The Westside Sewage Committee is finally ready to reveal a list of technically feasible sites for wastewater treatment facilities.
On Thursday morning, the committee is expected to announce the names of contenders, said Barb Desjardins, co-chair of the committee.
“We’re moving along really well. We’re making sure we’re dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s,” she said.
In May, the committee, which represents Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood and Langford, said they’ve come up with 20 sites for the facility, but did not release any names.
“The next step is getting the sites out to people so they can look at them, understand them and ask questions and express their thoughts about them . . . the public must feel like they are part of this process,” said Desjardins, noting there will also be ample time for online public engagement after the sites are announced.
Last week, the Eastside Sewage Committee narrowed down their list of potential sites to 27 from 40 after more than 2,000 residents provided feedback during the consultation process.
Eight green sites (which had a high level of support) include the University of Victoria, Clover Point, Public Works Victoria and Saanich, Rock Bay Private, sites owned by B.C. Hydro and Transport Canada and the Coast Guard.
“It’s a bit of a radical approach in that we’re asking the public to actually help us select sites,” said Lisa Helps, chair of the eastside committee that represents Victoria, Saanich, and Oak Bay.
“The public chose those sites. Some of the things that we’ve heard is that they’re already in industrial areas, they’re huge opportunities in some cases for resource recovery. In the case of Clover Point, Ogden Point and the Coast Guard, they’re already close to the outfall, so should we need to do ocean discharge, that’s easier.”
Through workshops, surveys, and public meetings, a number of sites have also been rejected, including Beacon Hill, Willows, Anderson Hill, Holland, Topaz and Henderson parks.
“A lot of the sites that were struck off were sites that have natural areas, urban forests, those kinds of places rose to the top as important for other reasons and not appropriate for sewage treatment,” said Helps, adding they hope to have a final plan for the plant by March 2016.
Public consultation will continue in June with the next workshop on June 24 from 5-7 p.m. at the Delta Hotel where both the east and westside committees will present their findings to date.