Not Smiling for the Camera
-Esquimalt United in Outrage Against CRD Sewage Plan
An otherwise rainy Sunday afternoon opened up a spot of sunshine this past weekend as dozens upon dozens of local Esquimalt residents among other concerned citizens of the Capital Regional District assembled to express their united opposition to the CRD’s plans to build the region’s new sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.
Along with Esquimalt Council members and other community leaders, the multi-generational group of protestors gathered on-site at McLoughlin Point for a media group photo-op and to provide faces to the widespread opposition across Esquimalt as well as the entire region.
The grassroots event was organized by local resident, Carole Witter, who stated, “The intention of the event is to send out a powerful message of solidarity, and to show the broad range of opposition to the current CRD sewage treatment plan.”
“The CRD’s current plan is to squeeze a substandard facility onto a site that is too small, and then get us to pay for it,” added Witter. “Every property owner in the capital region will be investing in this plan through a tax increase ranging from $300 to $500. One way to offset these costs and show environmental stewardship would be to recover resources (heat, natural gas, water, phosphate, etc) from the sewage as it is treated. The CRD has chosen a plan that will in no way maximize the recovery of resources from treated sewage. The CRD knows that liquid and solid waste should be processed on the same site, yet they have chosen a site which is too small to host both facilities and instead will pump the liquid waste to Hartland Landfill at great cost. In addition, the water reuse portion of this plan was dropped just to make this facility fit this site. Other jurisdictions reuse this water, are able to generate income and lessen the burden on precious water resources.”
“This initiative organized by residents of the region indicates the growing concern about putting a sewage plant at McLoughlin,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins. “A picture definitely tells a thousand stories and, from these photos, it is clear that CRD Liquid Waste Management Plan: Amendment 8 is definitely the wrong plan!”
The Township of Esquimalt recently launched a new website dedicated to raising public awareness of the many flaws involved in the CRD’s shortsighted sewage treatment plan. The site can be accessed at www.thewrongplan.ca
“Members of the public should take the time to go to the site, politicians of the region should take the time to go to this site,” added Desjardins. “It will enhance their understanding of what the potential impact this site may be on our tourist based economy.”
Esquimalt remains strongly opposed to the CRD’s sewage plan being forced upon our community without any prior consultation.
A summary of the Township of Esquimalt’s concerns with the McLoughlin Point Site include:
- The first glimpse of BC’s capital city that some 400,000 visitors a year would see from cruise ships and approaching float planes would be a wastewater treatment facility.
- Consultants have indicated that odours, even with closed containment technology, will be present.
- McLoughlin Point is across and downwind from the highest residential density areas of Victoria, James Bay and Songhees.
- Limited site capacity.
- No risk management plan, even though the site is within a provincial tsunami zone.
- The site, formerly a fuel storage area, will have to be rehabilitated. What are the costs?
- No environmental resource recovery.
- The distance between liquid and solid waste treatment sites is 18 kms. Pumping sludge this distance represents an enormous energy expenditure.