Sewage plant a positive for McLoughlin point

Re: Sewage plant will foul harbour, Letters, March 11, 2011.

Letter writer John Newcomb states that “no environmental impact assessment of the point’s near-shore marine habitat has been done.” This not the case.

The June 2010 Environmental Impact Study of Core Area Wastewater Treatment Facilities: Terrestrial Environment (EIS) examined 12 categories of topics associated with the facility. The EIS focused on lands above the high tide line, but also assessed potential project impacts on the coastal environment.

The McLoughlin treatment facility will be built on a site already altered by blasting, levelling and removal of vegetation. The facility will be constructed entirely above the high tide level, which greatly reduces the potential to affect the near-shore marine environment.

Potential impacts of outfall construction and treated effluent discharge will be examined in the marine component of the EIS. A Stage 1 Marine EIS has been completed and the Capital Regional District will prepare a Stage 2 Marine EIS following completion of two years of baseline sampling, which are required by the Ministry of Environment.

During construction there will be strict requirements in the contract for environmental management and protection of the marine environment.

The McLoughlin treatment facility will present a much lower risk to the environment than the bulk fuel storage facilities previously located on the site.

The June 2010 EIS report can be found at www.wastewatermadeclear.ca

Denise Blackwell,

Chair, Core area liquid waste management committee