ESAA’s Role in The Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program
It has been a year since the federal and provincial governments announced a $1 billion program to clean-up inactive wells in Alberta. The goals of the program (which are being managed by Alberta Energy) were to immediately get Alberta’s specialized oil and gas labour force back to work; to accelerate site abandonment and reclamation efforts; and to quickly complete a high volume of environmentally-significant work. ESAA has worked hard to represent the environmental industry’s interests within the SRP. We are writing to you today, to provide an overview of the actions ESAA has taken over the past year and share what we will continue to work towards throughout the remainder of the Program.
The goals of the SRP align perfectly with the expertise of a majority of ESAA members and therefore, throughout the summer of 2020, ESAA made a number of inquiries to Alberta Energy about getting involved in the program and making sure the ESAA membership interests were well represented. In late August, the province advised that 2 representatives from ESAA’s Board of Directors would be added to the SRP Industry Advisory Committee (IAC). The purpose of the Industry Advisory Committee is to enable information sharing and input among the Government of Alberta, oil field service sector associations, producer associations, and the Indian Resource Council regarding the SRP. ESAA Board President Stacy Thygesen (JSK Consulting) and Director Darren Cherniak (North Shore Environmental Consultants) were chosen as ESAA’s IAC representatives.
In early September, ESAA formed an internal SRP Working Group focused on gathering feedback and input from our members regarding the SRP. A “Call for Volunteers” to sit on the working group was sent out and eight members were selected who represent a cross-section of the services our membership provide. They are: Daniela Felske, Esker Consulting; Lance Hayman, TR3; Michael Parker, Tervita; Scott Purves, Matrix Solutions; Marissa Reckman, AGAT Laboratories; Cory Sommer, Millennium EMS Solutions; Michelle Taylor, Waterline Resources; and Amelie Thibault, Golder Associates.
Throughout the remainder of 2020, and over the first four months of 2021, the working group met several times and has made a number of recommendations to Alberta Energy regarding the SRP. In addition, ESAA’s Board Executive met with Minister of Energy Sonya Savage in October 2020 in order to familiarize her with ESAA, its membership, and the role our industry can and must play in the SRP rollout. As grant funding allocation has been at a ratio of 2:1 for downhole abandonment work versus surface rehabilitation work, ESAA’s key focus and recommendations to Alberta Energy have been to highlight the importance of accelerating the advancement of Complete Site Closures within the SRP. Shifting the focus past downhole abandonments to allow the Program to respond to stakeholder demands, improve public opinions and allow the province to quickly complete a high volume of environmentally-significant work ensuring the goals of the SRP are met.
ESAA has recommended directing a specific portion of the SRP funding for surface decommissioning, remediation and reclamation work which will accelerate the advancement of well site closures and returning sites to the original or equivalent land use.
Response by Alberta Energy and the SRP
ESAA submitted our Working Group’s latest recommendations to Alberta Energy in early March 2021. Since that time, discussions with Alberta Energy have continued where ESAA expressed the importance of releasing the next stages of the program quickly as the work window is disappearing (the program is scheduled to be completed in December 2022).
In the past few days, ESAA has had positive and open dialogue with Alberta Energy and the Industry Advisory Committee and there is optimism that future funding rounds will allow for more surface work which will be a great benefit to ESAA Members, our industry and the Province.
We will update you all again soon. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to send any questions or concerns you may have to: [email protected].
ESAA President, Board of Directors
ESAA Executive Director
Almost 25,000 Albertans from across the province shared feedback to help inform the next steps of the coal policy engagement through an online survey from March 29 to April 19.
An initial review of the results illustrates that many Albertans have significant concerns about coal exploration. Based on this insight, the Coal Policy Committee – an independent group appointed to lead comprehensive public engagement to inform the development of a modern coal policy – has recommended to the government that coal exploration in Category 2 lands be suspended.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage has directed coal companies to halt exploration. The affected companies have indicated they will cooperate with the pause.
“Thank you to the thousands of Albertans who took part in the initial survey. Your voices are being heard. We are halting exploration activities in Category 2 lands because we remain steadfast in our commitment to having an open and honest conversation about the long-term approach to coal development in our province.” – Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy
“As promised on March 29, the Coal Policy Committee is here to engage with, and listen to, Albertans. We have heard clearly that halting exploration on Category 2 lands was a necessary first step to ensure that the public engagement process can continue in good faith. Our committee has made that recommendation to the minister and she has accepted it. Now that the minister has established this moratorium on exploration, we encourage all Albertans to continue to participate with our committee in the widespread public engagement over the coming months as we develop our broader policy recommendations.” – Ron Wallace, chair, Coal Policy Committee
Preliminary analysis of the survey results indicates:
- The majority of respondents feel the management of the province’s coal resources affect them.
- “Environmental impacts of coal development” and “if and where coal development takes place” were ranked by respondents as the most important issues when discussing Alberta’s coal policy.
- The majority of respondents feel there are areas of the province that are not appropriate for coal development, while almost one-third of respondents say there are areas of the province where development could be appropriate.
- Albertans would like to participate in the engagement process through additional online surveys and virtual meetings.
- Respondents want to learn more about the approval processes for exploration and development, as well the coal categories, which dictate where and how coal leasing, exploration and development can occur.
- The majority of respondents expressed concerns about coal exploration.
The Coal Policy Committee is continuing to review the survey results. The results will help inform the next steps in the public engagement process, with more information available in the near future.
AER: Updates to Manual 018: OneStop Public Lands Application Manual
Today we released a new edition of Manual 018: OneStop Public Lands Application. The updated manual provides additional guidance on the application process for public lands dispositions issued by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). It includes information on how to submit applications for new dispositions, amendments, and renewals in OneStop. The manual also explains procedures for providing site entry notifications, plan replacement submissions, and cancelations in OneStop.
This edition of Manual 018:OneStop Public Lands Application Manual replaces the original version of Manual 018: OneStop Preapplication Manual first released on August 6, 2019.
The revised edition of Manual 018 is available on the AER website, www.aer.ca.
If you have questions about updates, please contact the AER’s Customer Contact Centre by phone at 403-297-8311 (1-855-297-8311 toll free) or by email at [email protected].
ARMA’s HHW Program Update – April 2021
Household hazardous waste (HHW) roundups have been a staple in the lives of Albertans for over 30 years as municipalities and Indigenous communities have coached their residents to safely store items such as ammonia, bleach, oven cleaners and aerosol cans etc. to bring to the next roundup or year-round site.
The millions of corrosive, flammable, and poisonous products kept out of Alberta’s landfills or sewer systems through these events/sites is staggering. In the previous three years alone, over 2.2 million kgs of HHW was safely destroyed at the Swan Hills Treatment Centre and over one million aerosol cans were recycled into new industrial metal products.
Since November 2020 ARMA has communicated to municipalities and Indigenous communities the developments surrounding the HHW program and we would like to provide you with update on the status of this critical program and its future developments.
Alberta Infrastructure secured a new contract for a reduced operating model at the Swan Hills Treatment Centre (the Centre) effective January 1, 2021. Under this reduced operating model, the Centre will only process high concentration Polychlorinated Biphenyls (HCPCBs) and biomedical waste. As part of this reduced operating model, Suez Canada Waste Services Inc., the operator of the Centre, will no longer accept HHW, including on a fee-for-service basis, effective June 1, 2021.
To help ensure there is as little disruption as possible to this important program, ARMA has been working with collectors to source other approved facilities for the collectors to transport your material for treatment and destruction, enabling residents to continue their ingrained habit of bringing their HHW to a local site/roundup.
We are pleased to confirm that Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) will maintain their funding for the collection and transport of HHW to an approved facility until March 31, 2022 as well as oversight of the program.
Alberta Environment and Parks is conducting public consultation on designing a made-in-Alberta solution for HHW (in addition to packaging and paper products, and plastics). Establishing a permanent HHW program, based on an Extended Producer Responsibility framework, shifts the responsibility for program costs to producers, and away from municipalities and Indigenous communities.
In the interim, funding for the treatment and destruction of HHW will be assumed by municipalities and Indigenous communities (with AEP funding material handling and transport). Please discuss the options that are available to you with the HHW collectors; their contact information can be found at https://www.albertarecycling.
ARMA is working closely with AEP in the development of an HHW program to ensure continuation of Alberta’s 30-year legacy of care for the environment and we look forward to the advent of a permanent solution.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please email ARMA’s Director of Operations Brad Schultz at [email protected]
CCME: Guidance on Good Practices in Climate Change Risk Assessment
CCME has posted Guidance on Good Practices in Climate Change Risk Assessment and its accompanying Good Practices in Climate Change Risk Assessment – A Summary.
Climate change impacts magnify existing stressors or challenges and may create new ones, such as areas becoming newly vulnerable to sea-level rise and coastal inundation. The social, economic and environmental costs of climate change can be high.
This guidance document with its accompanying summary supports good practices in conducting climate risk assessments across jurisdictions by providing a location-specific understanding of climate impacts and the risks they pose. The guidance document introduces the fundamentals of climate change risk assessment, and outlines questions users should consider prior to undertaking a climate change risk assessment. The accompanying summary supports users in determining which good practice best addresses their needs.
Please click here for details.
CCME: Key Elements to Guide Governance for Cumulative Effects Assessment, Monitoring and Management
CCME has posted Key Elements to Guide Governance for Cumulative Effects Assessment, Monitoring and Management.
This document outlines key elements of cumulative effects assessment, monitoring and management (CEAMM) governance, which federal, provincial and territorial governments could consider in the development and delivery of effective CEAMM approaches. The descriptions and examples of key elements provide guidance for new and existing CEAMM programs and support clarity and alignment between jurisdictions.
Please click here for details.
Easing rules on transfer of unreclaimed oil wells could speed cleanup, study finds
Alberta should lower regulatory barriers that discourage businesses from reusing abandoned and unreclaimed oil and gas well sites, says a report from the Canada West Foundation and the Energy Futures Lab.
Making it easier to convert an old well site into anything from a geothermal plant to a municipal park would speed site restoration and help ease the burden of unfunded cleanup costs in the energy sector, said co-author Juli Rohl.
“We think these wells should be cleaned up, where possible. But where that either isn’t going to happen or where there is a viable new life for them, that should be considered.”
Critics suggest the approach would allow industry to avoid cleaning up the mess it creates.
“It’s a transparent attempt to pass this liability to someone else,” said Regan Boychuk of the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project, a group that monitors industrial effects on landowners.
Alberta has more than 7,700 orphan wells — abandoned and unreclaimed by formers owners, often during bankruptcy. Another 95,000 wells are inactive.
The cleanup liability for those wells has been estimated as high as $260 billion.
Rohl’s paper suggests at least some of those sites could be reused, more or less as is. Some could generate geothermal power. Others could provide now-valuable minerals such as lithium. Others could house small solar farms.
A few companies in Alberta have repurposed old energy sites for geothermal and solar projects. Allowing more such activity could create jobs and diversify the economy, improve the energy sector’s outlook and keep new industry off undeveloped land.
But Alberta law requires an energy company to fully clean up a site before it can be transferred. Concrete pads or roads must be removed, even if a new user wants to keep them.
The Calgary-based foundation, a think tank on western issues, suggests a company should be allowed to defer its cleanup responsibilities and transfer them to a new operator.
“This would allow transfer of the remaining surface infrastructure and reclamation liability to the repurposer,” the report says.
Rohl acknowledges only about 10 per cent of orphan wells are suitable for geothermal or solar development. Greenhouses or even municipal parks could be considered.
“We decided to leave it open for any uses.”
Boychuk said repurposing would allow an industry that has taken billions of dollars out of the ground to walk away from its environmental responsibilities.
He said the effect would be to move environmental liabilities off the books of oil companies and move them to new ones. How many greenhouses, he asks, can afford to pay the $100,000 the C.D. Howe Institute says is the average cost to reclaim a well?
“Hurray! We got solar panels,” he said. “But the contamination sits there.
“The only real issue in the industry is escaping a very, very large liability and this is the latest attempt.”
Nigel Bankes, dean of resource law at the University of Calgary, said it’s a good idea to favour the reuse of old industrial sites instead of creating new ones.
But, he added, much more work needs to be done to ensure the public believes cleanup costs aren’t just being kicked down the road.
“It’s going to take a lot of work to put together a liability regime that makes sense (for) existing licensees, the people who will inherit that liability, and to convince the public that the deal offers better assurance … that remediation issues will be adequately dealt with.”
Start small, said Bankes, who suggested transfers of unremediated sites should be initially restricted to between energy companies.
“Maybe it makes sense to start with a narrower focus.”
Increase Your Team’s Capacity – Hire A Summer Student or Intern and Receive Wage Funding
Summer Student Work Placement Funding
Applications are now open for Summer Student Work Placements – eligible organizations can get up to 50% of a student’s salary covered to a maximum of $5,000.
Funding is available for environmental employers looking to hire the brightest minds in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM) and Business students, with no age restrictions, for 6-16 week placements.
Students and employers looking to apply for co-op funding should check to see if they’re eligible through our online assessment tool.
As mining waste leaches into B.C. waters, experts worry new rules will be too little, too late
Teck Coal was ordered to pay a record $60 million fine this year for polluting waterways in the Elk Valley, but despite the penalty, contaminants continue to leach from piles of waste rock at the company’s mines — and the clock is ticking on new federal regulations that observers say are long overdue.
“Leadership is desperately needed in this watershed from the Canadian federal government,” said Erin Sexton, a University of Montana biologist.
The Elk Valley may have “one of the worst selenium contamination issues, I would say, even globally,” she said. And yet, “over the last decade and a half, there’s been a notable lack of regulatory response in this watershed to the water quality issues.”
New regulations are on the way, but there is concern they won’t be strong enough to address the legacy of pollution from more than a century of coal mining in the Elk Valley.
The coal mining operations fall within the territory of the Ktunaxa Nation, which in March called for there to be “an appropriate and achievable plan in place to ensure that Teck Coal Limited meets water quality limits and addresses impacts to wuʔu (the water) and ʔa·kxamis ̓qapi qapsin (All Living Things).”
With several new coal projects proposed in the region, including a Teck mine expansion, experts say swift and strong measures are needed to ensure the region’s pollution problems don’t get worse.
If the federal government’s draft regulations are any indication, Sexton said, the changes could be “a lot too little and a lot too late.”
Her comments come in the lead up to a bilateral Canada-U.S. meeting this week focused on cross-border water issues. Transboundary mining will be on the agenda in the gathering between Global Affairs Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Selenium pollution a persistent challenge in the Elk Valley
Selenium, which leaches from the mines’ waste rock piles, is toxic to aquatic life at elevated levels. Species of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies — food for fish — have already been lost, Sexton said. In fish, selenium poisoning can cause deformities and reproductive failure. It’s a pressing concern for the westslope cutthroat trout, which is listed as a species of concern under the Species at Risk Act.
Teck has so far invested roughly $1 billion in water treatment facilities and other measures to address water pollution in the Elk Valley. Currently, selenium is removed from up to 27.5 million litres of water a day at two treatment facilities, spokesperson Chris Stannell said in a statement to The Narwhal.
With additional treatment facilities being constructed, the company is aiming to be able to treat more than 54 million litres of water a day by the end of this year and expects to see “significant reductions in selenium and nitrate concentrations throughout the watershed as a result,” Stannell said.
But data from monitoring stations in both the Elk River and Lake Koocanusa, a reservoir that crosses the Canada-U.S. border, shows selenium concentrations have increased despite these efforts, according to Lars Sander-Green, a mining analyst with the Kootenay-based conservation organization Wildsight.
“More mining is more waste rock and more waste rock is more water pollution,” Sander-Green said.
“Teck is planning and has built some small treatment plants but so far they’ve been increasing mining faster than they’ve been bringing treatment into place,” he said.
At this point, Sander-Green said he estimates that Teck is able to remove about 10 per cent of the total selenium pollution that flows downstream of its mines.
Teck did not answer questions about what percentage of its mining wastewater is treated to remove selenium.
Federal oversight of coal mining ‘desperately needed’ in Elk Valley
Teck’s coal mines are subject to the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the release of a “deleterious substance” in fish-bearing water. The company’s recent $60 million fine, for example, stemmed from an investigation that found “deposits of waste rock from the company’s operations had leached deleterious substances, selenium and calcite, into the upper Fording River and its tributaries,” according to an Environment and Climate Change Canada summary of the case.
However, there’s been a longstanding gap when it comes to how coal mining is governed under the Fisheries Act because there aren’t any regulations specific to the coal industry.
“There are regulations for paper mills, for example, or metal mines, but not for coal mining,” Dan Cheater, a lawyer with Ecojustice, said.
Regulations governing effluent from metal mines have been in place for more than four decades and updated twice in the intervening years. But it wasn’t until 2017 that Environment and Climate Change Canada began working on regulations for coal mining effluent — despite its responsibility to protect fish and fish habitat under the Fisheries Act and the federal government’s commitments under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to not pollute transboundary waterways.
(Pollution from the Elk Valley coal mines has long been a source of contention between Canada and the U.S. as contaminants from Teck’s mines eventually flow into Lake Koocanusa, a reservoir that straddles the B.C.-Montana border.)
In a statement, Stannell said: “Teck supports the development of regulations that are informed by a science-based approach, protective of aquatic life, and considerate of available treatment technologies.”
Those with long-standing conservation concerns, including Sexton, welcome the prospect of new regulations.
“I am 100 per cent in support of federal oversight in this watershed, I think it’s desperately needed,” she said.
“Not only are we well beyond what’s considered protective of fish and aquatic life in this watershed, we’re actually looking at expanding those impacts with the Fording River mine expansion and the three new coal mines that are proposed in the Elk Valley.”
As for Cheater, he said he’s “hopeful that with these regulations, we’ll start seeing some progress.”
Draft coal mining effluent regulations have been watered down
But there is reason to be wary.
“One thing that we’ve seen as new materials are being released by the federal government is there is a watering down of what the regulations were originally set to do that I think is disappointing,” Cheater said.
Initially, Cheater said, the proposal included the ability to adjust contaminant limits based on fish health and concentrations in fish tissue samples. That was subsequently changed to a “strict limit” that applied to new mines and expansions.
“Now we’re seeing an exception carved out for the Elk Valley specifically,” he said.
Sander-Green called it “a Teck-sized hole in the regulations — there’s a whole set of regulations, that’s just for Teck, that’s much, much weaker, allows a lot more pollution than it would for a mine in Alberta or Nova Scotia.”
An Environment and Climate Change technical briefing document from February 2020 shows the federal department proposed a “two-pronged approach” to the regulations: a general approach that applies to new and existing mines and an alternative approach that applies only to the existing coal mines in the Elk Valley.
The draft general regulations as proposed early last year would apply limits to the concentrations of selenium, nitrate and suspended solids in mine effluent from final discharge points, with slightly weaker standards for existing mines.
Selenium levels by the numbers
Regulations for selenium pollution vary widely in the U.S. and Canada. Teck has been given plenty of latitude by the B.C. government to exceed provincial standards, prompting observers to call for stringent new federal rules.
0.8 The parts per billion limit recently adopted by U.S. agencies for Lake Koocanusa, where average selenium levels are about one part per billion.
2 B.C.’s general water quality guidelines currently recommend selenium levels be kept within two parts per billion to protect aquatic life.
63 Teck’s provincial permit allows selenium levels in rivers and creeks downstream of the company’s mines to far exceed the provincial water quality guideline. For instance, one of its Fording River order stations has a limit of 63 parts per billion.
Provincial regulations not enough to protect fish from coal mine pollution
Teck’s coal mines are already regulated by a provincial permit, which sets limits on how much of a contaminant, such as selenium, the mines can release into the environment — but Sander-Green said the limits are too high and Teck has too often failed to meet them.
For example, B.C. government inspection records for one of Teck’s Fording River order stations, where water quality is regularly monitored, show average selenium levels in March 2020 measured 65.7 parts per billion and averaged 67.9 parts per billion in December. That’s higher than the allowable permit threshold of 63 parts per billion.
The company is also required to ensure selenium concentrations at one of its Fording River compliance points, where mine effluent is monitored, do not exceed a monthly average of 90 parts per billion. But inspection records show average selenium concentrations were 112 parts per billion in October 2020, 102.5 parts per billion in November, and 124 parts per billion in December.
The company could face new administrative penalties from the province for failing to meet the requirements of its permit, but according to Stannell those exceedances were unusual occurrences.
“In 2020, water quality at order stations met permit limits 99 per cent of the time and at compliance points 93 per cent of the time,” he said. “We expect to further improve on this performance as additional water treatment comes online this year.”
Observers say draft federal regulations aren’t strong enough to address Elk Valley pollution woes
Under the draft federal regulations, Teck’s existing mines would be required to meet baseline pollution limits set two and three years after the regulations are enacted. The company would then be required to reduce concentrations of selenium in the environment relative to that baseline in subsequent years.
For instance, based on the February 2020 draft, the company would have to reduce monthly average selenium concentrations at federal compliance points by 36 per cent from the baseline, or to 40 parts per billion, whichever is lower, 16 years after the regulations are enacted.
Existing mines subject to the general regulations, meanwhile, would be required to meet a monthly average selenium limit of 10 parts per billion for effluent that is collected and released at specific outflow locations. New mines would face a limit of 5 parts per billion.
Sander-Green worries that “the proposed regulations would create a perverse incentive for Teck to do less to control their pollution in the coming years.”
“It’s actually in Teck’s interest to keep pollution levels as high as possible until three years after these regulations come into force, because their pollution limits for the rest of the life of the mine would be based on pollution levels in the years after the regulations come into force,” he explained in an email to The Narwhal.
While the February 2020 draft regulations would eventually set a minimum requirement that monthly selenium averages don’t exceed 40 parts per billion, Sexton noted that’s still 20 times higher than the selenium concentration that’s considered protective of aquatic life.
In a statement to The Narwhal, Samantha Bayard, a spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Canada said “the proposed regulatory rules for existing coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley take into account the unique circumstances in the region.”
Coal mining in the area has “resulted in vast mine waste rock piles that often overprint water bodies, which make it impractical for existing mines to collect all of the mine effluent and apply the same effluent quality standards that can be achieved by newer facilities,” she said.
But Sexton argued the existing Elk Valley mines “should be held to the highest standard because according to the science this is the watershed that’s most at risk.”
At this point, selenium levels in the Elk and Fording rivers are “orders of magnitude” higher than what is safe for fish and other aquatic life, she said.
The Narwhal asked Environment and Climate Change Canada when the regulations would be finalized. In a statement, Bayard said that “given the importance of these regulations, we are taking the time to get them right. This will include extensive consultations with industry, Indigenous groups, environmental non-governmental organizations, and provinces.”
The timeline is a concern for Sander-Green, who noted any new coal mines built in the next few years may only be subject to the weaker standards for existing mines. According to the February 2020 technical briefing document, the draft regulations define new mines as mines that start operating three years after the regulations are enacted.
Sander-Green said any further delay is unreasonable. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t have had these regulations in place years ago,” he said.
‘Short-term solutions to long-term problems’
Even with new regulations forthcoming, there are concerns on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border about the long-term implications of continued coal mining in the Elk Valley.
While Teck is making considerable investments in water treatment, Sander-Green is concerned it won’t be a viable solution over the course of the decades or centuries to come.
“What these regulations should be doing is banning perpetual water treatment and prohibiting mines that will leave behind toxic pollution problems that will last beyond the lifetime of the mine,” he said.
It’s a concern Sexton — who called the water treatment facilities “short-term solutions to very, very long-term problems”— shares.
Robert Sisson, a U.S. commissioner on the International Joint Commission (IJC), recognizes the major investments Teck has made in water treatment facilities, including saturated rock fill technology.
But “I’d like to make sure that we’re also discussing Plan B and Plan C, in the event [the saturated rock fill technology] does not work as intended or it’s just simply not enough to do the job that we need to protect the waters,” he told The Narwhal in an interview.
Sisson said a bi-national watershed body that brings all interested groups and experts together could be helpful for finding a solution to the long-term pollution challenges in the Elk Valley.
“The IJC would be a good option, but there are others out there,” he said.
Under the Boundary Waters Treaty, the International Joint Commission has the power to investigate and recommend solutions to transboundary water disputes referred to it by the U.S. and Canadian governments.
The commission has alerted both governments to the selenium issues in the Elk Valley watershed, but has so far not been asked to intervene in the situation.
In the meantime, selenium and other contaminants continue to leach from piles of waste rock at the mines.
With new projects and mine expansions being proposed, Sexton said she wants to see a moratorium on any new or expanded mines in the Elk Valley until the existing pollution problems are addressed.
“We have clear evidence now that this watershed is in trouble,” she said. So, “the first thing you do is try to stop the bleeding.”
Virtual EnviroTech 2021
Keynote Speakers and Panel Discussions
ESAA is pleased to announce the line up of keynote speakers and the speakers for the opening panel discussion.
For the complete schedule visit: https://esaa.org/envirotech/
- Member: $99
- Non-Member: $129
- Students / Unemployed: $39
- Registration Link: Click Here
- Spread the word to clients, colleagues and via platforms like LinkedIn.
Thank you to our event sponsors for your continued support!
Upcoming ESAA Webinar
Dealing with Low Mood and Motivation
11am – 12pm
May 10th, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, challenges with low mood and motivation are becoming more common. We will explore proven and practical strategies that can be used immediately to support a positive mood and mindset, as well as enhance productivity in your day-to-day life.
Aaron Telnes, M.C., R. Psych.
Aaron is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta and works with clients through Synthesis Psychology and Calgary Career Counselling. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Counselling degree from the University of Calgary. Aaron strives to promote mental health and wellness in his individual and organizational clients through a focus on increasing self-awareness, developing coping skills, strategic problem-solving, and identifying and implementing attainable goals. My therapeutic style blends cognitive-behavioural, solution-focused, and mindfulness-based strategies that I integrate into both my individual client sessions and the work I do with organizations.
Mark Your Calendar! Learn About Emerging Technologies in Wellbore Remediation & Abandonment
A collaboration between InnoTech Alberta and United Kingdom’s (OGTC), you are invited to participate in a 4-part virtual workshop series to learn about emerging technologies in wellbore remediation and plugging, and abandonment well closure.
Previous field trials in Canada and the UK have proven that through industry collaboration and funding programmes, opportunity exists to expedite the development, field trialing, and verification of new barrier materials for international well remediation, decommissioning, and closure activities.
This workshop series is targeted to oil and gas operators and their engineering firms, regulators and governments and other stakeholders in Canada and Europe and will address laboratory trials, suitable applications, operational practices and field case studies.
Virtual Workshop Format
We have organized the workshop series into four different themes where technology updates in the subject area will be provided by researchers, enabling organizations and service providers. A question and answer period with interactive discussion will focus on technology gaps and the next steps to assist in qualification of alternative barriers, technology deployment, and reducing overall cost of wellbore decommissioning. Some polling questions will be offered during each workshop.
Workshop Registration Process
- Workshop participants are required to register on Eventbrite as each registration link is provided (please see below)
- Once registered, a Google Meet link will be sent to registrants 48-72hours before each respective virtual workshop
- Please note that workshop agendas will be posted on each Eventbrite page as presenters are finalized.
- ACTION REQUEST: We are also asking workshop participants to fill out a short survey in advance of your first workshop to help us better understand, prepare and anticipate potential discussion themes. This survey only needs to be completed once. To start your survey, please CLICK HERE.
Webinar 1: Metal Alloy Sealants
Date and Time: May 12, 2021 (8:30-11:00
GMT MDT / 15:30-18:00 BST)
Please CLICK HERE to REGISTER for Webinar 1
Webinar 2: Chemical Treatments and Inorganic Sealants
Date and Time: May 19, 2021 (8:30-11:00
GMT MDT / 15:30-18:00 BST)
Please CLICK HERE to REGISTER for Webinar 2
Webinar 3: Resins and Polymers
Date and Time: June 16, 2021 (8:30-11:00
GMT MDT / 15:30-18:00 BST)
Eventbrite Registration Link for Webinar 3 COMING SOON
Webinar 4: Enabling Technologies and Advanced Cement
Date and Time: June 23, 2021 (8:30-11:00
GMT MDT / 15:30-18:00 BST)
Eventbrite Registration Link for Webinar 4 COMING SOON
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Environmental Assistant – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
- Intermediate Reclamation/Remediation Specialist – NorthWind Land Resources
- Environmental Geologist, Hydrogeologist, Engineer or Scientist –
- Environmental Engineer, Scientist, Geologist or Hydrogeologist – 5 to 10 Years Experience –
- Environmental Scientist, Engineer, Geologist or Hydrogeologist – 10 to 15 Years Experience –
- Intermediate Reclamation/Environmental Scientist (Contract) – JMH Environmental
- Project Manager – Summit, An Earth Services Company
- Intermediate Vegetation Ecologist – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
- Environmental Inspector – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
- Project Manager, Consulting – KBL Environmental
- Intermediate Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Junior Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Planner, Lands – ATCO