As a result of overwhelming public opposition, Capital Regional District directors have unanimously abandoned the possibility of a sewage sludge plant in Esquimalt’s industrial park.
The CRD purchased the 1.5-hectare Viewfield Road property for $17 million in March, prior to public consultation, as a possible location for the region’s biosolids energy plant. The CRD will now likely sell the property at a loss.
Businesses and residents in Esquimalt and Victoria West opposed the idea from the beginning, but the directors bowed to public pressure Wednesday after CRD staff held several open houses to gather formal feedback from residents. A majority of respondents rejected the plan.
The CRD will now revert to its original plan to use Hartland for the biosolids facility, while a wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point awaits a zoning decision from the Township of Esquimalt.
The CRD’s secondary sewage treatment project was announced in July 2012 at a cost of $783 million, split between the three levels of government. The price tag does not include the $17 million for the Viewfield site nor for associated staff time.