Landowner and environmental groups have cautious praise for a recent initiative between the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) and the provincial government to protect air and water quality around large confined feeding operations (CFO).
This spring, CASA released a 10-point plan to address air emissions from confined feeding operations in Alberta. A CFO project team representing industry, government and non-government organizations will implement recommendations on monitoring, research and managing emissions over the next three years.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) will be monitoring the air around CFOs starting this year. The province handed CASA the task of developing a new Clean Air Strategy for Alberta, an update to one dating to 1991.
Many say the CFO report and its 10 recommendations don’t go far enough. Ann Baran of the Southern Alberta Group for the Environment and non-government organization (NGO) co-chair on the team, has mixed reviews.
“Alberta Environment and Alberta Agriculture are developing an emissions inventory,” says Baran. “That’s a good thing but it’s not going far enough. We’re not happy with the extent of monitoring,” she says, conceding that the costs are high.
“There are lots of funding restraints, and I can appreciate health care, education and everyone else wants a piece of the pie,” she said.
As a result, monitoring is taking place in a limited area, concentrated geographically to lessen transport costs of moving long distances.
Denis Sauvageau, president of Friends of an Unpolluted Lifestyle (FOUL) in the opposite end of the province, has similar views. A member of the CFO project team, Sauvageau said the recommenda-