Partners approve governance structure for proposed south sewer project

The south sewer project partners have reached an agreement on a governance structure for construction and operation of the wastewater management and water resource recovery system being planned for the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) south region.

A structure for the implementation of the south sewer project has been approved by the partners that will see the project managed through the creation of three services – one for electoral area conveyance and collection, one service for Cumberland conveyance, and one for all shared infrastructure. A commission made up of all three partners will be created to manage these services. This establishes how decisions will be made regarding the construction of the proposed project and ongoing operational management into the future. This governance structure will be implemented once the liquid waste management plan (LWMP) is complete.

The CVRD is currently working with consultant engineering firm Associated Engineering on a two-year LWMP process to assess options for wastewater management and water resource recovery for the south region and to determine the best option for moving forward. The LWMP process includes significant public consultation and is paired with an environmental impact study to ensure all environmental risks associated with the project are identified and mitigated.

In 2013, the partnership between the CVRD, Village of Cumberland and K’ómoks First Nation received a federal Gas Tax Fund grant of $15 million for the proposed south sewer project which aims to address the impact of failing wastewater management systems in Royston, Union Bay, and Cumberland on the receiving waters of Baynes Sound, and to support economic development for the K’ómoks First Nation. Also in 2013, the CVRD allocated $2 million of Area ‘A’ and Area ‘C’ Community Works Funds towards the CVRD portion of the project.

“This is an important step in finding a solution to the wastewater challenges we face in Royston and Union Bay. Jointly, the CVRD, the Village of Cumberland, and the K’ómoks First Nation have agreed to a governance model that will ensure each of our respective concerns are addressed as the south sewer project moves forward,” said Bruce Jolliffe, CVRD’s director for Baynes Sound-Denman Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’).

“We are glad to be working together towards a solution that will provide an important service to the residents as well as protect the environment in the long term,” said Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird. “It shows the good working relationships that have developed between the project’s partners and the work that is ongoing to ensure this significant project continues to move forward.”

With this important milestone achieved, project partners will continue to work towards an agreement on apportionment of project costs.

More information about the LWMP and south sewer project is available online at www.comxovalleyrd.ca/southregionlwmp and at the project office at 3843 Livingstone Road, which is open to the public Thursday afternoons from noon to 4 pm.

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.
- 30 -

Media contact:
Kris La Rose
Manager of liquid waste planning
Comox Valley Regional District
Tel: 250-871-6100 ext. 25