CRD to consider axing Esquimalt site for biosolids plant

Mass rejection in public surveys forces CRD board to rethink Viewfield property

Capital Regional District directors could pull the plug on plans for an Esquimalt sewage sludge plant next Wednesday (July 3), thanks to overwhelming public opposition.

CRD directors are considering an interim report compiled from public surveys on the siting of its biosolids facility, part of the region’s $783 million secondary sewage treatment project.

Two locations have been proposed for the plant – Hartland landfill in Saanich or Viewfield Road in Esquimalt. The CRD paid $17 million for the Viewfield site in March. The report recommends that Viewfield no longer be considered.

“This is only an interim report. There are two recommendations that the board will review, but there is considerable opposition to Viewfield as a site,” said Andy Orr, CRD spokesman.

Nearly all respondents living in Esquimalt, Vic West and Burnside Gorge neighbourhoods opposed a biosolids plant at Viewfield Road, Orr said.

Directors also have the option of delaying a decision until a final report on the public consultation is compiled.

Orr said the CRD will likely have to sell the property if it’s not chosen for the sewage facility.

“I don’t think the CRD has another use for the property,” he said.

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard noted that using Hartland Landfill for a biosolids facility was in the overall sewage treatment plan approved by the province. “Hartland has always been plan A,” he said. “It’s the plan that’s approved.”

If and when the CRD moves on the process to build a biosolids site at Hartland Landfill, it would need to apply to Saanich for an amendment to the land use plan. Leonard, in an interview Friday, said it’s too early to say how he’d vote on that, or even how he’d vote on Wednesday’s CRD motion on the Viewfield site.

Vic West resident Justine Semmens said she hopes CRD directors put an end to what has been a bitter fight thus far.

“I’m curious to see what’s going to happen,” she said. Semmens worries the CRD may choose to locate the site in the Rock Bay area, something Orr said is not currently an option.

“Even though it’s not in my backyard, our group believes no neighbourhood should have to deal with this,” Semmens said. “Not in anyone’s neighbourhood.”

-with files from Edward Hill

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read