In response to a public complaint, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) determined that a 350-metre section of a natural watercourse had been altered without authorization under the Water Act, which was accompanied by related ditching and infilling of a series of low lying areas (potholes) that contained water at certain times of the year. The company was notified of the need to construct remedial works and of the need for an approval to do so. Department staff then responded to a second complaint of flooding on an adjacent property. Inspection confirmed that unauthorized ditching activities at the location had resulted in drainage onto neighbouring lands.
Under the terms of the enforcement order, the company and Mr. Sharp must undertake remedial work designed by a qualified water resource professional to restore the natural functioning of the watercourse. The restoration must ensure the channel minimizes flooding, erosion, and siltation on the land. In addition, the company and Mr. Sharp must either return the potholes to pre-disturbance conditions, or alternatively, create a consolidated wetlands feature on the land.
ESRD focuses on education, prevention and enforcement to ensure all Albertans continue to enjoy a clean and healthy environment. When individuals or companies fail to comply with legislation, a number of options are available depending on the offence to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. In this case, the enforcement order will ensure that appropriate remediation of the watercourse is undertaken to prevent damage to neighboring lands.
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