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Dust concerns expressed by residents along Carstairs Blind Line road prompts review

Letter of concern regarding dust along Carstairs Blind Line road received by Mountain View County

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — County council has decided to have the governance review committee look at the county’s road use agreement policy and procedure.

The move came by way of motion and follows the receipt of a letter from a number of residents voicing concerns about industrial truck traffic on Rge. Rd. 41 between Highway 580 and Twp. Rd. 303, also known as the Carstairs Blind Line.

In a letter sent to the county on May 6, residents along the roadway expressed concern about “increasing and constant traffic servicing” related to a nearby oilpatch drilling project.

“We realize that the oil and gas industry must go on; it’s an important part of Alberta’s economy,” they said. “However, over the past 12 months that TransGlobe has been drilling on our road, the residents has become increasingly concerned about the number of non-agricultural vehicles using our road, the safety issues caused by these heavy vehicles, and the resulting dust that is affecting all of us.

“This has become noticeable since road bans went into effect this spring. With all the roads around, except Highway 580 and our gravel road, the traffic has increased exponentially as TransGlobe service vehicles are attempting to avoid the road bans.”

The residents say they have seen tank trucks, large stainless-steel tank truck, trucks carrying pipe, fuel trucks, trucks carrying service rigs, fracking trucks, large container semi trucks, and service pick-up trucks.

In their letter, the residents said dust created by industrial truck traffic is negatively impacting everyone.

“Some residents have talked about regularly changing furnace filters and still finding everything inside the house constantly coated with dust. This is not healthy for anyone, especially children, seniors, and those with asthma and other health concerns.”

They also said the increased dust is having a negative impact on livestock.

“The clouds of dust are very harmful for livestock as they graze the dusty grass in summer or eat the dusty feed in winter.”

The residents suggested a number of possible solutions, including having the company and/or the county pay to calcify all five kilometres of the roadway.

The residents called on the county to act on their concerns without delay.

“It is important to stress that this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly. It is also important to stress that TransGlobe will be on our road long-term and so this problem will continue. We, as residents, should not be out of pocket for the damage to the road caused by industrial traffic.”

The county uses road use agreements to, among other things, assist overweight/oversized traffic and multiple legal load hauls to move throughout the municipality.

Council passed a motion to send the policy and procedure to the governance review committee for revision and recommendation of any necessary changes.