Throughout our discussions with stakeholders, various concerns and questions were brought forward. The following section outlines some of the more frequent feedback communicated by stakeholders, as well as how we have addressed or how we will address the concern.
Stakeholders told us it is important to minimize potential impacts to the environment. In addition to refinements made to previously proposed routing to avoid or reduce potential impacts, additional routing was also developed that collectively considered potential environmental impacts. This included limiting disturbance to existing vegetation and natural areas, focusing on disturbed/developed areas (transportation corridors, industrial areas) and placing routing near other existing developments. Environmental impacts will be assessed as part of our Facility Application to the AUC.
In order to reduce the potential visual impacts associated with the project, where possible, existing linear disturbances (roads, transmission/distribution lines) were followed or overbuilt and routing in residential and recreational areas was minimized to reduce the potential visual impacts associated with the project.
In determining routing options, we strive to be separated from residences while minimizing impacts to existing and planned underground utilities and infrastructure. For example, along Whitemud Drive, a major transportation corridor, proposed routing has been located as far from residences to the north as possible while still complying with separation requirements from the roadway and other subsurface utilities.
We understand that construction impacts can be challenging; however, they are generally short term in nature and our construction staff will work as quickly and safely as possible to minimize any potential inconvenience. All proposed work space for the project will be safe and secure and construction activities will comply with the City of Edmonton bylaws. These include occupational health and safety requirements, as well as EPCOR's internal health, safety and environment program. It is anticipated that work will be generally undertaken between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and it will comply with the City of Edmonton's Community Standards bylaw for noise control. You can expect to see activity that is typical to construction, including company or contractor vehicles and equipment in your neighbourhood. If approvals are granted, we anticipate that outages will be required in certain areas throughout construction. If a planned service power interruption is required in your area, we will notify you in advance.
If the AUC approves the facility application, we will provide you with more detailed information regarding potential construction impacts prior to any work starting.
We do not anticipate an increased level of noise as a result of the proposed project and its operation. As part of the AUC's requirements, a Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) will be completed and submitted with the Facility Application to ensure that the proposed project will not exceed permissible sound levels (PSL).
The location of Route A in the transportation utility corridor
We worked with Alberta Transportation, Alberta Infrastructure, and other stakeholders in the area to find a potential route that addresses numerous interests along the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC). These interests include a location that would minimize impacts to residences, reduce potential environmental impacts, and consider proximity to existing and planned infrastructure within the TUC.
Underground routing alternatives
The costs associated with installing underground transmission facilities are considerably more expensive than overhead. As a result, when evaluating potential routes and route refinements, EPCOR generally only considers underground transmission lines when there is not a viable above ground option.