Alberta’s Springbank reservoir faces another delay due to regulatory review

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Environmental review delays contentious Springbank reservoir project
WATCH: A controversial flood mitigation plan has hit another setback. The proposed Springbank reservoir is being delayed by 10 months because it still requires approval. As Jill Croteau reports -- the move is ramping up hostility of impacted landowners – May 18, 2018

One of several projects underway to improve Calgary’s flood resiliency is facing a 10-month delay.

The Springbank off-stream reservoir is under review — a process the government said Friday is expected to take the better part of a year, pushing the project’s expected completion date to the end of 2022.

It’s expected the reservoir will be partially complete and functioning at a lesser level by 2021. It’s set to be operating at full capacity by 2023.

The government said some of the delay is due to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) determining the province needed more information in its original application to comply with original guidelines.

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Once that information was provided in March 2018, the CEAA began its one-year review in April. The government said it expects provincial and federal regulators will have more supplementary information requests.

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“The government of Alberta recognizes the importance of the lands required for the Springbank Reservoir to the people who currently own it,” Transportation Minister Brian Mason said in a release.

“It is our firm intention to deal equitably with these owners and offer fair compensation and we remain hopeful that we will be able to negotiate an agreement.

“We do not want to expropriate this land, but we will do what is necessary to protect Calgarians. Springbank remains the best option to protect Calgary, including the downtown business district, the Calgary Zoo and the Stampede.”

The province said it has put together a new legal team to make sure negotiations with First Nations leaders in the region “proceed productively and efficiently.”

The Springbank reservoir is one of several municipal, provincial and federal projects that got underway following the devastating floods of 2013.

Two information sessions are planned for next week:

  • Tuesday, May 22 — 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wild Wild West Event Centre, 67 Commercial Ct., Calgary
  • Thursday, May 24 — 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Calgary First Church of Nazarene, 65 Richard Way S.W., Calgary

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