Leduc County issued an Environmental Protection Order from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) in relation to the former Kavanagh Landfill after ESRD said there is no evidence the site was reclaimed after it was closed in the early 1970s.
Leduc County has said it will work with ESRD and is taking the order seriously but County staff said the work was done. “To the best of our recollection, we are led to believe that it has been reclaimed to the standards of the time,” said Acting County manager Allan Krasowski.
In a release, ESRD said that despite the fact the County received grant money in 1976 to reclaim the property when the landfill was shut down, a 2013 site inspection found that previously deposited waste, including rusted metal car parts, glass, plastic and cinder blocks, was coming to the surface across the site and that these substances are harmful to the environment, human health and safety and the property.
Krasowski said he’s been with Leduc County for 37 years and remembers when his predecessor told councillors in the 1980s the site had been reclaimed.
“Unfortunately, he is no longer with us and if I had been here three years before I would have better information on what happened.”
The problem, said Krasowski, is that no one keeps records for 40 years so the County at this point has not been able to present ESRD with the Closure Certificate they would have received when the site was reclaimed and the provincial government doesn’t have a record of it either.
“It’s 40 years ago and due to policy, procedural and personnel changes, there’s no one here or there who can verify the work was done,” said Krasowski.
The Environmental Protection Order is asking the County to clean up the site to today’s standards and while the County is cooperating fully with ESRD’s investigation, they are also looking at filing an appeal.
“Leduc County is committed to being a steward of the lands,” said Krasowski, “and we will do what we need to do.”
Leduc County no longer owns the property in question.