The Capital Regional District has squeaked past the latest sewage deadline with funding intact for the regional treatment project.
Last month the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board gave the CRD board its business case and recommendations, which included a single 108 megalitre/day plant for the tertiary treatment of wastewater at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, at an estimated cost of $765 million.
At its Sept. 14 meeting, the Board approved those recommendations and they were forwarded to funding partners for approval just in time for the Sept. 30 deadline. The Project Board updated CRD directors on Wednesday of their progress since the last meeting.
In a letter received by the CRD on Sept. 29, PPP Canada – which is contributing $83.4 million toward a biosolids energy centre – recognized the steps taken by the region to address some of the challenges encountered during this project and site selection. Since the CRD made “significant progress” in efforts to meet its Sept. 30 deadline, PPP Canada agreed to provide a further three-month extension to the conditional financial agreement with the CRD for a biosolids centre.
The CRD now has until the end of the year to enter into a financial agreement with PPP Canada or the funding will be revoked.
A letter from the province, dated Sept. 30, gives the CRD until the end of 2017 to complete a definitive plan for the “beneficial reuse of biosolids” for the approval of the Ministry of Environment. That plan must be supported by a full assessment of the uses and integrated resource management options available for the proposed Class A biosolids produced at the Hartland Landfill in Saanich. That deadline is earlier than the one requested by the project board.
In the interim, the project board will launch into consultations with all of the communities impacted by this plant and the pipeline that will carry waste to the Hartland Landfill, which includes the Department of National Defence community and neighbourhoods in Victoria, Saanich and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. This is part of the preliminary work needed for the procurement process of the main sewage treatment plant at Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point and the biosolids treatment facility at Hartland.
The Project Board will also meet with the City of Colwood to discuss how the technical studies and environmental impact assessments will go forward.
Part of the Project Board’s recommendations was to spend up to $2 million to complete that research work as they relate to a future wastewater treatment plant that would serve the fast-growing West Shore region.