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PeterSL

Stauffer Creek Under Threat

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Border Paving Ltd. has filed an application under the provisions of the Water Act for construction of an end pit lake and groundwater disturbance located in the NW 18-037-05-W5. This is at the headwaters of the North Raven River (Stauffer Creek) and could easily damage one of the best trout streams in Alberta. Right next to this proposed development are two conservation sites jointly purchased by ACA, Trout Unlimited Canada, and Alberta Fish and Game Association specifically for the purpose of protecting the groundwater feeding this stream. Even a minor change to the groundwater flow volume or velocity could have a major negative impact on overwintering and spawning areas for the brown and brook trout and could affect the number and type of aquatic invertebrates.

If you fish this stream or are a member of TUC or AFGA please consider letting Alberta Environment know your concerns as soon as possible. You can do so by emailing aep.waapplications@gov.ab.ca referencing the application number: 001-00390571. They ask that you: Describe concerns that are relevant to matters regulated by the Water Act. · Explain how the filer of the concern will be directly affected by the activity and/or diversion of water proposed in the application. · Provide the legal land location of the land owned or used by the filer where the concerns described or believed to be applicable (the conservation sites are SW19-37-05-W5(Leavitt site) and NW17-37-05-W5 (Stainbrooke). · State the distance between the land owned or used by the filer and the site in the application (they’re adjacent to the proposed construction area) · Contact information including the full name and mailing address of the filer · The phone number and/or email address for ease of contact.

Even an email as simple as saying please hold off on any approval for this until and unless there’s some study of the possible impact of digging into the springs feeding the North Raven might help in protecting this stream.

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Done! Thanks Peter!

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Would there be any interest in doing a short documentary film on the efforts to halt this proposal? Interviews with people involved, interviews with people who fish there regularly, a visual tour of the headwaters springs as they exist now, etc. If there is enough interest I can do the filming and editing. Let me know.

 

Cheers,

Rob

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Thanks Rob. Michael Shorts mini documentary has been sent to AEP and I believe to the local county as well. Some aerial footage shot by ACA has also been submitted. A letter of concern has been sent on behalf of Northern Lights.

Peter

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While doing more research on this I see that Michael Short has already covered they story a couple of times:

 

http://letsgooutdoors.ca/blogs/item/227-pavement-over-fish

 

Michael is certainly more on top of things and more connected than I'll ever be so we'll leave this for the experts.

 

 

Rob

Rob, there is power in numbers. The more attention this issue gets the better the results could be. if you need some voice over for your filiming, let me know

Dave

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Good News! Heard yesterday from Mandy Couve, Land Management Specialist with ACA, that although Clearwater County has issued a development permit for the Leavitt pit it is for a dry pit only. All activities involving mining into the water table (wet pit operations) will require separate development permit approval.

 

Also:

1. The Development Permit is subject to appeal, until September 19, 2017. Border Paving can also submit an appeal, although they have not done so yet, and it's doubtful if they will.

2. Border Paving have to submit a new gravel activity plan to the County, which will form Appendix A of the development permit. The activity plan will not include end use ponds, except to capture surface runoff.

3. To apply for a wet pit permit, Border Paving would have to follow the same process from the start - i.e., submit an application to the County, notification of neighbouring landowners, open house etc. As soon as the County receive an application for a wet pit, they forward it to Alberta Environment for approval under the Water Act. This is where is becomes a bit convoluted, because ideally the Municipal Planning Commission value the opinion of Alberta Environment in their deliberations, but AB Environment hold off making a decision until the County issues a permit. The Municipal Planning Commission would require documentation from Border Paving to show the effects of a wet pit on the ground water flow and water table as part of a wet pit application. The County are very aware of the multiple gravel pits in the vicinity of the North Raven River and the cumulative impacts on the ground water.

 

Thanks to all who submitted statements of concern.

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Received a letter today addressed to Northern Lights Fly Fishers/TU Edmonton from Environment and Parks as follows:

 

"Your statement of concern was received by the department and is filed in the application records under the Water Act.

Border Paving has withdrawn their applications under Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act - Code of Practice for Pits Water Act -construction of an end pit lake and groundwater disturbance.

Should Border Paving intend to pursue activities at this location, new applications under both the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the Water Act will be require in accordance with the type of activities being proposed. All Public Notice and First Nations consultation requirements will be re-initiated at the time of application."

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