COUN. Doug MacKay-Dunn's concern over the location of a new secondary wastewater treatment plant on the North Shore is justified and deserves a complete answer.
Citing the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, MacKay-Dunn questions whether the former B.C. Rail site at the foot of Pemberton Avenue could ever be under water.
At a District of North Vancouver workshop held Tuesday, a Metro Vancouver spokesman said the site had been investigated for flooding and earthquakes and stated that the regional authority would never build something "that's going to wash away."
OK, we are sure it would not be washed away, just as we are sure any new facility will be built to the appropriate earthquake standards. But will it work under water? What MacKay-Dunn and North Shore residents should be looking for is the risk assessment standards that were applied to the site during the Metro site survey.
Likely, the new location is a slightly safer one than the current site adjacent to the Lions Gate Bridge. Any tide-driven storm surge that hit the harbour narrows would widen and dissipate over the larger body of water in Vancouver's inner harbour.
However, rising sea levels and the real possibility of earthquakes under the Pacific generating tsunamis are still two risk factors that need to be assessed.
District residents will know that their councils have grappled with risk assessments of a chlorine facility and sudden slope failures. There is a science to determining "acceptable" risk.
In this case, we'd like to know how it has been used.
© Copyright 2013