1. What stage of the development are they in, and what are next steps?

    The developers are in the redesignation stage. As a landfill is not a use within Wheatland County’s Land Use Bylaw, they are requiring a special land use district to be created for their proposed development. The bylaw creating this land use district has been granted First Reading and the next step is to hold a public hearing.

    The public hearing will allow impacted residents to voice any comments or concerns for Council’s consideration. After the public hearing closes, there will be no further opportunities for the public to speak to the bylaw.

    Council will then consider Second and Third Reading. There are three outcomes from here:
    1. Council may grant Second Reading, but require more information or amendments to the proposed direct control district. This will result in the proposed bylaw coming back to Council at a later date.
    2. If Council grants Second and Third Reading, then the special land use district has been created, and the developer will be able to submit a development permit application for a Class II Landfill. The development permit application will be circulated, and residents will be given the opportunity to submit written comments or concerns for Council’s consideration.

      Council will then consider the comments and the development permit application and make a decision.
    3. If Council refuses Third Reading, then the bylaw fails and the developer cannot submit a development permit application for a Landfill.

  2. What’s the purpose of the proposed Direct Control District?

    A direct control district allows the County to create special regulations for a specific site. It does not automatically permit the proposed uses within it, a developer still needs to make a development permit application.

    A major difference between an existing land use district and a direct control district is who makes decisions on development permits. For existing land use districts, decisions on development permit applications are made by the development officer and the Municipal Planning Commission. These decisions can be appealed by the applicant or affected party. For direct control districts, it is Council and the development officer who make decisions on development permit applications. The development officer’s decision is still appealable. Council’s decision is appealable on very limited grounds, typically if due process hasn’t been followed.

    In the proposed Direct Control District, you’ll see new definitions, permitted and discretionary uses, setbacks, and special regulations. If the Direct Control District is approved, any development permit application within these parcels must follow the regulations.

    The proposed Direct Control District contains the following special regulations:
    • Shipping Containers cannot be stacked more than 2 high;
    • With the Landfill Class II development permit application, the developer must submit
      • a weed management plan,
      • wetland impact assessment report,
      • an emergency response plan,
      • a fire safety plan,
      • a plan detailing the methods to be used to mitigate/reduce negative impacts such as noise and dust, and
      • a landscape plan
    • The development permit for the Class II Landfill will be time-limited to 5 years.
      • The development officer can re-issue the Class II Landfill so long as the application is submitted prior to the permit’s expiry date, there are no changes to the Class II Landfill, and there are no complaints or enforcement orders related to the Class II Landfill.

  3. What is the size of the proposed landfill? How long will it be in operation?

    The developer is applying to redesignate 190.39 acres (the redesignation is over two titled parcels, the proposed landfill would be on the 150 acre parcel). The landfill is proposed to be approximately 61 acres in size, once completed. The developer plans to develop the landfill in four phases (cells).

    The landfill is expected to receive an average of 150,000 tonnes per year and the site life is estimated to be 56 years. This will total 7,500,000 – 8,250,000 tonnes at end of life. However, the developer indicated a better estimate of the lifespan of the landfill would be 30 years, given potential growth in annual volume and consideration for bulkier wastes. Alberta Environment and Parks require a 25 year bonding period after all four phases (cells) of the landfill are closed and capped, to ensure there are no complications or contaminations resulting from the landfill. AEP retains financial security from the developer to ensure proper monitoring is done.

    The final height of the landfill could reach 25 metres at the crown. Once closed it would gently slope in all directions and look like a natural hill.

  4. Will there be another presentation by the Developer?

    The developer will be presenting during the public hearing.

  5. What are the traffic impacts?

    A Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) was submitted with the land use bylaw amendment application. The development is expected to generate an average of 17 in/out trips per day. Realistically, there is the expectation that there will be days with twice that number of vehicles and other days that would have less than 17. These vehicle trips will be distributed over a 9-12 working hour day.

    The TIA estimates 20% of site generated trips will travel to and from the north on Highway 56, another 20% will travel to and from the south on Highway 56, and 60% of site generated trips will travel to and from the west on Highway 561.

    The conclusions and recommendations from the TIA analyses indicate that though the development will have some impact on the traffic operations, these impacts will not reach the levels of negatively impacting the operations of the study intersection. The TIA determined no intersection improvements, no mitigations, and no signal installation will be required.

  6. What materials will the proposed landfill accept?

    The proposed landfill will accept ‘Non-Dangerous Oilfield Waste’ and ‘Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste’. The difference between the two is the generating industry. Due to regulations in the upstream oil and gas sector, wastes generated by oil and gas properties need to be tracked and reported separately. The composition of both streams of wastes is very similar – contaminated soils, demolition debris. Non-Hazardous and Non-Dangerous means the wastes are non-flammable, solid, and stable (cannot be radioactive or reactive).

    Some examples of ‘Non-Dangerous Oilfield Waste’ include contaminated soil, drilling waste, hydrovac solids (soil mixed with absorbent), cement returns, and decommissioning materials (such as metal, concrete, and wood). Examples of ‘Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste’ include construction and demolition waste (metal, concrete, and wood), hydrovac solids, contaminated soil (from locations such as gas stations, auto-shops, and chemical plants), wash bay/sump solids, processing or production wastes such as filters or used containers.

    No municipal or residential wastes will be accepted. The type of material accepted in this proposed landfill are not expected to create odour issues. There may be odours from the oil and gas operational materials, but it is rare and short term.

  7. How will the groundwater be monitored for contamination?

    A Groundwater Monitoring Program is required by the Government of Alberta and must include, at a minimum, background groundwater quality for each monitoring well prior to starting landfill operations, the establishment of groundwater quality control limits for each naturally occurring parameter, and a bi-annual completion of a program for groundwater sample collection frequency and analysis. The developer has collected groundwater quality samples from three wells on site to establish a base. They have installed eight groundwater monitoring wells outside of and within the proposed landfill footprint perimeter. The groundwater monitoring equipment will remain in place through to final closure. Once a landfill cell is closed, closure monitoring is conducted for 25 years.

    The developer has designed the landfill so any precipitation that falls in the landfill will remain in the landfill sump area and is never released to the surrounding lands.

RemedX has supplied their own FAQ that goes into further detail and answers common questions they’ve received. Have a look.

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Fire Ban Advisory

Wheatland County has declared a Fire Ban Advisory. Permit burning is prohibited and no new permits will be issued.

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