The Department of Environment and Parks (AEP) does not do enough to protect Albertans from the risks created by sand and gravel pits. Specifically, AEP does not:
- collect enough security from pit operators to compel them to reclaim the land and to cover the cost of reclaiming pits—if AEP reclaims the land because operators fail to do so, Albertans may have to pay all costs above the security that AEP holds. If AEP does not reclaim the land, environmental and safety problems will likely result
- enforce reclamation requirements when operators repeatedly fail to meet them
- collect all royalty payments that pit operators owe to Albertans—oil sands operators owe $25 million because AEP gave them exemptions it had no authority to issue
Un-reclaimed sand and gravel pits expose Albertans to unnecessary environmental and safety risks.
Albertans may have to pay millions of dollars to cover the cost of reclamation if AEP continues to collect insufficient security while not enforcing reclamation requirements.