In June we celebrated Red Deer City Council voting 4-3 against a proposed gravel pit in central Alberta that the Council of Canadians Red Deer chapter has long opposed given its likely impact on an alluvial aquifer.
But we knew that city council’s rejection of the quarry would be appealed by the backer of the gravel pit. Ipick reported, “Wendell Miller, of 6M Holdings, will make his case before the county’s subdivision and development appeal board at Red Deer County Centre on July 10.”
The ruling has now been made and Council of Canadians activist Ken Collier tells us that the company’s appeal has been denied!
Collier writes, “In spite of the ongoing strategy of firms wishing to quarry gravel almost everywhere, repeatedly proposing mines and appealing denials in the hope they will grind down the finances and resolve of the local citizens, a proposed gravel mine in a shallow aquifer west of Innisfail, Alberta, has again been denied.”
The application was to develop a 28-acre gravel pit near the Medicine River several kilometres south of Markerville. The Red Deer Advocate has reported, “Residents [have] cited concerns about noise, dust and the dangers of developing along a flood plain or flood fringe.”
In this long fight against the gravel pit, Collier tells us, “Council of Canadians Red Deer and Area chapter provided support, letters of objection to the relevant board, attended hearings at Red Deer County offices, wrote letters to newspapers in the region and otherwise was involved in this process. More generally, CoC Red Deer had committee members attending Red Deer River Watershed Alliance meetings for years, also attending some of their tours and workshops related to water use in the region. Jim Keylock was a patient and determined member in this connection.”
The Red Deer chapter has worked in concert with the Medicine Flats Aquifer Committee, the Butte Action Committee and concerned landowners adjacent to the proposed gravel quarry.
Collier notes, “Though it is rewarding to work with the Butte Action Committee and the Medicine Flats organization which includes people who farm and ranch the land, and who use the Medicine and Red Deer Rivers (as well as deal with their floods), it is sobering to realize what sacrifices they went through financially and personally to get these results. The results may not last, but we can hope so.”
Congratulations to the chapter and area residents on this win!