A LWMP is a process by which all the issues and problems related to liquid waste for a community are identified and used to develop a site and community specific solution which can be implemented in a time frame and manner which will work for the community. This process provides flexibility in situations where there are complexities and where compliance with the Municipal Sewage Regulation (MSR) may present challenges.
A LWMP is a very powerful document which derives its authority from the BC Environmental Management Act and which takes precedence over the MSR. The final document is approved by the BC Minister of Environment and enables a community to proceed with implementation without obtaining further approvals (such as approval from the public for a borrowing bylaw). A LWMP is also an additional lever to obtaining funding from higher levels of government.
The LWMP process includes an extensive consultation process, the basis of which focuses on three committees: a Steering Committee, a Technical Advisory Committee and a Public Advisory Committee.
The Steering Committee generally consists of municipal politicians and key District staff and provides decision-making to the process.
The Technical Advisory Committee consists of all the government agencies, such as the BC Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Community Services, Interior Health, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada.
The Public Advisory Committee generally consists of interested members of the public and representation from environmental groups and other stakeholders such as First Nations. It is possible to amalgamate the Technical and Public Advisory Committees.
This not only allows streamlining of the LWMP process, but enhances the understanding of members on these committees through the cross-pollination of ideas and discussion points.
The public consultation component is integrated throughout the process, and could include aspects such as open houses, surveys and web-based interactions. Separate First Nations consultation may also be required, in addition to the possible representation of First Nation communities on the Public Advisory Committee.
There are three stages to the LWMP process:
Stage 1: Define problems and identify options related to liquid waste in a community, including collection, treatment, discharge and reuse. In this stage the objective is to identify all the issues and possible alternatives, so all interest groups are able to present their preferred alternatives.
Stage 2: Develop and Evaluate Preferred Options. The evaluation is able to consider multiple objectives such as technical complexity, capital costs, the ability to be phased, and operating issues/costs.
Stage 3: Document and Adopt the Plan
These stages are often undertaken as one stage per year, although sometimes if the issues are very complex, longer may be required. The Squamish plan is currently at Stage 1, with a combined Technical and Public Committee exploring areas of concern and discussing solutions. Council will review the findings of Stage 1 prior to moving forward tp Stages 2 and 3.
Liquid Waste Management Plan Documents
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