Public engagement framework: How we engage with the community
Working together, EPCOR and the communities around the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant created a
public engagement framework, which outlines the different levels of public engagement and how EPCOR will get feedback or work with the community, special interest groups and recreational users.
Our 4 public engagement levels
Communication will be an important part of all these levels of engagement.
Advise: We will listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations and share how public input (if received) influenced the decision.
Refine: We will work directly with you throughout the process to ensure your feedback is understood and considered. We will ensure that your feedback is directly reflected in the alternatives developed and share how the public input influenced the decision.
Create: We will partner with you in each aspectof the decision including the development of alternatives and identification of the preferred solution. We will look to you for advice and information in formulating solution and incorporate your advice into the decisions to the maximum extent possible.
Decide: We will place the final decision making in your hands. We will implement what you decide.
Current engagement activities
Community Liaison Group
We've managed a Community Liaison Group (CLG) specific to the ongoing operations of the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant for over ten years. The CLG provides an opportunity for members to learn and give feedback on our work to provide reliable and high-quality water and wastewater services. The CLG is a very important link to the communities surrounding the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant. Members of the CLG are in the group for two years, and the group is comprised of 10 to 15 volunteers. The current CLG started in 2019 and meets several times a year.
We also attend community events, such as Highlandia and the Greater Hardisty Community Day, when possible to share educational information about wastewater treatment, talk with community members about our projects and operations, and answer any questions they may have.
We have a longstanding partnership with RiverWatch to support student learning. Over the past 18 years, more than 50,000 students have toured through our Gold Bar plant. In the summer of 2018, Gold Bar was part of RiverWatch's new River Ambassador Program, which brought community members by our plant as part of an on-water learning experience.
Previous engagement activities
The following is a list of previous engagement activities led by EPCOR pertaining to the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant. We’ve also included summary documents from the engagement activities outlining the feedback provided by the community.
Gold Bar virtual open house
We hosted a virtual open house where participants were provided with information about several upcoming projects and opportunities to provide feedback. Participants also had the opportunity to get involved in virtual facilitated engagement sessions where feedback and input could be provided directly to EPCOR representatives.
Gold Bar Citizen Planning Committee
In 2019 we organized a Citizen Planning Committee to take part in three community workshop sessions to focus on operations at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment plant. These collaborative workshop sessions brought together neighboring residential communities, educational and recreational groups, representatives from the City of Edmonton and other interested parties.
The sessions focused on how EPCOR can operate the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant in an environmentally- and socially-responsible manner that minimizes impacts on neighbors and area users, while still meeting the needs of the broader Edmonton population and Gold Bar's ongoing operations.
Participants either live near the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant or frequently recreate in Gold Bar Park, on its trails, or in the river valley near the facility. The workshops were held on February 27, March 19, and May 14, 2019.