The ESAA photo contest has returned. Do you work for an ESAA Member company? If so, they you are eligible to enter the 2022 ESAA Photo Contest.
The theme for 2022 is ‘Canadian Wildlife.’ No matter how big or small all of Canada’s wildlife is simply amazing. Just remember to give wildlife space, don’t stress animals and don’t submit photos of any nesting wildlife. Full details below. Submission deadline – August 5th, 2022.
1st Place – $250 Posterjack Gift Certificate
2nd Place – $100 Posterjack Gift Certificate
The top 12 photos will be included in the first annual ESAA calendar.
Governments of Canada and Alberta officially accept nomination of the Alberta section of the North Saskatchewan River as a Canadian Heritage River
The river can now be considered for full designation in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System
OTTAWA, ON, Aug. 3, 2022 /CNW/ – Heritage places reflect the rich and varied stories of Canada and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Whitney Issik, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks, announced the official endorsement of the nomination of the North Saskatchewan River as a Canadian Heritage River.
The nominated section includes the entire 718 km of the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta from the Banff National Park boundary to the Alberta/Saskatchewan provincial border. The 49 km section of the North Saskatchewan River within Banff National Park was previously designated as a Canadian Heritage River in 1989.
The North Saskatchewan River is a traditional gathering place, travel route and home for Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Ktunaxa, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe, Inuit, and Assiniboine. Further, the river played a pivotal role as the main transportation and communication route from eastern Canada to the Rocky Mountains, from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 20th century.
This section of the North Saskatchewan River was nominated by the proponent, Smoky Lake County, for its outstanding cultural value; its role as a primary exploration, transportation, and settlement corridor in Western Canada for thousands of years by Indigenous peoples, as well as during the last four centuries of European and Indigenous exploration, fur trade, and settlement; and also for its outstanding recreational value, affording many diverse opportunities for river travel and adventure.
The nomination complements the potential new national urban park for the Edmonton region, announced in March 2022 under Parks Canada’s National Urban Parks Program. Parks Canada, the City of Edmonton, the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, and the Métis Nation of Alberta are collaborating together to lead discussions and engagement around the opportunity for a national urban park in the Edmonton region.
The North Saskatchewan River Valley is one of several sites in the Edmonton region being explored as a potential location for the national urban park. Together, the river valley and park would provide access to nature for communities, protect biodiversity, enhance urban greenspaces for conservation and public enjoyment, and advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The North Saskatchewan River’s name originates from the Cree, ‘kisiskâciwani-sîpiy’, (meaning “swift-flowing river”) or in Blackfoot, ‘omaka–ty’ (meaning ‘Big River‘).
The North Saskatchewan River flows within the North Saskatchewan watershed across central Alberta and into Saskatchewan. The river travels 1,287 km from its origin in the Columbia Icefields in the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta to the ‘Forks’ within the province of Saskatchewan. This route transects four of Alberta’s six natural regions: Rocky Mountains, Foothills, Boreal Forest, and Parkland.
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System is Canada’s national river conservation program. Established in 1984, it is a collaboration among the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. It gives national recognition to Canada’s outstanding rivers and encourages their long-term management to conserve their natural, cultural and recreational values for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, now and in the future. There are currently 41 Canadian Heritage Rivers, totalling just over 11,000 kilometers, across the country.
Establishing Canadian Heritage Rivers is a two-step process: nomination and designation. Each candidate river is assessed according to strict guidelines to determine whether or not it meets the selection and integrity criteria that define Canada’s leading rivers. To be considered, the river must have outstanding natural, cultural and/or recreational values, a high level of public support, and it must be demonstrated that sufficient measures will be put in place to ensure those values will be maintained.
Following the nomination, and to receive full designation under the Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS), a management plan that describes how the river will be managed must be prepared. The document is then reviewed by the Technical Planning Committee and tabled with the CHRS Board for its recommendation to the appropriate provincial or territorial Minister and Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada to formally designate the river.
The CHRS Board is made up of federal representatives from the Parks Canada Agency and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and one representative from each of the participating provinces and territories.
The Village of Vilna has secured an Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) Grant from Alberta Municipal Affairs, which is supporting work toward a Heritage River Management Plan for the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta.
The North Saskatchewan River is the ‘spiritual center’ of the Victoria District National Historic Site located in the Smoky Lake area. Thanks to the efforts of groups such as the Victoria Home Guard Historical Society, the Victoria District was designated a national historic site in 2001. Encompassing more than 10,000 acres, the site commemorates the heritage of Ukrainian and Métis settlement in the area and is the largest national historic site in Western Canada.
Alberta Recycling Management Authority is guiding us toward a future without waste
“With advancements in recycling, we’re now able to look at products having many lifecycles, with the hope of creating an infinite loop,” says Ed Gugenheimer, CEO of ARMA
Author of the article: Ben Forrest • Postmedia Content Works
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA), and the celebration of a province-wide shift in the culture of waste management.
It’s difficult to overstate the change in habits and attitudes since ARMA launched Canada’s second-oldest tire recycling program in 1992. The organization has revolutionized how Albertans dispose of hazardous materials, and it remains a leader in the drive to inspire a future without waste.
“We really embrace this belief,” says Ed Gugenheimer, CEO of ARMA. “It’s really ambitious, but it’s exactly what’s needed. I think it’s essential for us to keep our infrastructure current and push the boundaries of what’s essential.
“We’re trying to spawn that sense of innovation in the province. It’s an ongoing process, and we’re always trying to get better. There’s always room for improvement.”
ARMA oversees all aspects of end-of-life recycling of electronics, paint, tires and used oil in Alberta, and administers electronics and tire recycling programs in the Northwest Territories.
Thanks in part to key infrastructure investments, ARMA has become one of Canada’s leading recycling organizations.
Its 430 registered municipal and Indigenous processing facilities have helped create a circular economy where millions of tonnes of waste are diverted from landfills and used as feedstock for manufacturing new products.
“With advancements in recycling, we’re now able to look at products having many lifecycles, with the hope of creating an infinite loop,” says Gugenheimer. “Turning [used] resources into new products or materials is key. It is really what we want to have.”
At ARMA approved recycling plants, tires are shredded and processed into mulch for landscaping, or turned into rubber crumbs used in new molded products, synthetic turf and athletic tracks.
Used motor oil is re-refined and used to lubricate new engines or processed into fuel for pulp mills, cement plants, asphalt plants and for other industrial applications. Oil filters are crushed and processed into construction materials like rebar and pipe — while capturing residual oil.
Latex paint is recycled into new, usable paint and resold within the province. Oil-based paint is blended into alternative fuels, while paint cans and aerosol containers are used to create rebar, composite lumber and parking curbs.
“The circular economy is crucial for achieving a future without waste,” says Brad Pickering, chair of ARMA’s board of directors.
“We believe Albertans want to do the right thing, but we also need to help the economy grow and create jobs that are stable long into the future. With today’s technology, we have a chance to build a manufacturing system that is both environmentally and economically sustainable.”
According to a report commissioned by the Recycling Council of Alberta and undertaken by Eunomia Research & Consulting, Alberta’s recycling sector already contributes nearly $1 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP) and supports more than 7,500 direct jobs. Another 5,357 producers and suppliers of designated materials benefit from recycling programs.
The potential for expanded electronics recycling could add 360 full-time jobs and $30 million in annual revenue, ARMA says. There’s also a sizeable demand for expanding recycling programs for used oil materials.
“I think Albertans, in general, have an eagerness to try new things and adapt to change,” says Ed Gugenheimer. “I honestly believe that collaboration with municipalities and all levels of government is going to be key in starting to spur the conversation around infrastructure investments and funding.”
ARMA also has substantial partnerships in the private sector, including with a major national retailer that collects used paint for recycling. These kinds of private-public partnerships will be crucial to the success of the circular economy, spurring innovation and creating new markets.
In Alberta there is a growing understanding that recycling is no longer a superficially “nice” or responsible thing to do; it’s an absolute necessity if we want to build a sustainable future.
“Simply sending used material to landfill is no longer a viable option,” says Gugenheimer. “It just feels wrong, and that tells you sentiments of the public have changed.
“As Albertans, we understand how much we consume today, and how that will determine the quality of our life, and the lives of our children and grandchildren, tomorrow. We need to grow our economy and reduce our environmental impact at the same time. We just need the opportunities to get there.”
Over the last 30 years, Albertans have helped ARMA divert 31 million litres of paint, 131.8 million tires, 1.94 billion litres of used oil and 11 million electronic devices from landfills.
“I’d like to thank our stakeholders, both past and present,” says Gugenheimer. “It’s not about ARMA, it’s about everyone else that helps support those [programs].”
Imperial Oil investigating if spill in Norman Wells entered Mackenzie River
(Source: CBC News) Imperial Oil is investigating to see if a spill from a produced water line at the Norman Wells, N.W.T., operation has entered into the Mackenzie River.
The spill was reported to the N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Wednesday and according to the federal regulator occurred between Bear and Goose Island.
Produced water is treated water that is pumped to the surface during oil recovery and then reused. According to Transport Canada, produced water can contain contaminants from oil extraction, but it varies with how much it contains.
The company estimates the quantity of the spill is 55 cubic metres (55,000 litres). Lisa Schmidt, a spokesperson for Imperial Oil, said in an email the company is investigating the situation.
“The line was quickly shut down. We currently estimate that approximately 55 cubic metres may have been released. We are still investigating whether produced water entered the Mackenzie River,” she wrote.
Schmidt said Imperial Oil is monitoring the water quality and there are no indications there is a risk to public health or wildlife.
“We have notified regulators and have shared this information with local communities.”
No details have been provided on what caused the spill.
Lisa LeBel, a spokesperson for Canada Energy Regulator, said in an email the agency “requested additional information from Imperial on the concentrations of chloride and hydrocarbons in the released fluid, an assessment of any potential impacts of the release as well as the actions that will be taken to repair the leak and prevent reoccurrence.”
Norman Wells Mayor Frank Pope said the leak was reported to him and that Imperial Oil has staff responding to the situation.
Downriver in Fort Good Hope, Edwin Erutse, president of the Yamoga Land Corporation, said he has received a call from a concerned resident on the spill and plans to followup to find out more.
Erutse said the spill comes during a busy fishing time in the community.
“People have nets and that out on the river, so I want to make sure that these concerns don’t go unaddressed,” he said.
B.C. supports First Nations to restore land, ocean, traditions
New provincial funding is helping First Nations clean up marine debris along the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest and create opportunities for lasting change through community awareness and education.
The Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative received an additional $1 million from the Province’s Clean Coast, Clean Waters (CCCW) initiative, bringing its total CCCW funding to nearly $3.5 million.
“Our partnerships with Coastal First Nations are essential to the success of the Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative and cleaning up plastics pollution,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “As the largest shoreline cleanup in B.C.’s history, it is restoring and protecting sensitive marine ecosystems, creating jobs and leading to a healthier future for people. This new funding will also support youth education, helping strengthen Indigenous stewardship and connection to land and sea throughout the Great Bear Rainforest.”
The Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative brings together nine First Nations living on B.C.’s North and Central Coast, and Haida Gwaii. Their goal is to protect ecosystems through sustainable management practices and improve the quality of life for these communities.
Previous CCCW funding has focused on shoreline debris removal, debris recycling and disposal, and youth engagement. Youth engagement has involved Elder mentorship, training and rediscovery programs, as well as learning about food security while integrating science and technology.
“It is great to see additional investment in the Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative, which is supporting a healthy marine environment and the long-term sustainability of First Nations along the North Coast,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Restoring one of the most beautiful places in the world benefits all of us.”
The 2022 funding will connect this work with an educational component. Youth will learn to take care of their territory according to their traditional culture. They will learn to collect and record data to monitor for new debris according to the latest scientific standards, form partnerships with external organizations, increase recycling and community awareness, and create opportunities for food security.
“The shoreline cleanup projects in our territories have helped restore our marine environment, provided training and jobs to community members and youth, and reinforced our lead role as stewards of the land and sea,” said Christine Smith-Martin, CEO, Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative. “This additional funding will focus on passing on our culture, values and traditional knowledge to the younger generation.”
CCCW is an important part of the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan. Its goal is to address plastic pollution. It is also part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes the StrongerBC economic plan that protects health and livelihoods, supports businesses and communities, and creates a low-carbon economy.
To date, the Clean Coast, Clean Waters funding provided to Coastal First Nations has resulted in:
‘Forever chemicals’ in rainwater exceed safe levels
(Source: BBC News) New research shows that rainwater in most locations on Earth contains levels of chemicals that “greatly exceed” safety levels.
These synthetic substances called PFAS are used in non-stick pans, fire-fighting foam and water-repellent clothes.
Dubbed ‘forever chemicals’, they persist for years in the environment.
Such is their prevalence now that scientists say there is no safe space on Earth to avoid them.
The researchers from Stockholm University say it is “vitally important” that the use of these substances is rapidly restricted.
Scientists fear PFAS may pose health risks including cancer, though research has so far been inconclusive. They have been growing increasingly concerned about the proliferation of PFAS in recent years.
PFAS stands for poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances.
There are around 4,500 of these fluorine-based compounds and they are found in almost every dwelling on Earth in hundreds of everyday products including food packaging, non-stick cookware, rain gear, adhesives, paper and paints.
Safety concerns about the presence of these long-lasting substances in drinking water have also been raised.
Earlier this year a BBC investigation found PFAS in water samples in England at levels that exceeded European safety levels, but did not exceed the current safety level in England and Wales.
This new study, which looks at four specific chemicals in the class, suggests that levels of one PFAS in rainwater around the globe often “greatly exceed” US drinking water advisory levels.
Soil around the world is similarly contaminated, evidence suggests.
The study’s findings lead the authors to conclude that a planetary boundary has been crossed – that there simply is no safe space on Earth to avoid these substances.
“We argue here that we’re not within this safe operating space anymore, because we now have these chemicals everywhere, and these safety advisories, we can’t achieve them anymore,” said Prof Ian Cousins, the lead author from Stockholm University.
“I’m not saying that we’re all going to die of these effects. But we’re in a place now where you can’t live anywhere on the planet, and be sure that the environment is safe.”
While this is undoubtedly cause for concern, there are some provisos.
Many of these safety levels in place are advisory, meaning they are not legally enforceable.
Other scientists take the view that action on these chemicals should wait until the health risks are more clearly proven.
Much research has been carried out on the health risks posed by PFAS, and scientists say that exposure to high levels may be associated with an increased risk of some cancers, fertility issues and developmental delays in children.
However such associations don’t prove cause and effect and other studies have found no connection between PFAS and disease.
But for those who have spent years working closely with PFAS, the evidence in the new research paper underlines the need for a precautionary approach.
“In this background rain, the levels are higher than those environmental quality criteria already. So that means that over time, we are going to get a statistically significant impact of those chemicals on human health,” said Prof Crispin Halsall from the University of Lancaster. He was not involved with the Swedish study.
“And how that will manifest itself? I’m not sure but it’s going come out over time, because we’re exceeding those concentrations which are going to cause some harm, because of exposure to humans in their drinking water.”
Removing the chemicals in the study from drinking water at treatment plants is possible, if expensive.
But getting below the US advisory levels is extremely challenging, according to the authors.
As scientists have gained more knowledge about PFAS over the past 20 years, the safety advisories have been continuously lowered.
The has also happened with regard to the presence of these chemicals in soil – and that too is causing problems.
In the Netherlands in 2018, the infrastructure ministry set new limits on concentrations of PFAS in soil and dredging material.
But this caused 70% of building projects involving soil removal or using excavated material to be halted. After protests, the government relaxed the guidelines.
According to the new study, this type of relaxation of safety levels is likely to happen with water contamination as well.
“If you applied those guidelines everywhere, you wouldn’t be able to build anywhere,” said Prof Ian Cousins.
“I think they’ll do the same thing with the US drinking water advisories, because they’re not practical to apply.
“It’s not because there’s anything wrong with the risk assessment. It’s just because you can’t apply those things. It’s just impossible, from an economic viewpoint to apply any of those guidelines.”
The key challenge with these chemicals is their persistence, rather than their toxicity, say the study authors.
While some harmful PFAS were phased out by manufacturers two decades ago, they persist in water, air and soil.
One way PFAS cycle through the environment is in the form of tiny particles carried in sea spray into the air and then back to land.
This inability to breakdown in the environment means that PFAS are now found even in remote areas of the Antarctic, as reported by Prof Halsall recently.
While there are moves at European level to restrict the uses of these chemicals and to find more benign replacements, there are also hopes that industry will quickly move away from using PFAS.
“We do need persistent chemicals and substances, we want our products to last a long time while we use them,” said Prof Cousins.
“And while there are conservative voices in industry, there are progressive actors too. I’m very optimistic when I see these progressive industries working together.”
The research has been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Federal Facilities Online Academy: Groundwater Policy Overview – August 10, 2022, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). Groundwater Policy and Federal Facilities Overview is a two-hour webinar course that provides an overview of U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) groundwater policies and guidance with emphasis on cleanups at federal facilities. By taking this course, participants will achieve the following objectives: Identify EPA groundwater policies; Understand groundwater classification and beneficial use in restoration objectives; Understand nature and extent considerations from groundwater contaminant plumes; Explore applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) commonly associated with groundwater remedies; Identify groundwater considerations for monitored natural attenuation (MNA), institutional controls, and technical impracticability waivers; and, Discover information on major groundwater policies from other federal agencies, such as Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DoE). The target audience for this course is federal, state, and tribal representatives who work on Federal Facility cleanups. Ideally, students should have a basic understanding the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This course is part of the Federal Facilities Academy training program. Please consider registering for other Federal Facility Academy courses and obtain a certificate upon completion of the entire Federal Facility Academy series (12 courses total). For more information and to register, please visit https://clu-in.org/live/.
Factors Affecting the Fractional Equilibrium Levels of Radon and its Progeny Indoors – August 24, 2022, 1:00PM-2:30PM EDT (17:00-18:30 GMT). This webinar will describe the process and results from a research project concerning an issue that arises when assessing the risks, doses, or working levels of indoor radon from radioactive contamination at Superfund sites. Radon and its daughter products are the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The radon indoor Inhalation fractional Equilibrium Factor (Feq) is a unitless disequilibrium ratio of measured radon gas progeny alpha emissions to total progeny alpha emissions at equilibrium in a specified volume. The Superfund program developed radon vapor intrusion screening level (RVISL) calculator to assist with risk assessment and decision-making at Superfund sites where indoor Rn-222, Rn-220, and Rn-219 is a contaminant. The focus of this project was to take a closer look at the impact of factors such as exhalation, solid-particle concentration, surface deposition, and air quality. In this review, studies regarding the influence of these factors were summarized to provide a more comprehensive approach in establishing risk assessment for public health. For more information and to register, please visit https://clu-in.org/live/.
New Documents and Web Resources
Updated ITRC PFAS Technical and Regulatory Guidance Document. This guidance document is designed specifically to support state and federal environmental staff, as well as others (including stakeholders, project managers, and decision makers), to gain a working knowledge of the current state of PFAS science and practice. Developed by a team of over 400 environmental practitioners drawn from state and federal government, academia, industry, environmental consulting, and public interest groups, it also provides a summary of the current understanding of all aspects of PFAS from a broad perspective. While every effort was made to keep the information accessible to a wide audience, it is assumed the reader has some basic technical background in chemistry, environmental sciences, and risk assessment. For more information and to view the document, please visit https://pfas-1.itrcweb.org/.
Technology Innovation News Survey Corner. The Technology Innovation News Survey contains market/commercialization information; reports on demonstrations, feasibility studies and research; and other news relevant to the hazardous waste community interested in technology development. Recent issues, complete archives, and subscription information is available at https://clu-in.org/products/tins/. The following resources were included in recent issues:
Final Report – Phase II: Protein Sorbents for PFAS-Contaminated Water Treatment: Focused Sorption Kinetics, Protein Degradation, and Thermal Regeneration Testing
EPA Creates Database to Find Thermal Treatment Processes for Remediating PFAS
Update to ProUCL (version 5.2) is now available from US EPA. USEPA ProUCL is a statistical software package for analysis of environmental data sets with and without nondetect (ND) observations. ProUCL version 5.2 is a comprehensive statistical software package with statistical methods and graphical tools to address many environmental sampling and statistical issues. Version 5.2 is the latest version of the software that has been updated to include improvements to the Technical Guide and the User Guide for clarity, code updates to correct for reported bugs, and several changes made to the decision logic for the recommendation of UCLs. View or download at https://www.epa.gov/land-research/proucl-software .
EUGRIS Corner. New Documents on EUGRIS, the platform for European contaminated soil and water information. More than three resources, events, projects and news items were added to EUGRIS in July. These can be viewed at http://www.eugris.info/whatsnew.asp . Then select the appropriate month and year for the updates in which you are interested.
Servicing Grande Prairie and NW Alberta. Spill Response, Remediation, Reclamation, Decommissioning and Surface Abandonments.
Early Bird Registration Rates
Available Until August 20th
ESAA is pleased to announce that early bird registration is open for the 21st edition of RemTech. RemTech 2022 will feature an out door tailgate party to start the conference, 55 exhibits, technical talks, networking opportunities and three great keynotes, featuring:
Mark Hineline, Author of Ground Truth: A Guide to Tracking Climate Change at Home
Dr. Dave Williams, Former Canadian Shuttle Astronaut, ER Doctor and Aquanaut
Peter Mansbridge, Former Chief Correspondent for CBC News and Anchor of The National
Join us for the Biggest Cleantech Conference in Manitoba!
MEIA Emerging Issues Cleantech Conference: Pathways to Net-Zero
Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 Pm RBC Convention Centre, 375 York Ave, Winnipeg, MB
Join the 600 business leaders, sustainability experts, academia, government, First Nation communities and SMEs in the largest cleantech event in Manitoba on Nov 30, 2022. Explore new technologies, share sustainability innovation and learn solutions to thrive in the new green economy. Highlights will include:
Networking reception with entertainment from trio from local band Indian City
Cleantech is any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities.