But that’s not to say that these projects aren’t without concern – the utility has promised to re-naturalize the area they disturb upon completion but hasn’t come forward with any concrete plan on how that will be done.
Casciaro said EPCOR plans to revitalize an area larger than they remove, including within the water plant fence lines. They were, however, vague about what type of re-naturalization would be implemented and where.
“This is a prairie parkland eco region and there are various stages of parkland that exist,” Casciaro said. “Those stages vary from forested areas to grasslands that are natural to the area. Our vegetation management plan provides the opportunity for us to look at all those stages and where they can be implemented as appropriate.”
Coun. Anne Stevenson, who sits on the City’s utility committee and whose ward Rossdale resides within, says the committee has asked EPCOR to come before council with a finished revitalization plan.
“This will provide us a chance to review the full details of how biodiversity and wildlife connectivity will be supported through this project,” Stevenson said.
The Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition (ERVCC) also has concerns, citing environmental impact and lack of discussion around alternative options.
“There are many problems with this project, including the cutting of 557 trees … further degradation of the wildlife corridor and further impact to sacred Indigenous sites,” ERVCC chair Kristine Kowalchuk said.