CRD-RELATED SEWAGE NEWS:
- #YYJCHAT WITH ESQUIMALT MAYOR BARB DESJARDINS 3 JULY 7:30PM
GENERAL SEWAGE-RELATED NEWS:
- PROTECT THE HARBOUR! RESIDENTS AND INDUSTRY LEADERS TELL VICTORIA CITY COUNCIL
- RSTV ALLY DR JAY CULLEN TALKING GARBAGE WITH KIDS!
- US BEACHES LADEN WITH SEWAGE, BACTERIA: STUDY
CRD-RELATED SEWAGE NEWS:
ARESST: Mayor Desjardins is also chair of CRD Environmental Sustainability Committee and responsible for much of the sewage treatment plant planning,
as well as being Mayor of Esquimalt where the plant will be sited at McLoughlin Point - and creator of website The Wrong Plan. Comments can also
be left at the #YYJ website.
#YYJCHAT WITH ESQUIMALT MAYOR BARB DESJARDINS 3 JULY 7:30PM
GENERAL SEWAGE-RELATED NEWS:
PROTECT THE HARBOUR! RESIDENTS AND INDUSTRY LEADERS TELL VICTORIA CITY COUNCIL
June 29, 2012 12:40 PM
The message was loud and clear.
Victorians love their harbour and want it formally protected – whether for use by residents or industry – in the city's new Official Community Plan.
In response to the last round of feedback, planning staff heard that message and amended the document to place more emphasis on the harbour. Apparently, the changes didn't go far enough.
Many of those who spoke at the June 27 public hearing emphasized the need to protect and plan for the harbour's future.
The Official Community Plan needs to reinforce the water-land connection, said Curtis Grad, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. "Once severed, the link is gone forever."
The Inner Harbour should belong to residents of Victoria, not private interests, said Marg Gardiner, a director of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association. Others argued for the need to protect the working harbour, such as the aggregate businesses on Rock Bay.
"We need them," argued Ron Greene, who owns property on Store Street. Otherwise, aggregate will need to be shipped from Duke Point, he added.
The concerns voiced come in the wake of news that all three levels of government are selling, or potentially selling large tracts of waterfront land around the harbour.
In February, the Provincial Capital Commission announced its intention to sell its surplus property, which could include its portion of a waterfront parking lot below Wharf Street. Last month, the federal government announced it is selling many parcels of land, mostly running along the Upper Harbour.
At the same time, the city is considering the sale of waterfront industrial property in Vic West at Point Hope to Ralmax Group of Companies.
About 60 people attended the hearing.
Mike Miller of Abstract Developments led the presentations with a request for a more business-friendly city.
"The vacancy rate in downtown is alarming," said Miller, also chair of the Urban Development Institute's Victoria chapter.
He called for more emphasis on an economic action plan for the downtown and requested specific amendments: that the permit process be shortened, and parking requirements for new developments be lowered to reflect the fact many downtown residents don't own cars.
Many neighbourhood representatives also voiced their concerns.
Tracy James of Burnside-Gorge asked that traffic be slowed on some of the six arterials that pass through her neighbourhood, to help create a more walkable, cohesive community.
Bernie Gaudet of Vic West asked that his neighbourhood be moved up the priority list as the city moves forward with local area plans, targeting areas of change and growth.
"Vic West is severely splintered," he said. The neighbourhood is targeted to accommodate a large portion of the city's growth, yet new development is cut off from the older, established residential neighbourhood, he said.
Other people praised the extensive planning and consultation process that contributed to the draft plan.
"I'm really, really pleased to see an OCP deal with words like arts and culture," said Jason Scott, an architectural historian who lives in Fan Tan Alley. He asked, however, that no more heritage redevelopments be granted additional storeys. "What you're doing is wrong," he said.
Council ultimately voted to postpone deliberations until they could review a copy of the minutes. Only when the public hearing resumes, at an undetermined date in July, will councillors be allowed to comment publicly on the OCP or the hearing. Doing so could invalidate the process, requiring that a new public hearing be scheduled.
B.C. Transit seeks less-ambitious bus-stop vision
Victoria's draft Official Community Plan aims to have 99 per cent of residents living within 400 metres of a bus stop within the next 30 years.
B.C. Transit doesn't support the goal, however.
"This target may require transit to operate on local roads that are not intended to be served by transit," wrote B.C. Transit senior planner James Wadsworth, in a letter responding to the city's draft document. "Perhaps 90 per cent might be a better target."
The suggested amendment might be a little under ambitious; the city has already surpassed it.
RSTV ALLY DR JAY CULLEN TALKING GARBAGE WITH KIDS!
I had the pleasure of speaking with the Kindergarten class at Braefoot Elementary School today about being an Oceanographer. They had many questions. They were most concerned about finding garbage (glass, cans and plastic) on the beach.
US BEACHES LADEN WITH SEWAGE, BACTERIA: STUDY
June 27, 2012
US beaches can be dirty places, making about 3.5 million people sick each year from sewage in the water, said an annual study Wednesday that rates American beaches by how dirty they are.
The Natural Resources Defense Council report included 3,000 beaches nationwide and listed 15 "repeat offenders" that have turned up again and again in the pollution rankings.
Those included four beaches in Louisiana, Avalon and Doheny State Beaches in southern California, and select waterfront beaches in Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin.
Overall, the total number of beach closures and water quality advisories nationwide last year was the third highest in 22 years of monitoring, said the study.
"America's beaches are plagued by a sobering legacy of water pollution, including bacteria-laden human and animal waste," said NRDC Water Program Director Steve Fleischli.
"So when people dive into the ocean, it can make them sick with a range of waterborne illnesses including stomach flu, skin rashes, pink eye, ear nose and throat problems, dysentery, hepatitis, respiratory ailments, neurological disorders and other serious health problems."
Louisiana tallied the highest number of dirty samples (29 percent) that exceeded national standards for designated beach areas in 2011.
The southern state famed for its seafood and music and whose shoreline was among those sullied by the BP oil spill in 2010 ranked last out of 30 states measured for beachwater quality.
However, since the ranking was based on bacteria sampling in the waters, the problem was not solely attributable to the devastating oil spill, the NRDC said.
Instead, the main problem across most of America's beaches is polluted storm water runoff -- with more than 10 trillion gallons of untreated storm water making its way into surface waters each year, according to US Environmental Protection Agency estimates.
"The biggest known cause of beach closings and swimming advisories is polluted storm water runoff," said Fleischli.
"When it rains, the water carries trash, chemicals, oil, animal waste -- you name it -- off the paved streets of our communities into sewers and ultimately to our beach."
The environmental group appealed for tougher EPA standards on beach water quality and improved measures to halt runoff pollution and sewer overflows.
"EPA believes it is acceptable for one in 28 swimmers to become ill with gastroenteritis from swimming in water that just meets its proposed water quality criteria," said NRDC.
"This risk is unacceptably high and is not protective of public health."
As many as 3.5 million people get sick from coming in contact with raw sewage from sanitary sewer overflows every year, the EPA says.
The NRDC also listed the best beaches for water quality. The top beaches were in the northeastern states of Delaware (Dewey Beach) and New Hampshire (Hampton Beach State Park and Wallis Sands Beach).
Other five-star ratings went to Newport Beach in California, Ocean City Beach 6 in Maryland, and Gulf Shores Public Beach in Alabama.
No Florida beaches made the top 12 that received the five-star rating.