Environment minister lays out public input on feedlot near popular Alberta lake

Alberta's environment minister says there has been public input on a plan to build a cattle feedlot near a popular recreational lake southwest of Edmonton.

Earlier this week, an Opposition politician said the proposal for a 4,000-heard feedlot near Pigeon Lake didn't receive enough time for the thousands of people in the area to understand its potential consequences and express concerns.

Minister Jason Nixon says in a written response to New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt that the public notice was published in the Pipestone Flyer, a small rural weekly, because it's the newspaper that best covers the area.

He says the Natural Resources Conservation Board also posted the notice on its website.

G&S Cattle Ltd. has applied to the board to build the feedlot about four kilometres west of the lake.

Nixon says the Agricultural Operation Practices Act outlines the public notice requirements for such applications, which includes the length of the notice period and who gets notified based on the size of the feedlot.

"The county provides the names and addresses of landowners/residents within the notification radius, which the NRCB uses to send its courtesy letters," he wrote. "Public notice requires notifying municipalities and often includes other agencies that may have a regulatory interest."

He said the application was shared with Alberta Health Services, the water licensing branch in his department and the two nearby counties, Leduc and Wetaskiwin. Nixon says Wetaskiwin County's response was extended to April 21.

The Montana First Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation and Samson Cree Nation had responded by the April 7 deadline, added Nixon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2022.