September 24, 2011




3. Chair’s Remarks – The Chair updated the committee on the meetings with various
ministers over the summer. She indicated that there has been no confirmation of funding

4. Presentations/Delegations
a) Dr. Shaun Peck re: agenda item 5 – congratulated staff on the program. He emphasized that there is no mention of coordinating the regional source control program with rain/stormwater programs. He would like more emphasis on the outcomes of the programs.

Director Fortin and Alternate Director Hunter entered at 9:05 a.m.

5.Regional Source Control Program Implementation Plan (2011-2015) (Report link)

L. Hutcheson spoke to the report and gave a presentation on the annual Source Control Program report, which discussed the program objectives, achievements, five-year implementation plan main strategies and activities and next steps for implementing the plan.

The floor was opened for questions.

It was requested that an additional recommendation be included regarding coordinating the report with the storm water and marine monitoring programs.

Discussion continued, and included the following topics:
• The medication return program
• Sources of contaminants
• Educating the public on source control, including elementary schools, restaurants, in- house care residents and in other languages to ensure higher compliance
• The impact of source control program on the wastewater treatment plan

MOVED by Director Brice, SECONDED by Director Desjardins,

1) That it be recommended to the CRD Board that the Regional Source Control Program 2010 Annual Report be received for information and forwarded to the Ministry of Environment;

2) That staff be directed to forward copies of the above report to the Environmental Sustainability Committee; the Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Commission; the Ganges Sewer Local Service Committee; the Highland Water and Sewer Local Services Committee; the Magic Lake Estates Water and Sewer Local Services Committee and
the Port Renfrew Utility Services Committee for information and comment; and

3) That it be recommended to the CRD Board that the five-year implementation plan for the RSCP, covering the period 2011-2015, be approved; and

4) That, in subsequent years, the reporting on source control be coordinated with the core area storm water and marine monitoring programs.

6. Trucked Liquid Waste – 2010 Annual Report (Report link)

L. Hutcheson spoke to the report.

MOVED by Director Brownoff, SECONDED by Alternate Director Hunter,
That the Trucked Liquid Waste 2010 Annual Report be received for information.


ARESST: Brown's letter (attached) refers to Saanich News commentary below, with excerpt:  And locally I suppose we’ve seen successful satire with the now-retired Mr. Floatie and his campaign for sewage treatment.


Tired politics in need of fresh satire

Jim Zeeben
Saanich News
September 16, 2011

I can remember the first political platform that I actually took the time to think about. It was on page 8 of the April 26, 1979 edition of the Ottawa Citizen in a story written by staff writer Linda Drouin. (I know these details because the paper’s archives are now available online.)
The article was about the unveiling of a local candidate in a federal political party. Their platform included a proposal to return to the British custom of driving on the left side of the road.

In order to give Canadians time to adjust, the change would be done over a five-year period. In the first year, only trucks and buses would use the left side. The next year, “big Amercian trucks” would make the switch, followed by small imported cars in the third year and, in the final year, two-wheeled vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and wheelchairs.

On first read I crinkled my nose and looked around for someone to share my disbelief. Then I got it. The idea was meant to be ridiculous.
I was still in elementary school, but the Rhino Party had made such an impression on me that I spent the next day trying to explain their politics to befuddled classmates.

And while the image of cars caught up in a chaotic policy switch was silly enough to capture the imagination of an 11-year-old, the satire also helped shed some light on the very real issue of bureaucratic foolishness plaguing the government.

Other Rhino policies of the day included leaving the corner of the dollar bill blank so cashiers could pencil in the value at the time of transaction. This in an era when most commentary about our battered currency was either dire or abstruse or both.

The Rhinos made many issues facing Canadians accessible in ways that only good satire can.

The humour offended some – the Rhinos actually had 53 candidates, which shocked plenty of people who didn’t have any sense of hee-haw. The original Rhino party disbanded in 1993, after a dispute about a new rule that required parties to run candidates in at least 50 ridings, with each paying a fee of $1,000.

A new party bearing the Rhino flag was reborn in 2007 and fielded 14 candidates in the 2011 federal election. A dozen were in Quebec but B.C. and Alberta also had one candidate each.

So far they’ve failed to capture Canadians’ imaginations on the scale their forebears did.

Satire, as good as it is at shedding light on dense subjects, is very difficult to pull off well. Finding the right mix of irony and sarcasm is critical.
It can come across as angry, even hateful, if not done with care.

At one time, satirical columns were common in newspapers but these days most editors are wary of risking the trust of readers. That, and the fact readers are inundated with websites that miss the mark when they attempt satire, but really deal in mock news that’s more misinformation than clever commentary.

There are still great sources of satire, of course. Stephen Colbert remains hugely popular around the world and The Onion magazine’s website provides constant fodder for people to share through sites like Facebook. If you can relate to the Brits, the U.K. also continues to pump out comedians with that rare ability to skewer sacred institutions while tickling your funny bone.

In Canada, Rick Mercer started his new season this week. Mercer’s rants consistently find that sweet spot between comedy and crassness. And locally I suppose we’ve seen successful satire with the now-retired Mr. Floatie and his campaign for sewage treatment.

I’m curious what you think about the state of satire. I know many of our letter writers have a rapier-like wit and can take a poke at some of the issues affecting us on a regional, provincial or national level. Let’s see you try.


Excerpt from press release below: 
An analysis of the LRT Study's ridership forecasts conducted by a retired former engineer and presented at last Tuesday's Victoria Transit Commission meeting concluded that the LRT benefits are substantially overstated. The retired former engineer is the same engineer who, jointly with others, discovered the mistake in the sewage treatment reports that directly led to the saving of the Haro Woods and a $250,000,000 reduction in the cost of the proposed sewage treatment system.

His alert to the Transit Commission was that the highest (most optimistic) LRT ridership forecast, instead of being compared to the corresponding highest Business As Usual (BAU) forecast, was compared to the lowest BAU forecast.

The CRD Business & Residential
Taxpayer's Association


September 19, 2011

Victoria BC – Critics urge a review of BC Transit and the LRT Proposal

The CRD Business & Residential Taxpayer's Association is calling for a review of BC Transit and an
independent audit of the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit Study (aka The LRT Study).

"As Premier Clark has been promoting auditor-generals at the municipal level, this might be a good
time to lead by example and support an independent review of BC Transit and an audit of the Victoria
Regional Rapid Transit Study." Association Chair Bev Highton said in a news release.

Highton also called for a moratorium on any further studies and expenditures on the LRT Project unless
and until the responsibilities of the Victoria Transit Commission are transferred to the CRD Board and
the local Transportation Agency is in place. This should include an immediate halt to the study currently
being financed by BC Transit and the CRD to look at alternative ways of funding the LRT Project such
as increasing fuel taxes and looking at charging vehicle owners a new tax based on how many
kilometres they travel each year.

The Association is nothing short of shocked to learn that BC Transit plans to spend another $5 million
on further preparations for LRT and a business case. We were previously told (BC Transit Press
Release April 26, 2011) that the business case was already included in the last $3.1 million, and
already forwarded to the Ministry in May." Highton said.

The Association has reasons to call into question the published LRT Study's ridership forecasts.

An analysis of the LRT Study's ridership forecasts conducted by a retired former engineer and
presented at last Tuesday's Victoria Transit Commission meeting concluded that the LRT benefits are
substantially overstated. The retired former engineer is the same engineer who, jointly with others,
discovered the mistake in the sewage treatment reports that directly led to the saving of the Haro
Woods and a $250,000,000 reduction in the cost of the proposed sewage treatment system.

His alert to the Transit Commission was that the highest (most optimistic) LRT ridership forecast,
instead of being compared to the corresponding highest Business As Usual (BAU) forecast, was
compared to the lowest BAU forecast. In the Study reports, and in previous presentations to the Transit
Commission, the LRT advantage by 2038 was reported to be an additional 7 million riders per year
over the BAU case. Overstating, or using optimistic LRT ridership forecasts would have a direct impact
on the LRT business case. Having a high forecast also substantially increases the long term financial
risks associated with an LRT failing to meet its ridership projections.

Any estimated benefits for LRT or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) are directly proportional to the extra
forecast ridership that LRT (or BRT) could generate in comparison to the Business As Usual (BAU)

"The Association has independently verified his findings, " says Highton. "But it gets worse."

"The 7 million difference in ridership was not only an inappropriate comparison between the most
optimistic LRT ridership and the most pessimistic BAU ridership, it included an undisclosed handicap
placed on the BAU ridership forecast.

The BAU ridership forecasts were forced downwards by assuming the elimination of the current
multiple bus routes on Douglas Street and assuming forced transfers to and from the Saanich routes at
Uptown. This created a capacity constraint that artificially boosted the ridership difference between LRT
and the BAU case. It also boosted the LRT business case.

A partial disclosure of this constraint, is included in the background technical report released three
months later.

The LRT ridership forecast was further boosted upwards by assuming that current bus routes partially
operating on Douglas Street would experience the same rate of increased ridership as LRT-only routes,
even though only a fraction of these trips would be by LRT. Examples are the Carey and the Swartz
Bay bus routes.

"Acceptance of the Rapid Transit Report's ridership forecasts and their inclusion in the business case
would require agreement on all of the following assumptions:

- If the local economy recovers and does well, the highest LRT (or BRT) ridership forecast would
be achieved, but if LRT (or BRT) are not constructed, the lowest BAU ridership would be

- If the LRT or BRT were not constructed, transit riders would accept the reduction of bus service
on Douglas Street to just a single bus route with transfer requirements at Uptown.

- There are no ridership losses under LRT or BRT in spite of the fact that the major Saanich bus
routes are terminated at Uptown, all express buses are terminated at Uptown, and commuters
experience a 5 to 15 minute increase in travel time due to the mandatory transfer requirements
to LRT or BRT at Uptown.

- There would be substantial ridership increases on all bus feeder routes to an LRT or BRT line
even though just a fraction of the trip is via LRT or BRT, and the total transit trip would take
longer than it does now."

As the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) was represented on both the Study Steering
Committee and on the Working Committee, this raises the questions of what the MOTI representatives
knew about these discrepancies and invalid assumptions and when they knew it.

The Ministry accepted the final report from BC Transit back in May for a review of BC Transit's
business case, and at no time, that the Association has been aware of, has the MOTI signalled any
concerns about the proposed project. As the Study originated from the Ministry's Provincial Transit Plan
in the first place, the Ministry should seriously consider recusing itself from a review of the Project and
the Project's business case. Highton added.

For additional information, contact:
Bev Highton, Chair
CRD Business & Residential Taxpayer's Association



The new $1.8 billion Brightwater sewage-treatment plant, set to open
Saturday, was built to meet future growth. But Seattle officials contend
existing customers are paying too much.

Bob Young
Seattle Times
23 September 2011

Brightwater, the cheerfully named $1.8 billion sewage-treatment plant
north of Woodinville, opens Saturday with a fanfare of speeches, music and
3,000 free tacos provided by project contractors.

The largest public-works project in King County history also opens with a
big question hanging over it.

Brightwater was built to meet projected population growth. And local
officials struck a deal that ground couldn't be broken for the plant
unless "growth pays for growth" — meaning new customers throughout the
county, not existing ones, would pay for expanding the sewage system. But
the county isn't sticking to that principle, Seattle officials have

A City Council analysis contends that by 2030 "existing ratepayers in
Seattle will pay $320 million more than they should" for sewage-system
improvements. That amounts to an added cost of about $900 for the average
Seattle customer, the city auditor reported this year.

Brightwater is just a part of that total, which comes from an array of
county sewer projects that will benefit Seattle and its suburbs.

But concern about the plant's costs "put an exclamation point on the
discussion and gave it a new focus," says Martin Baker, deputy director of
Seattle Public Utilities.

County officials have a different interpretation of their financial
formulas. They say the charge Seattle wants on new customers — about
$16,000 for a residential hookup — would be too high. And it might impede

County Councilmember Larry Phillips says Seattle has been "barking" at the
county mainly to shift attention away from the city's own high water

The debate between the county and city has recently mellowed, according to
key participants. But the current negotiations still reveal concerns about
an issue that hits the wallet of everyone who flushes a toilet in the
county: How much can we charge for growth, and how much must we subsidize

Existing customers can only hope the growth comes soon, because having
built Brightwater for newcomers, we now depend financially on their

Increasing capacity

The city-county debate goes back to the late 1990s, when the building
industry, labor unions and environmentalists pressured former King County
Executive Ron Sims to increase the county's capacity to treat and dispose
of sewage.

Builders and developers "were scared to death" because state regulators
had threatened to impose a moratorium on new construction, recalled Chuck
Clarke, EPA regional administrator at the time and later head of Seattle
Public Utilities.

Sims (who did not respond to requests for comment) and the County Council
decided a new plant was needed to serve North King and southern Snohomish

Before Sims embarked on a controversial search for a site, though,
representatives from the county and local cities met at a Bellevue
conference center, the Robinswood House.

That summit produced the Robinswood Agreement, which struck the 1998 deal
that "growth pays for growth." It called for new customers to pay for "new

Existing customers were defined as those whose homes or businesses were
hooked up to sewers before 2003; new customers were those who connected
afterward. These financial policies would apply until 2030.

Seattle officials say the county has departed from the agreement by not
charging enough for new customers. Connections charges are now $50 a
month. But they should be more than $90 monthly, the city contends, or
about $16,000 over the typical 15-year billing cycle for hookups.

Phillips maintains that current charges are fair: "We have consistently
reviewed those financial plans over time and Seattle is the only voice
that says we need to do something differently."

It's true that no other jurisdiction has joined Seattle's cause.

But that's not to say no one agrees with its premise. "I do agree with
Seattle that the methodology has flaws," says Ron Speer, district manager
of the Soos Creek Water & Sewer District in Renton. The county's
connection charge isn't "enough to cover debt service so somebody else has
to pay."

"There's a political dynamic here," says Seattle City Council President
Richard Conlin. Builders, developers and some suburbs want to keep the
charges down so they don't inhibit growth, which means jobs.

Interpretations differ

Christie True, who oversees sewage treatment for the county, won't say the
city's interpretation is flat wrong. There's just a "fundamental
disagreement" with Seattle about what's equitable in cost-allocating

True takes the long, regional view.

"We agree that existing customers are subsidizing new ones. They have to.
There's no way around it," she says. You have to build sewage-treatment
facilities before the growth arrives, she explains. And in the early years
of paying for Brightwater, existing customers must share some of the
burden because there aren't enough new customers to carry the full load.

"At any point in time," she adds, "we are investing more money in one part
of the system than another. That's the situation with a regional system.
In the last decade we've been putting a lot of money into Brightwater. The
next two decades our biggest investment will be in combined sewer
overflows, which are all in the city of Seattle."

With any snapshot, True says, one customer group such as Seattle could
claim they weren't getting their fair share, or were paying too much. But
eventually, she says, more and more new customers will connect and end up
paying 95 percent of Brightwater's costs.

Seattle officials, though, have not been convinced, as they watched
Brightwater's cost more than double from 1999 estimates, while the
recession has slowed growth.

Phillips notes that the city is not mentioning another part of the
Robinswood Agreement, which spared Seattle from paying the entire bill to
fix sewer-overflow problems that occur during heavy rain. Instead the cost
will be spread around the county, saving Seattle approximately $200
million, according to county estimates.

Interestingly, city officials who have griped about county policies for
several years now sound like diplomats.

Seattle Public Utilities chief Ray Hoffman issued a statement saying the
city is now focused on "working in partnership" with the county. Mayor
Mike McGinn did the same.

Conlin says relations with the county have greatly improved. Conlin
attributes the detente to a "good working relationship" with King County
Executive Dow Constantine. He said the county has shared more information,
causing the city to reconsider some of its grievances.

"It gets nuanced," he explained, when debating, for example, who should
pay for a new stretch of pipe. A particular part of the pipeline might be
used by existing customers, or it might take pressure off the parts of the
existing system. Thus, it's not unreasonable for existing customers to pay
a share.

Phillips says the city and county are talking about new policies that
might provide Seattle some things it wants. "What's going on now is a
truce," he says. "Everyone agreed to stop rattling sabers."

A regional group is looking at improvements to the county's rate
methodology, which is at the center of Seattle's complaints.

That group is expected to come up with recommendations soon, according to
county economist Tom Lienesch. They'll be forwarded to a regional group of
elected officials scheduled to act on the recommendations in December.

"It is a regional system," Conlin concludes, "so it's important everyone
is satisfied. I don't know if (Brightwater costs) balance out in the long
run. But we're just doing the best we can."

Bob Young: 206-464-2174 or

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