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Burnco Highway 1A Expansion - west of Cochrane

Burnco currently operates a gravel pit on one quarter section of land west of Cochrane, on the south side of Hwy 1A on the way to Morley.  They are applying to redesignate an additional 966 acres to expand their gravel operations at this location.  According to their Master Site Development Plan, Burnco plans a four-fold increase in the volume of gravel to be extracted from this site on an annual basis.  Burnco has not explained how they will be able to suddenly quadruple the amount of gravel they produce and sell.  At the pit's current production rate, the additional operations will add 100+ years to their reserves


The public hearing for the application is on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, starting at 9 am.  The hearing will be livestreamed on 

Written comments must be submitted by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, June 23rd to and must include the bylaw number in the subject line (Bylaw C-8073-2020).   Audio or video presentations must be submitted by noon on Monday, July 5, 2021.  These presentations can be a maximum of 5 minutes if you are speaking for yourself or 10 minutes if you are speaking for a group of three or more.  Details for these presentations can be found here - about halfway down the page.  Burnco's Master Site Development Plan can be found here.  We encourage people to express their views on this massive gravel pit expansion on the banks of the Bow River. 


The current gravel pit operations, which include both extraction and crushing, run 24 hours per day Monday – Saturday.  Burnco is proposing to maintain these operating hours and add gravel washing to their current extraction and crushing activities.


Local residents paid for an independent study on the impact of gravel extraction at the Burnco site on the water table.  The study's results are disturbing.  The full study can be accessed here.  The study filtered deionized water through one-metre of gravel from the Burnco pit and analyzed what came out the other end.  That analysis found concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury and zinc above Alberta's guidelines for the protection of freshwater aquatic life and concentrations of cadmium, cobalt, lead, manganese, and mercury above Canadian guidelines for safe drinking water.  The turbidity (cloudiness) of the water also dramatically increased.  All of this suggests that Buirnco's open pit gravel mining at this location will pose significant risks to the ongoing water quality of adjacent aquifers, the Bow River and creeks that run through the property, including Grand Valley Creek and Beaupre Creek.

For more information, check out the residents' Facebook page -  and/or contact them at  


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