Gas Tax Funding Dedicated for Landfill Gas to Energy Project



    SECHELT, BC, Sept. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Sunshine Coast Regional District
(SCRD) will receive $1.08 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund for a project
to convert landfill gas to electricity. The project, which is slated for the
Sechelt Landfill, will involve the construction of gas extraction and
collection infrastructure as well as instrumentation to monitor flow rates and
processing efficiency.
    The announcement was made today by Russ Hiebert, Member of Parliament for
South Surrey - White Rock - Cloverdale, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. UBCM Executive
representative Councillor Sharon Gaetz and Sunshine Coast Regional District
Chair Ed Steeves joined MP Heibert, who praised the Regional District for its
innovative plan. Minister of Community Services Ida Chong sent greetings and
congratulations on behalf of the provincial government.
    "Canada's New Government is proud to be a part of this innovative
infrastructure project which will have a positive impact on the environment,
the economy and the health of Sunshine Coast communities," said MP Russ
Hiebert. "Our government is committed to supporting the environment through
modern infrastructure."
    The project involves the installation of highly efficient external
combustion engines that will convert landfill gas to electricity which will be
fed back into the BC Hydro grid as a source of revenue. The SCRD will be the
first local government in Canada to apply this innovative environmental
technology at a landfill site. Preliminary estimates suggest that the amount
of energy produced will be more than enough to power the Regional District's
Chapman Creek Water Treatment Plant. The Regional District expects that the
project will immediately result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
    "British Columbia has committed to reducing 33 per cent of current
greenhouse gas levels by 2020," said Minister of Community Services Ida Chong
in her message. "It's very encouraging to know that through government funding
partnerships, like this, we are supporting this effort, providing the
resources needed to make innovative, sustainable projects a reality, for B.C.
communities."
    "Projects like Sunshine Coast's landfill gas to electricity point the way
ahead for sustainable infrastructure," said Councillor Gaetz. "Federal funding
through the Gas Tax Fund is a great support to local government innovation and
creativity."
    While the technology has been successfully employed in other parts of the
world, external combustion engines have not been widely employed in landfill
gas applications in North America. Anticipated benefits of this technology
include reduced environmental impacts (the engines run virtually emissions
free), improved operating efficiency, reduced need for expensive pre-treatment
of landfill gas, and lower overall maintenance costs.
    "The project is an exciting opportunity for the Regional District to take
action on climate change by reducing a principal source of greenhouse gas
emissions on the Sunshine Coast. We hope to lead the way by demonstrating that
a successful business case can be made for landfill gas management and
utilization at smaller sites," said Chair Steeves. "We are happy to see the
federal and provincial governments support our thinking in this and look
forward to a close working relationship with all agencies involved to ensure a
successful outcome."
    The project is consistent with the Regional District's Sustainable
Community Policy, which establishes the local government's corporate and
strategic position regarding sustainable governance. The project also supports
the Regional District's Revised Solid Waste Management Plan.
    Engineering and design work is expected to commence in the fall of 2007
with construction beginning as early as the summer of 2008.
    Canada's New Government is providing $635.6 million to British Columbia
from 2005 to 2010 through the Gas Tax Agreement. In Budget 2007, and as part
of its $33 billion "Building Canada" plan, the Government of Canada extended
the Gas Tax Fund by an additional $2 billion per year nationally, from 2010 to
2014. Gas Tax funding is available to local governments for environmentally
sustainable projects that lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas, cleaner air
or cleaner water. The Gas Tax Agreement is administered in British Columbia by
the Union of BC Municipalities.

    Please visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or www.civicnet.bc.ca for
background information on the Canada - BC - UBCM Gas Tax Agreement.




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary to the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, (613) 991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, (613)
948-1148; Marc Black, Communications Manager, Ministry of Community Services,
(250) 356-6334; Paul Taylor, Relationships and Communications Advisor, Union
of BC Municipalities, (250) 356-2938; Dion Whyte, Engineering Technician,
(604) 885-6800 ext. 6106


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