Leduc County councilors approved a tentative agreement overt the decades-old Kavanaugh landfill.
At the meeting Oct. 5 councilors ratified an agreement with the two current landowners inside the hamlet of Kavanaugh along with the Government of Alberta, noted Mayor John Whaley.
Whaley, in a phone interview Oct. 14, said the old Kavanaugh landfill or dump dates back to the 1970’s, when it was closed. He noted small little communities all over Alberta had these dumps and most still remain in the control of the local municipality.
However, for reasons unknown, the Kavanaugh one was subdivided and allowed for sale to private landowners. “This one is different,” said Whaley. It seems the Kavanaugh landfill, decades ago when the site in question was under the control of a body called the Edmonton Planning Commission, was subdivided to separate landowners. The EPC, which does not exist anymore, was responsible for subdividing land around the Edmonton area.
Whaley noted the problems on site, evidence that a landfill was actually under the property, were brought to the provincial government’s attention by current landowners. There were bits of machinery sticking up out of the soil which, Whaley stated, was a surprise to everyone involved.
Whaley said authorities looked into the issue and could find little information about how the Kavanaugh landfill was subdivided. He noted laws were much different in the 1960’s and 70’s, along with the way things like landfills were handled. “That’s why it’s taken longer to find answers to these questions,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”
However, enough information was found to reveal a landfill located inside the Kavanaugh hamlet limits had been reclaimed. The mayor also noted there have been no health concerns, just some physical evidence the remnants of the landfill was there.
The agreement that was ratified by council Oct. 5 involved the county, the current private landowners and the provincial government, is described as “a tentative agreement which would assist the county in completing remediation work on the former Kavanaugh Landfill nuisance grounds.” Whaley noted the terms are confidential and the county won’t be discussing them. “Everything is fair and above board,” said the mayor. “That’s what counts at this time.”
According to a county press release, an environmental protection order was issued against Leduc County by Alberta Environment on Feb. 23, 2015 in relation to the former Kavanaugh landfill.
The mayor said he feels Leduc County went to great lengths to comply with the order. “That was our first focus,” said Whaley.
However, the mayor also said he feels the county should approach the provincial government for help with the issue. “My personal belief is we should be asking the provincial government to help with costs,” said Whaley. “But that’s for another day.”