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Appeal board rejects pitch to save proposal for oilsands landfill south of Fort McMurray


An appeal board has rejected a developer’s attempt to revisit a contentious proposal to build a landfill near a northern Alberta community.

In a written notice of decision released Friday, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Subdivision and Development Appeal Board upheld the municipality’s earlier refusal to allow Secure Energy to build a landfill for non-hazardous waste from the petroleum industry about two kilometres away from the hamlet of Conklin, Alta.

Conklin is a hamlet in northeast Alberta, about 150 kilometres south of Fort McMurray. 

Secure Energy applied to build a 204-acre landfill in 2016, but the municipality rejected the application this year. The company appealed, hoping to salvage plans for the facility that would accept up to 185,000 tonnes of waste every year for 25 years. 

At a meeting in October, dozens of Conklin residents spoke in opposition to the landfill, arguing it would impede their ability to access and enjoy the land surrounding their community.

In its appeal, Secure Energy argued the municipality’s rejection of the project “may have over-stepped their municipal process requirements.”

Bevan Howell, vice president of corporate development, said the company provided a site assessment, which addressed all the concerns that would have been broached in an environmental impact assessment. Howell also said the company would continue to address residents’ concerns and fund a community garden, and that the landfill would generate a handful of jobs. 

But in its decision, the appeal board upheld the denial of the development permit, finding that the industrial nature of the landfill is “incompatible” with both existing and future residential uses in Conklin.





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