Monday, August 22, 2022

Report from Operations Director Pucci tonight for Council to chart progress and planning towards compliance themes on environmental wastewater issues

A map of the city's water outflow plan.
The visual aid was part of 
a presentation by the City's Director of Operations and
Intergovernmental Affairs to Federal Officials earlier this summer
(From City of PR report)

City Council members will receive a report tonight from their Director of Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs, with Richard Pucci set to outline the city's response to issues of concern raised by Climate Change Canada and DFO.

Many of the Federal themes are to be addressed through the city's plans for liquid waste treatment work currently in development and anticipated to be in place by 2030.

The report opens with a bit of history on the long running issue for the city and the Federal government, the scope of the new Administrative Directive to address the Federal themes and a recap of an oral presentation delivered in Smithers earlier this summer by Mr. Pucci.

As Council is aware, the City of Prince Rupert (City) has a long history of non- compliance in the area of liquid waste. However, Staff has been working in concert with the Federal and Provincial Environmental Agencies for over a decade on policies and plans to fundamentally get the City back into compliance. 

The most recent and relevant development is the City’s new Administrative Directive to have liquid waste treatment by 2030. This Directive is a legal Order that the Council will have to adopt by Resolution. Upon Resolution, Staff will facilitate the conditions of the Directive, or there may be corrective measures or penalties levied against the City. 

Staff previously reviewed the Draft Administrative Directive and took particular issue with some of the Measures to be Taken. Staff felt that some of the measures, like taking samples at the end of an outfall in the middle of the Harbour were an unreasonable request and would not provide the relevant data as there is too much dilution. 

This was considered, and Staff was given the opportunity to provide an Oral Representation of why the City was unable to comply with some of the Measures to be Taken, through a Notice of Intent (NOI) process.

The report notes of the work that the City has put towards the issues and observes how the presentation to ECCC in Smithers was a success in the opinion of the Director of Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs.

As a result, Staff believes that the Oral Representation process was a success and that ECCC considered the City’s concerns. -- Director of Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs Richard Pucci in his report to Council to be delivered tonight

click to enlarge

The overview of Mr. Pucci's Oral presentation in Smithers can be reviewed below:

click to enlarge

How the city is moving forward with their water and wastewater initiatives made for a portion of June's State of the City presentation from Mayor Lee Brain, who highlighted some of the work of the city's "innovative approach" to date on the initiative.

Some background on how the city plans to approach its waste water planning can be reviewed through our Major Projects Archive page and our notes on Civic Operations.

More notes related to this evening's City Council session can be explored here.

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