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Residents concerned over the transport of dangerous goods within city limits

Concerns continue to rise over potential oil and gas development on the city’s west side.

Residents have been vocal about environmental and health issues but are now questioning how crude oil will be transported.

Trevor Page with Kainai Lethbridge Earth Watch tells Global News many residents are worried routes may go through residential neighbourhoods.

“The drill sites are very close to a residential colony that is being built. It’s close to Sunridge, it’s close to Copperwood, and it’s also close to high schools,” he adds.

Dangerous goods signage around the city marks where current vehicles carrying hazardous material, like fuel, can travel.

Transportation Services Manager, Darwin Juell, says in many instances vehicles may need to deviate from course to reach their destination.

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“You should then go to the closest path off the dangerous good route, so if it’s on highway three you want to get the closest path to get to your delivery point and back on highway three again and out of the city,” he says.

City officials always aim to find a path with minimized risk if a carrier needs to deviate from the dangerous goods route.

Fire Chief, Brian Cornforth, says the idea is to ensure a response plan is in place in case of an incident.

“We would work with the transport company to make sure they don’t go by a school or any large occupancy that’s residential. So they don’t have any offloading or loading in an area like that,” he adds.

Representatives with Goldenkey Oil say it would be using the existing infrastructure and apply for any permits necessary.

“In all of this we would want to sit down with the city and talk about what’s the best routing in their perspective to truck the oil out,” says consultant Dave Hill.

GoldenKey has secured mineral rights to sites in Lethbridge but have yet to receiving drilling rights from Alberta’s Energy Regulator.

It anticipates submitting an official application early 2014.

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