Land redesignation underway for new landfill in Kneehill | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Land redesignation underway for new landfill in Kneehill


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A Class II landfill, which will handle non-hazardous solid waste materials, is being proposed on over 500 acres of land in Kneehill County. Kneehill County council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 23 regarding this proposal.


Waste Connection of Canada is proposing to construct a Class II Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) in Kneehill County. A Class II landfill handles solid waste that is considered non-hazardous in accordance with provincial laws, and specializes in the collecting, transporting, processing and disposing of various types of residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial waste.

At the Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Council Meeting, a Request for Decision was presented to council members by Kneehill’s Manager of Planning and Development Barb Hazelton, to move first reading for Land Use Bylaw 1895 and 1896, amending Bylaw 1808 to Direct Control (DC) land district.

In order to apply for the Redesignation of Lands, the Municipal Government Act requires a public hearing to take place prior to council adopting the new Bylaw. Redesignations of land use are solely about the proposed use for the land, and not a permit to develop.

The IWMF site is proposed to be located Section 2-029-24-W4M, north of Township Road 29-0 and east of Range Road 24-2, on 536.86 acres of land. This said land is mostly designated as Agricultural District, with a portion designated as Local Rural Commercial District. The Redesignation of Land will classify the lands as DC districts.

“We recognize this as the beginning of a fairly lengthy process as far as redesignation is concerned. Even if it’s redesignated, after that it goes into a lot more complicated process,” states Ken King, Reeve of Kneehill County at the meeting.

There is a provincial approval process where acts and regulations must be met for any landfills going through this process. These require specific construction standards, details of the operation and closure of the site, and are required to have a plan for annual groundwater monitoring.

There are many concerns among the residents who will be greatly impacted by the project. Lyle Miller lives next to the proposed site, where he owns and operates a farm with his family. He was informed on Good Friday, through a third party, of the proposed landfill being constructed a half mile to the north of him. It was on Thursday, April 4, that he received a letter from the County confirming it, and that a Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23.

“We’re probably the closest residence to this and there’s been no contact from the County and/or from the landfill company to us personally other than the letter we received in the mail,” states Miller.

Miller, and a handful of his neighbours, have taken it upon themselves to inform others within a five square mile radius of the site about what they can do. “We are informing people on who they should contact and what the process is,” Miller tells the Mail. “They can talk to councillors, talk to the MLA, write letters to the County prior to (April 18) and attend the meeting on (April 23).”

“As far as my opposition on the matter, our land values would be affected negatively. Dealing with the noise, smell, and air quality, it will be damaging to our quality of life,” says Miller about the many concerns from his perspective of living next to the landfill. “Garbage will collect in and around properties. There is the potential for groundwater contamination and predators to our livestock in the area. We are concerned about an increase in coyote and skunk populations, and there is a potential increase for gulls. There is quite a bit happening regarding the Avian Flu in the U.S. right now and it is being transferred over to livestock. It is a probability that it can happen here. Not to mention the impact the increase in gulls will have on our grain bags. They tear holes in them and cause spoilage because moisture gets into them. It will affect the quality of grain and limit how long we can store the bags. It’s a problem with being in agriculture and doing something different.”

The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, at 10:00 am at the Kneehill County Office in Three Hills.

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