Ruling out a waste-to-energy garbage incinerator at Duke Point will be one of three options before Nanaimo council members at Monday's committee of the whole meeting.
The report coming before officials Monday follows after councillors unanimously backed a motion in July calling on city staff to outline a process to amend the I4 zoning at Duke Point to nix the potential for incinerator facility in the area.
In March, the city learned that a Seaspan Ferries-owned site at Duke Point was a possible candidate site for a new waste-toenergy facility for Metro Vancouver, which is seeking to expand its capacity.
The regional government is in the midst of a potential site identification process set to wrap up this month.
The Duke Point site is expected to be submitted by Seaspan and two partners - Wheelabrator Technologies and Urbaser, a Europe-based operator of other waste-to-energy facilities.
The zoning change option is included in the Nov. 4 committee report, which states that changing the zoning "would provide the most clarity of not allowing a waste-to-energy facility in the city.. ." and would effectively prohibit a facility in Nanaimo.
While taking that step would "likely eliminate" Nanaimo from the Metro Vancouver selection process, Wheelabrator and Urbaser could still present the site to the Lower Mainland authority 'subject to rezoning,' the report says. This approach would allow council more decision-making power on a future proposal, but tweaking the zoning could potentially affect other projects that might come before the city, for example, a compost to bio-fuel facility.
Another option before Nanaimo officials is directly telling Metro Vancouver that the city does not want a waste-to-energy project in its back yard. While this option is the most simple, it is not as forceful as making zoning changes. It also does not guarantee that Metro Vancouver would take heed of the request. However, the report also says that Metro Vancouver staff members have advised that this step would remove Nanaimo from consideration.
The third option is to do nothing now and allow the Metro Vancouver process to continue on its present course. It is the option favoured by Coun. Bill McKay, who wants more information on the issue and a "fully-informed community." He added he would like to see a proposal put to the public in a referendum.
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