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MD committee approves gravel pit expansion proposal

“There were no new conditions. It included the traffic impact assessment, as well as the storm water management plan as requested by Alberta Transportation.”
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The Burnco gravel pit expansion area. SUBMITTED PHOTO

MUNICIPAL DISTRICT OF BIGHORN – Burnco Rock Products will see its gravel pit operation expanded from 16.8 hectares (41.47 acres) to 30.9 hectares (76.29 acres) after the Municipal District of Bighorn's Municipal Planning Commission approved the proposal.

For the past 30 years, Burnco has operated on the site and the company is in the process of updating the lease with the provincial government to allow for the expansion of its existing operations. The commission also approved to have an expanded developmental footprint for its concrete plant from two hectares (5.07 acres) to 3.2 hectares (8.13 acres).

According to Burnco, the reserves at the site are nearing depletion and, as a result, the company was requesting the expansion to ensure it had sufficient material for future operations. The expansion will provide 1.5 million tons of aggregate, which will extend the life of the gravel pit by 10 to 15 years. Reclamation efforts will also be conducted at the existing site.

With the expansion of the extraction area, no operational changes are proposed. Crushing, washing hours of operation, volumes and truck traffic will all remain the same as in the original approval.

Bighorn administration put forward 29 conditions for approval of the expansion, including a traffic impact assessment by a qualified transportation professional in accordance with Alberta Transportation guidelines. There also must be stormwater management that provides an assessment of pre- and post-development storm drainage.

Administration was asked by the commission if any new conditions were added from the previous approval.

“There were no new conditions,” said Johnson Kwan, a senior planner for urban and community planning with WSP Canada. “It included the traffic impact assessment, as well as the stormwater management plan as requested by Alberta Transportation.”

Regarding dust mitigation, Coun. Jen Smith asked if new measures could be put in place based on what the MD has learned from other industries. She was told that additional measures could be added. She also asked about the impact on local wildlife.

Kwan, the file manager, said the approval is subject to the stormwater management plan to the satisfaction of the MD.

“I know there is a huge salamander population in the one pond,” Smith said. “It is one of the biggest in the area.”