Parkland Refining Ltd. wants to rezone nearly 14 acres to build a rail spur to its refinery and tank farm just north of Bowden.
Red Deer County council granted first reading to a bylaw to adopt a proposed area structure plan necessary to make way for the project to build a rail spur off the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. line.
To prepare for the tracks, 14 acres of Parkland-owned agricultural land must be rezoned to heavy industrial.
The project, meant to improve efficiency, will see gasoline and diesel fuel transferred from rail cars on the spur line.
A pipeline would carry the fuel to the nearby tank farm.
The county received one letter of concern from an area resident, who was worried about fuel spills, leakage or derailments.
Parkland told the county that the company and CPR have emergency response plans in case of problems. A new emergency response plan would be in place for the rail spur.
A public hearing on Parkland’s application is expected to take place at Red Deer County Centre next month.
Parkland Refining is owned by Red Deer-based Parkland Income Fund. The Bowden refinery is operated as a storage and contract processing site.