Re: “Science has shown need for treatment,” Dec. 11.
I must agree with the writer’s statement that a marine environmental assessment was done in 2006 (the SETAC report).
As a marine scientist I am quite familiar with this report and nowhere in the report or associated letters does it recommend sewage treatment for the Capital Regional District. It takes a very cautious approach, emphasizing the need for public consultation before implementation of any additional treatment.
The report states: “While no ecological effects of Victoria’s sewage have been identified beyond the vicinity of the outfalls, there is still concern that pollutants released from the outfalls may affect marine life and ecosystems much further away,” and: “While the ecological benefits of sewage treatment are important to the debate, in the panel’s view those benefits are presently unknown and beyond understanding.”
And later in the conclusions statement: “While there is a tremendous volume of scientific data, the benefits of treatment cannot be described or calculated with any precision.”
The closest the panel comes to recommending treatment is in the last paragraph of the report: “Given the difficulty in estimating benefits, however, a potential approach might be to install treatment comparable to that now employed in the similar cities surveyed.”
The statement that the SETAC report recommends treatment is purely the PR spin placed upon this by the CRD and provincial government.
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