THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties recommend to the Minister of Municipal Affairs that the Municipal Government Act be amended to include municipal development controls over resource industry facilities, as any other, which shall be invoked in cooperation with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and not unreasonably cause unnecessary delays in the approval process for those facilities.
Under current provincial legislation the operations approval for an oil/gas exploration or extraction company is issued by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, without the standard development control by the municipalities affected. It is recognized that the resource industrys operational approval should be processed on the basis of the expertise lodged in an organization like the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board. Parallel to that it is claimed, however, that approvals for urban and rural development should be processed on the basis of the expertise in those matters, lodged in the municipality as legislated in the Municipal Government Act.The municipal concerns focus on the lack of municipal controls over road access, safety fencing, screening for flaring, distances between wells or batteries, and urban development not being reciprocally maintained. Other areas of concern are sterilization of land for development due to well location or the existence of pipelines (active or not), well or other operational noises, and potential impact of odours or other environmental effects of production. The municipal view is that cooperation between the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and the municipality in the approval process can be beneficial for both, but will certainly be for the community.