The Regional District of Nanaimo's plan to complete upgrades to the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre and Nanoose Bay Pollution Control Centre by 2015 has been flushed.
The RDN will file a timeline extension amendment to the Minister of Environment for the secondary treatment upgrades at the GNPCC and NBPCC.
The upgrades are part of the RDN's 20-year liquid waste management plan. The Minster of Environment approved the original plan in 1999.
"Basically a liquid waste management plan is our authorization to discharge waste into the environment from the provincial government," said Randy Alexander, RDN regional and community utilities manager.
Federal and provincial laws require the RDN to expand the GNPCC and NBPCC to provide a secondary treatment. Work is well underway with a third digester completed and a fourth primary sedimentation tank under construction at GNPCC.
When the plan was originally created all of the work was expected to be complete by 2015.
The plan hit an $18-million snag when the RDN learned of serious damages to the GNPCC's outfall pipe earlier this year.
The RDN's board quickly responded to the damages and voted to build a replacement pipe by 2015.
"The project has become more complex primarily because of the need to replace the outfall," Alexander said.
The RDN has outlined three options to complete the $61 million worth of work. The approved Liquid Waste Management Plan gives the RDN the authority to borrow money according to the plan without further approvals and referendum.
Each amendment option includes details of how taxpayers will pay back the borrowed funds. If the RDN were to request option one, the project would be completed in 2016 and taxpayers will pay an average annual increase of $18 until 2022. Option two would see the project completed in 2018 with an average annual tax increase of $15. Option three would mean the project would be completed in 2019 with an average annual tax increase of $13. The decision only relates to taxpayers who use the liquid waste system.
The RDN is in the process of collecting public input before moving the amendment to the ministry, which has final say in the decision.
"It's very important for people to provide their feedback on the options that we're looking at because it does have implications for taxpayers," Alexander said.
Public consultation details and an online survey can be found at rdnlwmp.ca.
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