July 14, 2013

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Go-ahead on sewage bids miffs Esquimalt mayor
Comment: CRD states its case on waste-water plant (Bryson)
- Neighbourhood groups applaud Esquimalt Viewfield biosolids site rejection
Colwood considers sewage treatment option
Esquimalt mulls sewage solutions
Hartland comes into focus for sewage sludge plant
Poll suggests not popular to override Esquimalt decision 


CRD chair should resign (Councillor Morrison)
Time to back up and start over again (Travers):




Mon July 15 at 7pm

Esquimalt Town Hall (1229 Esquimalt Rd).

Bylaws 2804, 2805, 2806 to be voted on by council based on the input received during the public hearing.



The Capital Regional District

Notice of Motion to the Capital Regional District Board

DATE: July 10, 2013

FROM: Director Vic Derman


The currently proposed Core Area Liquid Waste sewage treatment project may provide only limited environmental gains and, in particular, appears to be a considerably less than optimal response to climate change mitigation challenges that are rapidly becoming the imperative of our time:


The City of Colwood and the Township of Esquimalt have brought forward approaches to the sewage project that hold the promise of greater environmental benefits and a better financial outcome, and given that other such opportunities likely exist within the core area:


The CRD approach to these initiatives, and potentially others, has appeared to be inconsistent with a spirit of cooperation, a major CRD goal, and has, instead, likely fostered division:


In general, but especially in recent times, the conduct of the core area sewage treatment project has likely served to lessen public confidence in the capability and viability of regional government:

Be it resolved that the Capital Regional District Board request the Core Area Liquid Waste Committee

1. Initiate an extensive, independent review of the current project with the intention of insuring that the approach taken to sewage treatment:

- a. Optimally responds to global and local environmental issues particularly those involved in climate change.

- b. Within environmental imperatives, accomplishes the best possible financial outcome and contributes to a sustainable financial for regional, provincial and federal taxpayers.

- c. Is characterized by an approach that fosters a spirit of cooperation between regional government and member municipalities.

- d. Serves to restore citizens’ confidence in the capability and viability of regional government. 

2. Initiate, in parallel, a new Request for Expressions of Interest that would allow any group to bring forward progressive approaches such as those suggested by the Township of Esquimalt.

Be it further resolved that the Capital Regional District Board commit to working with the Core Area Liquid Waste Committee to approach provincial and federal officials both at the staff and political level in order to insure that time for such a review and expression of interest process is available without putting provincial and federal financial contributions in jeopardy. 



We're gearing up for Round 2 and need to sell some T-shirts to refill the campaign coffers. There's only a handful left from the last order. $15/ea ($20 donation appreciated) 

Email stopabadplan@gmail.com to order one now!!



Podcast of Richard's 9 minute interview 9 July  with CFAX's Frank Stanford:

For those who missed the 8 July public hearing, here is the video of the first 36 minutes (opening, staff presentation, CRD presentation and CRD Chair Bryson speech):



Richard taped a short segment on Jack Etkin's show Citizen's Forum which broadcasts on Shaw TV:

Sun 14 (11am & 9:30pm)
Mon 15 (11pm)
Tue 16 (5pm)
Thr 18 (4pm)

Full Schedule:



Richard Atwell  
Facebook SABP
1:12am Jul 10

Well, the McLoughlin Public Hearings are over and now I know why they are so called: my ears are ringing from the sound system in the arena! :-)

I lost track of the number of speakers, there were so many over both nights. Night #2 went 3.5 hrs for a total of 6.5 hours. I've got a lot of video work ahead of me...

Not once did I hear anyone support CRD Bylaw 2805 which means in all likelihood that I'll be paying for the sewage plant myself before the Township passes it.

Support for Bylaws 2804 and 2806 were mixed: some folks supported both and other supported none of the bylaws so Council will have a difficult choice ahead of them. I'm certain it's not going to be unanimous so tune in July 15th at the Township of Esquimalt council meeting when it all gets decided.

There was a lot of support for the marine system and I was surprised that no one really spoke against it. Most of the comments were directed at the chemicals and pharmaceuticals it discharges that which turned into a condemnation of the CRD's sewage project that will continue to discharge them into the ocean.

Many speakers remarked how interesting and educational the presentations were. They were amazing. It's a pity that the CRD didn't rely on the community as a source of this kind of information years earlier but then again they have devalued the local scientists for years.

For me personally, it was the first chance to speak about the project and feel that my words would actually be considered in the decision making.

Compare this to the CRD, where the sewage committee chair doesn't even ask the other members at the table if they have questions for the presenter. Or the time Blackwell tried to change the speaking limit at the beginning of the Nov 14th meeting without any prior notice.

If that wasn't bad enough the entire CRD Board passed the 3-minute rule in CRD Bylaw 3828 later that afternoon and it speaks to the CRD's genuine interest in hearing what people have to say. They wish we would go away.

Frankly, I'm so cheesed that bylaw change has occurred that I've sent off a formal complaint the the Ombudsman of BC to investigate.

If Bryson is truly satisfied with Blackwell's performance then the standard has been set so low I think anyone could meet with his approval.

It's clear to me, more than ever that government is broken.

The Federal government applied the wrong classification (high risk vs. low risk), the Campbell government ignored all of the scientific evidence to protect the profits of the 2010 Olympics and our own regional government doesn't want to listen to its citizens or make them part of the decision making process because it's either afraid of the outcome or lazy or thinks it can get away it.


Richard Atwell  
Facebook SABP
1:41am Jul 9

Holy Moly!

What a start to the public hearing: hundreds of attendees and we ran out of time so it's going to continue on July 8th.

CRD Chair Alastair Bryson spoke after the CRD Presentation and gave this speech mostly verbatim:


He stayed until "half-time" and then left, leaving the CRD staff behind.

I don't see any meetings on the Central Saanich website where he's the Mayor:

Richard Atwell  
Facebook SABP
11:26pm Jul 8

Audio recording from Richard's interview with Chris Cook on CFUV 101.9 FM.



You may have seen this great STAG advert in Wednesday's Newsgroup papers: Goldstream Gazette, Oak Bay News, Saanich News and Victoria News. 



Go-ahead on sewage bids miffs Esquimalt mayor

JULY 12, 2013
Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment plant has officially gone to tender, just days before Esquimalt decides whether to approve rezoning to even allow building on the planned site.

The Capital Regional District’s civilian sewage commission, made up of unelected technical experts, issued the formal Request for Proposals for a $230-million treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt on Friday afternoon.

It’s the first step in the $783-million sewage project, which also includes a future biosolids facility, pump stations and piping.

The lengthy request assumes Esquimalt council will vote in favour of rezoning McLoughlin Point for a treatment plant during a planned meeting Monday.

Hundreds of angry Esquimalt residents crowded two public hearings this week to urge council to reject the proposal, or at least seek additional amenities to soften the plant’s blow to the community.

“We knew that the RFP was coming out,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

“We have no control over the actions of the CRD — particularly when they decide to release documents.

“We are disappointed that the CRD chose to release the RFPs before council had an opportunity to deal with the bylaws. They knew that council intends to deal with the bylaws on Monday.”

If Esquimalt rejects the zoning, the CRD could appeal to the provincial government to override the decision.

Commission vice-chairman Colin Smith said the Request for Proposals process will be lengthy enough to include any zoning issues or design guidelines raised by Esquimalt council.

“This is a long process,” Smith said.

“We’re already later in getting the RFP out than we’d like to be, to meet the timeline we are mandated to … at this point, unless somebody tells us the site is no longer the site, and the senior governments want to give us an extension of time to complete the project, and potentially additional budget, we are mandated to move forward in a business-like manner.”

Three consortia have already been shortlisted by the CRD to bid on the request: Capital Clear, Harbour Resource Partners and PCL Partnerships.

The CRD commission will select a winning bidder by Feb. 28, 2014, based on criteria that include operating costs, sludge costs, capital-maintenance costs and a triple bottom line.

The companies must bid using “proven technology” such as biologically aerated filter treatment, according to the document.

“If they can show us, not pie in the sky, but a plant somewhere in the world that is working at significant capacity and has for a significant period of time, they could bring that forward,” Smith said.

“We encourage them to bring that forward.”

The document also encourages innovation through resource recovery, automation, greenhouse gas reduction and other economic, social and environmental ideas.

There should be no odours in a well-designed plant, and the bidders will have to submit design mock-ups that include both the CRD and Esquimalt’s design criteria, Smith said.

“A big ugly box would not meet Esquimalt’s design guidelines and [would] not be accepted.”

The request caps plant costs at $230 million. There will be a $60-million holdback so a company has “skin in the game” until the CRD is confident the plant works through a 90-day acceptance test and a two-year performance period, Smith said.

There’s also a $20,000-a-day penalty for unexcused delays.

Smith said the request terms are standard for a sewage project of this size.


Comment: CRD states its case on waste-water plant

JULY 10, 2013
On Monday, I appeared at the Esquimalt council’s public hearing to ask the council to approve the proposed amendments to the Esquimalt official community plan and zoning bylaws to accommodate the McLoughlin Point sewage treatment plant as requested by the Capital Regional District.

The CRD acts for the seven municipalities, and two First Nations by agreement, who participate in the Core Area Liquid Waste Management service and who in 2006 were required by the B.C. minister of environment to detail a fixed schedule for secondary waste-water treatment.

The requirement for waste-water treatment is also affirmed by the federal government’s 2012 wastewater systems effluent regulations, which now require the implementation of secondary waste-water treatment across Canada.

The environment minister approved amendments to the Core Area Liquid Waste Management plan in 2010, designating McLoughlin Point as the site for the treatment plant. The decision was made following several years of consultation, including more than 100 meetings.

At that time, Esquimalt council advised the CRD that the McLoughlin Point site was a preferred location over Macaulay Point. Since the 2010 approval of the Core Area Liquid Waste Management plan, the capacity of the plant has been refined, based on sustainability principles, operating feasibility, value for money and an approved and agreed-on funding formula.

Elimination of water reuse and a wet-weather plan at Clover Point allowed for consolidation at McLoughlin Point and deferral of a decision on a West Shore plant for several decades. This results in a cost saving to all participants of more than $180 million, while not negating the opportunity for resource recovery.

Several other significant components of the overall system are located throughout the service area. The process to site these facilities has always been collaborative with the aim of achieving mutually agreeable solutions.

Indeed, despite news reports of the ups and downs of the processes, many useful agreements have been reached, informed to a large extent by the participants who make representations to the various bodies and decision-makers that provide for our democratic governance.

Our consultants and staff have worked closely with Esquimalt staff to meet all of the application process requirements, including attending open houses, meeting with and responding to advisory committees, and explaining the opportunities and limitations the CRD has to consider when responding to Esquimalt’s concerns as a publicly accountable order of government and authority.

We have explained how we intend to mitigate impacts in the submissions made with the application. We have also been clear about the legal limitations the CRD has and we have been forthright about our obligations under the Environmental Management Act.

Therefore, I must say, with guidance from the CRD solicitor, the list of conditions and the form of the alternate bylaw that Esquimalt has proposed are well beyond our legal authority and in some areas unworkable. In this regard, I trust that Esquimalt council has been fully informed of the legalities and the CRD’s obligations and authority according to the Environmental Management Act and the funding arrangements and schedule that have the federal and provincial governments committing more than $500 million to the program.

A public-hearing submission will not allow the CRD to fully present the undertakings made to Esquimalt through supporting information and within the performance requirements to be secured in the competitive design, bid, build and procurement process. The budget for the treatment plant will devote up to five per cent to ensure design objectives are met in balance with sewage treatment requirements, with other resources devoted to mitigating impacts through specified performance requirements.

While there have and will be many challenges to see the Core Area Liquid Waste Management program fully implemented, the CRD respects that Esquimalt council will give due consideration to the input it has received throughout the process and at the public hearings. We remain committed to work with Esquimalt to complete this important regional facility.

- Alastair Bryson is chairman of the Capital Regional District.


Neighbourhood groups applaud Esquimalt Viewfield biosolids site rejection

Daniel Palmer
Victoria News
July 07, 2013 4:31 PM

Esquimalt and Vic West residents are breathing a collective sigh of relief after battling plans for a sewage sludge plant in their neighbourhood.

Last Wednesday, the Capital Regional District abandoned a proposal to place a biosolids plant at Viewfield Road in Esquimalt's light industrial park, thanks in no small part to the roar of opposition from citizens.

"It's a huge relief to have it resolved, it was a very foolish venture in the first place," said Diane Carr, Vic West Community Association president.

Ensuring their voices were heard by the CRD meant huge time commitments from many residents at the expense of other projects, Carr said.

"It's difficult when you have to put that much energy into something that shouldn't be happening," she said. "The CRD has not acted in the interest of the citizens they're supposed to be serving."

Esquimalt Residents Association co-chair Nick Kovacs said he felt like he'd "won the lottery" after CRD directors unanimously rejected the Viewfield site.

"I was skeptical right up until the end that the (CRD) board wouldn't go through with it," Kovacs said. "It shows that citizens do have a voice, and if there's something we feel strongly enough about … the CRD will listen."

Kovacs chastised CRD officials for spending $17 million on the Viewfield site and said residents will now turn their attention to the development of McLoughlin Point, where the CRD hopes to begin construction on its wastewater treatment plant before the end of the month.

"People are very quickly losing faith in the CRD, and if they keep screwing things up, it could lead to their authority being clawed back by the province," Kovacs said.

Carr said the upside of the Viewfield controversy is it has led to a much better public understanding of the CRD's $783-million sewage treatment project, a project she initially supported.

"I'm now convinced that what the CRD is proposing to do is foolish to an unbelievable degree," she said. "But what's that quote from Margaret Mead? 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.'"



Colwood considers sewage treatment option

Kyle Wells
Victoria News
July 08, 2013 2:57 PM

The City of Colwood continues to look at options for sewage treatment and is delving into the possibility of a community treatment plant, separate from the Capital Regional District’s plans.

Because of its rate of growth, Colwood has been a complicated player in regional sewage treatment plans. Under plans for the regional plant, the city is being asked to pay not only for current capacity needs, but also for its projected capacity 20 years from now.

To potentially avoid this conundrum, the city has been in talks with Capital City Centre to partner on a treatment plant serving both the development and the 14 per cent of Colwood homes currently on sewer, as well as future users.

While the plan is still in its early stages, Coun. Judith Cullington said the research is moving forward.

“We’re very much working with CRD and the Ministry of Environment on this one, so we’re not disappearing off on our own,” she said.

Capital City Centre also intends to recover heat from the system for reuse and to use tertiary treatment to produce non-potable water for use in toilets and for irrigation. The goal is to have the development’s residents save 60 per cent on energy bills and 40 per cent off water bills.

“They’re very keen on it. They were the ones who came to us,” Cullington said. “We had expressed interest for quite some time in doing more innovative sewage treatment.”

Affordability is a key component of the plan. The city has said partnering on such a project would not proceed if the projected cost to Colwood taxpayers was more than taking part in the CRD’s proposed sewage treatment system.

While no date has yet been set, the Colwood treatment option will eventually be discussed by a committee, then city council.


Esquimalt mulls sewage solutions
Victoria News 
July 10, 2013 1:54 PM

After an unprecedented three days of public hearings this week, Esquimalt council has tough decisions to make about a wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Archie Browning Sports Centre played host to about 500 Esquimalt residents concerned about the final design of the facility, part of the Capital Region's $783-million secondary sewage treatment project. Around 80 people presented to council.

Mayor Barb Desjardins has made clear the Township's desire to harness the development as an economic generator and create a mixed-use facility at McLoughlin Point.

Esquimalt's creative project variances could include residential and commercial office space on top of the wastewater facility, as well as requiring the developer to build a dock at the site to barge construction supplies instead of trucking supplies through the township.

"I think council is going to make changes on Esquimalt's terms, not (CRD) terms," said Nick Kovacs, Esquimalt Residents Association co-chair, who was at Monday's hearing.

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said the province does have the authority to force through the zoning process if necessary.

"But it's our hope that won't become necessary," she said.

Any delay to the project would require consultation with the federal government, who have set a compliance deadline of 2020 for sewage treatment, Polak added.

"I think we always knew that it would be a challenging process, that it would involve a lot of differing opinions expressed in the various communities," she said. "But at the same time, we've also always supported the importance of taking care of this wastewater in an appropriate way that meets the guidelines."

Esquimalt council will consider the public input at a July 15 meeting before taking a summer recess.


Hartland comes into focus for sewage sludge plant

Kyle Slavin
Victoria News
July 10, 2013 3:28 PM

While Esquimalt and Vic West residents are breathing a collective sigh of relief now that plans to build a sewage sludge plant in their neighbourhood have been axed, residents living in rural Saanich and Willis Point are preparing for a fight of their own.

Last Wednesday, the Capital Regional District abandoned a proposal to place a biosolids plant at Viewfield Road in Esquimalt’s light industrial park.

With that, Hartland landfill in Saanich becomes the No. 1 location.

Jeff Irwin, chair of the Willis Point Community Association, fears there are too many potential risks from the facility, and having to build an 18 kilometre pipeline McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt across the city to Hartland. By the CRD’s own count the pipe would cross 10 waterways and 12 major roads.

“We’re very concerned about if there’s a problem with this plan, there could be contamination for our wells. We’re worried about pipelines running across the municipalities. We’re worried about the increased traffic load on our one road going in and out. We’re worried about possible increased demand for our local volunteer fire department,” Irwin said.

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard says it’s premature for residents to be making up their minds on a proposed facility.

“I would hope the CRD would have a chance to make a proposal and describe it and listen to concerns, and then come back with mitigations and amenities. Then people would pass judgment once everything is known,” he said.

A biosolids plant at Hartland has been written into the regional sewage treatment plan approved by the province, but Leonard said regardless of the CRD’s intent, using Hartland isn’t a done deal. A rezoning application will be required to come before Saanich council.

“I’m making it clear to the CRD, as I would anybody else, council is the last place you go. The first place you go is to the community. In this case that’s the rural Saanich community, the people of Willis Point, and even people in the Highlands should be engaged,” he said.

Andy Orr, spokesperson for the CRD, said there is currently no timeline for getting a rezoning application before Saanich, but said “it needs to happen fairly quickly.”

Irwin says there hasn’t been much communication with the CRD as of yet, but expects there will be community meetings in the near future to discuss the plans for Hartland.

“It worries me that the CRD’s going to do whatever they want and not really consult with us at all,” he said.

-with files from Daniel Palmer


 "Councillor Geoff Young Makes Cents" Series:


The question asked by the reporter revolved around siting both treatment plants in Esquimalt to which you can argue that a distributed system would reduce the burden for any one municipality.

Geoff Young's response:

"Wouldn't it be silly to say, we've got to spread the facilities around municipalities, were prepared to pay a higher cost, or have a higher cost facility, to have it in different municipalities, when in ten years, maybe and probably in 50 years, we won't have all these municipalities".


Here's the video from CTV on the morning of the first day of the public hearing 8 July:



CTV covers Day #2 July 9, of the McLoughlin Public Hearings:




Final results were NO 82% and YES 17%



CRD chair should resign (Councillor Morrison)