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Mountain View County calls for provincial action on numerous issues

Renewable energy and well drilling equipment tax just two issues the county is bringing to to the government's attention

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Council has approved a number of one-page ministry summaries calling for action by the provincial government on issues such as reclamation of renewable resource projects and the need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in rural communities.

The approvals came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and online.

The summaries were prepared and compiled by the intergovernmental communications committee.

“These documents are used to outline the top issues that the county is wishing to lobby the provincial government for and are circulated to each of the ministries for their information and response,” said chief administrative officer Jeff Holmes.

In the summary for the minister of Affordability and Utilities, the county calls on the department to “identify the current capacity of the electric grid and future plans developed by the provincial government to increase capacity in preparation for mandated zero emission vehicle sales imposed by the federal government.”

In the accompanying background note, the county said rural Alberta lacks essential infrastructure to service an increased reliance on zero emission vehicles such as charging stations and transmission lines.

“There is an inherent impact on valuable agriculture lands and producers resulting from increased pressures for transmission lines and production facilities throughout Alberta.

“The county is unaware of any formal plans or strategies to ensure that infrastructure is in place in advance of mandated zero emission vehicles sales targets.”

In the summary to the minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, the country calls on the ministry to “undertake a review and analysis at the provincial level on the extensive use of high quality agriculture lands for the development of renewable energy projects and how that will impact Alberta’s ability to grow agriculture products in the future.”

The background note states, “Mountain View County is concerned about the current trend of renewable energy projects being approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for placement on private lands that are better suited fro agricultural production.”

The summary to the minister of Energy calls on the province to “delay the issuance of AUC approvals for alternative energy projects on both public and private lands until such time that a transparent reclamation strategy is developed and approved by Alberta Environment and Protected Areas that deals with end-of-use reclamation and/or recycling obligations as well as ensuring appropriate securities are in place during the life of the project.”

The background note states, “The county is concerned that without firm policy in place, renewable energy projects will likely require similar future taxpayer funded programs such as the Orphan Well Association and will result in the creation of land liabilities similar to the current state of brownfields in the province.”

In the summary to the minister of Municipal Affairs the county calls on the province to “commit to being part of the provincial floodway mapping consultation process, led by Alberta Environment and Protected areas, to ensure that affected landowners receive sufficient support during the Upper Red Deer River Hazard Study consultations to understand future development constraints with the new mapping and answer any questions relative to the Disaster Recovery Program.”

The summary also included a call for the provincial government to reinstate the Well Drilling Equipment Tax and end the property tax holiday for new wells and pipelines.

The background note states, “Receiving tax revenue from intensive industrial activity is essential to maintaining safe roads in our community.”

Council passed a motion accepting the one-page summaries and instructing administration to forward the summaries to the appropriate ministries.


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