The land use decision to allow Epcor to use their land at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment plant for a temporary solar farm was a difficult one. I, like many of my colleagues, agonized over this decision. It was a 7-6 decision to rezone the land. Ultimately, I choose to support this land use.
This proposed site is on private land held by Epcor that was intended to be used for the expansion of the water treatment plant. A water treatment plant that serves the region. This proposal would allow the water treatment plant to be self-sufficient and not rely on the energy grid, in addition to generating clean energy.
This wasn’t a discussion on the whole river valley (8,400 hectares) but on the small portion of disturbed land that Epcor owns for the future expansion needs of the water treatment plant (22 hectares). We were to consider if this was an appropriate use of this land.