Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins maintains a recent letter sent to the Capital Regional District (CRD) by council is a reiteration of the position taken by her council back in 2014 and should come as no surprise to anyone involved in the process.
The letter to the CRD states the township will not support the placement of a wastewater treatment facility in Esquimalt unless it is a portion of a distributed system with two or more plants as part of the plan in another municipality.
“There’s no appetite within our community to be the only location for a single plant” said Desjardins. “We made that position clear some time ago and we wanted to ensure the position was crystal clear to everyone.”
The move came in response to what Desjardins believes is continuing pressure by some members of the CRD to reconsider a single plant at the CRD-owned lands at McLoughlin Point, despite the previous refusal of the township to approve the zoning for the plant. She added Esquimalt council has made it clear they would not approve any site until the conditions previously agreed upon by the CRD board have been met.
Those conditions include the completion of a public consultation process and an investigation of available treatment technologies and the environmental impacts of any plants, at any location.
Desjardins said Esquimalt is willing to participate in a public consultation process on the issue, but added the township has already gone through that process and is very much aware of the feelings of people within the community when it comes to having a single plant located within township boundaries.
“We know how people feel, but we can go back and confirm what we know is the case.”
The CRD’s latest plans for sewage treatment identifies Clover Point and either Macaulay Point or McLoughlin Point as the most likely locations for the controversial sewage treatment plants. The plan calls for at least two plants, effectively dividing the process of wastewater between locations.
The estimated cost of the project, with a two plant configuration, is roughly $1.3 billion.