Ward Métis is incredibly diverse, and each area of our ward has different concerns, issues, and opportunities. I wanted to share my position on an issue that affects the northeast portion of Ward Métis: the Gold Bar South Edmonton Sanitary Sewer (SESS) routing decision.
The previous governance structure surrounding this decision was problematic in that the routing decision was to be made by EPCOR without coming before City Council. This structure lacked oversight and reduced opportunities for public input. Now that the governance structure has been amended, the routing of SESS has been deemed indeterminate, which means over the coming years, a decision will have to be made.
In short, I oppose the expansion of the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant, and have spoken at council on this issue. The SESS should be directed towards the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission.
Here are my answers to the questions from the Gold Bar Park Alliance:
1. At this time, City Council has not yet determined the destination for the SESS. Do you feel it should be constructed to the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Treatment Commission or to the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant and why?
The SESS should be constructed to the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Treatment Plant. The siting of the current Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant is not in line with provincial guidelines and therefore should not be expanded.
2. EPCOR has recently indicated that they would like to delay Council's decision regarding the SESS destination until 2028. Do you agree that it is appropriate to wait until 2028 to make this important decision - why or why not?
Large scale decisions on infrastructure that will be in place for half a century are often made across long timelines, however, I understand that the community would like to have this decision made concretely as soon as possible. I'd be happy to work with the community and administration to determine if we can accelerate this timeline.
3. Odours have long been a concern for residents living in the vicinity of the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant as well as citizens who use the area for its many recreational benefits. While EPCOR has said it will attempt to mitigate future odours, our communities are bothered by odours right now, and concerned about increased odour problems and other quality of life factors (such as noise, ongoing construction and increased heavy vehicle traffic) if the SESS were to be brought to Gold Bar. What steps would you take as Councillor for Ward Métis to explore and address the issue of odour and other quality of life concerns in the communities surrounding the plant?
Odour from the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant routinely disrupts the quality of life of residents in the area, myself included. Unfortunately, my understanding is that EPCOR's mitigation strategy is the extent of what can be done. This follows from my response in Question 1 regarding the inappropriate siting of the existing plant. I share the concerns of the community about increased odour from further expansion of the site, and it is one of the many reasons I intend to oppose the routing of the SESS to the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Written by: Ashley Salvador