Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) defines “adverse effect” as impairment of or damage to the environment, human health or safety or property
Affected third party
Alberta’s Contaminated Sites Policy Framework indicates that an affected third party could include owners, lessees, and tenants of a neighbouring parcel, roadway, easement, or utility corridor that is likely or actually contaminated by the migration of a substance. This could include municipalities and/or the provincial government.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) - Green Municipal Fund (GMF)
The GMF provides grants of up to $175,000 to support community brownfield action plans, environmental site assessments and field tests. Low interest loans are available for site remediation, risk management and interim use projects. A combination of grants and loans is also available to support eligible capital projects.
What are municipalities doing to address brownfields?
Brownfields are not a new issue and neither is AUMA’s advocacy for a modernized framework and process for redevelopment. While some steps have been taken to reduce risk of future brownfields, the legacy of contamination has far reaching economic and environmental implications. For a number of years, AUMA has been advocating for the need to address brownfield sites.
What is liability?
As discussed in the section What are the barriers to redevelopment? liability is the greatest barrier to brownfield redevelopment. Liability is a complex, multifaceted topic. The following sections are meant to provide municipalities a better general understanding of liability but should not be regarded as legal advice.
Who regulates brownfields?
In Alberta, brownfields are primarily governed by provincial regulations. The federal government has generally refrained from regulating brownfields except in relation to federally owned (Crown) land. Municipalities have the ability to adopt bylaws related to brownfields.
To what does redevelopment refer?
Redevelopment options vary as much as brownfield types. Redevelopment opportunities depend on factors such as the type and extent of contamination, the land’s location and value, and the ability of the property owner, potential developer and municipality to agree on a vision for the site and receive the required provincial approvals.
What are brownfields?
According to amendments to the Municipal Government Act passed in 2016 a brownfield is a commercial or industrial property which is, or possibly is, contaminated; is vacant, derelict or under-utilized; and is suitable for development or redevelopment for the general benefit of the municipality.
Former gas station in the Town of Vegreville
More than 1,700 brownfields sit abandoned on main streets and in neighborhoods in almost every municipality across Alberta. These properties blight our landscapes, contaminate surrounding land and water, and are barriers to economic and social development.