The draft plans consider a broad range of interests and land-use activities as part of the government’s commitment to maintain a landscape that balances the needs of the environment with recreation and economic development. The sub-regional plans are specifically designed to support caribou herd recovery.
The draft plans are informed by recommendations from two of the caribou sub-regional task forces created in late 2019. The government now wants to hear what Albertans, Indigenous communities and industry think.
“I’d like to thank the members of our caribou sub-regional task forces for their hard work and recommendations. Alberta has been leading the way in caribou conservation efforts over the past few years. These plans represent more progress on this important file. With Ottawa’s recent acknowledgement of Alberta’s strong caribou recovery actions, we are confident that our sub-regional planning process will find the right balance between protecting caribou herds while maintaining local industry and jobs.”
“I am proud of the work that we did. Bringing together local knowledge and specialists in their field and having these great minds together in the same room with common goals is powerful. These plans affect everyone who cares about the land, wildlife, communities, and the families that call these areas home. I now urge Albertans to take the next 60 days to review and comment on these sub-regional plans that outline land use moving forward.”
The caribou sub-regional task forces included representatives from municipalities, Indigenous groups, the energy and forestry sectors, trappers, recreational users, environmental non-governmental organizations and other local stakeholders and knowledge holders.
The Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake sub-regional plans are two of 11 sub-regional plans that will be developed over the next five years. These sub-regional plans support a working landscape that considers the economy while also supporting caribou and other species, Indigenous traditional land use and recreational activities.
Public and Indigenous engagement on draft sub-regional plans for the Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake areas will run until May 29.
- A sub-regional plan supports traditional, social, economic and environmental outcomes within a specific area by identifying when and where land uses can occur.
- Based on task force recommendations, the three key aspects of each sub-regional plan are:
- Guidance on where activities, including roads, oil and gas development, timber harvest, geophysical exploration, surface material extraction,and recreation, can be placed and for how long.
- Restoration of narrow roads used by the oil and gas and forestry sectors in former projects that no longer contribute to economic activities in the region. This restoration will create more intact caribou habitat without affecting current industrial activity.
- Monitoring environmental and socio-economic indicators to evaluate the plans and make enhancements, if needed, to ensure success.
- The Section 11 conservation agreement between Canada and Alberta on woodland caribou under the Species At Risk Act specifies a five-year timeline for Alberta to complete sub-regional plans that support caribou recovery outcomes.
- Interested Albertans can register for an online information session hosted by government staff to learn more about the draft plan, ask questions and share feedback.
- Registration is required for online information sessions and space is limited. Registration links are available on the engagement web page.
- Information sessions will be held on each of the following dates:
- Cold Lake sub-regional plan
- April 14
- May 4
- May 20
- Bistcho Lake sub-regional plan
- April 21
- May 6
- May 18
- Cold Lake sub-regional plan
Alberta continues to take important steps toward the management and recovery of grizzly bear populations.
“I am pleased to see grizzly bears are thriving in Alberta. This is the fulfilment of an important promise to Albertans and a true testament to the hard work and commitment of Alberta Environment and Parks staff and our partners through population surveys, recovery efforts and community outreach. There is still much more work to be done – and I look forward to discussing next steps on how to ensure continued grizzly bear recovery and management across the province.”
Grizzly population surveys
For the first time, Alberta has science-based population estimates for all provincial bear management units. No other jurisdiction in the world has undertaken or achieved grizzly bear population inventory work at this scale. The study also validates what Albertans have been telling us for years – grizzly bear populations are on the rise across the province.
Two recent grizzly bear population surveys by fRI Research, with support from Alberta Environment and Parks and the Alberta Forest Products Association, has found that the grizzly population has doubled in the foothills area east of Banff National Park.
A large area of boreal forest between Whitecourt and Lesser Slave Lake found about 62 grizzly bears. This is the first scientific population estimate for this area.
With these up-to-date numbers, Alberta Environment and Parks can estimate the total number of grizzly bears in Alberta between 856 and 973. This gives us the clearest picture yet on the status of Alberta’s grizzly bears and will help us set policy and management direction for the future.
“This was truly a team effort by the many field workers, helicopter pilots, laboratory personnel, geographic information system (GIS) analysts, and statisticians who, with the support of the partners, have worked together to provide important new data for provincial grizzly bear management and recovery.”
“These results are a testament to what can be achieved when industry, government, and research organizations work together. The forest industry has been supporting grizzly bear research for decades and incorporating the results into our practices. We are pleased to see increasing populations of this iconic species.”
Grizzly bear recovery plan
Alberta’s updated Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan addresses increasing grizzly populations. It includes measures to reduce human-caused grizzly mortality, maintain access to secure habitat, promote education and awareness such as BearSmart programs, and assesses grizzly bear populations.
The updated plan also creates new Grizzly Bear Management Units to ensure grizzly management and recovery work is targeted to where it is most effective while reducing human-wildlife conflict.
Maintaining the ongoing research into grizzly bears and their population numbers will continue to be an important part of Alberta Environment and Parks’ work.
Alberta’s community-based BearSmart program plays an integral role in this research. Alberta Environment and Parks is working with BearSmart leads across Alberta to roll out an app that will allow Albertans to take part in grizzly bear research and monitoring.
- Grizzly bears have been listed as Threatened in Alberta since 2010. At that time, the provincial population estimate was between 700 and 800 bears. The provincial estimate is now between 865 and 973.
- fRI Research’s Grizzly Bear Program is funded by partner organizations, including the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Forest Products Association.
- For the population studies, field crews went into 173 sites to collect grizzly hair samples. DNA from the hairs are then examined to identify each bear.
- The new bear management areas in Alberta’s updated Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan are separated into three categories:
- Recovery zone
- Areas where the Government of Alberta is focusing on grizzly bear recovery.
- Support zones
- Area next to the recovery zone, where it is a priority to manage grizzly bear attractants to reduce conflict and improve grizzly survival.
- Habitat linkage zones
- Identifies highway corridors that connect grizzly bear management areas.
- Recovery zone
Northern Alberta pipeline leak spills estimated 100,000 litres of oilfield liquids
(Source: by The Canadian Press) CALGARY – The Alberta Energy Regulator says an oil and gas company under court protection from creditors is reporting the leak of an estimated 100,000 litres of oilfield liquids from a pipeline in northern Alberta.
The provincial regulator says it is responding to the release of an oil-water mixture known as ‘sour emulsion’ from an Accel Energy Canada line about 24 kilometres southwest of Swan Hills, reported by the company last Thursday evening.
It says the pipeline has been shut down and depressurized and the company is taking steps to clean up the spill.
It says there are no reported impacts to the public or wildlife at this time.
The AER says that PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. has been appointed to monitor Accel while in creditor protection but the licence for the assets remains with the company.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Have your say about changes to the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code
Alberta’s government continues to update and improve occupational health and safety laws to make them easier to understand and apply for employers and workers. This will help them achieve better workplace health and safety outcomes. You can help us by providing your input on proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Code (OHS Code).
The OHS Code has not been extensively updated since 2009 and changes are overdue. By reviewing the OHS Code, Alberta’s government wants to ensure health and safety rules keep pace with changes to workplaces, standards, new best practices and technological advances. The review will also help streamline and simplify OHS Code requirements.
This is the first year of the three-year review plan for the OHS Code. This year, we are reviewing changes required by the recently-passed Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act. We are also reviewing parts of the OHS Code that require the most immediate updates.
We encourage you to provide your input on proposed changes to the OHS Code by filling out the online survey. You may fill out all parts of the survey or only those that interest you. Please provide your input by May 10, 2021.
Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions about the survey or the three-year review plan.
Thank you in advance for participating in the survey. Your input will help us update OHS Code rules, making them easier to understand and follow and helping ensure Albertans make it home safely from work each day.
On March 26, 2021, Teck Coal Limited was ordered to pay a total of $60 million in fines and monetary court orders after a guilty plea was entered on two counts of unlawfully depositing a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish, contrary to s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. In addition to the penalty, the company must also comply with a Fisheries Act Direction.
This sentence is the highest ever imposed by a court for pollution in violation of the Fisheries Act. Of the penalty, $58 million will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and will be used to support projects that benefit Canada’s natural environment. The remaining $2 million are fines which will be directed to the Receiver General.
The charges, laid on March 24, 2021, resulted from a comprehensive investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada, which revealed that Teck Coal Limited’s operations were depositing deleterious coal mine waste rock leachate into the upper Fording River in British Columbia. In 2012, this leachate from Teck Coal Limited’s Fording River Operations and Greenhills Operations coal mines deposited selenium and calcite into the upper Fording River.
During the investigation, under the authority of a warrant, enforcement officers captured Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the upper Fording River and some of its tributaries. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s laboratory analysis determined that some of the fish captured contained selenium concentrations at levels that can be linked with adverse effects in fish. Officers also identified calcite deposits in the upper Fording River and some of its tributaries that had caused a hardening of the riverbeds that can affect the quality of the fish habitat.
Following the investigation, Environment and Climate Change Canada officers had reasonable grounds to believe that Teck Coal Limited had not taken all reasonable measures, consistent with public safety, and with the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat as required by s. 38(6) of the Fisheries Act, and that immediate action was necessary to prevent and mitigate any detrimental effects.
Consequently, on October 29, 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a Direction. The measures required by the Direction are aimed at preventing the discharge of deleterious substances and mitigating the adverse effects of selenium and calcite deposits to help protect the Westslope Cutthroat Trout population in the upper Fording River.
Selenium can be harmful when it builds up to a level that is toxic. Selenium toxicity occurs when selenium is taken up by organisms at the base of the food web, such as bacteria, algae and fungi, as well as plants (phytoplankton or larger plants). These organisms transform selenium in water to an organic form in their tissues. The organic selenium in these organisms is then taken up by wildlife or fish that eats them.
Coal mine waste rock leachate in the upper Fording River watershed also contains dissolved calcium and carbonate, which can result in the precipitation of calcite on stream and river bottoms. When it reaches a certain level, the precipitation of calcite can change the characteristics of stream beds by binding gravels and rocks together. This can adversely affect fish utilization and the quality of fish habitat.
The Westslope Cutthroat Trout is the only fish species known to inhabit the upper Fording River and its tributaries. It is a provincially blue-listed species (i.e., a species of concern) and a federal species of concern under the Species at Risk Act. The Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the upper Fording River is one of a limited group of populations that have been identified as genetically pure, making it an important population for Westslope Cutthroat Trout conservation.
Remediation Technology News and Resource
(The following are selected items from the US EPA’s Tech Direct – http://clu-in.org/techdirect/)
Upcoming Live Internet Seminars
ITRC Characterization and Remediation of Fractured Rock – April 8, 2021, 1:00PM-3:15PM EDT (17:00-19:15 GMT). The basis for this training course is the ITRC guidance: Characterization and Remediation of Fractured Rock. The purpose of this guidance is to dispel the belief that fractured rock sites are too complex to characterize and remediate. The physical, chemical and contaminant transport concepts in fractured rock have similarities to unconsolidated porous media, yet there are important differences. By participating in this training class, you should learn to use ITRC’s Fractured Rock Document to guide your decision making so you can: develop quality Conceptual Site Models (CSMs) for fractured rock sites, set realistic remedial objectives, select the best remedial options, monitor remedial progress and assess results, and value an interdisciplinary site team approach to bring collective expertise to improve decision making and to have confidence when going beyond containment and monitoring — to actually remediating fractured rock sites. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://clu-in.org/live.
ITRC Optimizing Injection Strategies and In situ Remediation Performance – April 27, 2021, 1:00PM-3:15PM EDT (17:00-19:15 GMT). ITRC developed the guidance: Optimizing Injection Strategies and In Situ Remediation Performance (OIS-ISRP-1) and this associated training course to identify challenges that may impede or limit remedy effectiveness and discuss the potential optimization strategies, and specific actions that can be pursued, to improve the performance of in situ remediation by: refining and evaluating remedial design site characterization data; selecting the correct amendment; choosing delivery methods for site-specific conditions; creating design specifications; conducting performance evaluations, and optimizing underperforming in situ remedies. The target audience for this guidance and training course is: environmental consultants, responsible parties, federal and state regulators, as well as community and tribal stakeholders. This training will support users in efficiently and confidently applying the guidance at their remediation sites. An optimization case study is shared to illustrate the use of the associated guidance document. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://clu-in.org/live.
An Environmental Cold Case Detective Story: Discovery and Repair of the Soil Cover on the Cell 3 Landfill – April 28, 2021, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Denver Post and Philadelphia Post along with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are hosting a series of webinars based on talks given at recent Design and Construction Issues at Hazardous Waste Sites (DCHWS) Symposiums. The mission of the DCHWS symposiums is to facilitate an interactive engagement between professionals from government and the private sector related to relevant and topical issues affecting applications of engineering and science associated with cleaning up hazardous waste sites. The symposiums also serve as a platform to facilitate the exchange of information, encourage dialogue, share experiences, and build and enhance communication among design and construction professionals. For more information and to register, please visit https://clu-in.org/live.
ITRC Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms – April 29, 2021, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). Cyanobacteria are microscopic, photosynthetic organisms that occur naturally in all aquatic systems but most often in freshwater systems. Under certain conditions, cyanobacteria can multiply and become very abundant, discoloring the water throughout a water body or accumulating at the surface. These occurrences are known as blooms. Cyanobacteria may produce potent toxins (cyanotoxins) that pose a threat to human health. They can also harm wildlife and domestic animals, aquatic ecosystems, and local economies by disrupting drinking water systems and source waters, recreational uses, commercial and recreational fishing, and property values. It is likely that continued population growth, land use change, increases in nutrient inputs to our waterways, and the warming climate will favor proliferation of these problematic species. Providing a range of practical approaches to minimize these blooms and their likely societal and wildlife effects is critical to our future vitality, health, and economic prosperity. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://clu-in.org/live.
New Documents and Web Resources
NAVFAC Report: Application of Horizontal Wells to Enhance Site Remediation October 2020 (TR-NAVFAC-EXWC-EV-2103). Horizontal wells have become a cost-effective and practical tool to facilitate the remediation of contamination at challenging sites where vertical wells alone may not be able to achieve project objectives. This report provides Navy case studies where it was optimal to install horizontal wells and also reviews recent advances in design and emplacement technologies for horizontal wells. View or download at https://www.navfac.navy.mil/content/dam/navfac/Specialty%20Centers/Engineering%20and%20Expeditionary%20Warfare%20Center/Environmental/Restoration/er_pdfs/h/Horizontal%20Well%20Case%20Studies%2011_13_20_Final.pdf
SuRF-UK Tier 1 Sustainability Assessment Tool. The Sustainable Remediation Forum UK (SuRF-UK) published an updated Tier 1 qualitative sustainability assessment tool. The SuRF-UK Steering Group worked collaboratively with AECOM on updating the spreadsheet taking into account the updated SuRF-UK guidance (Supplementary Reports SR1 and SR2) published in late 2020. It provides a standardized way of completing a Tier 1 qualitative sustainable remediation assessment and is available free of charge. View or download at https://www.claire.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1476:surf-uk-tier-1-assessment-tool&catid=14.
Technology Innovation News Survey Corner. The Technology Innovation News Survey contains market/commercialization information; reports on demonstrations, feasibility studies and research; and other news relevant to the hazardous waste community interested in technology development. Recent issues, complete archives, and subscription information is available at https://clu-in.org/products/tins/. The following resources were included in recent issues:
- Making Decisions And Making A Difference In Superfund: Administrator’s Emphasis List 2017-2021
- Review Of Amendment Delivery And Distribution Methods, And Relevance To Potential In Situ Source Area Treatment At The Hanford Site
- Managing Chlorinated Solvents In Groundwater Using Biological Treatment/li>
- Technical Resources For Addressing Environmental Releases Of 1,4-Dioxane/li>
- Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Incineration To Manage PFAS Waste Streams
EUGRIS Corner. New Documents on EUGRIS, the platform for European contaminated soil and water information. More than 8 resources, events, projects and news items were added to EUGRIS in March 2021. These can be viewed at http://www.eugris.info/whatsnew.asp . Then select the appropriate month and year for the updates in which you are interested.
New ESAA Member
ESAA welcomes the following new member. If you are not a member of ESAA you can join now via: https://esaa.org/membership/join-esaa/
West Earth Sciences Ltd.
2875 – 107 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2Z 4S8
Phone: (403) 269-0319
Sam Ogali, Director, Environmental
West Earth Sciences Ltd. is an integrated environmental, geomatics, engineering and advanced technology company delivering professional services and on-site field solutions. Our mission is to disrupt the sectors we operate in by creating a workplace that embraces diversity, accountability, innovation and operational excellence while championing the communities in which we work and the partnerships we have developed. Through our pursuit of technology and our adherence to safety, quality and execution we strive to deliver cost-effective and timely solutions to the most recognized clients in North America.
ESAA Annual General Meeting
April 7th at 1 pm
Free to attend – Register Now
Spring Environmental Technology Webinar organized by ESAA/CHEMCO
9am – 11:30 am
Thursday, April 15th, 2021
As the largest Canadian distributor & supplier of in situ and ex situ remediation amendment and other environmental technology including unique water and atmospheric emission solutions, Chemco is inviting you to attend our Spring Environmental Technology Webinar that is organized in collaboration with ESAA.
This technical workshop will cover a wide range of topics such as new techniques for chemical oxidation, chemical reduction, water treatment & odour and atmospheric emission medias.
9:00-9:05 – Welcoming Remarks and Comment (Joe Chowaniec & Jean Pare)
9:05 – 9:35 – Bio-Conservation – Speaker to be confirmed – Gas Filtration Media Performance and Treatment capability
9:35-10:05 – EOS Remediation – Brad Elkins – Addressing DNAPL via a unique self emulsify oil formulation with micro scale zero valent iron
10:05-10:15 – Coffee / Lunch / Stretching Break
10:15-10:45 – Peroxychem – Brant Smith – Easy to use oxidants to dealt with hydrocarbon and other organic contaminant in difficult geologies
10:45-11:15 – Hoganas – Alex Korff – Novel zero valent iron properties and uses for contamination destruction as PRB or filtration media
11:15-11:20 – Closing remarks
- $0 for ESAA Members
- $10 for Non-Members
Virtual EnviroTech 2021 Information and Call for Abstracts
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Business Development Manager – Remediation Services – Clean Harbors
- Summer Students / Seasonal Staff – Vegetation Management – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Senior Aquatic Ecologist – SLR Consulting
- Environmental Scientist – SLR Consulting
- Principal Hydrogeologist – SLR Consulting
- Senior Environmental Assessment / Environmental Planning Professional – SLR Consulting
- Project Archaeologist – Tree Time Services
- Permit Archaeologist – Tree Time Services
- Environmental Assistant – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
- Manager, Human Resource – Trace Associates
- Senior Researcher – Reclamation, Remediation – InnoTech Alberta
- Junior Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Intermediate Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Intermediate Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Environmental Engineer / Scientist / Technology – Nichols Environmental (Canada)
- Intermediate / Senior Environmental Consultant – Ridgeline Canada
- Project Technologist, Environmental Due Diligence & Remediation – Pinchin
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Contract Consultant – Summit
- Environmental Specialist (Summer Student) – Summit
- Intermediate Reclamation/Remediation Specialist – NorthWind Land Resources