June 11, 2015

Kilmer: ‘It’s Time for Canada to Take Care of this Mess’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Appropriations Committee passed a bill that includes a provision authored by Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) seeking to make progress on the dumping of raw sewage from Canada into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The report accompanying the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2016 includes language encouraging the U.S. State Department to work with Canadian counterparts on a solution to the sewage problem.

“It’s time for Canada to take care of this mess,” said Kilmer. “I grew up in Port Angeles, right across the water from Victoria. So it concerns me when after many years, raw sewage from Canada continues to end up right in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This provision is part of my ongoing effort to bring our Canadian partners to the table so we can find a solution and ensure this does not impact our shared waters any longer.”

 Last year, the government of British Columbia decided not to move forward with a sewage treatment plant in the Victoria region at McLoughlin Point. The Victoria area, home to 300,000 people, has pumped effluent into the waters across from Washington state for years. The treatment facility was supposed to be completed by 2018 until the local Canadian government decided to table the site.

In March, Kilmer met with members of the Canadian parliament and pressed them to look into the sewage dumping. Kilmer previously led members of the Washington state delegation in an effort to call on British Columbia Premier Christy Clark to move forward in addressing the issue, pointing out the risk to fisheries, businesses, and healthy waters.