Veenstra charged under Environmental and Water Act

Environmental and Water Act charges have been laid against the owner of a body shop located in Red Deer’s Northlands industrial subdivision.

Environmental and Water Act charges have been laid against the owner of a body shop located in Red Deer’s Northlands industrial subdivision.

Provincial authorities allege that Harry Veenstra, owner of Auto Body Services Red Deer on 49th Ave. and 78th Street, created a water diversion that caused flooding and significant damage on neighbouring properties.

Officials have laid seven charges in relation to the diversion, including six charges under the Water Act and a seventh under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

Charges include commencing an activity without approval, commencing a diversion without approval, operating a works without a licence or proper authorization and permitting the release of a substance at an amount or concentration that could have significant adverse effects.

The alleged release did not enter any waterways, according to a press statement released on Monday by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

Veenstra is to make his first court appearance in Red Deer provincial court on July 24.

Veenstra was previously embroiled in a battle with Red Deer County over allegations that he had buried garbage on a 100-site in the Blindman Industrial Subdivision, located north of Red Deer between the Red Deer and Blindman Rivers.

County officials had ordered that he perform an environmental impact assessment on the site as a result. However, a provincial court judge overruled the order in a court decision released in early March 2009.

Veenstra was also involved in a dispute with the county in 2006 over a warehouse erected on the Blindman site without benefit of a development permit.

The county received court approval to tear down the building, estimated at the time to have a value of about $1 million. County officials opted to work out an agreement with Veenstra instead.

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