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July 18, 2014
The first open house for the liquid waste management plan (LWMP) process for the south region was held last night, with updates from the project’s consulting engineers Associated Engineering provided to the public who came by to learn more.
Over 50 people attended the open house at Fallen Alders Hall in Royston to learn more about the LWMP—the process which the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is using to evaluate and select a wastewater solution for the area. It was the first formal public consultation event of the planning process.
“It’s important that we keep residents and stakeholders informed throughout this complex planning process, and this open house was an important opportunity to do that,” said Bruce Jolliffe, CVRD’s director for Baynes Sound-Denman Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’). “We hope people continue to provide their comments and ask questions over the next few years so we can be sure we’re identifying the best solution for wastewater management.”
The LWMP is a two-year process that was launched in May to review options for wastewater management and water resource recovery for the south region of the CVRD, and to identify the best solution for providing effective sewer service to the Royston and Union Bay area. It includes an environmental impact study and multiple levels of public consultation. This open house was the first of three scheduled open houses to be held throughout the plan’s development.
One of the solutions being considered by the LWMP is the south sewer project, a centralized wastewater collection and treatment system involving a partnership between the CVRD, K’ómoks First Nation and Village of Cumberland, which has received $17-million in grants to date. The south sewer project has prioritized the core areas of Union Bay and Royston to reduce the impact of failing septic systems on Baynes Sound and its receiving waters. While a centralized wastewater management system has been identified through past study work as the preferred solution by the CVRD and project partners, it will only be selected if the LWMP process determines it is the best solution for the south region.
“Collecting public comment on the options under consideration will be an important part of the liquid waste management planning process,” said Kris La Rose, CVRD’s manager of liquid waste planning. “We want to give residents every opportunity to learn more about the process and to provide feedback on what they feel is the most appropriate solution to protect the local environment in the long-term.”
To support and encourage public consultation during the LWMP process, the CVRD also launched PlaceSpeak at the open house. PlaceSpeak is a location-based community consultation platform. It makes possible online public discussion and information sharing by property owners in the proposed LWMP area. To take part, owners are encouraged to sign up online at: www.placespeak.com/southregionLWMP
The CVRD has also set up project information pages online and is publishing quarterly newsletters about the south sewer project. Those interested in receiving the newsletter can sign up by contacting the project team at 250-871-6100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the project, residents can visit: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/southsewer
The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.
Kris La Rose
Manager of liquid waste planning
Comox Valley Regional District