While pleased the Alberta Government has opened the communication channels for the proposed Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir (SR1), Rocky View County (RVC) says it will remain opposed to the project until other mitigation options are given the same level of consideration.

In reaction to today's update on the project, RVC Reeve Greg Boehlke says the county wants the province to examine four other potential options before a final decision is reached and construction begins. Those alternatives are initiatives at McLean Creek, Priddis and the Tsuut'ine Nation as well as a comprehensive Room for the River approach that would spread flood mitigation efforts throughout the region.

RVC Reeve Greg Boehlke. (Photo/RVC)

“We’re pleased that SR1 is undergoing the kind of thorough review that Minister McIvor outlined today," says Boehlke in a statement. "Our position is that the other flood mitigation options should see the same level of attention so that we can make the best possible choices.”

Today, Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver announced the province has responded to extensive questions from the provincial and federal officials with an 8,000-page document. 

The technical responses to questions about the project's environmental impact assessment cover a broad range of information requested by the regulators, including benefits and costs, land use, Indigenous consultation, water and hydrogeology and environmental impacts. The report answers questions asked in 2018 by Alberta Environment and Parks, the Natural Resources Conservation Board and the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Boehlke did thank the province for providing an update to Rocky View County. In the past, he says, they have found out through the media.

“It is astounding that the municipality most impacted by the construction phase of the proposed SR1 project has been shut out of information until now. I am very encouraged that this might represent a new day in our joint efforts to find the very best project for protecting Calgary from future flooding. We may also have the opportunity to explore other benefits that can be tied to flood mitigation, such as regional drought protection and water supply issues.”

While the data requested has been completed, the government remains woefully short of the acquiring land necessary for the project. About 20 per cent has been purchased to date.

Should it be approved, the reservoir is expected to be operational within two construction seasons and reach its full potential within three years.