Capital Regional District politicians have dropped plans to travel to Europe to research sewage treatment technologies.
The proposed trip, which had an estimated cost of $8,500 per participant for the European segment, was put forward earlier in September. The trip would have allowed directors, staff and consultants to have a closer look at existing plants that combine solid and liquid waste streams. It would have included visiting sites in France, Belgium, Germany and Spain in October, followed by a tour of some facilities in North America. The North American part of the tour would have cost an estimated $4,000 per attendee.
The proposal came after the Capital Regional District (CRD) decided in November 2016 to build a regional sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. Liquids will be treated at the new plant and leftover solids would be processed at the Hartland landfill in Saanich.
Last week, CRD directors at a committee of the whole meeting voted 6-5 to send two staff and three CRD chairpersons to Europe to see the waste management sites. However, the trip needed approval from the CRD Board and environment committee.
Several directors expressed doubts about the trip’s viability and value. Following the vote at the committee of the whole, CRD chairwoman Barb Desjardins said the $42,000 European tour would be unnecessary, despite previously being in favour of the trip.
On Wednesday afternoon, the CRD voted unanimously to forego the idea of a European tour.
The new sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point is expected to be completed by 2020. The overall cost of the project is now $765 million.