Letters: Sewage talk Feb. 12, 2016

It’s time for CRD politicians to challenge treatment mandate

Re: Sewage griping a costly luxury (Our View, Feb. 2)

We enjoy reading the Goldstream News Gazette.

However, I strongly disagree  that  federal and provincial mandates  (that are apparently flawed when applied here in Victoria) take off the table the base case that no additional sewage treatment remains a viable alternative.

As you noted, scientific studies repeatedly provide data, analysis and findings that support learned professional arguments that in Victoria, there is little cost benefit to investing billions of dollars over the next few decades on the proposed waste water treatment facility for the Capital Regional District.

I do not understand why the political leaders in the CRD are apparently willing to ignore top quality scientific findings. Or is it just simply more politically expedient to build a waste water treatment plant regardless of cost?

I do understand and would expect that if such a facility was indeed needed to mitigate high-risk environmental damages that my mayor, in collaboration with other mayors, would work very hard to find the best solution with the most favourable cost-benefits.

Obviously, seeking grant monies to help reduce the cost to all homeowners and commercial business owners in the district would be a top priority here.

On the other hand, if this project is not needed because  environmental risks are low, then the region’s political leaders, in my opinion, are obligated to strenuously seek a waiver of flawed treatment rules.

In ignoring scientific evidence, wasting $1 billion to $2 billion and significantly increasing the cost of home ownership, the CRD board could be seen as a glaring example of political leadership incompetence in the region.

I assume you are aware that other cities in North America have been forced to challenge poor environmental mandates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, legal challenges that were successful.

Why is the political leadership in the CRD unwilling to remain open-minded on this important portfolio?

Richard Caldwell

View Royal

 

Improve the present infrastructure first

We think it is time that the Capital Region asks the provincial and federal governments to listen to scientists and public health experts like Dr. Shaun Peck and not force Greater Victoria to spend millions of dollars on sewage treatment that is not necessary at this time and may do more harm to the environment than our unique present system.

It is not too late to stop this emotionally charged process and use our tax dollars more wisely by improving the present system, e.g. dilapidated storm drains etc.

Rennie and Ruth Warburton

Oak Bay

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