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WHEREAS rural municipalities throughout Alberta operate, or have operated, refuse disposal systems known as landfills during the last five decades;AND WHEREAS these municipalities have operated these landfills pursuant to provincial legislation and regulations in place during the operational period of these landfills;AND WHEREAS the majority of these landfills have been reclaimed to provincial standards in place at the time reclamation was completed;AND WHEREAS the requirement for environmental testing and monitoring of these landfill sites, as well as adjacent properties, is increasing;AND WHEREAS the costs of providing environmental testing and monitoring is substantial, and will place a financial burden on rural municipalities and/or private landowners;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to develop and fund a monitoring/remediation program for abandoned and reclaimed landfills within Alberta, similar to the underground tank remediation program.
A farmer in Lac Ste. Anne County was recently required to provide level I and II environmental studies on titled property adjacent to a reclaimed modified landfill that was owned and operated by Lac Ste. Anne County in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1988, the landfill was reclaimed under the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund Land Reclamation Program to the standards required at that time. The noted studies were required by the lending institution of the purchaser, who was obtaining financing to purchase the farmers property. The cost of the studies was in excess of $8,000.
Resolution ER2-01S, endorsed at the spring 2001 convention, urges the provincial government to increase funding in the Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Site Environmental Remediation Program to include funding for the remediation of out-of-service retail facility sites, and sites used for municipal purposes.The government response indicates that Alberta Municipal Affairs is exploring the possibility of expanding the Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Site Remediation Program to include a broader group of priority sites within the approved funding guidelines.
The provincial government has indicated, under current provincial regulations, it is the responsibility of the municipality to set aside an environmental reserve fund for monitoring a landfill after its closure. The AAMDC will continue to press government to assist with landfill monitoring/remediation costs so they do not place an undue burden on municipalities.