Dear Gofundme Friends:
Thank you very much for you contributions to support our efforts.
Bighill Creek Preservation Society is still actively opposing the Mountain Ash Summit (MAPL) gravel mine. In concert with Friends of Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, we’ve undertaken public engagement with signage, handouts, Facebook and Instagram. We’ve encouraged supporters to send letters to Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), via the minister Jason Nixon, his assistant deputy ministers and officials. Our Society has communicated continuously with Environment staff to encourage them to act as we believe that they have the authority and responsibility to proactively investigate the impact of this and the other gravel mines on Big Hill Springs groundwater.
Regulation of gravel mines in general and especially regarding groundwater impacts is a disjointed and superficial series of approvals. As you probably know six members of Rocky View County rammed through the land use re-designation (three readings in one day) in spite of overwhelming broad based and scientifically supported opposition. There is no appeal process.
MAPL’s evidence at the RVC hearing stated that their operations would change the flow of water to the Big Hill Springs. Nonetheless they claim they will not alter groundwater and dismissed evidence their mine will place groundwater and Big Hill Springs Provincial Park at risk.
This mine, as most others in the Province is required to apply to Alberta Environment for registration under the “Code of Practice for Pits”, a short document which describes standard operating requirements for dry pits. The “Code” makes no reference to groundwater. Information is normally provided by the applicant. We have not been able to determine if the public will receive any notice or be given any opportunity to provide information to this process or if it will simply receive a “rubber stamp” approval.
Following the “Code” process, MAPL must apply to AEP for an authorisation under the Water Act to remove the sloughs on the property. Because they claim not to “alter” groundwater MAPL have stated that they will not apply for any groundwater impact approvals. Since December 2020, BCPS has attempted to encourage AEP to 1) require MALP to file a groundwater application, 2) provide public notice 3) receive and consider public input and 4) do their own investigation. We have sent AEP both Dr. Jon Fennell’s study of groundwater risks and the letter in opposition provided by Alberta Parks. (See bighillcreek.ca for both.)
If AEP determines they will not investigate ground water impacts, such a decision will be subject to appeal to the Environmental Appeals Board. This would will require legal support, be a lengthy and expensive process and will require funds you’ve most generously donated.
Our overarching concern is that if this mine and the others are approved, this risks and impacts to groundwater, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park and Bighill Creek cannot be effectively mitigated or ever repaired. The battle continues.
Thanks again for your support.
“To ensure the natural and historical values of Bighill Creek Watershed are preserved for this and future generations.”
- An Important Message October 7, 2021
- Let’s Unite For Our Future October 7, 2021
- Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Reopens September 13, 2021
- Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Reopens Amidst Threat of Gravel Pit-September 10th, 2021 September 11, 2021
- Help Save Big Hill Springs Provincial Park August 23, 2021
- Prairie Falcon Banding June 18, 2021
- GoFundMe Change of Direction June 16, 2021
- It is important to act now! June 7, 2021
- Gravel and Parks Don’t Mix May 21, 2021
- Please Defend Alberta Parks March 30, 2021
- Is Calgary Growth Founded on Ethical Gravel? March 11, 2021
- Results from March Second RVC council hearing March 9, 2021
- Rocky View Council Puts Gravel Before Parks, March 5,2021 March 7, 2021
- Marlin Schmidt NDP Environment Critic Letter to Council February 25, 2021
- Calgary Herald’s article published on Saturday, February 20th 2021 February 22, 2021