UPDATE-from gravel pit mining

Update: Gravel Mine at Big Hills Springs Provincial Park

Earlier this year, Alberta Environment and Parks requested Statements of Concern regarding the application by Mountain Ash Limited Partnership gravel mine near the Park.

Normally, Statements would be accepted by AEP if provided by a person defined as a “directly affected party”. The understanding of BCPS is that historically, AEP has used a very narrow definition as to whom this may apply. Historically, almost invariably these would be landowners in close proximity to the project site and able to identify direct risk of harm.  Under the normal restrictions BCPS would most likely not qualify. However, AEP has advised us that our SoC has been accepted. No further information was provided in the notice.

AEP received 257 SoCs. BCPS is aware of at least a dozen Statements which were “accepted”.  These were authored by an apparently diverse group of individuals; some not normally recognised as “directly affected”.  In at least one of those acceptances, AEP provided a list of issues raised in the Statement which AEP would investigate.

BCPS would like to know AEP’s responses to as many of the 257 submissions as possible. We’d be very appreciative if you would send a note to info@bighillcreek.ca indicating;

  1. If your SoC accepted or rejected.
  2. If rejected, the reason given.
  3. If accepted, was there any undertaking by AEP to investigate specific concerns you raised. (If you could take a minute to outline your concerns, we’d like to know those too.)

(Please pass this request along to anyone you know who may have sent an SoC.)

In the next phase of the AEP process, MAPL will be given the list of accepted CoS. MAPL will contact the author to arrange a discussion of concerns and if any, means to mitigate those concerns. We don’t know when these communications will commence. We are also interested to know if you’ve been contacted by MAPL.

In addition to an opportunity to converse with MAPL about their application, parties who’s SoC have been accepted would also be able to file an appeal of any subsequent approval.

Thank you very much for your efforts in defence of our Park and Bighill Creek. If we can provide anything further please drop us a note at the email above. We’ll respond.

Gerry Bietz