Municipal planning commission voted 4-3 against disposal site proposal
A contentious private waste disposal facility was narrowly turned down by Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission on Tuesday.
Brandon Hollman proposed building an Alberta Environment-approved non-hazardous waste site about four kilometres west of Hwy 2 off the Burnt Lake Trail. The facility would be used for slurry, a mixture of water and dirt sucked up by hydrovac excavation equipment.
The slurry would be collected in a concrete pit designed so slurry cannot leach into surrounding soil or the water table.
Once tested to ensure no contamination, the slurry would be spread on the land on the 153-acre site. If tests turned up contamination it would be removed and taken to a suitable disposal site and the cost billed to the company responsible.
Hollman told the planning commission the dried slurry is safe and can be used as clean fill. His application says five trucks making return trips would visit the site daily.
Some neighbours were not happy with the proposal.
George Gehrke, whose property is about a kilometre from the proposed waste disposal, said the agriculture-zoned area is not the place for this kind of facility.
“This belongs in a full-blown industrial park,” said Gehrke, who said increased truck traffic was a significant concern.
Other residents expressed concern that the disposal facility could leak into nearby Cygnet Creek.
Coun. Richard Lorenz ,who was among four councillors to vote against the application in a 4-3 split, agreed that the site was not appropriate.
“I do think this is more of an industrial-type application,” said Lorenz. “There is a better place for this.”
Coun. Jean Bota agreed that an industrial area would be a better fit for the business long term.
“I could see this (facility) growing as time goes on.”
Mayor Jim Wood supported the proposed business, which fulfills a need in Central Alberta for a safe disposal site for hydrovac operators. There are about 300 operating in Central Alberta.
“I think there’s definitely a need from what I’ve been hearing,” said Wood.
The proposed use is not that different than other sorts of businesses that have been approved for agriculture areas. Planners recommended approval of the application subject to a lengthy list of conditions.
“This is a tough one,” said Coun. Christine Moore, who voted in favour along with Coun. Philip Massier. “I’m trusting our staff recommendation.”