(Source: Environment Journal) The City of Leduc’s 2020 Environmental Progress Report is now available. Despite challenges faced as a result of COVID-19, the City noted that it continued to demonstrate its dedication to environmental stewardship last year.
Published annually, the progress report offers an update on the city’s various environmental initiatives and features projects/outcomes in seven key areas:
- Environmental leadership.
- Greenhouse gas reduction.
- Civic projects.
- Natural area enhancements.
- Waste diversion.
- Energy conservation.
- Alternative transportation.
“This progress report is one way that we share with the community on the city’s environmental progress and its alignment with the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan and our commitment to respect the planet,” said Councillor Lars Hansen. “The city is committed to respecting the planet and continuously strive to champion environmental action that protects and enhances our unique natural features and built environment.”
Looking ahead, the City plans to update its Environmental Plan in 2022.
The Eco Station was recognized as a leader in the management and excellence of recycling programs, and received the 2020 Collection Site Award of Excellence from the Alberta Recycling Management Authority. The new building:
- Showcases a variety of functional products that give recycled material new life.
- Is the city’s second net zero facility with 44 solar panels.
- Had the highest number of annual visits from area residents (44,700 visits) despite being temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
In 2020, the City was approved for $115,605 in grant funding from the Alberta Wetland Replacement Program to restore roughly 0.4 hectares of wetland just north of Telford Lake, which was historically drained for agricultural use. Due to its proximity to the trail and visibility from Telford Lake, the wetland provides the community with a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy the environmental benefits, including improved biodiversity, drainage, and flood control.
Ten interpretive signs were installed along 8.2 kilometres of the Telford Lake multiway, which is a recognized part of The Great Trail. The signs act as outdoor classrooms and encourage users to learn about the diversity of species they are likely to encounter, and their natural habitats. Telford Lake is the largest environmentally significant area in Leduc and is the start of a wildlife corridor that extends to Saunders Lake in Leduc County.
A complete LED lighting retrofit and re-design was done at the Leduc Recreation Centre, and is expected to save $67,844 and 593 tonnes in GHG emissions each year. This project was funded, in part, through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. Other civic facilities that have been converted to LED lighting include the Civic Centre, Kinsmen Community Centre, Cultural Village, Telford House, Alex Pool, and Fire Halls No. 1 and 2.
Recycle Coach, the city’s online waste sorting tool, launched with 2,000 users downloading the app in its first year. The free tool gives residents a convenient way to sort smarter by allowing them to search individual items and learn how to dispose of them properly. It also provides customized collection calendars by street address.
Cleanup underway for contaminated soil spill near Hay River
(Source: Cabin Radio) According to a press release, the single vehicle collision occurred around 5:45am on Highway 2 approximately 10 kilometres south of Hay River. The driver of the vehicle was not seriously injured.
A cleanup crew has been sent from Fort Smith to help with the spill. Police said the contamination of the soil that spilled on the shoulder of the road and into the ditch was of a low level.
In an email to Cabin Radio, a spokesperson for the NWT Department of Environment and Natural Resources said approximately 22 tonnes of soil was spilled over a 40 metres strip between Hay River and Enterprise. The “historic low level radioactive contaminated soil” was being transported from the landfill in Fort Smith to a facility in Alberta as part of a landfill remediation project.
The spokesperson said inspectors from the department are working with the RCMP and representatives from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories on the cleanup. There is currently no risk to public safety but as a precaution nearby standing water is being vacuumed for disposal.
RCMP are recommending that motorists avoid unnecessary travel in the area until the cleanup is complete.
Airdrie motel owners take legal action over gas station contamination
(Source: Calgary Herald) A family that owns an Airdrie motel is suing Suncor Energy over what it calls the company’s failure to properly clean up contamination from one of its nearby gas stations.
The Jessa family, which has owned the Horseman Motel in the city north of Calgary since 1987, said it’s lost patience with the company’s half-hearted efforts to remove hydrocarbon contaminants that leaked from the tanks of a Petro-Canada station near the family’s property.
The lingering presence of the toxins beneath the family’s motel and an adjacent liquor store they also own has severely impacted the properties’ value — what would normally amount to $7 million — and made selling them virtually impossible, said Nahid Jessa.
“We really can’t do anything — our long-term goals are out the window,” he said.
After emigrating from east Africa in the 1970s, Zubeda Jessa and her husband Firoz were thrilled by the business potential of the 41-room Airdrie motel at 531 – 3 Ave. N.E. and purchased it with no knowledge of what would lay beneath it, said the woman.
“It was very busy and exciting for us because every day it was fully booked,” said Nahid’s mother Zubeda, 74.
With the business thriving, they added a liquor store next door in 1994.
It was then that they learned of the subterranean contamination from the adjacent gas station, operated by Suncor subsidiary Petro-Canada, she said.
“After we found out there’s oil there, that’s it,” said Zubeda, adding the family initially took on the cost of cleaning up the property.
“We had to sell my Calgary house and our (takeout food) business in Sunridge Mall,” she said. “Every day it’s stressful.”
But she added that the remediation work didn’t solve the problem — a reality made clear by test bore holes that detected the spreading presence beneath their properties of hydrocarbons from the leaky service station tanks, said the family.
The family noted it entered into an eight-year agreement to hold off on legal action against Suncor in return for the company’s full cleanup of the land.
Suncor, they said, made efforts to break down the contaminants in 2009 with chemical injections and venting work was performed.
But with only an inadequate job done on the site, said Nihad Jessa, his family has cancelled the agreement and resumed their legal action to force a thorough cleanup.
“They’re been stringing us along, purposely dragging it out,” he said.
“Our family just wants to move on.”
An independent assessment sought by the family showed there’s no immediate health risk from the contamination, but that hasn’t removed the longer-term uncertainty posed by the hydrocarbons, said Nihad.
“Nobody knows what’s underneath the motel; we just know one bore hole keeps showing contamination that keeps being released below the middle of the motel,” he said.
“If we pulled down the old motel to rebuild a new one, we might (see) something in the bedrock; it’s happened before.”
So far, the contamination has cost the family $1.5 million in legal and environmental consultant fees, they said.
In an amended statement of defence dating back to 1995, Petro-Canada denied it was the source of any contamination.
But in a statement this week, a Suncor spokeswoman said the company was still working in good faith with the Jessas to remediate the property.
“Suncor takes its environmental obligations seriously. We have conducted remediation activities at the site in consultation with the Jessas and Alberta Environment and continue to responsibly manage our environmental obligations,” said Mita Adesanya.
“We are in contact with Alberta Environment and are open to working with the Jessas to reach a satisfactory outcome.”
An official with Alberta Environment and Parks had much the same message, saying they were monitoring the site for any potential health hazards.
“Alberta Environment is currently in the process of working with both parties, and continues to explore options that provide assurance that there is no unacceptable risk of exposure associated with the residual contamination,” said a statement from the ministry.
Zubeda Jessa said she’d be happy if Suncor agreed to purchase their property and end what seems like an endless nightmare.
“We were told it would take two years to clean, but it’s taken nearly 30 years,” she said.
Imperial to produce renewable diesel at refinery near Edmonton using locally grown crops
(Source: Canadian Press) Imperial Oil Ltd. plans to build a renewable diesel complex at its Strathcona refinery near Edmonton.
Imperial says the facility will be the largest of its kind in Canada. It will use blue hydrogen and locally grown crops to produce low-carbon diesel fuel.
The facility will produce up to 1 billion litres per year of renewable diesel. Imperial says that could mean a 3 million tonne reduction in annual C02 emissions from the Canadian transportation sector.
Imperial says moving ahead with the project will depend on market conditions and government support. It says it’s in partnership discussions with the governments of Alberta and B.C.
Imperial is not disclosing a price tag for the project. It says production could start in 2024.
Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard takes effect next year. It will require liquid fuel suppliers to decrease the carbon intensity of their products by 13 per cent by 2030.
CCME: Project 655-2022 – Guidance on Contaminant Containment and Remediation Techniques Appropriate to Permafrost Sites
The Contractor will develop a guidance document on risk management of contaminated sites located in permafrost and permafrost transition zones throughout Canada’s alpine and northern regions.
Closing Date/Time: September 7, 2021 12:00 noon CDT
Project Status: Open for competition
Canada invests $796 million to collaborate with provinces, territories, and other partners to protect nature across the country
Protecting more nature is an essential part of addressing biodiversity loss and fighting climate change. Here in Canada, working in collaboration with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and other partners is critical to protect and conserve Canada’s nature and to recover Canada’s species at risk.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced as part of the Enhanced Nature Legacy up to $796 million in funding to support provinces and territories and other partners’ actions to recover species at risk and protect and conserve lands and freshwater.
This investment includes up to $210 million over five years to support interested provinces and territories to develop bilateral nature agreements with the federal government, $209 million to protect priority ecosystems, and $377 million to support recovery actions for priority species such as boreal caribou, Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon.
Bilateral nature agreements will be collaboratively developed with provinces and territories to advance our shared interests in a more integrated approach to conserving nature, establish more protected areas, protect and recover species at risk and their habitat, while at the same time advancing Indigenous reconciliation. The agreements will also help support a green recovery by ensuring the coordinated delivery of nature-based solutions to climate change.
Collaboration will be necessary to achieve the changes we need for nature. It is by working closely together with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples and communities, industry, not-for-profit, philanthropic and other stakeholders that we will succeed in protecting nature and build stronger communities.
Today’s announcement is a fundamental feature of Budget 2021’s commitment to invest an additional $2.3 billion over five years in Canada’s Enhanced Nature Legacy to continue supporting nature conservation measures across the country, including Indigenous leadership in conservation.
Globally, Canada is home to 20 percent of the world’s freshwater, 24 percent of wetlands, 25 percent of temperate rainforest area and 33 percent of the remaining boreal forest.
Canada is committed to protecting 25 percent of lands and 25 percent of oceans by 2025 and 30 percent of each by 2030. The protection and recovery of species at risk is an important responsibility shared by federal, provincial, and territorial governments requiring a collaborative approach across jurisdictions.
The Canada Nature Fund enables significant, targeted investments and enhanced partnerships to drive improved protection and recovery for a large number of species at risk throughout the country, as agreed to in the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada.
Support for the recovery and protection of aquatic species at risk is being provided by enabling multi-species, place-based, and threat-based approaches to recovery through the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk. This fund aims to support efforts to reduce entanglements with fishing gear, better address issues related to bycatch, restore natural habitats, and protect iconic, at-risk Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon, and North Atlantic right whales—alongside continued support for all aquatic species at risk.
“Our Clean Future is the first-ever Yukon-wide strategy to address the changing climate in the territory,” said Environment Minister Nils Clarke. “This first annual report highlights what we have achieved in a challenging year and the work that still needs to be done. All Yukoners have a stake in fighting climate change and Our Clean Future addresses the climate emergency we face. I look forward to our continued work together with our partners as we implement this important strategy.”
The 2020 annual report tracks progress over the calendar year and highlights a path to reach the territory’s 2030 climate change goals. More specifically, the report details the most recent data on the Yukon’s greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy electricity generation and the progress towards key targets in Our Clean Future. It also includes additional information on the objectives of the strategy.
“We have made progress on our climate actions by creating new Good Energy rebates for clean transportation, establishing the Yukon’s first-ever Youth Panel on Climate Change, and increasing our capacity to prevent and respond to wildfires,” said Energy, Mines, and Resources Minister John Streicker. “Yukon First Nations governments, municipalities, and all Yukoners recognize the urgency of the climate crisis. Continuing to work in partnership and taking bold actions will be needed to achieve the Yukon’s 2030 targets and shift the energy economy.”
“Climate change remains our biggest challenge as we continue making transformative investments together with Yukon First Nations governments, municipalities, and community partners,” added Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai. “Together we are growing the Yukon’s green economy and creating more economic and employment opportunities throughout the territory. It is exciting to see the work being done to lay a new foundation for a thriving and sustainable economy for all Yukoners.”
Annual reports on Our Clean Future will continue to be released to keep Yukoners informed on actions the Government of Yukon, Yukon First Nations governments, and municipal partners are taking to meet the strategy’s targets.
10 tips for Canadian companies when environmental regulators call
(Source: Gowling WLG) Canadian companies operating in environmentally sensitive industries face a complex set of regulatory obligations that may transect federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Regulatory compliance requires ongoing diligence that includes a robust environmental risk management system, and the penalties and reputational risk for non-compliance can be substantial.
In recent years, federal and provincial governments have signalled increasing emphasis on environmental protection, and consistent with that intent, government regulators appear to have ramped up compliance inspections and investigations. Monetary penalties arising from non-compliance have risen dramatically, as demonstrated by the Teck Coal Limited (“Teck”) guilty plea entered in the British Columbia Provincial Court on March 26, 2021, in which Teck agreed to pay $60,000,000 for
repeated violations in 2012 of the Federal Fisheries Act. This fine is the largest financial penalty imposed in Canadian history on liability for an environmental offence.
The $60,000,000 fine paid by Teck clearly signals to industry participants the material exposure to financial loss that may materialize as a consequence of regulatory compliance inspections and investigations. Entities subject to an environmental inspection or investigation should accordingly treat them with the utmost attention, and boards and management should give sufficient regard to the prospect of financial loss and reputational harm to adequately discharge their obligations as directors and officers.
An important way to protect against reputational harm and risk of financial loss is to make and implement organizational plans and policies to appropriately act in, and respond before, any environmental compliance inspection or investigation begins.
Below, we briefly discuss 10 tips your organization may wish to consider when developing a plan for when the government regulator calls. They comprise information that, when contextualized with legal advice tailored to your organization’s environmental compliance obligations, should assist to devise and implement investigation response plans to safeguard the interests of regulated entities.
1. Before an inspection/investigation occurs – designate a company representative
Regulated entities should designate a representative at each facility, office, or other place of business, with authority to engage with government regulators if and when they attend at the site to administer or enforce pubic law powers. Representatives should have knowledge of the company’s protocol intended to govern its conduct with government regulators, and should have express authority to act for the company. All other staff should be instructed to direct government regulators to speak to the company’s designated representative(s).
2. Ascertain purpose of visit – inspection or investigation?
When government regulators attend upon site of a regulated entity, the company’s designated representative should immediately ascertain whether the regulator is present to carry out an inspection or an investigation. There are meaningful differences between the two, and the government regulator’s response will dictate how the representative should act as a consequence:
- Inspection: The purpose of an inspection visit is to gather information and verify compliance with regulatory obligations. Government regulators are variously empowered to search, inspect records, and in some cases take samples without a warrant. A regulated entity’s failure to comply with legislatively authorized demands made during an inspection may constitute an offence.
- Investigation: The purpose of an investigative visit is likely to collect evidence to be used in prosecuting an alleged statutory offence. In that event, certain substantive and procedural protections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are engaged. A regulated entity’s cooperation is generally not required, subject to some limited legislative requirements or judicial requirements provided by a warrant.
3. Facilitating an inspection
During an inspection, a regulated entity’s designated representative should accompany government regulators on the company premises at all times. The representative should attempt to determine and document what is being inspected and under what statutory or regulatory power the inspection is being conducted. The company’s protocol for engaging with government regulators should account for legislated inspection powers, including what actions the company must take to facilitate the regulator’s administration of the relevant legislation. A company may seek timely legal advice, but the prudent course is to know in advance of an inspection what actions should be taken on behalf of a regulated entity.
4. Be wary of the transition from inspection to investigation
The designated representative should remain vigilant during an inspection as to whether the government regulators have transitioned into an investigation. If the designated representative suspects that a transition has occurred, they should ask the government regulator to confirm whether they are now conducting an investigation.
5. Investigation – contact legal counsel
If a regulated entity’s representative is informed that the government regulator is conducting an investigation, they should seek and act upon legal advice without delay.
6. Investigation – determine authority for search
In an investigation, a regulated entity’s representative should require government regulators to demonstrate the judicial (i.e. a warrant) or legislative authority for the regulator to collect evidence and/or exercise other public powers that the government regulator contends are engaged. Without judicial or legislative authority, a government regulator may only lawfully search and seize property with a regulated entity’s consent.
7. Investigation – obtain details regarding scope
If a government regulator carries out a compliance investigation, a regulated entity’s representative should attempt to obtain as much information as possible from the regulator regarding the nature of the investigation, including who is being investigated (e.g. the company or specific employees) and what regulatory violation the regulator suspects has occurred or is occurring.
8. Document the regulatory visit
A regulated entity’s representative should take timely notes and
otherwise document each action taken by government regulators during an inspection or investigation. A regulated entity should also request copies of any photographs or video records made by government regulators, and the company should reproduce copies of any company records seized or voluntarily provided to the government regulator.
If a government regulator seeks or demands oral or written statements from a regulated entity’s employees, the steps to be taken depend on whether the regulator is conducting an inspection or investigation:
- Inspection: Generally, a regulated entity has no
right to silence, and the company is required to provide compliance related information required for the government regulator to administer its empowering legislation.
- Investigation: A regulated entity should in this case only write or utter statements as required by a warrant or by legislation, or as the company may consent to provide after obtaining legal advice. It is advised that legal counsel be present during questioning.
10. Do not read into silence following an investigation
Following an investigation to gather evidence for a prosecution, the government regulator will prepare a brief for Crown counsel and it is then up to Crown counsel to pursue charges against the regulated entity. Under most statutes, there are long limitation periods associated with filing charges after an offence is committed (e.g. Section 82 of the Fisheries Act creates a five-year limitation period for summary conviction prosecutions).
To ensure that a regulated entity complies with its environmental
regulatory obligations, minimize its risk of reputational and financial loss, it would be prudent for the company to make and implement a detailed plan or policy providing for the actions to be taken when government regulators attend the premises to carry out environmental inspections or investigations.
Establishing such plans or policies company-wide in your own organization may limit legal and financial risk, and ensure that your company presents an informed response to an environmental inspection or investigation. If your organization is looking to develop a robust inspection and investigation response strategy, or is currently the subject of an environmental investigation, we encourage you to reach out to us.
Our environmental law practitioners have assisted many regulated entities, across a multitude of industrial and commercial sectors across Canada, to appropriately navigate
environmental inspections, limit legal risk in compliance investigations, and defend against environmental prosecutions. If such matters concern your organization, we would be pleased to discuss your legal needs.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. Gowling WLG professionals will be pleased to discuss resolutions to specific legal concerns you may have.
New ESAA Members
ESAA welcomes the following new members. If you are not a member of ESAA you can join now via: https://esaa.org/membership/join-esaa/
Iron Horse Trenching
235090 Wrangler Dr
Rocky View County, AB T1X 0K3
Phone: (403) 650-1135
Chris Bews, Owner
One-pass trenching allows for the installation of deep trenches and walls to be installed in a single pass with no open excavation. One-pass trenching technology allows for a unique and specialized installation that may be the only means or method in order to install deep excavations, in poor soil conditions, elevated water tables and varying other conditions. Iron Horse can work with you on all of your one pass trenching questions and can support you with your project or site specific needs. Iron Horse operates with a philosophy that focuses on client satisfaction, cost effectiveness and safety.
Remedx Remediation Services
715-5th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 2X6
Phone: (403) 209-0004
Barrie Flood, CEO
RemedX Remediation Services Inc. (RemedX) a western Canada based company, was founded in 1997. We recognized the potential for a company that can provide a combination of environmental consulting expertise, technology knowhow and waste management services. We apply sound technical and environmental knowledge that has resulted in the planning, cleanup, and closure of several hundred sites in Western Canada, China, and Africa. Our team. which includes engineers, technologists, biologists and other environmental professionals solve environmental issues pragmatically and on budget. RemedX own and operate the Breton Class II Industrial Landfill in west central Alberta and plan to add more waste facilities to our portfolio in the near future.
October 13-15, 2021
SABCS Conference on Contaminated Sites
September 28-30, 2021
The Science Advisory Board for Contaminated Sites (SABCS) is pleased to announce its annual Conference on Contaminated Sites will be held virtually on September 28-30, 2021. This the SABCS’ 11th annual conference, which will be hosted together with GeoEnviroPro Training Professionals. An overview of the conference is provided at http://sabcs.ca/sabcs-
Canadian Environmental Engineering Executives Conference – CE3C 2021
September 29-30, 2021 | Wosk Center for Dialogue, Vancouver, BC
The conference provides a venue whereby senior executives in the industry can meet and discuss key issues facing the industry. Through a high-level benchmarking of the industry the senior executives will be able to track Key Performance Indicators (KPI) while discussing the KPIs and other relevant operational and corporate topics important to their Canadian operations in a panel session forum at the conference. The many challenges facing the industry include: impact of the economy on the industry; market supply chain management impact; shortage of talent; commoditization of services; globalization of service offering and active mergers and acquisition impact; ownership transition due to aging principal owners; and many more operational and corporate issues. For more information visit: https://ce3c.ca/
Nominate your brownfield project by September 17th and attend the event on November 23rd
Wanted you to know that it’s time for the Brownie Awards 2021 and we are looking for exciting projects, programs and people – excellence in brownfield redevelopment and remediation. The Brownie Awards recognize the innovative efforts of professionals who rehabilitate sites that were once contaminated, under-utilized, and undeveloped by remaking them into productive residential and commercial projects that contribute to the growth of healthy communities across Canada. Brownies – Canadian Brownfields Network
There are 7 categories and a 2 step process for nominations:
- Preliminary nominations are due by September 17th, 2021 and should include a “brief” project outline (350 words) describing how the project meets the criteria for that category. The judges committee will then announce a short list of projects before the end of September.
- Detailed information for projects making the shortlist are due in mid-October.
Nomination portal: https://www.
Check out the past winners recognizing excellence in the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites across Canada at https://www.
canadianbrownfieldsnetwork.ca/ brownfield-awards/brownies/ 2020-brownfield-winners .
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Remediation & Reclamation Project Manager – North Shore Environmental Consultants
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist / Project Manager – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
- Senior Environmental Scientist- Reporting Lead –
- Environmental Technician –
- ntermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Various Locations
- Vice President, Summit Decommissioning Services – Summit, An Earth Services Company
- Manager, Drilling Waste Management Division
- Administrative Assistant –
- Hydrogeologist/Technical Advisor –
- Soil Handling Monitor –
- Soil Specialist –
- Planner, Lands –
- Junior/Intermediate Environmental Scientist –
- Senior Ecologist –
- Manager – Environmental Strategy & Compliance –