Reader says speak up to protect local water

The public hearing for this is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the county office.

Dear editor,

Last November I wrote to local newspapers that the County of Wetaskiwin is proposing to amend their Municipal Development Plan (MDP) regarding the location of new confined feeding operations (CFO) and intensive livestock operations (ILO).  The public hearing for this is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the county office.  This public hearing is the only opportunity that we, the public, are given a voice.  We must speak up now because complaining, after the bylaw is amended, will be futile.

As clarification, both CFOs and ILOs are agricultural ventures involving confined animals within a building or certain area (e.g. feedlots, dairy, chickens, pigs, goats). Both require permits. Locations of both are governed by the county’s MDP.   The difference is that a CFO has more animals than the provincial government’s determined threshold number, whereas an ILO has fewer numbers of animals.

Last spring, an applicant for a new CFO (an 800-head goat dairy) requested to council (May 7, 2015 meeting) that the Wetaskiwin County relax their MDP bylaw, which governs “setback from lakes” for locating a new CFO.  The county’s current MDP bylaw (1.4.3b) states “….1.6 km. (1 mile) from Lakes” and this setback creates an environmental barrier to protect surface water from contamination.  The proposed location of this new CFO was within 170 meters of a lake.  But council approved the motion (November 12, 2015 meeting) which could allow the MDP bylaw to be reduced to as little as a 30-meter setback.  Council also suggested that this “lake” was possibly just a “wetland” making the current MDP bylaw not applicable.

Do not be fooled.  This upcoming public hearing is not for approving the location of this goat dairy; this hearing is to amend the MDP governing the future “setback from lake” restrictions of all new CFOs and ILOs throughout the entire County of Wetaskiwin.  The goat dairy application has since been withdrawn and this application has not been my issue with the county.  I am not opposed to new agricultural ventures which adhere to the county’s MDP bylaws, but I am objecting to the process that council has suggested.  Our lakes, wetlands and water courses must be safeguarded from contamination.  To do this the original setback of one mile should not be relinquished.

Speak to your councilor.  The vote of each councilor will determine if and how this bylaw will be amended.  The public has a chance to make a presentation at the public hearing but council makes the final decision. It is these councilors who will decide if the “setback from lakes” will be reduced.

This public hearing will be Thursday, Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the County of Wetaskiwin.  Speak to your councilor.  Write your letter of concern to council.  Come to the public hearing and have a voice. For more information, I can be contacted at cathy.minchau@gmail.com.

Cathy Minchau, R.R. 2, Millet, Alberta

 

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin council moves ahead on efficiency audit

Intense debate Apr. 9 over how county’s efficiency should be reviewed

Albertans have spoken, and spoken clearly

UCP takes 63 electoral districts, NDP mostly an Edmonton party

AFSC crop insurance rates lower for some producers in 2019

Cow-calf producers can take advantage of premiums lower than at this time last year

New Sarepta students host political forum Apr. 10

Political Forum hosted by NSCHS Students

Robbery in Leduc County estimated at $40,000

Leduc RCMP investigate break and enter and theft of firearms

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Calgary’s public school board responds to Syrian child’s suicide after bullying

Amal Alshteiwi, a newcomer to Canada from Syria, took her own life several weeks ago

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Woman in critical condition after motorcycle crash on Edmonton highway

Police say both women were thrown from the bike, and the van continued forward, hitting a Nissan Altima

Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

Many of those who helped that day — first responders and Good Samaritans alike — still affected

New study suggests oilsands greenhouse gas emissions underestimated

New study is the first to use actual field measurements taken from aerial overflights, or top-down measurements

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

As in Ontario, the Alberta platform touts ‘expert advice and counsel from trusted health-care professionals’

Most Read