A proposed energy landfill project near Conklin is not getting support from mayor and council.
On Tuesday, they held their first meeting since October’s municipal election where they heard from both SECURE Energy Services, the group looking to start the project, and the Conklin Resource Development Advisory Committee.
The proposed landfill would have been located around two kilometres southwest of the rural hamlet and store non-hazardous material coming from on-site projects.
The CRDAC opposed the project as they feared it would have negative impacts on the environmental and the community’s traditional land use and Aboriginal rights.
“I think if the project was far enough away that it would have addressed our concerns, I think the community would have been interested in working there,” said Jeffrey O’Donnell, CEO CRDAC.
“With our community, you never hear the elders or the general public really talk about themselves, they’re really primarily focused on the next generation and if they leave nothing for the next generation to practice their traditional practices, what they do is they risk infringing on their Aboriginal rights.”
O’Donnell notes elders, youth, and the general public were all asked about the project with 100 per cent opposing it.
Field Business Development Representative Processing, Recovery, and Disposal with SECURE Energy Bob Clarke mentioned they did speak to four First Nation groups with two giving the green light to move forward with the project.
The closest First Nation being Chipewyan Prairie in Janvier.
SECURE Energy also surveyed eight other potential sites in the RMWB, however, none met all the criteria needed to move forward with the project with issues such as being too close to water, not enough clay in the ground, and slope stability.
“Oil when it’s produced, create waste and that waste needs to be dealt with in a very responsible way but it also has to be dealt with at locations that meet the requirements,” added Clarke.
“I would definitely start investigating another site but I can’t answer it with certainty.”
O’Donnell added the CRDAC is fully in support of another energy landfill in the region but not so close to the rural community.
Meanwhile, as part of the recommendation, Mayor Don Scott will write a letter Alberta Environment and Parks opposing the project as the project needs approval from the organization before moving forward.
He says he wants to see the group look for an additional location somewhere in the RMWB.