CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG:
DR. SHAUN PECK PRESENTATION TO CRD BOARD,12 DECEMBER
THANKS TO ARESSTERS: PRESENTERS AND AUDIENCE AT 12 DEC CALWMC
CBC AUDIO INTERVIEW STOPABADPLAN'S RICHARD ATWELL
CRD-RELATED SEWAGE NEWS:
- VIDEO CLIP: CHRISTY CLARK ON CRD SEWAGE TREATMENT
- SEWAGE COST A CONCERN FOR PREMIER
- PROVINCE WILL HONOUR FUNDING FOR SEWAGE PROJECT, PREMIER CHRISTY CLARK SAYS
- REGION REJECTS SEWAGE REVIEW
- A REGIONAL WHITE ELEPHANT (Camosun Community Assoc News)
- CLARK COMMENTS MUDDY WATERS
- OCEANOGRAPHER OPPOSED SEWAGE IN THE OCEAN
- OFFICIALS' MANAGEMENT ABILITIES QUESTIONED
- SEWAGE-TREATMENT PLANT MADNESS MUST STOP
- CRD IS IGNORING VOICES OPPOSED TO SEWAGE PLAN
- PLAN FOR TREATING SLUDGE HAS TO BE EXPLAINED
- DIVING INTO THE MURKY WATERS OF SEWAGE
- LAND VS. MARINE SEWAGE TREATMENT
- POLITICIANS WILL PAY FOR SEWAGE DEBACLE
- REPORT DOESN'T SUPPORT SEWAGE-TREATMENT PLANT
- SCALLOPS SHOW CONTAMINATION
- NEW SYSTEM IS NEEDED
- DOG POOP HAS US HOOPED
- DIVER'S SEA-LIFE ACCOUNT QUESTIONED BY WRITER
- TREATMENT BEING FORCED ON CITY
- SEWAGE QUESTIONS REMAIN DESPITE APPROVAL
DR. SHAUN PECK PRESENTATION TO CRD BOARD,12 DECEMBER NOW ON RSTV SITE:
THANKS TO ARESSTERS - PRESENTERS AND AUDIENCE AT 12 DEC CALWMC
They had amongst their presenters Dr. Edward Ishiguro, a retired UVic biochemist who never tires of asking the same questions since 2005, without actually seeking answers to his own questions about our marine-based sewage treatment system. This time, Ishiguro appeared to criticise UVic oceanographers for supporting our current system.
After participating in today's CALWMC (and sending useful tweets), Susan Low has prepared a great blog entry about her CALWMC experience, and her followup of comments made by CRD sewage plan manager, Mr Jack Hull: Jack Hull said an environmental assessment could take one to two years. According to these regulations passed in 2011, the environmental assessment agency is required to complete "comprehensive studies" within 365 days of initiating an EIA. http://www.gazette.gc.ca/
CBC AUDIO INTERVIEW STOPABADPLAN'S RICHARD ATWELL 11 DECEMBER, 6:30 MINUTES:
VIDEO CLIP: CHRISTY CLARK ON CRD SEWAGE TREATMENT
CRD REJECTS SECOND LOOK AT SEWAGE TREATMENT:
CRD-RELATED SEWAGE NEWS:
PROVINCE WILL HONOUR FUNDING FOR SEWAGE PROJECT, PREMIER CHRISTY CLARK SAYS
December 12, 2012 7:03 AM
Greater Victoria is not in danger of losing provincial funding for the region’s sewage megaproject, says Premier Christy Clark.
Clark said Tuesday she can’t foresee the provincial government choosing not to honour its $248 million funding promise — which represents about one-third of the $783-million sewage plan budget — when the project is complete in 2018.
“There’s no scenario that would involve that,” Clark told the Times Colonist. “But it’s not going to increase past $248 million. So there’s also no scenario where [the provincial contribution] becomes $500 million.”
The premier’s recent public comments on sewage treatment have caused ripples of concern and confusion about the largest and most expensive project in the region’s history.
Clark reiterated Tuesday that she has concerns “about the growing costs of this project.”
But the current $783-million budget — set in June 2010 — is less than the $1.2 billion and $1-billion treatment systems proposed in previous years. The current plan may result in a per household tax hike of between $232 and $391 a year, depending on the municipality.
“We are going to set milestones, fiscal and performance milestones, that the project needs to meet along the way,” Clark said.
“That was the substance of the Treasury Board decision [and] the cabinet decision that we made last year. That remains the same. So the project has to meet those milestones.”
The B.C. government ordered Greater Victoria in 2006 to install sewage treatment and formally agreed to one-third funding in July.
But the initial funding agreement makes no reference to
milestones, said Jack Hull, the interim wastewater project director.
It does say that the Capital Regional District can’t claim provincial money before March 2017, or after March 2020, and that the treatment project has to meet certain effluent and resource-recovery criteria. Those requirements are all addressed in the current plan, Hull said.
The premier may also be referring to the required public-private partnership for a proposed biosolids plant at Hartland Landfill in Saanich, as well as the provincially required independent sewage commission of experts who will soon take over day-to-day decision-making on the project, said CRD board chairman Geoff Young.
“The province has been very clear on the conditions,” Young said.
“They have pretty much said from the beginning, ‘these are the conditions we are going to put on and, if you want the money, you have to agree with them.’ ”
The premier reiterated that the project needs the discipline of the private sector. “The bottom line is the provincial taxpayer contribution to this is $248 million today, it was $248 million last year and five years from now it’s going to be $248 million. That’s it. That’s all.”
NDP leader Adrian Dix said he supports sewage treatment, and a future NDP government would honour the funding promise.
“I know that we have a government that responds daily to every change in public opinion that it sees, but at a certain point their long-standing approval of this project … has to apply or else I don’t know how anything happens,” Dix said in an interview.
The CRD’s sewage committee meets today to vote on a motion by Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen that would launch an independent environmental assessment of the plan.
REGION REJECTS SEWAGE REVIEW
December 13, 2012
Greater Victoria's sewage committee shot down the idea of an independent environmental assessment of its sewage treatment project Wednesday, in a vote that once again exposed deep divisions among local communities on the issue.
Politicians from Victoria, Saanich and Langford flexed their majority control of the Capital Regional District committee to reject a call from Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen for an environmental review.
"It's unfortunate, but that's the will of the majority, and that's how our democracy works," Jensen said. "I'm satisfied. Now we can move forward and proceed."
A review would have allowed taxpayers to compare the environmental impact of the current system of discharging screened sewage into the ocean with the proposals.
Wednesday's vote - 10 to 5 against the review - was the latest in a series of proposals shot down by the core area municipalities of Victoria and Saanich, who were aided by Langford.
The rest of the sewage committee, including politicians from Oak Bay, View Royal, Colwood and Esquimalt, don't have enough votes to counter Victoria and Saanich.
"There are four communities really concerned with this plan, and you have to take that into consideration," said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.
Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton said it seems like the plan's biggest supporters are the municipalities least affected by the proposal.
Despite the loss, Oak Bay still supports the sewage committee, Jensen said. "We also know how the governance structure of the CRD works, and we accept that. It's the fairest way to proportion votes."
The 15-person sewage committee is weighted by population. Victoria and Saanich have a combined nine votes, though Saanich Coun. Vic Derman frequently votes in support of other municipalities that have concerns.
The sewage treatment project is budgeted at $783 million, with an estimated completion date of 2018. The current plan calls for a secondary treatment facility at McLough-lin Point in Esquimalt. Critics have said the plan is too expensive and offers little environmental benefit over the current practice.
The CRD sewage committee also spent Wednesday occupied by a growing stalemate with the provincial government.
The province has agreed to provide $248 million toward the treatment project, but is demanding politicians turn over decision-making to a commission of technical experts.
The sewage committee shot back last month, voting to change the commission bylaw to give itself the power to "approve" certain tendering documents instead of only "reviewing" them.
That led to a rebuke from Community Minister Bill Bennett, who said the change was unacceptable.
CRD staff also warned that contradicting the province could put the funding in jeopardy.
But the politicians refused to back down. They voted Wednesday to keep approval power and wait for Bennett to send an official letter before reconsidering. firstname.lastname@example.org
victoriatimescolonist/news/ capital_van_isl/story.html?id= f0d7e017-f71a-4ccc-b4a3- b7d70f934b22
A REGIONAL WHITE ELEPHANT (Camosun Community Assoc News)
CCA Board member, SCAN rep
Camosun Community Association
Fall Newsletter 2012, page 7.
The CRD is engaged in a costly ($783 million) regional sewage project (secondary treatment): several treatment stations, sludge piped to Hartland and turned into energy. The cost implies hundreds of dollars tax increase per house. Let us examine this coldly.
1. The project stems from a demand by a long gone BC Minister of the Environment, who apparently feared that tourists would desert Victoria because our only sewage treatment is primary screening.
2. It goes against documented conclusions by scientists and professionals that the project is not justifiable: present release presents no danger to human health and marine life.
3. It ignores that
(a) secondary treatment cannot eliminate all dangerous chemicals and pharmaceutical contents;
(b) an inadequate regional storm drainage frequently overflows into the sewers;
(c) source control could greatly reduce sewage contamination;
(d) other means can further reduce sewage (separating grey and black waters for homes and industry and using grey waters for irrigation)
4. Arguments against scientists, professionals and elected representatives, who call for a review of the project, is that senior governments might withdraw financial support, that the project is unavoidable and federal law demands secondary treatment in large cities. This interferes with municipal prerogatives. The CRD should demand exception.
If you want to act directly to block the "White Elephant" in its tracks, please look at the web site of the Association for Responsible & Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment http://aresst.ca and take desired action.
Yves Bajard Board member CCA
camosuncommunityassociation. com/www2/wp-content/uploads/ 2012/12/CCA-2012-Nov- Newsletter.pdf
CLARK COMMENTS MUDDY WATERS
December 14, 2012
Premier Christy Clark has twisted the already-confusing sewage-treatment issue into a new knot with comments that have befuddled both the longsuffering taxpayers and the equally long-suffering people who have to build the new treatment system.
As Clark began her round of year-end interviews with media outlets on Monday, she dropped a bombshell in a conversation with CHEK News. Asked about the capital region's sewage-treatment project, Clark said, "Yes I have had some concerns about it."
She said the province will not pay its $248-million share of the money until the project is finished in 2018.
"Because we are going to make sure that, for our part, the taxpayers' money that people give us, that it's going to be spent absolutely as well as it can be."
Clark seemed to be saying that if the government didn't like the sewage plant, she might not pony up her share of the money.
Capital Regional District directors must have poured themselves a stiff drink after hearing that one.
The CRD started down this road because the province ordered it in 2006. The directors have maintained that they were forced into it by provincial orders and new federal regulations. Suddenly, the complicated project became something like a nightmare.
On Tuesday, she clarified her stand in a interview with the Times Colonist's Rob Shaw. The money will definitely be coming, but it won't come until the end and it won't be a penny more than $248 million.
But then, before anyone had a chance to breathe a sigh of relief, she threw another curveball.
"We are going to set milestones, fiscal and performance milestones, that the project needs to meet along the way," Clark said.
The folks at the CRD could be forgiven for heading back to the bar for another stiff one.
Jack Hull, the interim wastewater director, said the initial agreement says nothing about milestones. The government said Thursday the three milestones are completion of the wastewater plant, the biosolids plant and the finished system.
Although her comments left CRD directors and staff scrambling for answers, there is nothing wrong with the idea of milestones. If you are building a house, the contractor has to meet certain targets. On a major project like this one, they make just as much sense.
However, when the contractor is building your house, you have to pay him a portion of the total price as each milestone is met. Why has that not been worked into the funding for sewage treatment? It leaves open the possibility the province could renege if it doesn't like the finished system, although both Clark and NDP leader Adrian Dix said they are committed to paying if they are in power when the bill comes due.
Without some provision for interim payments, the CRD will have to borrow not only its own share of the money, but also enough to cover the province's share. At the current municipal borrowing rate of 2.1 per cent, that means the region's taxpayers could be on the hook for $19.8 million in interest while they wait for the provincial contribution. That amounts to about $115 per household.
Clark's harmful comments about the province's commitment to the project have been cleared up, although they should not have been made in the first place. The province and the CRD have to get on the same page about the "milestones."
And Clark should rethink the notion of holding back all the money until the end. It places an unnecessary extra burden on regional taxpayers who are already footing a third of the bill and will be on the hook for still more if the project goes over budget.
OCEANOGRAPHER OPPOSED SEWAGE IN THE OCEAN
December 11, 2012
Re: "Mayor urges independent sewage-plan assessment," Dec. 9.
More than 20 years ago, I attended a lecture by the oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau at the University of Victoria when he was a guest in the university's Distinguished Lecturer series.
He said of his work: "As I was discovering this extraordinary undersea world, I also found out that we're using the oceans and seas of the world as a garbage can. The cleaning power of nature is extraordinary - but there's a point where too much is too much."
During question time he was asked, "What do you think of Victoria's policy of discharging untreated sewage into the Pacific?" He replied: "The answer is simple. Your mayor should go to the outfall once a year and be required to drink a glass of the discharge."
I really would pay money to see that.
OFFICIALS' MANAGEMENT ABILITIES QUESTIONED
December 11, 2012
Re: "Mayor urges independent sewage-plan assessment," Dec. 9
I find it hard to understand why we are willing to let the elected officials and bureaucrats of the Capital Regional District manage almost a billion dollars for sewage treatment that we do not need, when the same people cannot manage the deer situation, the geese and the Sooke Reservoir (which should soon start overflowing for the next four or five months).
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= b81b8f8c-5c2f-46d6-9d26- fe6f324bb4c2
SEWAGE-TREATMENT PLANT MADNESS MUST STOP
John L. Krysa
December 11, 2012
Re: "Mayor urges independent sewage-plan assessment," Dec. 9
Congratulations to Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen for demanding a full scientific review of the proposed billion-dollar Capital Regional District sewage project.
The cost is more than $3,000 for every man, woman and child living in this region for capital costs alone. Further, it does not even begin to address annual operating costs, not to mention the environmental cleanup costs of a pipeline break that would have a far greater environmental impact than any Northern Gateway oil pipeline would.
I have lived in this city for almost 30 years and I cannot think of one decision the CRD has made that has improved the quality of my life and the affordability of life here. I can certainly list a few pages of decisions that have lowered the quality of my life here, many at significant irrational costs on both fronts. The CRD continually caves to the noisy five per cent of the population that represent special-interest groups who seem to think they have a right to impose their agenda upon the other 95 per cent of us, regardless of the fallout in lifestyle and cost to us.
If there is no hard science to support this project, and I firmly believe there is none, this overall madness must stop now.
John L. Krysa
CRD IS IGNORING VOICES OPPOSED TO SEWAGE PLAN
December 12, 2012
After 25 people spoke out against the viability of the Capital Regional District's proposed sewage treatment project on Nov. 14, speaking time at board meetings is now officially limited to three minutes (if there are more than six speakers).
CRD directors referred to the overwhelming voices of opposition as "the vocal minority." At the next board meeting on Nov. 27, the board voted against all motions to delay or analyze the project.
Directors decline invitations from the community to discuss its impacts.
The fact is that board members are afraid to speak in public because there really is no justification for this. They are hiding behind a smoke screen created by the perception that this is the right thing to do. The CRD board might be a democracy within itself, but the sentiment of the majority outside the boardroom is being ignored.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= 6e22dbbc-0906-43b7-b389- 2e0a61b5f8b1
PLAN FOR TREATING SLUDGE HAS TO BE EXPLAINED
Times Colonist + Oak Bay News
December 12, 2012
When the proposed secondary sewage-treatment plant is completed, a large amount of sludge will end up at Hartland landfill. That sludge will carry toxic metals and chemicals and who knows what else.
There appears to have been little discussion about what will happen to that poisonous brew except that it will be treated. The following questions need to be addressed.
1. Has a method of treatment been selected?
2. If so, what method is contemplated and has it performed as planned in many sewage treatment facilities?
3. Will the treatment method guarantee that absolutely no contaminants find their way into the ground, water and atmosphere?
Until these questions are answered in a positive manner, there is absolutely no justification for proceeding with the McLoughlin Point facility and its related pipelines.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= 61257836-af49-4f0a-9bbd- bd4f45f1512d
ARESST: What letter-writer describes below is not our discharged sewage effluent through the two long screened outfalls, but rather the contamination being dumped from near-shore storm drains (map) around Victoria and Esquimalt. There are tons of fecal matter coming through the storm drains from under-performing septic fields, pet and wild animal droppings and illegal cross-connexions with sanitary sewers. Victoria's public health director Dr. Richard Stanwick sees any potential health hazards of our storm drain system as being of much greater concern than our sewage outfalls.
DIVING INTO THE MURKY WATERS OF SEWAGE
December 11, 2012
CLICK HERE TO SEND LETTER TO VICTORIA NEWS
Much of my 35-plus years of commercial fishing experience has been spent diving for octopus along the murky shorelines of the Victoria waterfront and adjacent areas.
Perhaps more than any other person, I have observed the damaging effects that the discharge of untreated sewage through outfalls located off Clover and Macaulay points has had on the local seabed and marine environment.
Just a casual glance at a ‘Current Atlas’ for the Strait of Juan de Fuca shows the currents running along the Esquimalt and Victoria waterfront are consistently weak and variable.
A more critical analysis of our current patterns and geography reveals that rather than dispersing the effluent into oblivion, the currents work effectively to settle thousands of tons of contaminated sediment on the local seabed, in both an upstream and downstream pattern from the outfalls.
This is exactly what has been happening for decades.
The evidence of this persistent siltation can be seen on the sea floor from Becher Bay in the west all the way around to Gordon Head in Haro Strait.
It is truly staggering in places.
Sad to say, I have also witnessed the steady loss of biodiversity that has accompanied it.
Many areas, once colourful and vibrant marine habitat, such as the entire Esquimalt waterfront, are now dull remnants of their former selves, where only the most silt tolerant marine life can exist.
Allan J. Crow
LAND VS. MARINE SEWAGE TREATMENT
December 11, 2012
CLICK HERE TO SEND LETTER TO SAANICH NEWS
There has been little comment in the current sewage debate on the best way to minimize the risks of land-based versus marine-based treatment.
While most of our sewage effluent is water, included are the hard to control, often toxic, discharges of pharmaceuticals, herbicides, petroleum products, metals, etc. into our marine environment.
Do we know the cumulative risks of these discharges? Will land based or marine based sewage treatment best minimize these risks?
The 2006 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) report did not inspire confidence in the Capital Regional District monitoring of marine waters near sewage outfalls. In part, this report said “given the effluent is untreated, … a higher degree of caution is merited, there are numerous gaps.”
Which method of sewage treatment, land based or marine, will best minimize the ecological, economic and social risks? Has the CRD corrected the monitoring deficiencies pointed out in the 2006 SETAC report? What method is the most responsible? Will taxpayers receive value for money?
POLITICIANS WILL PAY FOR SEWAGE DEBACLE
December 11, 2012
CLICK HERE TO SEND LETTER TO SAANICH NEWS
As a Saanich resident, former integrated land-use planner, founding member and former chair of the Saanich Legacy Foundation and possessing a university background in physical geography, I am disgusted by the Capital Regional District’s decision to proceed with the billion-dollar sewage boondoggle.
I shall now turn my attention to rallying for the replacement of Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard along with Saanich councillors Judy Brownoff, Leif Wergeland and Susan Brice at the next civic election.
It pains me to do so as they are all typically thoughtful, rational people but this decision is nothing short of insane, a terrible detriment to the environment and far too costly to sit idly by and accept. I applaud councillor Vic Derman’s efforts to date regarding this issue.
REPORT DOESN'T SUPPORT SEWAGE-TREATMENT PLANT
December 13, 2012
Re: "Science has shown need for treatment," Dec. 11.
I must agree with the writer's statement that a marine environmental assessment was done in 2006 (the SETAC report).
As a marine scientist I am quite familiar with this report and nowhere in the report or associated letters does it recommend sewage treatment for the Capital Regional District. It takes a very cautious approach, emphasizing the need for public consultation before implementation of any additional treatment.
The report states: "While no ecological effects of Victoria's sewage have been identified beyond the vicinity of the outfalls, there is still concern that pollutants released from the outfalls may affect marine life and ecosystems much further away," and: "While the ecological benefits of sewage treatment are important to the debate, in the panel's view those benefits are presently unknown and beyond understanding."
And later in the conclusions statement: "While there is a tremendous volume of scientific data, the benefits of treatment cannot be described or calculated with any precision."
The closest the panel comes to recommending treatment is in the last paragraph of the report: "Given the difficulty in estimating benefits, however, a potential approach might be to install treatment comparable to that now employed in the similar cities surveyed."
The statement that the SETAC report recommends treatment is purely the PR spin placed upon this by the CRD and provincial government.
SCALLOPS SHOW CONTAMINATION
Some of the most compelling evidence regarding the extent of the sewage contamination of the region’s seabeds can be found by examining Swimming Scallops. Swimming Scallops are deep dwelling, free swimming bivalve mollusks which filter feed on the ocean floor at depths starting at around 60 feet. More than 25 years ago, while operating out of Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria, my brother and I helped pioneer the Swimming Scallop by dive fishery. That fishery was soon relocated to the Gulf Islands because the Swimming Scallop beds located off the Victoria waterfront and adjacent areas, including William Head, Albert Head and much of Oak Bay were sample tested and found to contain such high levels of fecal coliform bacteria they were deemed unsafe for human consumption.
Fecal coliforms are present in filter feeding shellfish that have come into contact with fecal matter. The stormwater component of the effluent and surface run off though unwelcome pollutants in the marine environment are not the likely cause of the persistent and widespread fecal contamination of these deep dwelling shellfish. Looking at a Current Atlas for Juan de Fuca Strait provides some insight as to how the Swimming Scallops beds in the upstream and downstream ranges of these outfalls have become so heavily contaminated.
Allan J Crow,
NEW SYSTEM IS NEEDED
Dr. Peck correctly notes that "Shellfish are banned ... due to the pollution of storm drain run-off." It contains heavy metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and street run-off during storms. Precautionary principle regulation and source point control can end this.
Fecal matter and urine once treated and rendered hygienic become fertilizer for our food. We MUST do this as soon as possible. During treatment, heat and fuel are also produced. Our food now uses fossil fuel-based fertilizer and pesticides, which is unsustainable.
We are currently throwing hundreds of thousands of years of topsoil into the sea — a dubious "carbon privilege" due to the brief petrochemical age. Let's pressure for a cost-effective land-based treatment system... but let's build a system.
DOG POOP HAS US HOOPED
The closure area known informally as Victoria Bight is affected by the contaminated outflow from Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours. Jay Cullen, UVic Chemical Oceanographer spoke about the sanitary shellfish closures in 2009 and said he would be skeptical of any reduction after moving to secondary treatment.
Boundary Bay and Sooke Harbour have complete closures even with no sewage outfall within their area. Even very small secondary sewage plant discharges such as Sidney's Bazan Bay plant have got considerable closure areas (about 3.3 km2 in that case).
The Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program is tasked with minimizing human health effects due to possibly-unsafe shellfish consumption. Area 19.1 is closed to shellfish harvesting due to bacterial and virus contamination with fecal origin.
The myriad of storm drains along the CRD shoreline are a major contributor to restricted shellfish harvesting within the Greater Victoria area in part due to dog excrement from urban runoff: a source of fecal matter which secondary treatment won't address. Human waste will also continue to enter the storm drain system from unregistered connections with the sanitary system.
Given the broad definitions of the closure program around all sewage plant discharges, there would be no reduction in shellfish restrictions. Instead, there would a maintenance or even an increase in prohibited areas with any increase in population (pets).
DIVER'S SEA-LIFE ACCOUNT QUESTIONED BY WRITER
December 12, 2012
Re: Diving into murky waters (Letters, Dec. 5).
I would certainly question the credibility of the writer. The current Atlas was published in 1983 and demonstrates strong tidal activity off Victoria.
Based on this, the Capital Regional District extended the Macaulay Point outfall to take advantage of the current pattern and avoid back eddies.
They then added diffusers so that the screened sewage, with toxic chemicals removed at the source, is discharged into a strong tidal action, where it is naturally oxygenated and thus biologically acceptable.
This has been proven by our very competent scientific monitoring.
To perform the same on land requires large amounts of power and thus is not ecologically viable.
TREATMENT BEING FORCED ON CITY
December 11, 2012
Re: Former sewage project insider speaks about treatment plan (Letters, Nov. 30)
After reading the letter by Maleea Acker, I was convinced that once again we, the taxpayers, are getting a proposed plan forced down our throats by the politicians and bureaucrats because they think it’s “the thing to do.”
On one side we have the scientists and the professionals, the ones who know what they’re talking about, saying the plan is wrong and should not be carried out, and on the other side we have the politicians and the bureaucrats saying it’s the thing to do and it’s going to be done.
As one writer pointed out, there were 24,478 people that voted against the plan via their political vote and 14,519 who voted for Murray Rankin who is for the plan.
I am totally fed up with politicians continually wasting our tax dollars over and over again and forcing projects down our throats that we are against.
SEWAGE QUESTIONS REMAIN DESPITE APPROVAL
December 12, 2012
Now that the CRD has approved the construction of the sewage pumping station, there is nothing that can be done to prevent this work from going ahead. I still have problems with the information that we have been given by the politicians and the press.
1) This project is estimated at $783,000,000. This estimate does not include the second treatment station that we were previously told would be needed. This estimate does not cover the costs of pumping the sludge to a landfill. This sludge is extremely toxic. What are the repercussions if this pump line develops a leak?
2) What are the costs of running and maintaining the sewage treatment plant?
Very few projects of this size come in on budget. Unfortunately we are going to be paying for any additional costs over and above the $783,000,000. We will be lucky if the total costs do not exceed $1 billion.
3) What are the Federal regulations for the discharge of any sewage effluent? The B.C. and Washington governments did a study in 1994 and this study confirmed that our sewage discharge in PPM was less than the discharge from Seattle and Vancouver and these cities have sewage treatment plants. In 2012, are we still discharging less toxic waste than these cities?
Is this project being built for political reasons or for health reasons? I think everyone would agree a sewage treatment plant would be required if there was a health issue; but no one is giving us all the facts. We are receiving a lot of personal opinions that are not backed with any facts.
I hope that once this project is completed, we are not faced with the largest tax increases that Victoria has ever dealt with. How many people will be driven from their homes because of this huge tax increase?