Teck is planning to build temporary housing on Highway 43 to accommodate its external contractor workforce. File photo

Teck is planning to build temporary housing on Highway 43 to accommodate its external contractor workforce. File photo

Elkford council approves permit for Teck temporary housing project

Temporary worker accommodations to house external contractor workforce for “critical” Teck projects

Representatives from Teck appeared before Elkford council on February 25 to provide a summary of the final Development Permit Application for their temporary workforce accommodations, noting feedback and concerns from council and the public.

They also spoke to corresponding mitigation, which were integrated into the application.

Council approved the Development Permit for the temporary workforce accommodations site along Highway 43.

A representative from Teck explained after the meeting that in order to accommodate the external contractor workforce required to construct critical projects across the Valley, including the Fording River South Active Water Treatment Facility, they will be contracting ATCO Structures to operate temporary worker accommodations in Elkford.

The temporary worker accommodations are planned to be in operation starting next month for a period of approximately three to six years. They are expected to accommodate 484 people.

“Teck requires temporary accommodation for the workforce needed to complete projects aimed at addressing water quality in the Elk Valley, and other projects,” said Teck’s Manager of Social Responsibility Nic Milligan.

“There is currently insufficient short term accommodation to meet the workforce needs for these projects.”

Milligan further explained that the temporary worker accommodations create opportunity for generating economic activity and contributing to tax revenues, and utilities.

He said they also provide an opportunity to promote the District of Elkford to residents of the accommodations and potentially attract workers, and their families as long-term residents.

He added that coordinated transportation will be arranged from the temporary worker accommodations to the project work sites to reduce highway traffic.

Teck is currently finalizing the social impact assessment, which has identified several community impacts and opportunities associated with the temporary worker accommodations.

Speaking to this, Milligan explained that they have developed measures to mitigate or enhance these.

“The social impact assessment has so far recommended the following key mitigation, which will be implemented in partnership with the District of Elkford and ATCO: a site specific Code of Conduct, a guest orientation program, an ATCO community and recreation coordinator and a Social Effects Advisory Committee,” he said.

“Teck will continue to work in partnership with the District of Elkford, RCMP, Interior Health Authority and other service providers to monitor potential impacts of the accommodations to current service levels, and we will continue to provide updates to the community, with the next open house planned for March 6.”