Convening for Action in Lower Mainland

Province approves Metro Vancouver’s visionary plan for Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management

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. In addition to resource recovery, the plan also commits Metro Vancouver to replacing the region’s two remaining primary treatment plants – Lions Gate in West Vancouver, and Iona Island in Richmond.

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Sustainable Service Delivery: Province Strengthens Metro Vancouver’s Plan for Managing Rainwater Resources

“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. “Get the watershed vision right. Then create a blueprint to implement green infrastructure.”

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From Stormwater Management to RAINwater Management: Implementing a Course Correction in Metro Vancouver

“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. “The elephant in the room is the unfunded liabilities from doing plans where people are not thinking about what the outcome is…”

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Metro Vancouver Board adopts comprehensive and holistic strategy for managing liquid discharges and rainwater resources

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. “The community benefits when there is collaboration and a true partnership between local government staff and community members in a working group.”

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Financing strategy takes shape for implementing replacement sewage treatment plants in Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver is faced with a $1.4 billion financing decision on HOW to proceed with replacement of the existing Lions Gate and Iona Island treatment plants that serve the North Shore and Vancouver sewerage sreas, respectively. 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.

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Metro Vancouver Reference Panel informs Finance Committee deliberations on HOW to pay for two replacement sewage treatment plants

The Lions Gate and Iona Island treatment plants have each been in service for approximately 50 years. Both have exceeded their useful lives. Both are high risk facilities with attendant environmental and legal risks for Metro Vancouver. “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.

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