Gravel pit faces opposition

Neighbours fear gravel pit proposed near Markerville could impact aquifers

Image from Pexels.com

Neighbours of a proposed gravel pit are frustrated that they must renew the fight to stop it.

Howell’s Excavating Ltd. wants to mine about 2.1 million tonnes of gravel in phases over 20 years on about 122 acres, six km south of Markerville in Red Deer County.

County council approved first reading of a bylaw amendment to include the proposed pit in a gravel overlay district on Tuesday. A public hearing has been set for April 25.

Adele and John McKechnie live next to the proposed gravel pit and are concerned gravel excavation will endanger an aquifer important to local water supplies and increase flooding risk in the area.

The gravel operation, which is located in the Medicine River Environmentally Significant Area, will also create noise and dust problems and is incompatible with neighbouring properties.

Howell’s Excavating proposed a gravel pit on the same land in 2013 but was turned down by the county’s municipal planning commission. Howell’s appealed but lost.

The McKechnies are upset that once again they must fight the same battle over again. A gravel operation by another company was approved in the 1990s to mine gravel nearby but did not go ahead because of a requirement that the company only mine gravel above the water table, they say.

Residents are also concerned that under a gravel pit approval process adopted by the county a year ago does not allow for appeals once council has agreed to allow a gravel pit to be included in a gravel overlay district.

John McKechnie said the gravel pit approval process is not protecting landowners.

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s made it worse.”

Lawyer Gayle Langford is representing Howell’s Excavating and said the company has hired a former Alberta Environment expert to ensure the site is suitable and water supplies are not affected.

The expert will ensure Howell’s Excavating’s application goes “over and beyond what would be required,” said Langford.

More observation wells will be drilled to ensure water supplies for residents are not affected. Water on the site flows away from neighbouring properties, she said.

“So there’s absolutely no impact on their water supply.”

Berms and additional trees have also been proposed to act as noise and dust buffers.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Man killed in collision near Markerville

A 55-year-old man is dead after a collision near Markerville Friday night.… Continue reading

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month