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Residents protest M.D.’s calcium chloride use on roads

M.D. residents have signed a petition urging the municipality to stop using calcium chloride as dust control on Township Road 595, 595A, 593a and Range Road 445 east of Muriel Lake.

They said they were never consulted about the MG30 use.

“The use of this chemical creates a terrible mud when wet causing everlasting dirty vehicles and long-term damage to the vehicle body if not washed off immediately,” a letter with the petition said on July 10.

They asked the M.D. to consider paving or cold roll surfacing these roads.

The petition is not valid in the eyes of the Municipal Government Act, which requires 10 per cent of the population to sign it to be a formal petition, but Reeve Greg Sawchuk said the M.D. will consider what they are saying.

“This is not the only location within the M.D. where we’ve had issues with dust abatement. It’s something that we’re going to have to drill down and look at whether or not the product we’re using, the method we’re using, or if there are other alternatives. The answer can’t always be to go out and pave that road because the cost to doing that is immense,” said Sawchuk on The Morning After last week.

The M.D. is currently drafting their Road Classification Map which will prioritize roads for improvements by usage and wear and tear.

It is nearing completion by the end of the year.

“The M.D. already has a lot of blacktop. What we’re going to try and do is make sure those major and minor arteries that we funnel people to because it’s just not sustainable in the long run to pave every single road in the M.D.”

Provincially, the City of Edmonton is facing a $50,000 lawsuit from a city resident for its use of calcium chloride as an anti-icing agent on the roads.