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Esquimalt councillors ‘appalled’ by sewage-plant plan

Kim Westad, Times Colonist, June 22, 2010 12:30 PM

The manager of the region’s secondary sewage treatment project got a loud blast from Esquimalt council Monday night, as every politician criticized a decision to have the region’s single treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.

“I am extremely disappointed, appalled and disgusted,” said Coun. Linda Hundleby, words echoed by many on council.

A report recommending McLoughlin Point as the only liquid waste treatment site goes to the Capital Regional District tomorrow for
approval. Jack Hull, the project manager, attended Esquimalt council to talk about the community consultation to take place in July and September.

“How can there be community consultation when you’ve already made the decision?” said visibly angry Coun. Don Linge. “That is so disrespectful of this council and our residents.”

Mayor Barb Desjardins said the Capital Regional District needs to recognize how sewage treatment — mandated by the province to be in place by 2016 — has “gone sideways” and why so many in Esquimalt are angry about it being shoved onto them with no consultation.

Hull said the sludge left over after treatment at the site is to be piped to either the Hartland Road landfill or another closer site that
the CRD is still looking for. Coun. Randall Garrison said he wants it in writing that trucks will not haul the sludge, ruining the town’s streets and causing traffic hazards.

2 comments to Esquimalt councillors ‘appalled’ by sewage-plant plan

  • Esquimalt neighbourhoods near this unnecessary billion-dollar sewage plant will be at risk from the sludge trucks, from the toxic sewage treatment chemicals stored onsite, and will most likely get occasional odour problems.
    However, they won’t be the only ones to suffer, as McLoughlin Point is right at the mouth of Victoria Harbour – so if you don’t like mega-marinas, you’ll find that the ecologically-sensitive foreshore at the Point also an environmental negative.
    Too many environmental negatives when there is NO sound environmental reason for additional, land-based sewage treatment.
    Mayor Desjardins appears to have publicly taken a critical view of some of the CRD CALWMC process, but problem is that she doesn’t oppose the unnecessary land-based sewage treatment project itself – her concerns are the siting and lack of resource recovery.
    Neither does STAG/Bellefontaine appear to challenge the very weak rationale for this wasteful, environmentally-hazardous sewage treatment plant project. STAG’s major concerns are the lack of resource recovery and siting.
    Tim Morrison, writing in the blog Esquimalt Review, has two current articles, one of which features Bellefontaine:
    esquimaltreview.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/crd%E2%80%99s-stinky-decision-making-on-sewage-treatment/
    and the other article by Beth Burton-Krahn:
    esquimaltreview.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/crd%E2%80%99s-sewage-treatment-plan-should-be-flushed-down-the-toilet/

  • It is certainly understandable that Esquimalt would be very concerned about this sudden and unexpected turn of events. Such a large decision requires careful and orderly study. Once again, decisions are being made to meet artificial deadlines which are exerting the perception of time pressure, when in fact there is no hurry at all. It really seems as if this project might implode altogether. That would be good. Then, in the fullness of time, rational and unhurried plans can be made, with full public participation, that will serve everyone involved in the best possible way.

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