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WHEREAS the Code of Practice for Pits (made under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, RSA 2000, CE-12, as amended) only applies to a gravel pit that came into operation after August 15, 1978; and
WHEREAS the Code of Practice for Pits establishes operational, conservation and reclamation requirements, essential for balancing the need for aggregate development with residents’ quality of life; and
WHEREAS many gravel pits across rural Alberta were established prior to August 15, 1978 and therefore, are not subject to the requirements of the Code of Practice for Pits, contributing to many gravel pits not being reclaimed across the rural landscape; and
WHEREAS there are multiple orphaned and abandoned sites across the Province of Alberta; and
WHEREAS in many instances, pits established prior to 1978 have been able to operate with development permits that have no expiry and therefore require no plan for reclamation, thereby indefinitely diminishing nearby residents’ quality of life;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Government of Alberta amend the Code of Practice for Pits to place the same, or similar requirements on gravel pits established prior to August 15, 1978 as those established afterwards, with the intention of better enforcing the reclamation of gravel pits so as to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for rural residents.
Sturgeon County values the benefits the aggregate industry provides to the Province of Alberta, and wishes to continue working with the industry to provide value to residents and community.
Although the industry brings value to the Province and aggregate is a required resource for infrastructure and the prosperity of Alberta residents and businesses, the location and operations of gravel pits oftentimes place constraints on nearby residents’ quality of life.
Most industrial partners work to ensure residents’ quality of life remains intact to the fullest extent possible, but there are some circumstances, permissible through gaps within the Code of Practice for Pits where such concerns can be ignored, specifically reclamation requirements, for pits established prior to August 15, 1978.
Such operations exist in Sturgeon County and elsewhere in rural Alberta, where a municipality may wish to amend conditions on a development permit governing the operations of a gravel pit in specific regards to when a site must be reclaimed by, but cannot since the pit was established pre-1978. There is often times no incentive for the pit owner to reclaim the site, and much of the impacts on residents’ quality of life is able to continue indefinitely. Through applying the same rules that pertain to post-1978 gravel pits to such sites, Sturgeon County believes these concerns can be addressed.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.