Over the last few weeks, County Council and Administration have received many inquiries regarding a proposed Confined Feeding Operation (CFO) within the County’s boundary. In that time, there has been significant misinformation spread regarding the County’s role related to Confined Feeding Operations.
The County of Wetaskiwin would like to clarify our role. Municipalities do not have the ability to approve or deny CFO applications. Prior to 2002, municipalities were responsible for licensing and compliance monitoring for CFOs. However, on January 1, 2002, the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) delegated responsibility for Confined Feeding Operations to the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB). The NRCB is the regulatory body that approved or denies Confined Feeding Operations based on the requirements outlined by the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA). The AOPA is legislation that is under the responsibility of the provincial department of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development.
The County is referred any applications and can provide comment based on our current planning documents. Even though new CFO locations are referenced in County planning documents, under Municipal Government Act (MGA) Section 619(1) “any authorization granted by the NRCB prevails over any statutory plan, land use bylaw, subdivision decision or development decision by a subdivision authority, development authority, subdivision and development appeal board, or the Land and Property Rights Tribunal or any other authorization under this Part.”
On March 23, 2022, the County’s Planning and Economic Development Department replied to the NRCB referral outlining how this application relates to the County’s planning documents (the full letter can be viewed here). On April 5, 2022, Council directed Administration to draft and submit a letter to the NRCB outlining concerns regarding road use agreements and intersection upgrades. A second letter was sent to the NRCB on April 19, 2022, outlining additional concerns related to the CFO (the full letter can be viewed here). It is expected that the NRCB will make a decision in the next 3-6 months regarding the proposed CFO.
Should you have any specific inquiries or concerns regarding this application the NRCB should be contact directly.