Residents in Bearspaw, Alberta, Canada, are protesting Lehigh Hanson’s potential construction of a new gravel extraction operation, reports Rocky View Weekly.
Lehigh Hanson Materials began hosting early planning sessions during the first week of March, and according to Environment and Land Manager Sophie Mullen, are hoping to file an application with Rocky View County (RVC) in 2016.
Nearly 150 residents attended an open house February 24 at the Bearspaw Lions Hall to discuss the company’s plans for the operation, and organizer Mike Edwards said they are disappointed to see that Lehigh Hanson will be allowed to bring another application before council.
“They’ve already been denied twice, in 1994 and in 2010,” Edwards said. “Frankly, nothing has changed. They say they’re listening to the people this time and listening to our ideas, but our idea is that this is just a bad plan.”
According to Mullen, Lehigh Hanson is “being mindful” of the feedback received from past public hearings. In an email to Rocky View Weekly, she said the company has started looking at options for the operation while making an effort to “maintain transparency” throughout the process.
“We have learned some lessons from the last two applications,” she said. “We are consolidating all the feedback and will be sending out an update to everyone in the next couple of weeks. Once we have some options, we will bring those back to get stakeholder feedback and figure out ways collaboratively to extract the gravel responsibly.”
“We know we have to come up with options for extraction that can address those concerns,” Mullen said. “We would like to work with our stakeholders to develop the design, operations, mitigation, monitoring and end-land use plans.”