogden Point master plan stakeholder advisory committee.
Couvelier continued to be outspoken on regional concerns. Recently, he advocated police amalgamation in the region and questioned the need for sewage treatment. He said economic development had to be looked at in a regional context.
Couvelier was born in Vancouver and was 18 when he married Millie, with whom he had three children, Rod, Rick and Melissa.
He graduated from Kitsilano High School and worked as a Crown Zellerbach executive for several years, before going into small businesses of his own, including a general store, then a poultry processing company that he grew from 12 employees to 100 in 12 years, before opening a clothing store in Victoria.
Details of his service have not yet been released. email@example.com
CMOS MARINE TALKS REMINDER
The North Pacific - An Ocean in Transition
June 7, 7:30-8:30 pm,
Victoria Conference Centre,
720 Douglas St.
UVic Professor Dr. Ken Denman will show how the climate and our oceans are
changing in response to human activities and how they will continue to change in the future.
Exploring Ocean Frontiers: We Have More to Learn
June 9, 7:30-8:30 pm,
Victoria Conference Centre,
720 Douglas St.
UVic Professor Dr. Verena Tunnicliffe will guide an exploration of the beauty and extraordinary
dynamics of ecosystems we never see.