Alberta Transportation has taken steps to forward regulatory approvals of the Springbank Reservoir project by responding to formal questions from provincial and federal regulators.
An 8,000-page document provides responses to information requests from Alberta Environment and Parks, the Natural Resources Conservation Board, and the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, received in 2018.
The technical responses to questions about the project’s environmental impact assessment cover a broad range of information requested by the regulators, including benefits and costs, land use, Indigenous consultation, water, and hydrogeology and environmental impacts.
“Our government has committed to doing everything in our power to get regulatory approval for the Springbank Reservoir,” said Alberta’s Minister of Transportation, Ric McIver. “Flood mitigation for Calgary and other communities is vital, and we need to move this project forward as quickly as possible through a very complex regulatory process.”
The Springbank Reservoir is part of the government’s overall flood-mitigation strategy for southern Alberta. When complete, the Springbank Reservoir will work in concert with the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary to contain the same volume of water that resulted in the 2013 flood. Regulatory approval is required before construction can proceed.
“Our responses to regulator questions are compelling and comprehensive, and I look forward to seeing regulators move the Springbank Reservoir project forward,” said McIver.
Public consultation is an integral part of the regulatory review process. Now that the government’s responses to the information requests have been submitted, the next phase of public and stakeholder consultation will proceed. All of the material can be found on the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir resources webpage.
Once it receives regulatory approval, the Springbank Reservoir (SR1) is expected to be operational within two full construction seasons and fully operational after three construction seasons.
During a flood, SR1 will divert flood waters from the Elbow River and store it temporarily before diverting it back to the river as flood waters subside.
The Alberta government has purchased more than 20 per cent of the land needed for the project.