Heavy rains in the Bow Valley in 2013 caused a debris flood on Cougar Creek that resulted in widespread damage to municipal infrastructure, homes, property, businesses, the Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 1A, and the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Town of Canmore invested significant time and effort in evaluating different mitigation options and, as a result, proposed the construction of a debris flood retention structure.
Matrix led the team responsible for completing field studies, environmental assessments, modelling, and preparation of the environmental impact assessment (EIA). We supported the Town’s engagement with provincial regulators and local stakeholders, as well as the consultation with First Nations.
The proposed debris flood retention structure is unique to Canada and had not been assessed by regulators previously. In addition, baseline conditions in the area were impacted by the 2013 flood event, which impacted the approach taken for environmental data collection.
Matrix developed a customized EIA approach that considered the unique aspects of the project and met the needs of the Town and regulators. The EIA approach considered the potential consequences of development on both the environment and public safety.
We routinely lead characterization of stream morphology to:
- Assess fluvial erosion hazards
- Develop alternatives for erosion control in environmental assessments
- Develop management strategies as part of land use planning (subwatershed, secondary, tertiary plans and site plans)
- Assist in culvert/bridge design
- Define erosion thresholds to inform stormwater management