- NEW VICTORIA COUNCILLOR SHELLIE GUDGEON'S SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT (sewage plant focus)
- PENNER PACKS IT IN, TAKES JOB AS LAWYER (sewage mention)
- COLQUITZ CREEK: HOME-OIL SPILL KILLS MIGRATING FISH AND "OIL SPILLAGE TIMING 'COULDN'T HAVE BEEN WORSE'"
- CLOVER POINT STORM-WITH-OUTFALL PHOTO (attached photo)
- TALK: SEA LEVEL RISE IN BC: A NEW CHALLENGE TO PROTECTED AREAS MANAGEMENT
- ARESST MEMBERSHIP DUES - CHEQUE TO BOB!
ARESST: CLICK HERE IF YOU WISH TO CONGRATULATE SHELLIE ON HER ELECTION firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW VICTORIA COUNCILLOR SHELLIE GUDGEON'S SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT:
We need value for our tax dollars.
Shellie was one of the few local citizens to take advantage of a CRD sponsored fact finding trip to Blaine, Washington and the South Seattle Plant at Renton where a sewage treatment facility similar to the one proposed for Victoria is located. This trip and other consultations have led her to believe that at this point in time there is no reason for a billion dollar sewage treatment plant to be built. Our government has been remiss in its duty to properly educate our citizens and other municipalities with regard to our unique local situation.
We have a perfect, natural environment that can readily handle and sustain our waste discharges. We do need better, upgraded screening of the current system and an upgrade to our storm waste water handling and collection system for the entire region.
What people often do not realize is that land based treatment is not a panacea, the same toxins that are currently going into the ocean will still need to be disposed of in a land based system. Whose back yard do we dump those in?
PENNER PACKS IT IN, TAKES JOB AS LAWYER (sewage mention)
NOVEMBER 25, 2011
Former environment minister Barry Penner, best known in Greater Victoria ordering sewage treatment, announced his resignation from politics Thursday.
Penner, a four-term MLA for Chilliwack-Hope who also served stints as attorney general and minister of aboriginal relations, is taking a job with Vancouver law firm Davis LLP.
He said he'll vacate his seat early in the new year. That will leave Premier Christy Clark with two potential byelections in ridings where Liberal MLAs have resigned. Former labour minister Iain Black resigned in August to take a job with the Vancouver Board of Trade.
Penner denied his departure had anything to do with disagreements with Clark. He stepped down as attorney general in August, before Clark had ruled out a fall election, saying he had no desire to run for another term. At that time, Penner said he started to consider his future outside politics.
In 2006, Penner moved to end decades of debate over sewage treatment by ordering Greater Victoria to end its practice of dumping raw sewage the ocean.
Although the issue remains controversial - and the $782million project is in limbo due to a lack of commitment on federal and provincial funding - Penner defended the decision.
"I think that sewage treatment is necessary and I trust that will take place in the not too distant future," he said Thursday.
Penner is also known locally for trying, as environment minister, to capture a yellow-bellied marmot named Roger who had set up home on the grounds of Victoria's Fairmont Empress.
Despite the expenditure of much peanut butter bait, the marmot remains elusive. The Penner departure perhaps paves the way for an indefinite marmot stay at the hotel.
"I did actually go looking for him last week a bit," Penner said. "But he's been playing a bit of hide and seek of late... exactly where Roger the marmot is, is a bit of a mystery. "And maybe it's best left that way."
ARESST: Recent xxample of toxics getting into waterways that won't be improved by an unnecessary sewage plant!
HOME-OIL SPILL KILLS MIGRATING FISH
November 26, 2011
Up to 1,000 litres of heating oil have spilled from a homeowner's fuel tank and into Swan Creek and Colquitz River, killing migrating coho salmon and polluting the Saanich waterways.
The spill started gradually but quickly grew as it got into the storm sewers.
People walking in Colquitz Park smelled the fuel near the river and contacted authorities, said Adriane Pollard, environmental services manager for Saanich.
The spill is being investigated by Saanich public works crews and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Booms have been set up to contain the spill, Pollard said.
While no dead fish have been found at the spill site, some carcasses have turned up downstream, she said.
The tank is above ground but the buried pipe bringing fuel to the home became damaged and drained the contents of the newly filled tank, said Mike Ippen, public services manager for Saanich.
The break in the pipe probably happened Tuesday - the day people started to smell fuel in Cuthbert Holmes Park, Ippen said.
The fuel seeped from the home, located in the Carey Road area, through the storm sewer system. Heavy rain pushed the fuel down the storm sewer system and into the streams.
People often wait until fall to fill up their fuel tanks and damage isn't apparent until fuel has already leaked into the environment, Ippen said.
Public works crews have put booms in Swan Creek and in the storm sewer itself, he said.
It's unclear how far the fuel travelled, Ippen said. "What's in the storm sewer has been contained," he said.
"We have no idea what those volumes are because the homeowner doesn't know how much came out of that tank - it's almost impossible to tell.
The homeowner is on the hook for costs of the cleanup, he said. "We recover our costs from the homeowner, or we try to. That's the first step, and the homeowner has been very co-operative."
Crews will monitor the waterways this weekend.
"We're also expecting heavy rains this weekend and we'll be making sure the booms stay in place and we keep changing them out," Ippen said.
Residential heating oil storage tanks have been used in Canada for more than 60 years, says a B.C. government fact sheet.
Many of these tanks are now abandoned as homeowners move to natural gas, propane and electricity to heat their homes.
Underground storage tanks pose risks of contamination to soil and groundwater. Unused oil storage tanks should be properly decommissioned by a qualified contractor, the fact sheet says.
COLQUITZ CREEK: "OIL SPILLAGE TIMING 'COULDN'T HAVE BEEN WORSE'"
November 27, 2011
The timing of a fuel spill into Colquitz Creek at the height of a salmon run is "just awful," said Chris Bos, a member of the Esquimalt Anglers and one of the volunteers who keep count of the migrating fish.
"You can't be more terrified when you find out there's a spill that could be 1,000 litres of oil," said Bos, adding that the timing couldn't be worse.
On Friday, Saanich public works identified the home in the Carey Road area from where 1,000 litres of home heating oil had leaked. The fuel made its way into the storm sewer and then into Swan Creek and Colquitz Creek.
Bos and others have been stationed at a fence near Tillicum Mall, where they've been each day of the salmon run counting fish heading up to migrate. On Tuesday, they heard reports that people upstream had smelled fuel and noticed a sheen on the river.
"We hadn't smelled anything at the fence," said Bos.
Over the next few days, heavy rain flushed the fuel downstream to the fence, and Bos was told there was "an incredibly powerful smell of oil."
A couple of fish were in distress, he said.
The spill "is happening at the most critical time for these fish, when they're coming through the creek," said Bos. "I'm really concerned."
The fish, which weigh up to nine kilograms, are a natural, wild run of fish.
"This has been a native wild coho stream since time immemorial and a lot of people had no idea how successful it was," Bos said.
Part of the risk of being an urban stream is being vulnerable to contamination, he said.
Some fish do spawn downstream of the spill site "but most of the good spawning habitat is above that," said Bos.
"So if those fish that have gone through in the last few days are above the spill area, there shouldn't be a problem."
However, the volunteers who watch over the fish are "really nervous," Bos said.
"One of them phoned me up and said 'I feel sick to my stomach,' " he said.
Normally, many of the salmon would have moved upstream by now. "Usually by mid-October, we're at the peak of the run and it's two or three weeks late because of the low water.
"Let's hope we haven't destroyed the run this year."
The spill is under investigation by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Saanich public works identified the source of the spill as a damaged underground pipe at a home. The homeowner is responsible for the cleanup costs.
CLOVER POINT STORM-WITH-OUTFALL PHOTO
Attached is photo from 27 November 2011 Times Colonist, page D5, showing the impact of storm at Clover Point and Ross Bay. However, by including the Outfall sign so prominantly in the photo - when it could easily have been cropped-out to create a better composition of the wind/storm, one might wonder if the Times Colonist left it in the photo in order to make one more lame comment about the outfall itself? Of course, we know that the Clover Point outfall discharges the effluent more than kilometre out to sea and about 50 metres underwater - but the readers don't necessarily know that.
TALK: SEA LEVEL RISE IN BC: A NEW CHALLENGE TO PROTECTED AREAS MANAGEMENT
Monday, 28 November 2011
Victoria Natural History Association
Almost one third of the BC coastline is protected in parks and other types of protected areas. Now these protected areas face a new challenge – climate change. A new approach is needed that adapts to: rising sea level, increasing storm intensity and frequency, changing wind, rainfall, humidity, air temperature and water temperature patterns. Knowledge of the relative sensitivity of shorelines to climate change will help BC Parks and its partners to anticipate where changes will be most dramatic.
Doug Biffard, Aquatic Ecologist with the BC Ministry of Environment, will describe the shoreline information that the province has mapped, then using examples from local parks and ecological reserves demonstrate how the information is used to help shorelines and people to adapt.
We meet at 7:30 p.m. in Room 159 of the University of Victoria's Fraser Building (www.uvic.ca/buildings/fra.
html). Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Bring a friend.
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Bob Furber, ARESST Treasurer,
2751 Arbutus Road
Victoria, BC, V8N 5X7
2751 Arbutus Road
Victoria, BC, V8N 5X7
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