The Capital Regional District seeks public feedback on approaches to wastewater treatment and resource recovery with outreach expected to start any day.
The Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee approved heading out for public feedback that will include online surveys and an option to email comments.
“We’ll never have perfect information but we have enough information. I think it’s time we ask the public. This will not be a referendum,” said committee chair and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
“I think director (Ben) Isitt said it best, there’s still lots in flux.”
There are five options to wastewater treatment for the core area – some with multiple subset options – and each offering a representative approach for developing a more refined plan.
“I really have to question why we’re going out to the public at this time with what information we have,” said Director Vic Derman, a Saanich councillor, who noted the public found a “dearth of information” last time. “We don’t have solid information here. We have five (options) or whatever it’s morphing to, mostly centred around Rock Bay. We already know there are other options.”
The committee deferred going out last month to consult the public, asking staff to gather more information now included, or coming soon, online at the CRD website.
Some voiced concern the public couldn’t comment on options not included, such as the “deep shaft” treatment recently investigated by the technical oversight panel.
Helps noted the survey will be designed to offer “other comments” for the savvy public who follow all the technical options, or prefer to see a hybrid solution. The public expects to be consulted but the final stages will be “a hard political decision.”
The CALWMC approved the public consult Jan. 13.
“We’re not at the end. We’re not even at the beginning of the end. We’re making a teeny tiny decision … to go out and have conversation with our public,” said Susan Brice. “I really hoped that after hearing everything and not expecting perfection and knowing it’s fluid … that this would be something that would be quite frankly unanimously supported.”
For details and to provide feedback, visit crd.bc.ca/project/wastewater-planning.