Metro Vancouver forms task force for new water treatment plant

A Metro Vancouver task force is being formed to review options for the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In 2021, the region terminated its previous contract with Acciona Wastewater Solutions Ltd., after it says it lost confidence in the contractor.

According to George Harvie, chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, the project “experienced extraordinary circumstances” during a volatile moment in Canadian markets.

Now, Harvie says he’s hoping this task force can be part of the region’s work to find solutions, in place of the issues left behind by the previous contractor.

“This is a federally mandated project to increase the quality of wastewater treatment, which is critical to ensuring the health and safety of people and the environment, and protecting the waters of Burrard Inlet,” Harvie said. “I am striking a task force to review options for delivering this key project while mitigating its potential cost impacts on the region.”

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However, Jerry Dobrovolny, commissioner and CAO of Metro Vancouver, says those volatile market conditions haven’t gone anywhere and continue to pose a challenge to the project.

“As we work to define a path forward to complete this project and address deficiencies left by the previous contractor, we are unfortunately beholden to the same extremely challenging market conditions that are significantly impacting infrastructure projects throughout British Columbia and across the country,” Dobrovolny said.

The tertiary treatment provided by the new wastewater treatment plant will exceed federal regulatory requirements for secondary treatment technology, resulting in a cleaner environment, the region states.

Metro Vancouver says the new plant will serve 250,000 residents and businesses in West and North Vancouver, S?wx_wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and s??lílw?ta?? (Tsleil-Waututh Nation).

Once built, the leased land where the current Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant sits will be returned to S?wx_wú7mesh Úxwumixw.

The task force will present options to the Metro Vancouver Board over the next few months. Currently, Metro Vancouver is working with construction manager PCL and design consultant AECOM to advance the project.

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