RM of Orkney resident raises dust concern

A resident in the Rural Municipality of Orkney is not happy with the dust blowing into his yard as gravel trucks rumble by.

Retired veterinarian Kenn Wood said residents along the road have gone so far as to sign a petition of concern over both the dust being generated by the steady movement of gravel trucks, and the damage that traffic is doing to the grid road.

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In regards to the constant dust, Wood said it is more than a nuisance.

“This is toxic, especially for horses,” he warned.

Wood said livestock are impacted by the dust, and since horses have “gigantic lungs compared to cattle and humans,” they take in more of it with every breath.

Wood did take his concerns to the RM, and was told there would be oil applied to control dust, which he noted needs to be at least a half mile in from yards to prevent drift.

“We had a very productive meeting,” he said following the meeting.

But, the next morning the trucks were rolling and no oil was being applied.

“They didn’t know when they were getting any oil for the road, but they started hauling anyway,” said Wood.

Wood said they have things backwards, suggesting the trucks need to stop until the road is oiled to protect the health of residents and livestock.

“This is not an inconvenience. This is toxic,” he reiterated.

RM Reeve Randy Trost said they are aware of the situation and are trying to find a solution that is acceptable to residents and the gravel haulers too.

“We have a maintenance agreement,” said Trost, adding as part of that agreement the area on front of residence yards along the road are supposed to be oiled in order to limit dust.

However, oil for such applications does seem to be in short supply this spring due to the very dry conditions, noted Trost.

“The challenge for some of these companies in getting product,” he said.

Trost said through a relationship the RM has with one company they have found some oil product which could be utilized if the Councillors for that area of the RM feels it necessary.

Trost did concede “the road is very rough,” adding he was out driving the roadway late last week. He said he does believe the road could use added attention under the maintenance agreement.

That said Trost said the gravel being hauled is destined for a $2 million dollar elevator development which is significant for the RM, so it is a case of trying to balance the concerns of residents along the road, with development.

“We’re trying to work it out,” he said.

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