April 10, 2006

Contracting firm ordered to take remedial steps to contain salt runoff

GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA-Alberta Environment has issued LaPrairie Group Contractors (Alberta) an environmental protection order in order to ensure an immediate, thorough response to concerns about uncontrolled runoff from the firm's salt storage yard near Keg River, Alberta. The order was issued under the provincial Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act after previous attempts by the company to deal with the situation proved ineffective. The department had investigated complaints of salt contamination in the dugout of a neighboring landowner in the spring of 2005. Tests confirmed that the source of the contamination was runoff from the LaPrairie site, in violation of Alberta's environmental legislation. Increased salinity in both soil and water limits plant and aquatic life and at high concentrations can be toxic. The order requires LaPrairie to: take steps to properly contain the salt and salt runoff; prepare a detailed description of the extent of impacts to date; and repair all damages from off-site contamination. The legislation allows for appeals of environmental protection orders to the Environmental Appeals Board.

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