Wetaskiwin county council has yet to formally prove a plan a definitive motion regarding a Municipal Development Plan (MDP) amendment to include wetlands with setbacks. However, councillors did hash out several ideas during their March 10 planning and economic development meeting and approved they be sent to lawyers.
All member of council, excluding Coun. Keith Johnson. approved: under no circumstances can a new Confined Feeding Operation (CFO) be located within one mile of the lakes Watelet, Bearhills, Town, Long, Houard and Labyrinth. Or within First Nations communities and multi lot residential subdivisions. CFOs cannot be established or expanded closer than two miles to any lake where there is any risk runoff will contaminate domestic water supplies, wetlands or water courses, unless the regulators are convinced the manure management system is fail safe and there is no reasonable risk of contamination to the lake. CFOs also cannot be within two miles of other establishments such as schools, hospitals and hamlets.
Prior to approving those ideas members of council were debating on whether to add the term recreational lakes. Coun. Larry McKeevers felt most lakes would be included under that anyway. “I think 90 per cent of all lakes could be recreational.”
Johnson was happy with a more definitive, regulated concept and felt leaving it open would mean the county would have to define what lakes are. He says by just naming the six main lakes, CFOs near other smaller lakes could be left up to regulatory boards such as the Natural Resources Conservation Board and the Agriculture Operations Practices Act.
“Then we’re not protecting all bodies of water because most bodies of water run into our main lakes,” said Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers.