MRO Magazine

Minister of Environment and Climate Change approves the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project


Environment

July 16, 2021
By Maryam Farag


Industries

Following a thorough, science-based environmental assessment conducted by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has agreed with the conclusions in the Agency’s Environmental Assessment Report and decided the proposed Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are considered. The project is therefore allowed to proceed.

Minister Jonathan Wilkinson issued a Decision Statement to this effect under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) for the project.

The project is designed to mitigate the flooding of lands, including those around Calgary, Alberta, by diverting floodwater during extreme flood events from the Elbow River to a temporary reservoir constructed in adjacent agricultural land and wetlands. The floodwaters would be stored before returning to the Elbow River.

“My decision to approve the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project was informed by a robust federal environmental assessment based on sound science and Indigenous knowledge. The citizens of Alberta know how devastating floods can be on their livelihoods and their families. I am confident the strong legally-binding conditions established for the project will safeguard the environment for years to come, and also ensure Albertans can be protected from future flooding events.” said Minister Wilkinson.

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The Minister’s Decision Statement sets out over 200 legally-binding conditions that Alberta Transportation, the proponent, must comply with throughout the life of the project. These conditions include measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, human health, Indigenous peoples’ use of land and resources, physical and cultural heritage and species at risk.