Time for gravel companies to clean up environmental mess

Gravel companies must repair environmental damage without delay, say Central Alberta muncipalities

Central Alberta rural municipalities have joined forces to push the province to ensure gravel companies repair their environmental damage in a timely way.

Municipalities want the province to amend its gravel code of practice to require a “timely progressive reclamation” of larger gravel pits and to enforce deadlines. The province is responsible for inspection and enforcement of reclamation plans around gravel pits 12.3 acres (five hectares) or larger.

To encourage gravel companies to reclaim their pits Alberta Environment and Parks should ensure securities collected ahead of time “reflect liability and provide sufficient incentive for progressive reclamation,” says a resolution sponsored by Mountain View County and endorsed this week by Red Deer County.

As it stands, gravel companies do not have to reclaim tapped-out sections of their pits as they go, according to the province’s Code of Practice for Pits.

While municipalities can regulate land use and development of gravel pits their authority stops there.

A resolution going to the Central Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urges the province to put more teeth in its Code of Practice. If supported, the resolution will go to the provincial association representing rural municipalities.

Mountain View County Reeve Bruce Beattie said they have a number of large active pits and they want to see them restored to useful land as the pits are mined.

“It’s been an ongoing issue in order to get both reclamation happening and also to have a consistent set of operating principles right across the county, whether (the pits) are small or large.”

There are gravel pits where no efforts have been made yet to restore the mined-out areas, he said.

Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood said municipalities have seen what happens when gravel pits are not reclaimed.

“A long time ago there were no rules and we have gravel pits that were left unreclaimed. We know what kind of a mess that leaves.

“We’re just continuing to make sure we see orderly gravel development happen in a sustainable fashion.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hugh Danielson and Brayden Watts, of Red Deer are trying to spread the word about a new innovation for wheelchairs that they think will be especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Brayden Watts)
Red Deer company lands exclusive patent rights to wheelchair extension

By some small miracle, Hugh Danielson and Brayden Watts stumbled upon a… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Employee at Bethany CollegeSide in Red Deer tests positive for COVID-19

An employee at a Red Deer continuing care facility has tested positive… Continue reading

The Government of Alberta has identified 1,828 new cases and 15 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the provincial death toll to 590. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 1,828 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Central zone has 1,251 active cases

Higher sales of cannabis helped Canadian farmers come out in the green. (Black Press Media File)
Drumheller RCMP lay charge for unlawfully distributing cannabis

A joint forces investigation involving the AGLC investigation team partnered with Drumheller… Continue reading

Three weapons have been seized and four people are facing charges following a police operation in central Alberta. (Photo contributed by RCMP)
RCMP, Lacombe Police seize loaded guns, arrest four people

Four people have been arrested and multiple prohibited firearms are off the… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Homeowners Cora and Alec Dion pose in the basement of their home in Fort McMurray, Alta., on May 8, 2020. More than seven months ago, the Dions were forced to flee Fort McMurray for the second time in four years as a spring flood threatened their home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Halinda
Fort McMurray residents still cleaning, considering options after spring flooding

‘It’s worse than just having water, because it’s ice mixed in with the water’

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Anand says as soon as she knows when the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will arrive on Canadian soil, she will share that information with the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Negotiating contracts for vaccines in development needed flexibility: Anand

Health Canada officials are days, maybe even hours, away from approving the COVID-19 vaccine

Harley Hay
Hay’s Daze: Not used to seeing giraffe with a mask

My bad. Now there’s an expression that used to stick in my… Continue reading

Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota rises in the House of Commons, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in Ottawa. nbsp; THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Speaker Rota reflects on first year presiding over unprecedented virtual Parliament

‘It’s not what I signed up for but it is what it is’

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max draw

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

Montreal Alouettes' Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a “laggard” on homophobia in sports

Study finds Canada a “laggard” on homophobia in sports

Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan (3) and Mexico's Jacqueline Ovalle (11) battle for the ball during a CONCACAF women's Olympic qualifying soccer match Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Edinburg, Texas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Delcia Lopez
Lyon defender Kadeisha Buchanan named Canadian Women’s Player of the Year

Lyon defender Kadeisha Buchanan named Canadian Women’s Player of the Year

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Andrew Harris celebrates his touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. Running back Andrew Harris, who was instrumental in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ending their Grey Cup drought in 2019, tops the CFL team's list of potential free agents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Grey Cup MVP, top Canadian Harris among Winnipeg Blue Bombers potential free agents

Grey Cup MVP, top Canadian Harris among Winnipeg Blue Bombers potential free agents

Most Read