Overview

History

In Alberta, the setbacks for landfills from a dwelling and public road or railway were initially established in regulation as early as 1936. The regulations changed over time to include schools, hospitals, food establishments, non-operating landfills, waste storage sites and hazardous waste management facilities.

Legislation

Section 13 of the Subdivision and Development Regulation (AR 43/2002) under the Municipal Government Act defines the setback distance required from a development for a residence, school, hospital, or food establishment to an operating landfill, non-operating landfill, waste storage site and hazardous waste management facilities.

Variances

Requesting consent

The current regulation lists minimum setback distances and the requirements for various types of developments that can encroach or be encroached upon. The development authority (or Municipality) can request consent for a setback variance from Alberta Environment and Parks if the municipality first agrees that the development is suitable.

These fact sheets provide the information requirements for requesting consent for variances:

Setback distances

Residence, school, hospital or food establishment

Operating landfill: the setback distance from a residence, school, hospital, or food establishment is 450 metres.

Non-operating landfill: the setback distance from a residence, school, hospital, or food establishment is 300 metres.

Hazardous waste management facility: the setback distance from a residence, school, hospital, or food establishment is 450 metres.

Within a waste management facility there are different types of setback distances. Distances defined with the regulation include:

  • building site
  • disposal area
  • property line
  • working area

Figure 1. Setback distances can vary depending on areas within waste management facilities

Example distances from Development to Waste Facility

Water wells

The setback distance for a water well providing water for human consumption, from a landfill, is 450 metres.

See Section 15 of the Nuisance and General Sanitation Regulation (AR 243/2003) under the Public Health Act.