Hutchings Environmental Bulletin Vol. 1

August 2, 2012

Welcome to the first Hutchings Environmental Bulletin, a compilation of environmental issues that affect Corner Brook and Western Newfoundland. Discussion is welcomed and encouraged!

Western NL waste to Central?

The Western Regional Waste Management (WRWM) Committee recommended on June 28, 2012 that Western Newfoundland waste would be taken to Norris Arm in Central.

Over a year ago, the Committee came to a consensus that that a separate waste management facility was not needed in the western region.

According to a press release issued by the WRWM on July 26, it will no longer be insisting on a transportation subsidy from the provincial government to help offset the cost municipalities will likely incur to have solid waste sent to a management facility at Norris Arm in central Newfoundland. They dropped the request to focus on regional initiatives for waste management in the western region. They felt efforts should be made to explore more community and sub-regional composting and recycling opportunities.

Does dropping the transportation subsidy make economic sense?


New federal wastewater treatment regulations

The City of Corner Brook has been expecting new federal wastewater regulations, but complying with them will be expensive.

I was reading The Western Star and found some local details on the new wastewater regulations imposed by the federal government. According to these regulations, all municipalities across Canada must now provide both primary and secondary treatment of all wastewater before it flows back into the environment.

Corner Brook may be designated as high risk. High risk municipalities have until 2020 to get in line with the regulations. The risk level is determined by factors as size of a community, the amount of effluent produced and the size of the water body which receives the waste water.

Corner Brook may have to begin monitoring wastewater for residue chlorine and ammonia and report to the public on the findings as soon as January 2013.

Corner Brook and other communities have been aware of the incoming regulations for some time. A consultant was commissioned in 2004 to produce a sewage treatment plan. The plan was adopted in 2006. The approach to the plan will be in phases. The first phase is primary sewage treatment, which is removal of solid material from the wastewater. Based on the 2006 report, the project would cost between $24 million and $32 million. A full sewage treatment plant, including secondary treatment, would cost $60 million.

Corner Brook has a pool of tax money from the sewage levy it charges businesses and residents. This pool is not enough to cover the funds needed.

According to Environment and Conservation Minister Terry French, three dozen communities in the province currently have secondary treatment of wastewater. Another 150 will have to be brought up to that standard.

How can the city plan its approach to wastewater treatment for the 2020 deadline?


City Hall Green Roof Open to Public

Atop the Corner Brook City Hall Green Roof.

The City Hall Green Roof opened to the public on Corner Brook Day. Sign in at the front desk and enjoy the view!


Corner Brook Transit surveys

Route #6 waits at the CB Transit main transfer terminal on Park Street.

The Corner Brook Transit surveys are still in circulation on the Corner Brook website and posted on the buses. Please fill one out as soon as possible to help determine the future of the bus system.


Western Environment Centre Green Drinks: Thursday, Aug 2           

Green Drinkers having several thought-provoking environmental-based discussions around the pub patio table.

If you’d like to discuss the issues in this column or any other environmental issues with like-minded people, here’s an opportunity! Green Drinks is a monthly event sponsored by the Western Environment Centre, and is an opportunity to discuss environmental issues over your beverage of choice. Green Drinks takes place on the first Thursday of each month from 7-9pm at King Henry’s Pub in the Glynmill Inn. Discounts for Molson products are available if you’re Green Drinking.  Drop in on Thursday, August 2 (tonight!) for a vibrant discussion!