Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) responded to a complaint about significant changes to the land on a property owned by Donna Duffy and farmed by her brother, Ron Duffy. During the course of the investigation, ESRD observed Mr. Duffy engaging in the unauthorized alteration of a watercourse as well as related ditching activities and the infilling of a series of low lying areas (potholes) that contained water at certain times of the year.
A subsequent site inspection revealed that the natural watercourse on the Duffy property had been realigned to form a drainage channel without proper authorization. The work increased the potential for flooding and erosion on neighboring lands.
Under the terms of the enforcement order, the individuals named in the order 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 and adjacent properties. In addition, the individuals 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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