ESAA Announces 2022 Board of Directors
The Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) is pleased to announce the 2022 Board of Directors:
- President: Rob Traynor, SLR Consulting
- Vice-President: Darren Cherniak, North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Treasurer: Karen Schmidt, Osprey Scientific
- Secretary: Sheila Duchek, SNC-Lavalin
- Past-President: Stacy Thygesen, JSK Consulting
- Director: Adam Dunn, Earthmaster Environmental Strategies
- Director: Darrell Haight, Trace Associates
- Director: Sean Parker, McLennan Ross LLP
- Director: Scott Purves, Matrix Solutions
To learn more about each of our Board members, visit: https://esaa.org/about-esaa/board/
The Board and Staff would like to thank outgoing board members, Tyler Barkhouse, and Shawn Samborsky for their tremendous contribution to ESAA during their times on the Board.
In addition, the Board and staff would like to thank the other candidates that put their names forward: Amanda MacKinnon and Cory Sommer and everyone who attended the AGM in-person or returned a proxy. Your support and involvement is what makes ESAA an active and engaged Association.
ESAA’s 2021 Annual Report is now available online at: https://esaa.org/about-esaa/
Alberta: Charges laid involving improper pesticide use
The government has laid charges against Orkin Canada Corporation (Orkin) for not following pesticide regulations and environmental legislation.
Orkin is alleged to have applied a pesticide in a way that did not follow the directions on the pesticide label. The company has also been charged for failing to have a registration allowing them to use the type of pesticide applied.
The company is facing 12 charges:
- six charges for contravening the Pesticide (Ministerial) Regulation
- one charge for contravening the Pesticide Sales, Handling, Use and Application Regulation
- five charges for contravening the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
All of the offences are alleged to have occurred between May 26 and 27, 2021.
The first court date is scheduled for May 31, 2022.
- More than 7,000 pesticide products containing more than 600 active ingredients are registered for use in Canada.
- Pesticide legislation is in place to ensure pesticide application in Alberta is conducted in a safe and effective manner that does not affect other people or the environment.
- The federal government evaluates and registers pesticides that are safe to use in Canada and sets minimum requirements for how to use them. This evaluation includes human health and environmental elements of pesticides.
- The Government of Alberta regulates the sale, use, storage, transportation and disposal of pesticides under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
- Alberta Environment and Parks conducts routine inspections and responds to complaints about improper pesticide management.
Alberta: Taking action on caribou recovery
New sub-regional plans for the Bistcho Lake and Cold Lake areas are an important step towards fulfilling Alberta’s commitment to support caribou recovery.
In addition to addressing caribou recovery, these sub-regional plans consider a broad range of land uses that support environmental and conservation outcomes, Indigenous traditional use, recreation and economic development.
A sub-regional plan supports traditional, social, economic and environmental outcomes within a specific area by identifying when and where land uses can occur.
Key aspects of the Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake sub-regional plans include defining where certain land-use activities can be placed or occur and for how long, including roads, oil and gas development, timber harvest, geophysical exploration, surface material extraction and recreation. The plans also provide detailed restoration and environmental monitoring requirements and socio-economic indicators to enable evaluation of the effectiveness of each sub-regional plan.
The Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake sub-regional plans are the first two of 11 sub-regional plans covering 15 caribou ranges in Alberta. In addition to supporting the recovery of caribou herds, developing made-in-Alberta sub-regional plans mitigates the risk and associated economic and social impacts of federal intervention.
Work on sub-regional planning and caribou recovery efforts will continue. Work on a sub-regional plan for Upper Smoky continues and the work of the caribou sub-regional task forces for the Wandering River and Berland areas is underway. The task force for the Chinchaga area is also expected to start its work later this year.
The caribou habitat restoration program is a key component of Alberta’s caribou recovery effort and complements the government’s sub-regional planning work. Through a partnership approach with industry and other levels of government, Alberta has invested more than $33 million in the caribou habitat restoration program since 2018, which includes $30.2 million in provincial funding and $700,000 from industry. Budget 2022 includes a commitment of $10 million per year for caribou habitat recovery, starting in 2023-24. Alberta still awaits a meaningful federal contribution to support the province’s caribou habitat restoration program.
- Public and Indigenous engagement on draft sub-regional plans for the Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake areas was held last spring.
- The Bistcho Lake sub-region is located in the northwest part of the Lower Peace Region. This sub-region covers 20,093 square kilometres and overlaps the geographic area of Treaty 8.
- The Cold Lake sub-region is in the southeast part of the Lower Athabasca Region. This sub-region covers 16,659 square kilometres and overlaps the geographic area of Treaties 6, 8 and 10.
- Increased restoration and revegetation activities in the Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake sub-regions could support about 340 jobs annually over a 10-year period.
- In August 2019, three caribou sub-regional task forces were created to provide recommendations across all 15 caribou ranges, divided by geographical area:
- The northeast task force provided recommendations addressing the Cold Lake, East Side Athabasca, West Side Athabasca, Richardson and Red Earth ranges.
- The northwest task force provided recommendations addressing the Bistcho, Yates, Caribou Mountains, Chinchaga and Nipisi and Slave Lake ranges.
- The west-central task force will provide recommendations addressing the Narraway, Redrock-Prairie Creek, Little Smoky and A La Peche ranges.
- Caribou sub-regional task forces include representatives from municipalities, Indigenous groups, the energy and forestry sectors, trappers, recreational users, environmental non-governmental organizations and other local stakeholders and knowledge holders.
BC seeks public input on industry protections for the environment
B.C.’s economy relies on its abundant natural resources, which are safeguarded by high standards of environmental protection. Responsible industrial development ensures B.C.’s resources, and the ecosystems and communities that rely on them, continue to support and enrich the province’s future.
“Industries have critical responsibilities as B.C. strengthens stewardship of natural resources and our land, air and water,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Upholding the highest standards of environmental protection, coupled with an effective system of financial protection, will encourage owners to develop cleaner, more sustainable business practices. In today’s world of heightened concerns about climate change, biodiversity and public health, measures like this are what the public and investors expect as part of responsible development.”
While most companies responsibly manage their environmental risks, some companies are unwilling or unable to do so, leaving British Columbians to cover the costs of environmental clean-up and reclamation. The Public Interest Bonding Strategy aims to require financial guarantees for projects that pose high environmental and financial risks.
In consultation with industry, Indigenous Peoples, non-government organizations and others, government has prepared a discussion paper and is inviting input on ideas for a made-in-B.C. approach to financial protections.
“Requiring companies to secure financial guarantees ensures that owners of large industrial developments are responsible for cleaning up after their projects,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “These requirements will improve B.C.’s environmental reputation, inspire public trust, increase investor confidence, support B.C.’s competitiveness, and strengthen relationships with First Nations and stakeholders.”
While some financial protections are in place for some industry sectors, a comprehensive review of existing legislation is needed to provide consistency and strengthen financial-protection requirements.
“Our village knows first-hand the negative impacts an abandoned industrial site has on the surrounding community and ecosystems,” said Kevin Cameron, mayor of Port Alice. “We are excited to see our local mill site cleaned up and look forward to companies being held responsible going forward.”
In 2005, Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd. purchased the Port Alice mill out of bankruptcy proceedings. Subsequently, control of the mill changed again, and in 2019, the site was abandoned. Since April 2020, following a court-ordered receivership, site stabilization and chemical removal have been underway.
This engagement will ensure that public and stakeholder feedback is considered as the Province develops its plan to protect the environment while supporting B.C.’s competitiveness. Once the plan is in place, any changes will include a transition period to allow time for industry to adapt.
To learn more about the Public Interest Bonding Strategy and provide input, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/public-interest-bonding/
BC: Vopak Pacific Canada project granted provincial environmental assessment certificate
A B.C. environmental assessment certificate has been issued to Vopak Development Canada Inc. for the proposed Vopak Pacific Canada Project, which is on federal lands within federal jurisdiction.
The provincial environmental assessment certificate contains required conditions regarding matters within provincial jurisdiction, should the federal government determine that the project can proceed.
The provincial certificate with conditions was issued following a decision by George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Bruce Ralston, B.C’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.
The Vopak project is a proposed new bulk storage facility for liquified petroleum gas (e.g. propane, ethane, butane), methanol, light diesel and/or gasoline on Ridley Island in the territories of Gitga’at, Gitxaała, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams Nations.
The project would include unloading platforms for bulk liquid gas transported to the facility on the existing rail loop on Ridley Island and docking berths on a new offshore jetty for exporting liquid gas. Liquid gas products would be transported to the facility from across Western Canada via existing Canadian National railway lines.
In their decision, the ministers considered the Environmental Assessment Office’s assessment report and the chief executive assessment officer’s recommendation to issue a certificate. They also considered consultation and reviews by First Nations, input from public engagement and submissions from non-governmental organizations. In addition, ongoing federal approvals still required for the project to proceed and areas of primary federal and provincial jurisdiction were considered.
The project is required to meet specific conditions and design parameters under the environmental assessment certificate, if it moves ahead. The ministers have determined that with the certificate’s requirements, significant adverse effects are unlikely to occur with regard to areas under provincial jurisdiction.
The legally binding conditions include:
- developing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan;
- working with the local community and First Nations to address potential adverse effects on community services, infrastructure and well-being; and
- participating in initiatives at the request of the Province to manage potential cumulative effects of this and other projects in the area.
Many of the concerns identified by First Nations and the public during consultation and engagement fall under federal jurisdiction, such as rail transport and marine shipping. Ministers have written federal regulators recommending concerns regarding the impacts of potential spills and increased rail and marine traffic be addressed in the parallel federal review process currently underway, or through other government actions.
A range of mitigation measures have been proposed by federal regulators to address impacts of the project. These cover air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, visual quality and ambient light, marine and land resources, soils and terrain, freshwater fish and fish habitat, marine use and navigation, heritage and archeology, and human health.
The EAO examined potential impacts of the project on Indigenous rights and title, and consulted with Gitga’at, Gitxaała, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams during the environmental assessment.
The EAO also engaged the public throughout the process, with three separate public comment periods, and required Vopak to report on how it was addressing public concerns.
As a result of feedback from the technical working group, the public and First Nations, Vopak made substantive changes to the project design during the environmental assessment. This includes excluding dredging from the project design and changing vessel mooring to minimize disturbance of the sea floor to reduce potential harm to local fish and marine life.
Vopak estimates that direct expenditures during construction would total $885 million over two years, with approximately 250 full-time equivalent jobs within B.C., 70 of them local to the site. Vopak estimates direct expenditures during operations of approximately $29 million per year within B.C., and the creation of approximately 39 direct jobs (30 local) annually within B.C.
The provincial environmental assessment of the project began in 2018 and was conducted under the 2002 Environmental Assessment Act.
The factors the ministers considered in their decision on the Vopak Pacific Canada Project can be found here: https://www.projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/projects-list (search: “Vopak”).
As part of British Columbia’s environmental assessment process, First Nations, government agencies, local governments and the public have input on decisions about major projects. Environmental assessments consider input on the potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects of a proposed project.
For more information on the environmental assessment process, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/eao
Government of Nunavut ordered to pay $100,000 fine for Rankin Inlet diesel fuel spill into Hudson Bay
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health, safety and environment of Canadians. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) enforces several laws that protect Canada’s air, water and natural environment, and we take pollution incidents and threats to the environment very seriously.
On April 14, 2022, at the Nunavut Court of Justice, the Government of Nunavut was ordered to pay $100,000 after pleading guilty to one offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), in violation of subsection 2.1(1) of the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations. The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund to support projects that benefit the natural environment.
In addition to the fine, the Court issued a number of court orders to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future. The Government of Nunavut is required to:
- evaluate all buildings owned by the Government of Nunavut’s Community and Government Services Property and Asset Management Division that have federally regulated storage tank systems in order to identify all potential indoor and outdoor drains to the environment;
- provide a report to ECCC demonstrating all the mitigation measures they have taken; and
- disclose the circumstances of the incident to Rankin Inlet residents, ensuring that all community members who may have been adversely affected by the release are aware of the details of the release, potential impacts on the environment and what steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence.
In April 2020, ECCC enforcement officers responded to information received through the Northwest Territories/Nunavut spill reporting website that indicated a fuel release in the mechanical room of Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik High School in Rankin Inlet. Officers conducted a thorough investigation of the spill incident and found that the spill was the result of human error in the manual transfer of fuel from a CEPA-regulated storage tank system. Fuel began to overflow from the internal day tank in the mechanical room on the afternoon of April 16, 2020, and continued to spill until the morning of April 17, 2020, when it was reported. Approximately 18,400 litres of diesel fuel made its way into the Hudson Bay.
Plans underway for Boreal Wildlands Project, called the largest private conservation agreement in Canada
(Source: CBC News) Plans are underway to create the Boreal Wildlands Project, the largest single private conservation project in the country, in northern Ontario, Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) said Friday.
The non-profit organization had been in discussions with paper industry titan Domtar to purchase the 1,500-square-kilometre parcel of boreal forest west of Hearst for $7 million below its market value, the company said in a news release.
The federal and provincial governments are also chipping in, matching the land value with funds from the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and Greenlands Conservation Partnership, respectively.
A large private tract spanning 1,450 square kilometres of boreal forest that was managed as a wood supply to Domtar’s pulp and paper mills will now be managed for research and conservation by the NCC.
The area, part of the Hearst Forest, is recognized for its extraordinary ecosystem and abundant wildlife.
When the deal is finalized, the protected area will be roughly twice the size of Toronto and home to several at-risk species, including woodland caribou and over 300 species of birds.
Once complete, the Boreal Wildlands will support Canada’s targets to conserve 25 per cent of the country’s lands and waters by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030, the NCC said, and will connect with two other provincial parks —Nagagamisis and Missinaibi — to form an ecological corridor.
Kristyn Ferguson, a program director with NCC, said the project is a chance for the group to act locally, but have a global impact.
The forests, the plants, the wetlands on this property already store and continue to store so much carbon, pulling it right out of the atmosphere, cleaning the air we breathe and reducing carbon emissions from the air,” Ferguson said.
“Currently, the property is storing the equivalent of the lifetime emissions of 3 million vehicles, and there’s only more carbon storage to come. So we see it as a really important piece to address climate change.”
Ferguson said the NCC also consulted about project plans with neighbouring First Nations.
“We’re working closely with communities who have traditional territory on the site, like Constance Lake First Nation,” she said. “We’re pleased to be in the early stages of building what we hope are long-term, meaningful, respectful relationships to honour Indigenous relations to the land, respect their rights and find out where we can work in collaboration together and do even more great things jointly on the land.”
The group is still soliciting donations, hoping to raise $13 million for the completion of the project.
BC: New mining reclamation policy expands environmental protection
An interim reclamation security policy for B.C.’s mining industry will better protect the environment, improve the industry’s sustainability, increase transparency and help maintain a competitive industry.
The interim policy requires that reclamation liability cost estimates include both conventional reclamation (such as re-sloping and re-vegetation) and environmental liabilities (such as water treatment). The policy also requires bonding for the operation and maintenance of any necessary water-treatment plants.
The policy reflects a mandate commitment to support the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to ensure owners of large industrial projects are bonded moving forward so that they, not B.C. taxpayers, pay the full costs of environmental cleanup if their projects are abandoned. While work continues on that broader initiative, the interim policy strengthens the financial security requirements for major mines in BC.
The Mines Act gives the chief permitting officer the authority to determine the amount and form of reclamation security required of mine permit holders. Reclamation security is collected to ensure proper site reclamation when mining companies are unable or unwilling to do so. The interim policy establishes how reclamation security is to be calculated and lays out acceptable forms of reclamation security.
The interim policy was developed following the 2016 auditor general’s report on mining that highlighted areas for improvement and the policy was informed by subsequent engagement with Indigenous Nations, non-governmental organizations, industry and the public.
The interim reclamation policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary following the completion of the Public Interest Bonding Strategy that is being led by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to improve bonding in the natural resource sector.
Interim Reclamation Security Policy for B.C.’s mining industry: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/mineral-exploration-mining/permitting/mine-reclamation-securities
June 1-3, 2022
Fallsview Casino and Resort
Niagara Falls, ON
Starts in 5 Weeks – Program Available
ESAA is pleased to announce that the Program for the inaugural RemTech East is now available. The program features 43 technical talks covering a number of topic areas. The program also features keynotes by: Nik Nanos of Nanos Research, Robert Swan of the 2041 Foundation and Simon Jackson of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. The conference also features 45 exhibits, numerous networking opportunnities and registration add-ons including a reception at Table Rock Restaurant and the Water’s Next Award Dinners.
Program details can be found at: https://esaa.org/remtecheast/
In addition, registering for RemTech East will give you access to the Canadian Water Summit program at no extra charge. The Canadian Water Summit is being held on the same dates and in the same venue.
Full conference details at: https://esaa.org/remtecheast/
RemTech East Includes:
- 3 Keynotes
- Technical Sessions
- Full Access to the Canadian Water Summit
- Breakfast and Lunch each Day
- 1 Reception
- and much more
RemTech East Extras:
- Reception at Table Rock Restaurant and Behind the Falls Journey
- Water’s Next Awards Dinner – Celebrating Canadian Water Leaders and Champions
ESAA looks forward to seeing you at the Falls!
BEST 2022 – Program Now Available – Early Bird Rates End April 4th
May 25 – 27, Fairmont Whistler
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION ENDS APRIL 4th!
Join us for the eighth annual Bettering Environmental Stewardship & Technology (BEST) Conference!
The British Columbia Environment Industry Association’s BEST Conference attracts environmental professionals every May for two days of technical sessions, networking opportunities, and a sponsor exhibition.
Register now! You don’t want to miss out on the “BEST” opportunity to network and learn about the current environment industry in BC.
The Abstract Selection team reviewed dozens of abstract submissions and have put together an outstanding program of technical presentations. Preview this year’s program at: bceia.com/best/#program-
AER: Public information session on Minerals
The Government of Alberta is expanding the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (AER) mandate to include the regulation of metallic and industrial mineral types such as lithium, cobalt, and rare earth elements.
The AER invites you to a virtual public information session on May 11, 2022, to discuss the future regulation of brine-hosted minerals as part of a phased engagement approach. Brine-hosted minerals are typically found in underground saltwater and are mostly extracted through well infrastructure. Brine-hosted minerals will be the focus of this session.
An Introduction to Alberta Wetlands: Field Training (Edmonton Area – June 3rd)
Identifying and classifying wetlands is an essential skill for working in Alberta’s diverse landscapes. This training will provide you with the skills you need to identify and classify Alberta’s wetlands through a combination of online and field-based learning. Participants will learn about the Alberta Wetland Classification System and newly released Field Guide through an online training module and apply these skills in a practical, outdoor setting. The Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area of the Beaver Hills Biosphere has an abundance of prairie and forested wetland classes, forms and types where we can apply wetland classification skills, including plant identification and soil and hydrology characterization.
Participants are highly encouraged to bring a free-downloadable copy of the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide or purchase a hard copy here.
This training will cover:
- Wetland identification and classification using the Alberta Wetland Classification System (AWCS)
- Key vegetation indicator species
that can be used to identify and classify wetlands
- Wetland ecology, hydrology, and ecosystem services
- Tools and resources to identify wetlands in the field
During the field component of the training participants will have the opportunity to take soil cores, use pH metres, and apply other tools to classify boreal wetlands. Field lectures and discussions will cover wetland indicators, wetland types, tools and resources. This is an entry-level course geared towards industry, government, consultants, and other groups working across Alberta.
This training is eligible for continuing education credits under certain professional designations (e.g. CAPF). Cont
Contact: Georgia C Boston
Phone: (780) 288-9675
Website Link To Register: https://wetlands-101.ducks.ca/
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Reclamation Coordinator – Arletta Environmental Consulting
- Senior Technical & Reporting Lead – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
- Contract Environmental Inspectors –
- Project Technologist, Environmental Due Diligence & Remediation –
- Senior Technical Specialist –
- Project Manager –
- Project Manager (CISP) –
- Intermediate Environmental Consultant –
- Field Level Supervisor –
- Crew Truck Lead Hand –
- Remediation Specialist/ Supervisor –
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist (Grande Prairie) –
- Environmental Compliance Administrator –
- Project Manager –
- Environmental Technologist Consultant –
- SENIOR RECLAMATION SPECIALIST –
- Reclamation Specialist –
- Remediation Specialist –
- Environmental Project Manager –
- Environmental Project Supervisor –
- Labourer (Brooks) –
- Crew Truck Lead Hand (Brooks) –
- Field Level Supervisor (Brooks) –
- ntermediate Report Reviewer –
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist –
- Project Manager –
- Environmental Scientist – Biology –
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist –
- Environmental Analyst –
- Intermediate REM/REC Scientist –
- Junior Environmental Scientist or Geologist –