Welcome to Municipal District of Foothills No. 31

Environment

Administration of Environmental Matters

In Alberta, most matters pertaining to the environment are administered by the Provincial Government under the authority of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), the Water Act, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, the Forest and Prairie Protection Act and the Public Lands Act;

However, some matters will fall under federal or municipal jurisdiction and determining which level of government is responsible for an environmental issue, and which laws apply, can be tricky. In addition, provincial, Federal and Municipal authority over the issue may sometimes overlap. If in doubt, your municipality is probably the best place to start and if the matter is not under municipal jurisdiction then municipal staff should be able to direct you to the appropriate department of the level of government with jurisdiction.

 

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA)


The purpose of this Act is to support and promote the protection, enhancement and wise use of the environment while recognizing the following:
(a) the protection of the environment is essential to the integrity of ecosystems and human health and to the well-being of society;
(b) the need for Alberta's economic growth and prosperity in an environmentally responsible manner and the need to integrate environmental protection and economic decisions in the earliest stages of planning;
(c) the principle of sustainable development, which ensures that the use of resources and the environment today does not impair prospects for their use by future generations;
(d) the importance of preventing and mitigating the environmental impact of development and of government policies, programs and decisions;
(e) the need for Government leadership in areas of environmental research, technology and protection standards;
(f) the shared responsibility of all Alberta citizens for ensuring the protection, enhancement and wise use of the environment through individual actions;
(g) the opportunities made available through this Act for citizens to provide advice on decisions affecting the environment;
(h) the responsibility to work co-operatively with governments of other jurisdictions to prevent and minimize transboundary environmental impacts;
(i) the responsibility of polluters to pay for the costs of their actions;
(j) the important role of comprehensive and responsive action in administering this Act.
1992 cE-13.3 s2;1994 c15 s3

To view this Act on the Alberta Queen's Printer Website, click here.

 

The Water Act


The purpose of this Act is to support and promote the conservation and management of water, including the wise allocation and use of water, while recognizing
(a) the need to manage and conserve water resources to sustain our environment and to ensure a healthy environment and high quality of life in the present and the future;
(b) the need for Alberta's economic growth and prosperity;
(c) the need for an integrated approach and comprehensive, flexible administration and management systems based on sound planning, regulatory actions and market forces;
(d) the shared responsibility of all residents of Alberta for the conservation and wise use of water and their role in providing advice with respect to water management planning and decision-making;
(e) the importance of working co-operatively with the governments of other jurisdictions with respect to trans-boundary water management;
(f) the important role of comprehensive and responsive action in administering this Act.
1996 cW-3.5 s2

To view this Act on the Alberta Queen's Printer website, click here.

 

Alberta Land Stewardship Act


The purposes of this Act are
(a) to provide a means by which the Government can give direction and provide leadership in identifying the objectives of the Province of Alberta, including economic, environmental and social objectives;
(b) to provide a means to plan for the future, recognizing the need to manage activity to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of current and future generations of Albertans, including aboriginal peoples;
(c) to create legislation and policy that enable sustainable development by taking account of and responding to the cumulative effect of human endeavour and other events.

To view this Act on the Alberta Queen's Printer website, click here.

 

Forest and Prairie Protection Act

 

This Act deals primarily with fire protection but also contains regulations regarding pest control and contains provisions for oil and gas pollution clean-up. This Act decrees that it is the responsibility of a municipal district to fight and control al fires within their boundaries and that they are responsible for all expenses incurred in doing so (section 7). However, it also gives a municipality the right to attempt to recover those costs from the person responsible for causing the fire (section 9(3)).

To view this Act on the Alberta Queen's Printer website, click here.

 

Public Lands Act


This Act, as the name implies addresses matters pertaining to public lands. There are sections of note in the Public Lands Act with respect to environmental issues:
Section 3(1) Dictates that the beds and shores of
(a) all permanent and naturally occurring bodies of water, and
(b) all naturally occurring rivers, streams, watercourses and lakes,
Belong to "the Crown" - or the province.
Section 54(1) States that:
No person shall cause, permit or suffer:
(a) the accumulation of waste material, debris, refuse or garbage on public land,
(a.1) loss or damage to public land,
(a.2) activities on, or the use of, public land that is likely to result in loss or damage to public land,
(b) the existence on public land of any structure or excavation of any kind that is undesirable or otherwise in contravention of this Act or the regulations,
(c) the existence on public land of any condition that may cause loss or damage to the public land,
(d) the doing of any act on public land that may injuriously affect watershed capacity,
(e) the disturbance of any public land in any manner that results or is likely to result in injury to the bed or shore of any river, stream, watercourse, lake or other body of water or land in the vicinity of that public land, or
(f) the creation of any condition on public land which is likely to result in soil erosion.

To view this Act on the Alberta Queen's Printer website, click here.

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