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Monday
Jul182016

Washington's phony sewage war with Victoria

Washington's phony sewage war with Victoria- David Broadland. 

Published in Focus magazine May 2016 See: http://focusonline.ca/node/1083

The concluding paragraph.

"The lesson for Victoria?

The opinions of Washington legislators about the Capital Region’s sewage treatment system are highly suspect. When challenged for details, they can’t provide them. The legislators’ uninformed portrayal of Victoria’s treatment system as “backward” is little more than an attempt to deflect attention away from their own inaction as Puget Sound deteriorates.
Victoria’s political leaders shouldn’t take Washington politicians seriously on this issue. Instead, those tasked with deciding how to spend that “billion dollars” need to take their responsibility more seriously. They need to get outside the Where-to-put-it? box they’ve been stuck in since 2009 and allow themselves to be guided by local marine and human health scientists who have precise knowledge of the environmental and health impacts of the current system.
In Washington, scientists say stormwater runoff is the most pressing threat to marine waters. Unless that’s solved, conditions in the Salish Sea will continue to deteriorate. In Victoria, scientists are saying additional sewage treatment here—and in Vancouver—will provide little or no environmental benefit. One initiative that would provide a benefit has been identified. Victoria’s stormwater runoff is likely as toxic as Seattle’s, albeit on a smaller scale. The deterioration of near-shore Victoria-area waters that local citizens have blamed on the deep-water outfalls is more likely due to deposition of the “incredible gunk” from storm drains that disgusted the diver interviewed in Poisonous Waters. That’s a problem that everyone agrees needs to be fixed.

The lesson for Victoria?
The opinions of Washington legislators about the Capital Region’s sewage treatment system are highly suspect. When challenged for details, they can’t provide them. The legislators’ uninformed portrayal of Victoria’s treatment system as “backward” is little more than an attempt to deflect attention away from their own inaction as Puget Sound deteriorates.
Victoria’s political leaders shouldn’t take Washington politicians seriously on this issue. Instead, those tasked with deciding how to spend that “billion dollars” need to take their responsibility more seriously. They need to get outside the Where-to-put-it? box they’ve been stuck in since 2009 and allow themselves to be guided by local marine and human health scientists who have precise knowledge of the environmental and health impacts of the current system.
In Washington, scientists say stormwater runoff is the most pressing threat to marine waters. Unless that’s solved, conditions in the Salish Sea will continue to deteriorate. In Victoria, scientists are saying additional sewage treatment here—and in Vancouver—will provide little or no environmental benefit. One initiative that would provide a benefit has been identified. Victoria’s stormwater runoff is likely as toxic as Seattle’s, albeit on a smaller scale. The deterioration of near-shore Victoria-area waters that local citizens have blamed on the deep-water outfalls is more likely due to deposition of the “incredible gunk” from storm drains that disgusted the diver interviewed in Poisonous Waters. That’s a problem that everyone agrees needs to be fixed."

 

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