Residents push back against proposed feedlot near Pigeon Lake

A proposed feedlot south of Edmonton will reverse decades of work that went into creating a healthy lake, according to residents in the area.

It wasn’t long ago that Jeannette Hall read about a proposal for a “column three confined feeding operation” by Pigeon Lake.

“Nobody knew what that meant,” she said.

Hall did some digging until she got to the bottom of what was really going on.

“You find this is actually a hidden language for a massive industrial scale feedlot,” she said.

The Agricultural Operation Practices Act defines a confined feeding operation (CFO) as a fenced, enclosed area or building where a large number of livestock is confined for the purpose of growing.

“So the concerns about this is the proximity to the lake and the groundwater interface,” said Hall.

She said nothing can be done to properly protect Pigeon Lake, so she’s leading a group of concerned residents attempting to stop the CFO from being approved.

“It’s just so irresponsible. It’s just such a bad spot to put this thing.”

Ron LaJeunesse’s property backs Pigeon Lake. He’s directly impacted by changes to the water. He believes a new CFO next to an existing feedlot is a bad idea.

“We’ve had up to 1,500 cows without control, now they want to bring in 4,000?”

He said this CFO will undo several years and millions of dollars that went into creating a healthy lake.

“Pollute the water, will add a variety of nutrients, it will affect the fish habitat, it will affect the provincial park, it will put children at risk with E. coli,” said LaJeunesse.

People against the CFO have said they’ll be commenting very publicly until the end.

“For the sake of the lake, for the sake of the province we have to win this,” said LaJeunesse.

CTV News reached out to the applicant for the CFO but they declined to comment.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Joe Scarpelli

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