The plan identifies what the region and its member municipalities intend to do to use liquid waste as a resource, minimize treatment costs and better protect the environment and public health. “The plan deals with the pressures of an increasing population while planning to bring an aging infrastructure up to modern standards,” stated Environment Minister Terry Lake.
“Sustainable Service Delivery is the Province’s branding for a life-cycle way of thinking about infrastructure needs and how to pay for them over time. The legislative authority for integration of land use planning and asset management already exists within the Local Government Act and Community Charter. Local governments can develop a truly integrated Asset Management Strategy that views the watershed though an environmental lens," states Glen Brown.
“Under the Built Environment theme, the panel recommended that Metro Vancouver municipalities re-focus Integrated RAINwater/Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs) on watershed targets and outcomes. This recommendation flowed from concerns of municipalities over the ‘unintended consequences’ resulting from ISMPs completed to date in the region,” states Kim Stephens.
Two years in the making, the Integrated Plan establishes the framework for moving beyond regulatory compliance to transitioning Metro Vancouver to an approach that achieves the Sustainable Region Vision. "Think about it - the Reference Panel has influenced the waste committee, the finance committee and the way we make decisions overall. It is great," reflected West Vancouver Mayor Pam Goldsmith-Jones.
Complete Lions Gate by 2020 and Iona Island as soon as is reasonably possible after that. “This approach gives Metro Vancouver the flexibility to go faster, but does not strap us in if the senior governments do not come to the table with financial support. In the absence of a financial guarantee, this approach puts the ball in our court with respect to timing," stated Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore.
The Lions Gate and Iona Island treatment plants have each been in service for approximately 50 years. Both have exceeded their useful lives. "The overall impact of constructing both treatment plants by 2020 is comparatively small. The incremental difference in the annual financing cost of one versus two plants is not that much. The biggest hit is the first one," stated Mayor Malcolm Brodie of Richmond.
“There is alignment and consistency between the Reference Panel’s nineteen recommendations and the Final Plan. It is a solid, well-written document; and most importantly, it is action-oriented. We applaud Metro Vancouver staff for a job well-done,” stated Kim Stephens, Reference Panel Chair.
“Our Final Report is the culmination of several thousand hours of volunteer time and effort. The heart of the report is the three-page table titled A Recommended Policy Framework for Liquid Resource Management in Metro Vancouver. It is reader-friendly, and is complete with on-the-ground examples," stated Kim Stephens.
Marvin Hunt, Chair of the Waste Management Committee, proposed that several of the recommendations be used for illustrative purposes, thereby providing the committee with an appreciation of the ‘WHY’ behind the Reference Panel recommendations. This resulted in an interactive and workshop-type discussion as various Panel members elaborated on recommendations pertaining to wet weather flows, source controls and watershed planning.
“The Reference Panel emphasis is on the HOW because we believe the key to our work is ensuring that whatever is included in the Plan gets implemented. Continued scrutiny and momentum is crucial to ensuring accountability and support, in particular that adequate resources are provided to get the job done," stated Christianne Wilhelmson, Co-Chair.
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