SaskPower Transmission and Distribution Environmental Best Management Practice for Working In or Near Water: Need, Development, Implementation, Outcomes and Continuous Improvement

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In 2015, SaskPower rolled out an Environmental Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual for linear Transmission, Distribution and Fibre optic construction, maintenance and operations. The objectives of the BMPs were to develop consistency in practice, help streamline permits and approvals and raise the awareness of environmental risk across the organization. To build the BMPs, SaskPower engaged external expertise and stakeholders, established internal focus groups with subject matter experts and piloted the material prior to corporate release and training. Working in or near water is a common activity, particularly on maintenance projects where saturated structure foundations fail. A BMP for working in water was specifically developed to address planning, permitting, construction, maintenance and reclamation of projects in surface water (wetlands, lakes, streams, etc). Positive outcomes include better planning and avoidance, reduced regulatory risk and more consistent implementation of mitigation. An ongoing improvement process has also been established to ensure efficiencies are identified and communicated.