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Capital Regional District approves long-term biosolid managment plan

The CRD approved a three-tiered biosolids management plan, which now just needs provincial approval
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The CRD approved a three tiered, long-term management strategy ahead of its June 18 deadline.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) board has approved the Long-Term Biosolids Management Strategy which focuses on beneficial use and environmental stewardship when managing biosolids produced in the region.

The plan, which was developed through research and technical advice, First Nations engagement, stakeholder engagement and public consultation, consists of a portfolio of options that prioritize advanced thermal processing while also considering contingency options to ensure regulatory compliance and adaptability.

“This biosolids management strategy aligns with the board vision of fostering innovation and bold leadership,” said CRD director and chair of the Environment Services Committee Barbara Desjardins in a news release. “By embracing advanced thermal processing, we’re not only meeting regulatory requirements but also pioneering a new era of responsible resource management in the region."

The strategy lays out three tiers that will be utilized under a prioritization structure.

The first tier, the advanced thermal option, is the preferred long-term solution, which includes the development of a demonstration facility for advanced thermal processing. The second tier will be utilized to maintain regulatory compliance while the first option is being implemented and includes continued alternative fuel combustion in the cement manufacturing facility in Richmond, industrial land reclamation, forest fertilization, and partnerships with established biosolids programs.
The third tier will be implemented on a contingency basis when the second tier is unavailable, with explicit consent from the board, and after consulting and engaging with affected First Nations.

According to the CRD, the strategy still needs provincial approval, and on June 6, the board received a letter from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change offering an extension to the June 18, 2024 submission deadline.

"Because the conditions and timelines presented by the Minister pose a challenge, the Board decided that it was prepared to submit the strategy, along with feedback received, to the province in accordance with the original deadline," noted the release.