WHEREAS in recent years there have been a number of incidents involving buried utility lines being pierced by sections of rebar used to anchor landscaping ties in place;AND WHEREAS in July 2002, a homeowner in Stony Plain pierced a gas line while anchoring a landscape tie causing the gas to migrate into the dwelling resulting in a massive explosion killing both occupants and causing severe damage to neighbouring properties;AND WHEREAS the risk of such tragedies also exists in relation to the use of other products, such as fence posts and sonotubes for piling, and any other retail lumber/hardware product that could potentially cause disturbance to buried utilities;AND WHEREAS it has been generally observed that the retail lumber/hardware industry does not warn the purchaser of such products of the potential danger of driving these products into the ground around residential yards where there is the potential to hit buried utilities that could create serious harm to both life and property.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC approach the Federation of Alberta Gas Coops, Atco Gas, Alta Gas Services, the Rural Utilities Safety Association (RUSA) and Alberta One Call, and any other organization associated with the safety of utilities in Alberta, and invite their participation in a joint effort to encourage the Lumber/Hardware Retailers Association in Alberta to increase customer awareness of the potential dangers associated with causing ground disturbance in excess of 1 foot deep;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC and its partners in this effort encourage these retailers to educate their staff regarding the importance of advising purchasers of such products about the potential dangers of ground disturbances, and promoting the use of the One Call System.
The Municipal Government Act is very clear with respect to the purposes of a municipality and one of the key purposes is to develop and maintain safe and viable communities. In addition, one of the key duties of a councillor is to consider the welfare and interests of their municipality as a whole and promote the welfare and interests of their municipality. Buried utility lines exist throughout urban and rural municipalities, and the education of the retail industry, as well as our own residents, regarding the existing danger can only lead to safer communities for all Albertans.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to the role of the retail lumber/hardware industry in improving consumer awareness of the dangers associated with buried facilities. However, members have previously endorsed resolutions aimed at minimizing the risks associated with underground facilities: Resolution 24-99F calls for all service providers to be required to participate in Alberta One Call, and for the mandatory inclusion of location mapping with easement registration; Resolution 12-99S calls for the recording of the locations of all abandoned oil and gas wells and pipelines within a Land Titles registry.