LETTERS: Keep biosolids out of Hartland Landfill

The Capital Regional District decision to allow spreading of biosolids at Hartland Landfill during the five or six weeks per year that the incineration facility on the Lower Mainland is closed for maintenance was made with absolutely no consultation with nearby communities such as Prospect Lake, Highlands and Willis Point, who will be affected by this decision.

This lack of consultation contradicts the established CRD policy regarding community consultation, is a reversal of a policy in effect since 2011 to not spread biosolids and is inexcusable given that the CRD has had several years to plan how residuals would be disposed.

There is a well-documented risk to the spreading of biosolids, which is why in 2011 the CRD made the decision not to allow it to be spread on land. Nothing has changed since then and the risks remain the same. The heavy metals and organic contaminants still present in the treated sewage residue pose long-term health risks through airborne pollution and the spreading of these materials, even though at this point purportedly restricted just to the landfill site, would put adjacent communities at risk.

No consultation has been conducted with any of these stakeholders on this decision. All of Saanich’s representatives on the CRD voted for this so-called “interim” measure to the detriment of area residents.

The latest move marks yet another broken promise by the CRD. Initially, the selection of Hartland as the site for the solid residuals treatment plan was simply described as a back-up option. In the political gridlock surrounding the sewage management process, the decision to build an 18-kilometre pipeline to Hartland for the solid residuals treatment was grasped by the CRD as the “easy solution.” Yet it has led to increased costs for the project, has put every community along the residuals pipeline route at risk, and now appears to be leading to further health and safety hazards with the plan to spread the biosolids in an ecologically significant area.

The CRD should be seeking an extension from the B.C. Ministry of the Environment and examine better alternatives that do not involve spreading biosolids at Hartland. It should conduct a detailed human health and ecological risk assessment to be able to engage in meaningful consultation with adjacent communities, and must revisit the decision to spread biosolids in this area. It’s time the CRD lived up to its promises. The first step would be to reaffirm its decision not to spread biosolids at Hartland or anywhere else in the region.

Hugh Stephens


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

Langford woman frustrated over visitor restrictions to see 96-year-old mother

Island Health to introduce virtual visits at long-term care facilities

Shot fired through young family’s home in Victoria, man in custody

No injuries reported from incident in 1200-block of Yates Street

Oak Bay launches webpage to help residents connect

Social media-style page there to share energy, ideas

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

82% of all test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. have recovered

B.C. had 303 active cases as of Saturday, May 23

Most Read