04 Mar Springbank dry dam and environmental assessments
In today’s Calgary Herald: “Prentice confident Springbank dry dam most cost-effective option to protect Calgary.”
The article outlines the reasons behind building a dry reservoir around Springbank in an effort to mitigate flooding in Calgary. While the reasons are largely economic, there was some mention of environmental assessments. “Prentice said a dry dam in McLean Creek would also involve a five to seven year environmental review process and the province would continue to examine that proposal, as well as the diversion tunnel in Calgary.” The article – and that statement in particular – have raised questions as to why the Springbank dam will require less time for an environmental review process than other options currently being considered.
Since reforms to both federal and provincial environmental assessment in 2012, the process largely depends on the size and scope of the project. Adam Driedzic, ELC Staff Counsel, provided a good breakdown of post-2012 requirements in his July, 2014 blog post: “Does a flood mitigation ‘dry dam’ require an environmental assessment?” This post should answer questions as to which projects need which assessments and when.