Province continues to collect feedback ahead of technical review of Springbank Reservoir project

Following the completion of the environmental impact session into a future flood mitigation project west of Calgary, the province of Alberta is in the midst of a 45 day period of public input regarding plans for the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir.

“Obviously there’s some folks who own land in the area who are going to be impacted by the construction of this project when it’s built, who continue to have concerns about their land and future use of it,” explained Graeme McElheran, director of communications with Alberta Transportation, during Tuesday night’s information session at the Wild Wild West Even Centre. “We’re here to listen to them as well and encourage them to provide their feedback to the federal and provincial regulators as well.”  

According to McElheran, the environmental impact assessment for the reservoir has been submitted to, and accepted by, federal and provincial regulators who have started the process of a technical review of the project.

“At this point, the project’s in a regulatory review. There is money in the Alberta provincial budget for the project but it’s over to the provincial and federal regulators and so we anticipate the completion of the review process by summer of 2019.”

“We anticipate there’ll be a bit of time for permitting and acquiring the land that’s actually required will take a bit of time as well.”

If all goes according to Alberta Transportation’s plans, shovels would turn ground before the end of 2019 on the three year construction project of the reservoir that would cover approximately 3,870 acres of land.

“We anticipate we could have partial operation after two years,” said McElheran. “That means we could have some flood protection in place for Calgary, partial protection, by the flooding season of spring of 2022 and then full completion by the spring of 2023.”

“Then we would just have to hold and reserve if and when there was a flood.”

Last week, the province announced a 10 month delay with the project due to additional work required for the environmental impact submission

McElheran says 2013 proved how devastating floods can be in Alberta and that flood mitigation needs to occur.

“I think it’s key to understand that this project is about protecting the greatest number of Albertans with the most efficient tool at our disposal.”

The next public information session is scheduled for Thursday, May 24 at the Calgary First Church of the Nazarene (65 Richard Way Southwest) between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.