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September 2018

EPCOR is actively considering public input provided to date and developing an updated proposal for the Gold Bar site.  More specifically, we are working to understand the values and interests of affected stakeholders, and to incorporate the public input we've been accumulating through open houses, pop-up open houses, stakeholder emails, phone calls and one-on-one meetings into the design of the project and consideration of alternatives. As the proposal is refined, it will be shared with the community for further feedback, and incorporated into a future rezoning and development permit application.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the consultation process to date.  Throughout our discussions with stakeholders, various concerns and questions were brought forward. The following section outlines some of feedback communicated more frequently by participants, as well as how we have addressed or how we will address the concern.

The criticals

Project details

As outlined in the project notice, EPCOR is proposing the development of an operations centre, parking lot, and elevated employee walkway in a portion of land near the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant. The parking space that is currently available on the plant site is not enough to accommodate the current needs of contractors, visitors and staff and the traffic and construction work happening onsite at any given time is making employee safety a concern.

Location of the proposed project

​If approved, the new operations centre will be located within the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant's existing fence line. Currently, the surface parking lot and elevated walkway are proposed to be constructed on land located in Gold Bar Park adjacent to the plant, where there is a City of Edmonton Parks maintenance yard, some trees and a grassed covered area. The grass covered area in fact, was used as a construction laydown yard until 2010. 

Construction laydown yard - 2010

 

Grassed area which was previously a construction laydown yard - Current

COE parks maintenance facility - Current

Expansion at Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant

EPCOR's proposed Operations Centre, pedway, parking lot, and re-zoning project is not related to expansion plans to accommodate additional stormwater volumes. The parking space that is currently available on the plant site is not enough to accommodate the current needs of contractors, visitors and staff and the traffic and construction work happening onsite at any given time is making employee safety a concern.  Existing roadways on site are congested due to parking issues and narrow roadways between process facilities within the fenceline. This situation presents significant safety risks to personnel walking on the site as there is little to no room for pedestrian walkways.

EPCOR is not planning on locating any processing equipment outside of our current fenceline at the Gold Bar Waste Water Treatment Plant (GBWWTP).  EPCOR does anticipate that there may be a need to expand into the area between the proposed parking lot and existing plant in the future.  Some of the facilities we would consider moving outside the existing fence line into the proposed rezoned area could be our lab building, center of excellence and the maintenance building.  

Frequently asked questions

What are the potential environmental impacts associated with the project?

All of EPCOR's currently proposed work will take place on a parcel of land located east of 50 street and north of Gold Bar Park Road. This includes desktop analysis and field studies to understand potential impacts to vegetation, the river, wildlife, amphibians and birds. The EIA will inform us of mitigation measures we can consider implementing to reduce the potential impacts associated with the project.  The City will review the EIA as part of the process associated with evaluating development applications.  EPCOR requires approvals from the City prior to the construction of the proposed project.

What are the potential recreational impacts associated with the project?

All of EPCOR's currently proposed work will take place on a parcel of land located east of 50 street and north of Gold Bar Park Road. The current level of screening provided by trees between Gold Bar Park Road and the residential area located south of the plant will not change as a result of this project. As part of the currently proposed project, the parking area will be landscaped and trees replaced along the shared pathway if removed for construction of the elevated walkway. Further, EPCOR has committed that we will plant the replacement trees in the River Valley or elsewhere in the community depending on public interest. The proposed parking lot would add an amenity to the community by providing public parking available for people recreating in the area after business hours. We do not anticipate any impacts to the Nordic cross country ski trails located throughout the area.

A key aspect of the project plans are that the shared use pathway, which runs through the parcel, will remain in operation. If the project is approved, the paved shared-use pathway will remain open to the public throughout most of the construction activities so that community and recreational users may continue to enjoy it. There will be a brief diversion of the pathway during construction for safety reasons, although this will only be temporary.

What is the South Edmonton Sanitary Sewer (SESS), and how is it related to this project?

The SESS connection to the GBWWTP is not related to EPCOR's current Operations Centre, pedway and parking lot and proposed re-zoning project. 

The Sanitary Servicing Strategy Fund (SSSF) was created in 1998 to provide a plan and financing for sanitary servicing for new land developments within the City. The SSSF as well as the long term construction plan are controlled by a Management Committee which is made up of representatives from the City and the private development industry. Details on the SSSF are available at the City's website here.

The SESS is planned to service areas in the south of Edmonton based on projected populations. The sewer systems will be built in stages, with initial stages acting as storage tanks during wet weather. The storage will be used to collect all flows from new development to ensure that new flows do not increase the loading of downstream systems. These stored flows are pumped out during dry weather. Flows during dry weather are only allowed to grow to 25% of the downstream combined sewer capacity to limit the risk in downstream areas.

Construction of the South East Sanitary Sewer project is currently underway and is being built in stages over time.  Flows from South Edmonton are currently being conveyed to Gold Bar through existing drainage infrastructure and completed sections of the SESS Project. 

The SSSF evaluated the two wastewater treatment plants in the area (Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant and Capital Region Sewage Treatment Plant) to determine the staging of sewer construction and treatment plant expansion. In 2017, the SSSF (a City of Edmonton led Committee) voted to direct wastewater flows from communities south of Edmonton to Gold Bar's Wastewater Treatment Facility. With some technology improvements within our fenceline, Gold Bar will be able to continue to handle future flows from this line, with minimal impact to the surrounding community.

Why don't you develop parking within your fenceline? Why is additional parking required?

There are currently not enough parking stalls available for our staff, visitors and contractors on site. The existing roadways on site are congested due to parking issues and narrow roadways between process facilities within the fenceline. This situation presents significant safety risks to personnel walking on the site as there is little to no room for pedestrian walkways. This situation is expected to worsen as additional process facilities are constructed within the fenceline (taking away parking and roadway space). Relocating the parking space outside of our fenceline reduces the issues with having pedestrians and vehicles travelling within the active processing facility.

Why can't EPCOR use the City's parking lots located at Capilano and Gold Bar Parks for all of their parking needs?

The City's Capilano parking lot (west of the plant, near the boat launch) and the Gold Bar Park Recreation lot east of the plant were designed for City recreational programming, or recreational users accessing the area daily and during various segments of the day. The proposed parking lot location would allow employees to access and exit the site in a quick and efficient manner, which is an important consideration with commercial and  industrial facilities.

Will the Moonraker Mountain Biking Trail be impacted by this project?

Although we have committed to keeping the paved multi-use trail operational, segments of the Moonraker Mountain Biking Trail may need to be closed if they are located in areas planned for future expansion of the GBWWTP. EPCOR is currently consulting with several different groups regarding potential impacts to the Moonraker Mountain Bike Trail.

Why is EPCOR contradicting policies included in municipal planning documents, such as the River Valley Bylaw and the City's Municipal Development Plan (MDP)?

The City of Edmonton will determine EPCOR's alignment with applicable municipal bylaws and planning documents throughout their development review process. EPCOR will be submitting a Land Development Application to the City of Edmonton for approval to rezone the lands required for this proposed project. As part of this process, we are required to submit:

  • An amendment to the North Saskatchewan River Valley Area Redevelopment Plan (Bylaw No. 7188)
  • An Environmental Impact Assessment (to be submitted once consultation and field assessments are complete)

How will our feedback be utilized?

As we move forward, we are committed to engaging with you. We will continue to involve you in the process, address your concerns and to respond to your questions. The feedback provided throughout public engagement is important to us and will be directly incorporated into our application submitted to the City of Edmonton. We strongly encourage those with questions or feedback to contact us directly to discuss the project further. EPCOR plans on hosting several more pop-up open houses in Gold Bar Park throughout the summer and fall. As our project plans are refined, they will be shared with the community for further feedback.

If approvals are granted, we will provide you with more detailed information regarding construction timelines and potential impacts prior to any work starting. 

Can EPCOR provide further information regarding the City's review process?

Please visit the City of Edmonton's webpage for further information regarding the rezoning process.