County of Paintearth: Garbage, turbines, dust

The increase of garbage being dumped along roads, a citizen’s concern of wind projects and dust abatement spraying on roadways were discussed at the County of Paintearth regular council meeting May 7.

Roads are increasingly becoming dumping grounds, noted Bylaw Officer Colm Fitzgerald, being particularly evident north of the Coronation landfill site.

Fitzgerald highlighted a shift in landfill traffic, citing its closure on Saturdays due to decreased garbage coming from Calgary.

Public Works Director Bryce Cooke added to this, mentioning the Castor landfill’s refusal of construction waste, therefore making it necessary for people to take construction material to the Coronation landfill site.

Cooke also noted that Public Works is finding more construction waste in dumpsters.

Roadside garbage includes cement, construction materials, remnants from copper theft and mattresses.  Both officials expressed concern over escalating dumping if left unaddressed.

Council suggested further discussion on how to proceed now that they are aware of the problem.

Concern for wind project
Concerns about the Craig Lake wind project were articulated in a letter submitted by resident Karen Duncan to the council.

Duncan voiced concern regarding the project’s adverse impacts on local businesses and surrounding areas.

The letter also expressed dismay of the wind farm being constructed so close to Huber Dam and Cabin on the Coulee and worried about the potential influx of similar projects, fearing a decline in local camping due to the wind turbines.

Duncan urged the denial of the Craig Lake project and any future ventures in the County of Paintearth.

Council expressed their limited jurisdiction over project locations, stressing landowner consent of projects on private land.

“The farmer has already signed up and we don’t even know they are coming” noted Coun. Diane Elliott.

Councillor Shipton acknowledged public frustration suggesting that people may be getting in touch with council as a last resort because “people don’t know what else to do.”

“Areas of the province have specific natural resources that lend to various industries” Todd Pawsey Director of Community services noted, referencing provincial resource maps that  indicate the area’s suitability for wind and solar energy projects.

Pawsey made reference to Bonnyville Alberta’s oil production as an example.

Pawsey reiterated that council does not own the land, that landowners have the rights to their land and suggested that people get involved with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) process.

“I think clarification is good,” added Coun. Vockeroth, surrounding possible misconception that council is the approving body.

Councillors moved to accept the correspondence from Karen Duncan regarding the Craig Lake Wind project as information and to prepare a public communication on the role of the county in relation to renewable energy developments for publication on approved county mediums including local print publications and digital media.

MG 30 and vehicle rust
The progress of the summer maintenance initiative, including gravelling and culvert replacement progress was noted in the Public Works report by Bryce Cooke.

Also noted was that commencement of spraying MG 30 was delayed due to rainfall, with approximately 14 miles left to cover.

Cooke noted that there have been concerns from the public regarding MG 30’s potential to rust vehicles.  Cooke noted that it has minimal corrosive impact and that it “is less than rainwater.”

According to The Government of Alberta website, MG 30 is a calcium chloride and magnesium hydroxide solution that serves to mitigate dust, reducing aggregate loss and is especially effective in soils with low clay content.

On their website for MG 30, Kortech Calcium Services state that Alberta Transportation has endorsed MG 30 as a proven dust abatement product since 2015.

Council discussions centered on disseminating information about the safe use of MG 30 possibly through newsletters for public awareness.

Cheryl Bowman
Multimedia reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Cheryl Bowman

Cheryl spent most of her childhood in Stettler, growing up on a quarter section north of town. After graduating from Stettler Composite High School she moved to Calgary where she worked in various industries, attended The University of Calgary and raised a family.

She enjoyed volunteering and contributed in a variety of ways, such as writing articles for the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and covering charitable events as a photographer.

She moved back to Stettler in 2023 where she still has family.