April 19, 2004

Thunder Bay receives $25M to complete P2 plan, upgrade treatment facility

The Thunder Bay wastewater treatment project is entering into the next phase of construction with a $25-million contribution agreement signed on April 6 by the federal government and the city of Thunder Bay. The funding will help the city complete its Pollution Prevention and Control Plan (PPCP) and upgrade its Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) from primary to secondary treatment. It will also support improvements to the municipal sewage collection system and enhancement of the sewage treatment process.

The total cost of the Thunder Bay wastewater treatment project - ranked as one of the municipality's top infrastructure priorities - is estimated at approximately $91 million. To date, the city has contributed $16 million towards the project. The new funding agreement has wide-reaching effects as it supports the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Thunder Bay's PPCP and Canada's commitment to the environment.

Thunder Bay's PPCP, adopted in 1999, recommends several modifications to existing treatment facilities, including upgrades to the WPCP and to the influent works and raw sewage pumping station to reduce overflows of untreated sewage during heavy rainfall. Additional facilities will treat water used to backwash the filters at Bare Point Water Treatment Plant before discharge into Lake Superior.

The treatment process used at the WPCP will be upgraded to remove toxins listed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act from the effluent. The process will now remove ammonia and will include a new ultra-violet (UV) chlorine disinfection process. These upgrades, along with the planned cogeneration of electricity from captured sludge gas, will also help Thunder Bay and Canada meet the goals established in Canada's Climate Change Plan. By using the methane from sludge gas as an energy source, the facility will help to reduce greenhouse gases.

The federal contribution of $25 million will be made through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). Since 1994, the federal government has contributed $12 billion through the CSIF to more than 20,000 infrastructure projects in Canada's communities. This has helped leverage over $30 billion from all partners.

More information is available from Trevor Hurtig, City of Thunder Bay, 807/625-2438, or on the Infrastructure Canada Web site, www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

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