Nov 26, 2018

Sewer Expansion Raises Concerns in Canada

Neighbors around the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant worry a city decision would lead to more odors

Neighbors around the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant worry a city decision would lead to more odors
Neighbors around the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant worry a city decision would lead to more odors.

In Edmonton, Alberta, city councilors are raising questions about decisions on the city’s deep sewers.

According to the Edmonton Journal, neighbors around the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant worry a city decision would lead to more odors and speed up processing at the river valley site in the city.

The council’s utility committee is now asking to approve a motion that could make these decisions transparent, according to the Edmonton Journal. This would lead administration to explore options for council to be responsible for approving any major sewer line expansion.

“This has unearthed a governance glitch that needs to get fixed,” said Ben Henderson, Ward 8 Councilor and chairman of the utility committee, to Edmonton Journal.

The utility committee heard from nearly 20 speakers concerned about a plan to make the plant the destination when a sewage trunk line is built, according to the Edmonton Journal.

The original plan was to build the line expansion out to the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Treatment Plant. However, an internal committee decided to change plans and make Gold Bar the destination instead. According to the Edmonton Journal, this was following a consultant report that found $160 million in savings.

According to the Edmonton Journal, the internal committee includes city staff, Epcor and development industry representatives. The committee does not require city council approval and it does not need to consult with the public about any decisions. According to the Edmonton Journal, this does not sit well with the Save Gold Bar Park Alliance who are already concerned about industrial development in Gold Bar Park.

“If they need one more inch of space at Gold Bar Park, of our parkland, then it’s time to be moving things out of town,” said Jim Rickett, an area resident who has become a spokesman for concerned residents, to the Edmonton Journal.

The Gold Bar plant is surrounded by parkland and residential neighborhoods. According to the journal, the plant has created controversy with nearby residents and park user groups because of odors coming from the plant and because Epcor created a plan to build a parking lot and administration buildings beyond its fence line.

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