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New haul roads policy in Mountain View County includes dust suppression

Mountain View County includes enabling the county to “recover costs from the hauler in the event that any road or bridge infrastructure is damaged”

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has reviewed and accepted a new road use agreement for industrial haul roads policy and its related procedure, which includes dust suppression requirements on county roads.

The move came by way of motion at a council meeting last month, held in person and on Zoom, with all council members in attendance.

Before the Policy #4030 was put forward, there were three separate policies in place: one for dust suppression, one for planning development-related road agreements, and one for industry-related road agreements.

The purpose of the new policy includes outlining the various requirements that the county may enforce such as mandatory dust suppression and/or the execution of master road use agreements. 

Principles outlined in the policy include enabling the county to “recover costs from the hauler in the event that any road or bridge infrastructure is damaged” and “limit damage to road and bridge infrastructure by directing overweight/oversized traffic and multiple legal load hauls to use alternative routes.”

A haul road is defined as a section of road where a combined trucking total of more than five loads within a 24-hour period or 15 loads within a week of any non-agricultural, non-confined feeding operation.

Under the related Procedure #4030 - 01 before any overweight load, driving rig, fracking or multiple legal load hauls may be permitted within the county, the applicant may be required to enter into a master road agreement and provide the county with an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $50,000 for ongoing activity or $10,000 for one-time hauls.

“It was determined that when deemed necessary, industry users of a road shall be responsible for all costs associated with applying dust suppression for a distances of 200 metres adjacent to any residential properties,” said Ryan Morrison, director of operational services.

In preparing the new policy administration staff met with a representative with Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG) on Feb. 15, he said. 

“During the discussion it was expressed to the county that (SPOG) members are optimistic that industry would support this change to the policy,” he said.

“The key to the optimism is that industry requirement of 200 metres is also what is provided during the residential dust control policy. Residents would not be getting an enhanced service level than others. 

“Industry also expressed that if there are roads that have higher use entering into an agreement with the county to provide dust control on the entire route is not out of the question.”

Regarding master road use agreement dust suppression requirements, the new policy states, in part, that, “Where determined necessary by the county, an applicant may be required to provide dust suppression on haul routes adjacent to residential properties” and “The type and quality of dust suppression material and frequency of application will be determined by the director of operational services based on the nature of the haul route.”

It also states that, “When deemed necessary, applicants shall be responsible for all costs associated with applying dust suppression for a distance of 200 metres adjacent to any residential properties.”

Regarding master road use agreements for construction of new or expanded confined feeding operations, the policy states, in part, “Before construction started on a provincially approved new or expanding confined feeding operation that requires new facilities or an expansion of existing facilities, a master road use agreement for the duration of the construction shall be entered into by applicants.”

Policy #4030 and related procedure can be found on the county’s website.

Dan Singleton

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