PORT ANGELES — U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer on Thursday praised a decision to build a wastewater treatment plant in McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.
The Victoria area, home to 300,000 people, has pumped raw sewage into the waters across from Washington state for decades.
On Wednesday, the Capital Regional District board threw its support behind building a $765 million plant.
“This week was a positive step toward Canada cleaning up its mess,” said Kilmer, who represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.
“Now we need to make sure that the British Columbian and Canadian governments step up to the plate and follow through with the investments needed to open this plant.
“For too many years, raw sewage from Canada has continued to be dumped in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I’ll continue to make sure our Canadian partners reach a lasting solution so this does not impact our shared waters any longer.”
Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell also have urged the Canadian government to act.
In July, Kilmer authored a provision in the report accompanying the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill for 2016 that encouraged the U.S. State Department to work with Canadian counterparts on a solution to the sewage problem and ensure Canada lives up to its international commitments in the area.
Last March, Kilmer urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to find a solution to the sewage problem. His comments came during a meeting between the Prime Minister and seven members of the House of Representatives.
In 2015, Kilmer authored language asking the State Department to work with Canadian counterparts on a solution to the sewage problem. He previously led members of the Washington state delegation in an effort to call on the British Columbia premier to move forward in addressing the issue, pointing out the risk to fisheries, businesses and healthy waters.