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

Just Posted

Our Place Society asks for men’s clothing donations

Victoria non-profit short on men’s clothes, has 80 per cent male clientele

Transit looking for more feedback on Sooke plan. Again.

Once approved, the plan could take seven years to implement

MISSING: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins

Atkins was last seen downtown on Dec. 2 and now could be in Sooke

Full buses leave Colwood woman fuming over commute from West Shore

BC Transit plans to add eight double-deckers in 2020, will rotate on 50 and 61 routes

Saanich councillor tries his hand at design with cycling T-shirt

Positive response has avid cyclist considering making more to share

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Most Read