August 7-14, 2006

BC capital ordered to prepare sewage treatment plan

VICTORIA, BC-British Columbia Environment Minister Barry Penner has directed the Capital Regional District (CRD) to submit a sewage treatment plan to the Ministry of Environment by June 30, 2007. His decision was based on a report by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), together with further analysis by the Ministry. The CRD currently releases its sewage into the Pacific Ocean untreated, relying on dilution and prevailing ocean currents. The SETAC report, reinforced by the Ministry's analysis, confirmed that this natural dilution method is unsustainable in view of historic and projected population growth in and around Victoria. The directive, issued under BC's Environmental Management Act, requires the CRD to submit for approval an amendment to its CRD Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan, detailing a fixed schedule for the provision of sewage treatment. Also under the Act, the CRD must provide the Minister an interim progress report on the amendment by December 31, 2006. The report should outline options for the type, number and location of facilities; it should estimate preliminary costs of treatment and should include a proposed implementation schedule. The Ministry is also encouraging the CRD to consider new technologies and alternative means of financing and delivery, including possible private sector involvement.

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