Council resolution calls for AER to halt acceptance of urban-drilling applications by Lethbridge Herald, March 3, 2014
Lethbridge city council is urging a halt to urban drilling applications and sales of mineral rights in urban areas until the province unveils its new urban drilling policy. Today, city council members unanimously approved a resolution directing Mayor Chris Spearman to write Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen, urging the Alberta Energy to stop any further sales of mineral rights within urban boundaries, and the Alberta Energy Regulator halt the acceptance of urban-drilling applications until a provincial policy on urban drilling has been developed and implemented.
The resolution also states the Municipal Government Act (MGA) should be amended to give municipalities a formal say in determining whether resource drilling and production activities are appropriate within their urban boundaries. The resolution follows up one adopted in November 2012, in which city council stated its opposition to urban drilling due to the limitations it puts on future development of urban land. [Emphasis added]
For a complete story, please see tomorrow’s print edition of The Herald.
Lethbridge calls for an urban drilling freeze, Mayor says province has no policy, and doesn’t take the city’s urban planning into account by CBC News, March 3, 2014
Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman and his city council voted Monday to halt all urban drilling applications in the city. Lethbridge City Council wants the province to halt drilling applications within urban boundaries. Council passed a motion Monday saying the Alberta Energy Regulator shouldn’t process any applications until the province comes up with a policy on urban drilling.
Mayor Chris Spearman says they’re not entirely opposed to drilling within city limits, but it has to be in an appropriate place. Spearman says a current proposal to drill in a residential area of west Lethbridge is an example of a potential problem. “It’s our fastest growing area of the city, so we are putting in a $55 million aquatic centre there, we are building a $40 million ice centre and curling rink,” said Spearman. “There’s a developer that wants to put in a $35 million mixed-commercial development. We have high schools in the area We have a proposed new elementary school in the area.”
Right now municipalities have no say in decisions about urban drilling and Spearman says that should change in any new legislation. He is sending a letter to the provincial energy minister Tuesday asking for a meeting. “We have no say currently over where these can take place and if they’re incompatible with existing and future development, you know we’re hooped,” said Spearman.
“Under the current situation the Alberta Energy Regulator makes the decision without any consideration for all the work we’ve done on urban planning.”
Spearman says the province has indicated a new policy is coming but hasn’t given any details on when. [Emphasis added]
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