Alberta won’t require full environmental assessments for sandpits
The government says the change will affect 500 applications for sandpits
EDMONTON — Alberta is moving to change the legal definition of minerals to spare excavators from having to conduct environmental assessments for large sandpits.
A court ruling earlier this spring would have forced sandpits for road and other construction projects to be regulated as if they were quarries.
That would have meant any new project digging up more than 45,000 tonnes of sand a year would have been subject to an environmental assessment.
The United Conservative government says sandpits are shallow and similar to each other, and their impacts are well understood.
Proposed legislation says sandpits will continue to be regulated as they have been in the past with no conditions on approvals.
The government says the change will affect 500 applications for sandpits.