ESAA Weekly News – Week ending August 13th, 2021

About 19,000 litres of diesel fuel spilled in southeast Calgary train derailment: fire department

(Source: Global News) A cleanup operation is underway in southeast Calgary after about 19,000 litres of diesel fuel spilled on Wednesday night when a train derailed.

The Calgary Fire Department said two trains collided on the same track in the area of Ogden Road and 50 Avenue Southeast.

Police said the derailment happened at about 8:15 p.m. and that seven cars left the tracks.

On Thursday, the Transportation Safety Board confirmed the incident.

“A CP assignment was proceeding westward when it collided head-on with a remote-controlled locomotive system assignment,” the statement to Global News said. “Two locomotives and seven rail cars derailed. One locomotive leaked an unknown amount of diesel fuel. No injuries were reported.”

The fire department told Global News that two Canadian Pacific Railway workers were assessed at the scene by emergency crews but did not require treatment.

The fire department said no other dangerous substances spilled in the derailment.

The CFD noted there is a canal nearby but said man-made berms were able to keep the diesel fuel out of it.

CP Rail said there was also grain spilled in the derailment.

Because of the derailment, Ogden Road was shut down in both directions at 50 Avenue and Millican Road Southeast.

The CFD noted that Alberta Environment and Parks has been made aware of the incident, who confirmed that its response team ASERT was onsite assessing the environmental impacts of the diesel spill and overseeing the cleanup.

The press secretary for Minister Jason Nixon said the diesel spill “had no impacts to waterways or a nearby City of Calgary storm sewer.”

“However, a section of the Western Irrigation Canal, located approximately 50 feet from the released diesel, required protection from the released fluid,” Paul Hamnett said in a statement. “Recovery was completed early (Thursday) morning, non-impacted rail cars have been removed from the site and recovery of released grain continues which is expected to be completed later (Thursday).”

 
 

AER: 2021/22 Orphan Fund Levy for Large Facilities

In accordance with Part 11 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and Directive 024: Large Facility Liability Management Program (LFP), the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is prescribing an LFP orphan fund levy of $3.5 million for the 2021/22 fiscal year, to be issued in September of 2021.

The levy will support the closure costs for large facilities in the LFP with licences held by defunct licensees. This is the first time such a levy has been necessary. The Orphan Well Association (OWA) and licensees with facilities in the LFP support the need to issue an LFP orphan fund levy as needed.

This year’s $3.5 million levy will be allocated proportionately among licensees with facilities in the LFP based on the facility-specific liability assessments as of September 4, 2021. For information on liability assessments, see Directive 001: Requirements for Site-Specific Liability Assessments in Support of the ERCB’s Liability Management Programs.

The LFP orphan fund levy is separate from the orphan fund levy for facilities and wells in the Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) Program and Oilfield Waste Liability (OWL) Program. Funds collected by the LFP orphan fund levy will go solely to cleaning up LFP facilities of defunct licensees.  

Levy Formula

Each licensee with facilities in the LFP will be invoiced for its proportionate share of the orphan fund levy in accordance with the following formula:

Levy = A/B x $3 500 000

where

  • A is the sum of the licensee’s deemed liabilities on September 4, 2021, for all of its facilities in the LFP, determined as per Directive 024; and
  • B is the deemed liability on September 4, 2021, for all facilities in the LFP minus the liability of any facilities in the LFP licensed to a defunct licensee, also determined as per Directive 024.

The deemed liability of a large facility is the current cost estimate to suspend, abandon, remediate, and reclaim based upon the most recent site-specific liability assessment accepted by the AER.

A licensee may review its deemed liabilities in the LFP at any time through the Digital Data Submission (DDS) system on the AER website at www.aer.ca.

Notification and Payment

An LFP orphan fund levy invoice will be sent to the attention of each licensee’s chief financial officer by email to the address the AER has on file.

Licensees must notify [email protected] of any changes to their email address. In the event the AER does not have an email address on file or an emailed invoice has been returned as “undeliverable,” the AER will send a hard copy of the invoice to the corporate mailing address provided under Directive 067: Eligibility Requirements for Acquiring and Holding Energy Licences and Approvals.

Licensees are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that Directive 067 records are kept up to date.To update corporate email or mailing addresses, contact [email protected].

LFP orphan fund levy invoices will be emailed by September 16, 2021. The licensee is responsible for ensuring that the invoice is directed to the appropriate person. If the licensee does not receive their invoice by September 23, 2021, they must contact [email protected] to request a copy.

All LFP orphan fund levy invoices must be paid in full by the licensee and received by the AER by October 15, 2021. Payment must be made payable to the “Alberta Energy Regulator” in Canadian currency using an acceptable financial instrument, such as a cheque, money order, or bank draft. We cannot accept cash or electronic fund transfers at this time.

Failure to pay the full invoiced amount by October 15, 2021, will result in a penalty of 20 per cent of the original invoiced amount being assessed to the licensee pursuant to section 74(2) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and section 16.531(4) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules. Additional compliance measures may also be applied in accordance with the AER’s compliance assurance program.

Furthermore, information regarding nonpayment of debt may be used in a licensee capability assessment, which involves determining a company’s ability to meet its financial obligations throughout the life cycle of its energy projects. For more information about the licensee capability assessment, see www.aer.ca > Providing Information > By Topic > Liability Management.

Appeal

Section 76 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act sets out the grounds for an appeal. A written appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the mailing date shown on the invoice, as per section 16.540(1) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules. The written appeal may be either emailed to the attention of Finance at [email protected] or mailed to the following address:

Attention: Finance
Alberta Energy Regulator
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4

Even if an appeal is filed, payment in full of the original invoiced amount is required by October 15, 2021, to avoid an automatic notice of noncompliance and 20 per cent penalty. The AER will refund any overpayment resulting from a successful appeal within 30 days of the result of the appeal.

 

AER: Revised Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) Code

On April 7, 2021, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) updated the Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) Code, which takes effect January 1, 2022, and will replace the 1998 code.

“Authorizations to deviate” granted under the 1998 CEMS code will not apply under the 2021 code. Licensees seeking authorization to deviate from requirements in the 2021 CEMS code should contact the appropriate AER Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approval coordinator to request an authorization to deviate before the 2021 code takes effect. The only exceptions are existing authorizations to deviate under section 4 of the code, “Installation Specifications and Test Procedures.” These may remain in force until major structural modifications are made to the stack, duct, or flue.

The revised 2021 CEMS code and supplementary information are provided on the AEP CEMS webpage: https://www.alberta.ca/continuous-emissions-monitoring.aspx.

For general questions regarding the CEMS code, please contact [email protected]. Questions specific to AER EPEA approvals should be directed to the appropriate AER approval coordinator

 

Northern Sask. mine cleanup to cost roughly $1.6M

 
(Source: The Star Phoenix) The Saskatchewan government has a price tag for cleaning up an abandoned northern mine.
 

The provincial government is paying two companies roughly $1.6 million to remediate the former Newcor gold mine near Creighton. QM Points LP, a joint venture between QM Environmental and Points Athabasca Contracting, will receive $1,363,000, while SNC-Lavalin will get $242,000 to remediate the site.

Newcor is one of six non-uranium mines the province has prioritized for cleanup. Two of those, the Vista and Western Nuclear sites, are also a stone’s throw away from Creighton in the province’s northeast.

Newcor is considered the highest-risk site, due to its proximity to Creighton and Douglas Lake, a Ministry of Environment spokeswoman said.

Since 2019, the province has paid at least $504,000 to SNC-Lavalin to study underground mine sites, including $104,000 approved in February that covered costs related to COVID-19, temporarily closing a mine shaft, and further planning and information gathering. That’s on top of a $200,000 deal in June in which the province tapped the firm to develop an action plan and determine a long-term timeline for Vista mine’s remediation.

The province is responsible for 33 non-uranium abandoned mines in northern Saskatchewan, ranging from high-priority sites to small exploration shafts and trenches.

Newcor sits on the eastern shore of Douglas Lake, about three kilometres southwest of Creighton. Activity started on the site with the discovery of gold in 1933. Mining continued there until at least the late 1940s, according to a 2012 report prepared for the Ministry of Energy and Resources.

Environmental standards and accountability weren’t well established when the mine was developed, and the responsible parties aren’t available for cleanup. However, the site is on Crown land, which leaves the province to manage the site’s remediation, Ministry of Environment spokeswoman Val Nicholson said in a prepared statement.

Remediation will begin this month and is scheduled to be completed by the end of October. Work will include a permanent concrete cover over the mine shaft opening. Vegetated soil and an engineered geotextile liner will also cover contaminated waste rock. The work aims to stop contaminants from entering Douglas Lake, Nicholson said.

The site has been defunct for years and is cluttered with concrete, Creighton Mayor Bruce Fidler said.

The municipality isn’t directly involved with the remediation project, but the site’s proximity may be an opportunity for local businesses and labour, Fidler said.

“We’re definitely looking forward to having these projects, and improving the environment,” he added.

“We hope it will be (brought) back to nature where people go and walk around and enjoy the area without stumbling over old broken cement.”

 

Government of Canada announces $340 million to support Indigenous-led conservation

Indigenous peoples have been stewards of these lands and waters since time immemorial. The Indigenous Guardians and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas initiatives recognize the many lessons that can be learned from Indigenous partners when it comes to protecting nature and rely on Indigenous experience and Traditional Knowledge to ensure lands and waters are safeguarded for generations to come.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced an investment of up to $340 million in new funding over five years to support Indigenous leadership in nature conservation, as part of Canada’s historic Budget 2021 investment of $2.3 billion over five years in nature conservation.

From this funding, up to $173 million will fund new and existing Indigenous Guardians initiatives and the development of Indigenous Guardians Networks for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Indigenous Guardians initiatives support Indigenous peoples in protecting and conserving the environment, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between Indigenous cultures and their lands. The Government of Canada will also work with Indigenous partners at Parks Canada–administered places to enhance current Guardian initiatives and co-create new ones.

Over $166 million will support Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), which are lands, waters, and ice where Indigenous leadership is a defining attribute in the decisions and actions that protect and conserve an area. These new investments will build on the success of recent efforts. To date, fifty-two Indigenous communities across the country have received funding to either establish IPCAs or undertake early planning and engagement work that could result in additional IPCAs.

This funding is a vital next step in the process to safeguard Canada’s lands and inland waters. Indigenous-led conservation will play a central role in implementing the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect biodiversity and conserve 25 percent of land and inland waters and 25 percent of marine and coastal areas by 2025, working toward 30 percent by 2030.

Quotes

“Indigenous peoples are key partners as we work to protect more nature, conserve biodiversity, and combat the worst effects of climate change. We understand that Indigenous peoples have a deep knowledge and understanding of land management, which is why IPCAs are being established, where Indigenous leadership is a defining attribute in the decisions that protect and conserve an area. Indigenous Guardians are able to not only look after the lands, waters, and ice in their territories, but also to practise and teach their cultures in impactful ways. Canada has a lot to learn from Indigenous peoples in the way we steward nature, and by supporting IPCAs and Indigenous Guardians initiatives, we can continue that education.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“First Nations, Inuit, and Métis bring forward Indigenous knowledge and perspectives that are to learn from as we face the immense environmental challenges as a result of climate change, and as we work towards a more inclusive society. Programs like the Indigenous Guardians initiatives help support Indigenous peoples in protecting and conserving the environment, and help all Canadians to learn more about Indigenous ways of knowing for this generation and seven generations to come.”
– The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“In many ways, people have become disconnected – from each other, from themselves, and from the land. The climate crisis is a direct reflection of this disconnection. As rights holders, Indigenous peoples and Land Guardians are leading the work to mend these disconnections in the form of robust climate action, environmental protection, and conservation efforts. The AFN Yukon Region welcomes this investment as an indication of the federal government’s commitment to supporting Guardians and Indigenous peoples as the original stewards of the land and who can lead the work that is necessary in order to mend what has been broken.”
– Kluane Adamek, Yukon Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations

“As stewards and knowledge holders of Inuit Nunangat’s land, sea and ice, Inuit are positioned to create meaningful and responsive programming to mitigate the effects of climate change. This investment gives Inuit the resources to further build on the success of the Indigenous Guardians Program and to reach further, defining conservation through an Inuit lens. The wellbeing of Inuit is inextricably linked to the health of the environment and ITK looks forward to strengthening these partnerships that benefit rights holders, Inuit Nunangat and all of Canada.”
– Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

“The Métis Nation Guardians projects are based on respect for the special relationship between our citizens and our traditional lands and environment, and will promote the engagement of our youth in the conservation and protection of our homeland.”
– Clément Chartier, President, Métis National Council

“Indigenous nations are proud to contribute to global efforts addressing biodiversity loss and climate change. Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship have the power to help Indigenous communities heal from the legacies of colonialism and residential schools, while building brighter futures for us all.”
– Valérie Courtois, Director, Indigenous Leadership Initiative

Quick facts

  • Under Budget 2021, the Government of Canada has made a historic investment of $2.3 billion over five years in Canada’s Nature Legacy to address the biodiversity crisis, protect and conserve nature, and create jobs in nature conservation and management.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a renewed nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership as the foundation for transformative change.

  • Grounded by science, Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives, Canada is committed to conserving 25 percent of marine and coastal areas by 2025, working toward 30 percent by 2030.

  • To date, fifty-two Indigenous communities across the country have received funding to either establish IPCAs or undertake early planning and engagement work that could result in additional IPCAs.

  • Since 2018, the Indigenous Guardians Pilot has invested over $20 million in more than eighty initiatives across the country.

Associated links

 

Government of Canada announces action plan to protect firefighters from harmful chemicals

 

Fighting fires is essential and dangerous work. In addition to the physical hazards faced by firefighters, some household products become more dangerous when they burn. In particular, firefighters can be exposed to toxic substances, such as certain harmful flame retardants in upholstered furniture, mattresses, and electronic devices, when responding to a fire. The Government of Canada has heard concerns from firefighters and stakeholders, and is taking action to protect these first responders in their lifesaving work.

Today, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced a comprehensive action plan to protect firefighters from harmful chemicals released during household fires.

The plan includes actions to:

  • Ban harmful chemical flame retardants;
  • Support the development and use of safe flame retardants, including less harmful alternatives to chemical flame retardants in household products;
  • Conduct research and monitoring to assess levels of exposure;
  • Identify practices for firefighters to reduce harm, such as improvements to personal protective equipment; and
  • Share information and raise awareness.

 

Federal action to address flame retardants is part of the Chemicals Management Plan, a Government of Canada initiative aimed at reducing the risks posed by chemicals to Canadians and their environment. The Government of Canada will work with stakeholders as it implements its plan and continue to inform the public on milestones moving forward.

Quotes

“Firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. Today, we’re announcing measures to protect them too. This plan includes actions which will ban harmful chemicals and promote more information sharing, so that we can continue working with firefighters and industry to keep first responders safe.”
– The Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

“We have listened to the concerns expressed by firefighters about the risks they face in their work. That is why the Government of Canada is taking necessary action to protect firefighters and reduce their exposure to chemical flame retardants. We will continue to work with stakeholders as we identify best practices and implement measures to reduce harm for firefighters.”
– The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Government of Canada has been a strong advocate in improving the safety of our firefighters, especially considering the dangers of their job that they face every day. By taking these necessary actions to reduce the risks in the use of flame retardants, we can further support our firefighters and the incredible work they do to protect our communities.”
– Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)

“Firefighters face many dangers due to smoke exposure during a fire. Chemical flame retardants in furniture create a blacker, thicker, and more toxic smoke and offer no benefit to firefighters, or to families trying to escape a burning home. The International Association of Fire Fighters is encouraged that the Government of Canada is taking action to ban harmful flame retardants, researching the impacts of burning flame retardants on firefighters, and studying how to reduce our exposure. We are also encouraged that the Government has produced guidance to help manufacturers, importers, advertisers, and sellers of consumer products make their products without chemical flame retardants. Let’s support businesses in adopting these practices whenever possible.”
– Mike Carter, District Vice President, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada for listening to the voice of firefighters on the risks we face on a daily basis while performing our jobs to protect communities and citizens. Fires today burn hotter and faster than ever before, aided by the chemical soup of toxins contained within our homes and businesses. Chemical flame retardants designed to keep us safe can actually contribute negatively once the product combusts. These steps will serve to enhance the use of safe flame retardants and to work with firefighters to reduce the dangers we face every day.”
– Gord Ditchburn, President, British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Association

“We know that people in North Vancouver want to protect their neighbours, including their firefighters who are there when needed. We are pleased that the Government of Canada is taking action that will make our job less dangerous by reducing harmful chemical flame retardants in furniture – chemicals that end up in the smoke during fires. Actions such as mandatory labelling of certain products will help Vancouverites – and all Canadians – make informed choices about the products they buy.”
– Ryan Stewart, President, District of North Vancouver Fire Fighters, Local 1183

Quick facts

  • Flame retardants are made up of various types of chemicals that are used in or applied to products. They are used to keep items from catching on fire and to limit the spread of fire. They can be found in a variety of products, including upholstered furniture, mattresses, electronics, textiles, and foam and rubber products.

  • To ensure that harmful chemicals are identified, the Government of Canada has already assessed more than 150 flame retardants, taken action to restrict or phase out twelve harmful flame-retardant substances, and proposed to take action on an additional six flame retardants.

  • The Chemicals Management Plan brings together various federal chemicals programs under a single strategy aimed at assessing environmental and human health risks posed by chemical substances and organisms, and managing toxic substances according to the risks they present to human health and the environment.

Related products

Associated links

 

Marine bacteria in Canadian Arctic can eat up oil and diesel: study

 

(Source: CTV News) TORONTO — Marine bacteria in the ice-cold waters of northern Canada can play a key role in containing potential offshore oil spills in the Arctic, according to a new study.

The study showed that even in frigid waters off the Labrador coast these microbes were capable of biodegrading oil and diesel fuel.

“Most of the studies that look at oil-eating bacteria are from lower latitudes,” Dr. Casey Hubert, associate professor of geomicrobiology at the University of Calgary and co-author of the study, told CTVNews.ca. “It’s not new that bacteria eat oil, but it’s interesting to start to learn about how they would do that in Arctic environments where the temperature is really cold.”

Something that is new, however, is that certain bacteria observed hadn’t shown this type of behaviour previously.

“Some of these groups had not ever before been shown to be capable of this oil degradation,” Hubert said. “By looking at a permanently cold marine environment, we see for the first time some groups weren’t known before to be able to degrade oil that we now add to that list.”

The study, published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology, involved researchers simulating oil spill remediation inside bottles by combining mud from the top few centimetres of the seabed from the Labrador Sea with artificial seawater and either diesel or crude oil.

In addition, the researchers confirmed that the use of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, could enhance the biodegradation process, even in the permanently cold environment.

The Labrador coast is important for the local Nunatsiavut indigenous population, who rely on the waters for food and business. It’s also the site of increasing industrial activity related to maritime shipping and offshore oil and gas sector activities, according to Hubert, and research on bioremediation at high latitudes has been scarce.

“There’s risks that come along with industrial activity, and oil spills are one of them,” he said. “Based on the study we’re optimistic that there are indeed microbial populations in the Labrador Sea that would respond.”

That could be especially important considering the emergency response to an oil spill in such remote areas could be complicated and slow.

“These studies help you to define, if there’s an accident, what changes would you expect. Are these microbes going to ride to the rescue?” Hubert said. “We like to say that microbes are nature’s first emergency responders … they start cleaning up the oil if they have the ability to degrade.”

He added: “If you want to anticipate or be ready for or know what to expect if you have an oil spill if you’re in the Arctic, some of these new groups are relevant ones to screen for and scan for, and that’s the kind of thing that can be done in advance as part of any healthy ocean data-driven management approach.”

 

Up to 80% in Wage Funding Available to Grow Your Team this Year

ECO Canada’s full-time wage funding programs are now open and offer up to 80% in wage subsidies (to a maximum of 25K) for employers hiring young professionals working in environmental & natural resources jobs. Additional funding for wraparound services, including training costs, is also available.

Applications are open for our 3 full-time employment programs, the Science and Technology Internship Program and the Science Horizons Program, are open to employers hiring eligible staff age 30 & under facing barriers to employment. In addition, ECO Canada now has additional funding in the Digital Skills for Youth program for those seeking to add digital talent to their teams.These programs assist employers to strengthen business operations while saving on hiring and training costs.  
 
Email [email protected] with any questions.

Funding is provided by the Govenerment of Canada: Natural Resources Canada,  Environment and Climate Change Canada, & Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada

 

 

 


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  • Senior Project Manager – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Environmental Specialist  – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Intermediate Environmental Project Managers – Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat – TerraLogix Solutions
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist / Project Manager – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
  • Senior Environmental Scientist- Reporting Lead – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
  • Contract Environmental Inspectors – Alberta and British Columbia – Trace Associates
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Various Locations – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Vice President, Summit Decommissioning Services – Summit, An Earth Services Company
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  • Administrative Assistant –Trace Associates
  • Hydrogeologist/Technical Advisor – Ridgeline Canada Inc.
  • Intermediate Reclamation Specialist – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Junior Environmental Scientist – Ecoventure Inc.

 

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