No need to rush sewage planning


Alex Murdoch
Times Colonist
June 17, 2010


Re: "Sewage choices can't be rushed," June 11. I agree with every point made, but nevertheless wish to commend the Capital Regional District's liquid waste management committee for having the courage to change a bad plan at this late date. Once a plan has been announced, millions spent on studies and land acquisition and a PR campaign mounted to sell it to the public, it must be extremely difficult for politicians of any stripe to say, "we were wrong -- there's a better way." Good for the committee. But now, more than ever, the committee needs time to get it right. From its inception in 2006, most of this project's problems have resulted from hasty decisions, often driven by the impossibly short deadlines imposed by B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner. Repeated studies and the independently monitored reports of the CRD's own science staff have shown that the existing system poses no immediate threat to public health or the environment. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, in the Canada-wide strategy document signed in 2009, suggests a 30-year time frame as appropriate for such situations. And postponement of a $750-million expenditure, in the present economic climate, could not be a bad thing. Surely Penner can give the CRD a year or two. Alex Murdoch Victoria