Lethbridge calls for an urban drilling freeze
Mayor says province has no policy, and doesn't take the city's urban planning into account
Lethbridge City Council wants the province to halt drilling applications within urban boundaries.
Council passed a motion Monday saying the Alberta Energy Regulator shouldn't process any applications until the province comes up with a policy on urban drilling.
Mayor Chris Spearman says they're not entirely opposed to drilling within city limits, but it has to be in an appropriate place.
Spearman says a current proposal to drill in a residential area of west Lethbridge is an example of a potential problem.
“It's our fastest growing area of the city, so we are putting in a $55 million aquatic centre there, we are building a $40 million ice centre and curling rink,” said Spearman.
“There's a developer that wants to put in a $35 million mixed-commercial development. We have high schools in the area We have a proposed new elementary school in the area.”
Right now municipalities have no say in decisions about urban drilling and Spearman says that should change in any new legislation.
He is sending a letter to the provincial energy minister Tuesday asking for a meeting.
“We have no say currently over where these can take place and if they're incompatible with existing and future development, you know we're hooped,” said Spearman.
“Under the current situation the Alberta Energy Regulator makes the decision without any consideration for all the work we've done on urban planning.”
Spearman says the province has indicated a new policy is coming but hasn't given any details on when.