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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.
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.
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:
- New or Expanding Landfill to Development
- Non Operating Landfill
- Operating Landfill
- Waste Storage Sites
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
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.
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