I made a submission to the Government about the Bowser Sewage Treatment Plant (“Opportunity! …).
Reply from the Deputy Minister of Environment received (I have some follow-up to do.):
October 19, 2017
Dear Ms. Finley:
On behalf of the Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, thank you very much for your email of September 13, 2017, regarding the Regional District of Nanaimo’s (RDN’s) proposed sewage treatment system and outfall intended to serve the Bowser Village. I am pleased to have this opportunity to respond.
I appreciate the time you have taken to share some of your ideas with us. Your comments regarding alternative treatment options, source water protection and cumulative effects are valuable and have been provided to Ministry staff on the South Authorization Team in the Environmental Protection Division for consideration during adjudication of any future application for this project.
At this time, the Ministry has not yet received a formal application for a proposed system to service the Bowser Village Centre so I am unable to respond with specific comments on the RDN proposal in relation to your concerns. However, I would like to assure you that my ministry and our new government take the protection of our air, land and water resources seriously and will ensure that the environment and human health is at the forefront of our decision-making.
Prior to submitting an application for a municipal wastewater discharge, the Ministry requires meaningful consultation with members of the community and First Nations. The results of these efforts are then presented as part of the submission to the Ministry. Once received by the Ministry, an application for a municipal effluent discharge is assessed according to the requirements identified in the Municipal Wastewater Regulation, and in accordance with the principles in the RDN’s Liquid Waste Management Plan. This includes the preparation of an environmental impact assessment. You can learn more about the regulatory requirements and authorization process on our website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/sewage/municipal-wastewater-regulation.
Planning and public consultation regarding the types and locations of proposed wastewater treatment systems, including the outfall, rest with the local government. I understand that residents in the area to be serviced by the proposed sewerage system supported the project in a recent petition, allowing the RDN to proceed to the next phase of detailed design and consultation with the broader community. I also note that the RDN website contains significant information on the proposed facility, with community engagement details, recent updates and direct contact information to the appropriate RDN staff working on this project. I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=3609, and participate in the ongoing consultation process.
Thank you again for taking the time to express your concerns and for sharing your personal experiences.
cc A.J. Downie, Director, Authorizations – South, Environmental Protection Division, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy