Nanton Town council did not choose to write another letter to the province regarding coal development along the Eastern Slopes after receiving correspondence from High River’s mayor.
In a letter dated April 19, High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass wrote to Nanton Mayor Jennifer Handley asking that Nanton’s council consider writing to Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage requesting that all exploration activities on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies be ceased, pending the outcome of a meaningful public consultation process.
In response to concerns raised by Albertans, including those who participated in a recent online survey, the Alberta government announced April 23 it is immediately halting all coal exploration projects in Category 2 lands.
Handley said the Town did receive an email from the coal industry asking to present to council.
“I think council at the time was very clear about focus on the access to water and protecting the quality of our water,” said Handley about council’s stance, expressed in January letter to the province. “I think this is going to a completely other level from where council’s original direction was.”
Council agreed with that, and the letter was filed as information.
In January the Town of Nanton had sent a letter, signed by Handley, to Kenney expressing concerns regarding the “safety and quality of the regional water resources that supply Nanton’s water allocations.”
“Council would like to stress that it has not taken a position with respect to whether it considers such coal lease agreements positive or negative for the local region,” reads the letter. “We do want to be on record, though, that watershed contaminants as well as future as future allocation availability are significant concerns for this community.”