Sewage project still not needed

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Re: “Sewage plant a testament to leadership,” letter, March 11.

Marine scientists’ studies, some that Washington state scientists participated in, have concluded that our present sewage-treatment system is having a negligible effect on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and that the Capital Regional District’s project will negligibly change that already negligible effect.

Their studies have also proved beyond doubt that there is a continual ocean outflow through the strait to the Pacific Ocean. Effluent in it recycles back into the environment either by assimilation into the marine food chain or dispersal to the ocean’s natural levels of suspended organics.

I arranged and attended a meeting in which three marine scientists, including one of Canada’s leading experts on contamination, presented Mayor Lisa Helps with facts as to the lack of need to replace our existing treatment system. Helps summarily shunned those facts and responded that the project would proceed.

The UN’s specialized agency, the World Health Organization, has deemed that the natural marine-treatment method that cities around the world use, including Victoria, is acceptable and sometimes preferable. Decades of monitoring show that Victoria’s system is particularly effective.

What Victoria desperately needs is leadership with evidence-based decision-making, not with Trump-like “alternative facts,” as championed by the letter-writer.

Brian Burchill

President, ARESST


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