Chapter activist Ken Collier writes, “Council of Canadians Red Deer wrote another letter to Red Deer County opposing a renewed plan to quarry gravel in a shallow aquifer near Markerville, standing with local residents who did not want this gravel operation to proceed.”
The Red Deer Advocate reports, “Residents burst into applause as a proposed Red Deer County Markerville-area gravel pit application was rejected narrowly on Tuesday [June 9]. Council chambers was full with more than 50 turning out to speak both for and against an application to develop a 28-acre gravel pit near the Medicine River several kilometres south of Markerville. …After listening to nearly three hours of submissions, including a number of emotional appeals from residents to not allow the gravel operation, the commission voted 4-3 against a motion to approve the application. Residents cited concerns about noise, dust and the dangers of developing along a flood plain or flood fringe.”
The article notes, “It was the third defeat for Wendell Miller, who proposed a much larger pit in the same area that was turned by the county’s municipal planning commission in September 2010. An appeal was also denied a few months later.”
In 2010, the Red Deer chapter worked in concert with the Medicine Flats Aquifer Committee, the Butte Action Committee and concerned landowners adjacent to the proposed gravel quarry. At that time, Collier highlighted that the quarry involved “digging gravel pits into the aquifer water (largely to get cheap washed gravel) and allowing an asphalt plant. Asphalt leaches benzene, which will then enter the Red Deer water supply, not to mention water for farmers and ranchers locally and everyone else downstream, all the way through the Saskatchewan River system to Hudson’s Bay.”
Congratulations to the chapter and area residents on this win!