WHEREAS the long-term future of rural Alberta requires a sustainable and viable agriculture industry;AND WHEREAS there is significant economic benefit realized from investment in value added agricultural processing;AND WHEREAS future investment in the intensive livestock industry will require public support throughout the approval process;AND WHEREAS a contributing factor to the opposition against industry growth is the lack of regulation over the environmental and public health aspects of intensive livestock operations; AND WHEREAS there is sufficient capacity in Alberta to provide for industry expansion;AND WHEREAS municipalities wish to retain their delegated responsibility for land use approvals but do not have resources to address technical, environmental, and health issues related to intensive livestock operations;AND WHEREAS a sustainable expansion of the intensive livestock industry will require the application of uniform standards throughout the province;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the support of the provincial Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development in the implementation and enforcement of regulations that address environmental, public health, and nuisance concerns, to maintain a sustainable and viable livestock industry, while leaving the responsibility for the land use approval and appeal process to the municipality.
Rural municipalities face increased demands for expansion of intensive livestock operations. There is economic benefit realized from increased investment in the industry, however strong public opposition to expansion has significantly increased costs incurred by all parties during the approval process. In many instances, opposition and appeals are based on factors that could be appropriately addressed through provincial regulation.The intensive livestock producer groups support the position that clear regulations and enforcement of the same will address many of the concerns raised by the public, establish sustainable limits for growth, and allow the industry to achieve these limits without incurring significant and avoidable costs during the development approval process.The implementation and enforcement of provincial regulations, will enable municipalities to retain control over land use issues and provide the public and municipal councils with the assurance that environmental and public health concerns have been properly addressed. This two tiered approval process has worked very effectively for industrial developments, and a similar model could be applied to the intensive livestock approval process.
Resolution 9-99S, endorsed at the spring 1999 convention, also address the issue of regulations governing the intensive livestock industry, and calls for legislation and regulations governing intensive livestock operations to incorporate the following principles:- Use of scientific data in the establishment of thresholds, manure management and other standards.- Establishment of thresholds or a formula for the calculation of thresholds for mixed operations.- Notification to landowners that may be affected by an application for a registration or approval.- Provision for public input and the opportunity for affected landowners to appeal an application for a registration or approval.- Allocation of adequate resources to ensure there is a comprehensive review of all applications for registration and approval.- Allocation of adequate resources to monitor compliance with standards.