Through consultation with near neighbours, Total E&P Canada
has heard consistently that there are concerns regarding the nuisance effects of both construction and operation of the Total Upgrader. These nuisances include light trespass, noise, traffic, odours and off-site visual effects. Total has undertaken a number of studies over the past couple of years and has come up with some solutions to these nuisances that we hope will alleviate the impacts on our near neighbours.
The Total Upgrader uses lighting for safety, security and operations. Light can escape the site and be an issue with residents close to our facility. It is important to note that just as there are regulations restricting the level of lighting from being too bright, there are also safety regulations that industry must follow to ensure that the level of lighting is sufficient to comply with these safety regulations. Total is currently undergoing study that will identify methods of reducing the amount of lighting, and the use of shielding and directional lighting to mitigate light trespass.
Noise associated with construction activities is expected to occur during the project construction and decommissioning. Construction noise will occur during levelling and grading of the site, pile driving, excavation, pouring concrete, and erecting steel and components. The Upgrader has been designed to reduce noise during construction and operations and where practical, construction activity noise will be restricted to daytime hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.
The Total Upgrader development will result in additional traffic near the project area, including Highway 15 to the south, Range Road 220 to the west, Range Road 214 to the east and Township Road 554 to the north. Total is currently working with Strathcona County, Shell and others on a detailed traffic management plan aimed at improving road networks including upgrades to roads and intersections. Total will look at ways to mitigate speed through signage and communication with contractors. Busing will be provided to transport construction workers to site.
Total is currently also undergoing a comprehensive landscape plan that will include topsoil berms and planting along the east and southeast side of the site that will reduce the impacts on sightlines and act as a barrier to fugitive light, noise and odours. This vegetation will be dense enough to attract small animals and birds. The intent is not to further attract large animals to the site, both for the safety of the animals and the safety of the drivers around the site. In addition, a 7-foot high fence will be in place around the perimeter of the site on the outside of the berms to further inhibit large animal use of the site.
Often the most effective way to alleviate nuisances to near residents is through communication. It is Total's intent to communicate any extraordinary activity, to provide information to our residents on our construction schedules, particularly noisy activities, and to ensure that our neighbours are comfortable with the manner in which we operate. We are proud to be part of the Alberta Industrial Heartland community and a proud member of the Life in the Heartland, communicating to the community initiative. Total looks forward to being a good neighbour that the local community will respect and value.