ESAA Weekly News – Week ending August 6th, 2021

AER: Invitation for Feedback on Proposed New Requirements for Geothermal Resource Development

In October 2020, the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 36: Geothermal Resource Development Act. Under that act, which has not yet been proclaimed, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) will have the authority to regulate the safe, efficient, and responsible development of Alberta’s geothermal resources.

We are seeking feedback on our proposed new Directive 0XX: Requirements for Geothermal Resource Development. The draft directive sets out the requirements that industry must follow for geothermal resource development that is below the base of groundwater protection and covers the entire development life cycle, from initiation through to closure. Directive 0XX introduces processes and requirements that are unique to geothermal energy while incorporating applicable oil and gas regulatory instruments.

To provide feedback on the draft directive, complete the comment form available on the directive’s webpage. Feedback or questions on the directive should be sent by email to Feedback will be accepted through September 3, 2021. All feedback received will be reviewed and may be used in finalizing the directive. All of the comments provided through this consultation will form part of the public record and, at the discretion of the AER, any comment received may also be attributed to the specific individuals providing it.

Personal information provided with comments will be collected, used, and disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The AER may use the personal contact information you provide for follow-up communication related to your feedback.

The draft directive is available on our website, > Regulating Development > Rules and Directives > Directives. For more information, contact our Customer Contact Centre by phone at 403-297-8311 (1-855-297-8311 toll free) or by email at

CCME: Project 656-2022 – Development of Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for Nickel

Project 656-2022 – Development of Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for Nickel

Project Description: 

The Contractor will develop:

  •  user-friendly bilingual biotic ligand model (BLM) software that can derive short-term and long-term nickel (Ni) freshwater guidelines based on user inputs of water chemistry data for Canadian waters
  • Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (CEQGs) for the Protection of Aquatic Life (PAL) for (1) long-term Ni freshwater guidelines, and (2) short-term Ni benchmark in freshwater, using the BLM approach referenced in the Protocol for the Derivation of Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life(CCME 2007)
  • PAL CEQGs for (3) long-term Ni guidelines for marine water, and (4) short-term Ni benchmark for marine water, using other approaches in the CCME 2007 Protocol.

Closing Date/Time: August 25, 2021 12:00 noon CDT

Project Status: Open for competition

Request for Proposals – 656-2022 

Sample CCME professional services contract


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 with any questions.

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



Researchers use Biochar to treat arsenic from mine waste

(Source: HazMat Magazine)  The mining industry plays a key role in the North American economy and the wider global market. Precious metals like copper are crucial to several industries, including home construction and vehicle manufacturing. While we rely on precious metals for continued innovation, we also need to find ways to prevent environmental contamination from mining.

A program at the University of Arizona is working to reclaim landscapes that have been impacted by mining waste to create a more sustainable mining industry. Its researchers recently published findings on how reducing environmental impacts through remediation processes that are both efficient and cost effective.

Jon Chorover, a professor and head of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona, wants to clean up acid mine drainage that contains substantial amounts of heavy metals like arsenic and lead. These top priority pollutants are released when rock materials are exposed to oxygen and rain. The toxic compounds can leak into the ground and contaminate water used for drinking and farming, which can be detrimental to human health.

“We have a strong interest in being able to treat acid mine drainage to remove the arsenic with something that’s relatively low cost,” said Chorover.

Using beamlines at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan and the SLAC National Accelerator, Chorover and colleagues analyzed the molecular interactions that occur when biochar is introduced to acid mine drainage.

Created naturally when plant matter is burned, biochar can also be engineered. And it may be the perfect solution for the mining industry if the environmental conditions are just right. It’s also a waste product of the logging industry, made from the woody plant materials that are left behind and it can be used as a remedial tool in the presence of iron.

“Synchrotron based X-ray spectroscopy is essential for being able to get a mechanistic understanding of what we can measure in the lab,” Chorover said. “The only way you can really get a handle on the long-term capacity for the material to retain that arsenic is if you know what bonded structures are formed.”

Iron, another mineral found in mine drainage, interacts with the biochar to form a crystal-like structure. As these crystals grow, they attract the arsenic — similar to a magnet — and form very tight bonds. This allows the arsenic to be safely removed from the environment.

Using the SM beamline at the CLS, Chorover and his team were able to visualize the surface chemistry of the biochar and reveal the fine details of these complex interactions.

“We saw that biochar is not a perfectly homogenous material, but it actually has patchy locations that are highly reactive to the growth of these crystals and as those crystals grow, they sequester the arsenic,” Chorover said.

Chorover believes their research will provide companies and regulators with the information necessary to maintain the environment and reduce impact on communities located near mining operations.

Cleanup crews tackle gargantuan task of cleaning B.C. beaches inundated with plastic

(Source: CBC News)  Up the beach, near the treeline, is where the world’s unending love affair with plastics revealed itself in all its ugliness.

In what was once a stretch of pristine Vancouver Island sand, a large piece of styrofoam had been pummelled into pieces by West Coast storms.

Ben Boulton reached down and picked up a chunk of the foam, which is technically known as polystyrene plastic, widely used for insulation and packaging and apparently employed in this case for buoyancy beneath a large wooden dock. 

Part of a crew hired to clean up the beach, Boulton demonstrated how easily the fluffy plastic degrades by crumbling it with his fingers.

“This stuff gets smashed apart by logs. All the winter storm action will just grind this down into small pieces,” he said, holding a nodule the size of a piece of corn between thumb and finger.

“Then we’re left with one little piece like that. It can appear like food to some creatures. It ends up in a lot of birds,” he said, explaining how dead seabirds are often found with plastic inside their guts.

Boulton is part of a project funded under a $7 million B.C. government coastal cleanup program. It’s the most ambitious attempt yet to tackle the problem — the goal is to collect debris along 1,200 kilometres of coastline. 

The money came from a special B.C. COVID-19 relief fund that aimed to help those in the hard-hit tourism sector by employing workers as well as vessels. (Other money was set aside to remove derelict boats, which also pose an environmental hazard.)

No matter how remote the beach, the crews found a mix of large blue barrels, fishing floats, plastic buckets, water bottles and other household and industrial goods — from the edge of the water right up into the trees lining the shore.

‘Big chunks of foam’

One of the cleanup project’s managers, Peter Clarkson, said this year’s effort is tackling some very remote locations, where “getting the garbage off is really a challenge.” 

That’s because there is usually no road access, so crews have to be dropped in by helicopter. Even getting in by boat can be difficult, amid rocks and large West Coast ocean swells. As a result, the workers spend up to 13 days at a time at remote sites, from the Estevan Point lighthouse north of Tofino to the North Coast near Prince Rupert.

Often they have to rough it, cooking their own meals and camping out by night and then hunting for plastic by day. Other crews get the luxury of eating and sleeping offshore, on boats normally used by guests paying thousands of dollars to tour the B.C. coast but now employed in removing junk.

The chunks of foam Boulton pointed out — which he judged to be “fairly fresh,” according to his seasoned eye — had likely been on the beach for only a matter of months. But already some of it had crumbled and mixed in with the topsoil.

“You can see already with this degradation, it’s become part of the ground,” Boulton said, digging into the earth and revealing a mix of green shore grass, dark soil and white bits of plastic foam.

“On the first appearance, you look into this pristine habitat and don’t see anything, and then you come and step back here and see big chunks of foam that are just going to devastate the environment.”

Millions of tonnes of plastic entering oceans

An astonishing seven million tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans each and every year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Once plastics begin to break down, cleanup becomes more difficult. That’s why the people doing the hard work on the coast target the largest pieces. Plastic never entirely disappears, but it does break down into progressively smaller pieces. Eventually, it becomes what’s known as microplastic, too small for the human eye to see.

A recent study in the Pacific Ocean found microscopic bits of plastic in every one of hundreds of water samples collected over thousands of square kilometres. All of the fish, squid and shrimp collected in the same study were also found to have microplastics inside them. In B.C., oysters destined for the dinner plate have been found with microplastics in their flesh.

Most of those microplastics come from larger pieces breaking down, but they also are flushed into waterways from washing machines, which can release hundreds of thousands of particles every time a load of synthetic clothing is laundered, according to the journal Nature.

Many of the people working on the B.C. cleanup, including Boulton, are usually employed in the marine tourism industry, so they know first-hand the draw of the coastline and have long been troubled by the ever-growing mounds of waste visitors see on wilderness trips.

But getting the plastic off the coast means overcoming a series of daunting problems.

On a beach about 100 kilometres north of that Vancouver Island tourist favourite, Tofino, Jeff Ignace grunted as he struggled with a tangled mass of plastic netting, rope and other debris partially buried under logs washed up high on the beach.

“That right there probably weighs 200 pounds,” he said. Digging in with his hands, he revealed a spent plastic shotgun shell, plastic bags, styrofoam and various bits of hard plastic, which he referred to as “shrapnel.”

But most is netting and rope from the fishing industry.

“It would take a month just to clear this section alone, to clear out all of the little stuff that’s in here,” he said, gesturing to the pile.

A member of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Ignace grew up on these beaches and has seen the plastic pile up over his lifetime. And it’s deadly, he said, having seen whales, birds and fish on the beach tangled in plastic.

“They can’t fly, they can’t swim, they can’t eat,” he said. “They starve and they die.”

Evidence of plastic’s longevity can come in surprising forms — such as washed-up hockey gear.

When he spotted something white in one of the piles collected by the crew, project manager Peter Clarkson exclaimed, “Oh, this is good!” It was a plastic hockey shin pad, which he believed was part of a load that fell off an ocean-going freighter a few decades ago.

“This is from a container spill — that’s from 1994, off Cape Beale,” he said, confident in the plastic’s provenance.

Clarkson, who retired after a long career with Parks Canada, is helping manage the cleanup. He’s spent many years as a beachcomber, troubled by the plastic onslaught, but finding some relief by turning bits of debris into sculptural art to send home a message about pollution.

All the debris collected on the beach had to be sorted, cleaned and then bagged. Boulton, Ignace and the rest of the crew worked long hours, struggling over slippery logs and sharp rocks to pile the debris in bags called “supersacks.

Next, helicopters swooped in, lifting the bags and taking them to a barge. From there, it was a trip to port, where trucks are used to bring the bags to a recycling centre on the mainland, where it’s further sorted and processed.

On a recent visit, the new recycling centre in Richmond, B.C., was bustling with activity. Trailer trucks pulled in and crews dragged the large bags into piles. Forklifts whirred, moving nets, ropes and barrels by the tonne.

“A lot of these materials are contaminated … so we set this centre up to manage these materials specifically so we can create products out of ocean plastic,” said Chloe Dubois, co-founder of the Ocean Legacy Foundation, a non-profit working on various aspects of ocean plastic pollution.

The entire process is very labour-intensive, made more difficult because much of the material is degraded by its time in the ocean. Some of it is being processed at the recycling centre and turned into pellets that can then be used to make new plastic products.

“It’s important that we start to really stimulate the recycling industry and the use of recycled content so there’s a market for these materials.”

The scale ‘is massive’

Dubois hopes a growing public outcry over the widespread contamination problem helps pressure industries into doing more to prevent it — and to clean up the existing mess.

“The effects of plastic pollution are really being felt on a global scale, so it’s putting pressure on companies to do something about the plastics they’re using and selling for their products,” she said.

B.C.’s cleanup program is expected to remove about 400 tonnes of plastic from beaches. It sounds impressive, but it’s just 0.00005 per cent of the 7.2 million tonnes entering the world’s oceans each year.


Despite the ongoing stream of plastic washing up onshore, it’s unclear if British Columbia’s multi-million-dollar cleanup will carry on after this year.

“The scale of the problem is massive,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We need to do much more to address ocean debris and its devastating impacts on marine life and food sources.” 

But Heyman wouldn’t comment on possible future funding.

Back on the beach, Jeff Ignace was clearly frustrated by the Sisyphean task he and others face.

“Garbage cans are made for a reason.” He gestured to the ocean. “That is not supposed to be a garbage can.”


Coast Guard announces successful removal of bulk oil from the MV Schiedyk shipwreck in British Columbia

NOOTKA SOUND, BC, July 12, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s oceans and waterways, and is taking action to address the threat posed by wrecked, abandoned and hazardous vessels.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the successful removal of approximately 60 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and diesel from the MV Schiedyk, a historic shipwreck that posed a significant threat to the marine environment in the area of Nootka Sound, British Columbia.

The operation to remove the oil from the vessel was conducted by Resolve Marine Group, a US-based company. Canadian subcontractors supported the operation, including the Canadian-registered Atlantic Condor vessel, which acted as the operations platform on the water.

Due to the depth of the MV Schiedyk, Resolve Marine Group used remotely operated vehicles to drill holes into the vessel’s four fuel tanks and secure a drainage valve with a hose attached for pumping operations. To remove the heavy fuel oil, hot water was injected into the tanks to liquefy the oil within. The oil and water mixture was then pumped to the surface through the hoses and onboard the Atlantic Condor, where the oil and water were separated. The tanks onboard the MV Schiedyk were then flushed until fuel was no longer detected.

The Canadian Coast Guard and Western Canada Marine Response Corporation were on the water to respond to any oil released, with members of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and other partners and contractors monitoring the shorelines, sensitive areas, marine mammals and other wildlife during the operation.

The response has been jointly managed by the Canadian Coast Guard, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, with a virtual Incident Command Post staffed by personnel from across Canada.

The MV Schiedyk, a 147-metre cargo ship, sank in 1968 after striking a submerged ledge on the south side of Bligh Island and later drifting down Zuciarte Channel to sink in 120 metres of water on the east side of Bligh Island.  Sheen was reported on the water in December 2020, and the Canadian Coast Guard established an Incident Command Post to conduct monitoring and containment operations.

Quick facts

  • The recent results of a technical assessment determined that immediate action to remove bulk fuel was necessary to protect Nootka Sound, an area rich in natural beauty, history, culture, wildlife, and in the traditional territory of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation.

  • In addition to the fuel pumped from the shipwreck, more than 48,500 kg of oil and oily waste has been recovered since the start of the response in December, 2020. More detailed information about the response is available on the incident web site, hosted by Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, at: (English only)

  • Built in Ireland in 1948, the MV Schiedyk is a 147-metre (483 ft) cargo ship that sank on January 3, 1968. Before the 34 crew members abandoned ship, oil was reported on the water but it is unknown how much oil escaped at that time.

Remediation Technology News and Resource

(The following are selected items from the US EPA’s Tech Direct –

Upcoming Live Internet Seminars

Contaminated Mine Sites – September 21, 2021, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). One way to characterize and improve the benefits of environmental cleanups is to use concepts of “ecosystem services”, those benefits that nature contributes to human health and well-being. Join us to learn about how we may consider ecosystem services in cleanup of contaminated site cleanups. This two-part webinar will first introduce ecosystem services concepts from a contaminate site cleanup perspective and discuss ongoing efforts at EPA to connect ecosystem services concepts, tools, and frameworks to different aspects of cleanups. The second part will introduce examples of mine cleanups that have elements relevant to ecosystem services with an overall goal to tee up innovative ideas for characterizing and improving the benefits of environmental cleanups. Overall, an understanding of ecosystem services concepts can be helpful to ecological risk assessors and cleanup project managers working on sites looking for enhancing environmental benefits in their projects. For more information and to register, please visit

Plume Stability Analyses with GWSDAT – September 22, 2021, 11:00AM-12:00PM EDT (15:00-16:00 GMT). The GroundWater Spatiotemporal Data Analysis Tool (GWSDAT) is a user friendly, open source, decision support tool for the analysis and reporting of groundwater monitoring data. Uniquely, GWSDAT applies a spatiotemporal model smoother for a more coherent interpretation of the interaction in spatial and time-series components of groundwater solute concentrations. This provides a more data efficient method for evaluating and determining contaminant plume stability. New in the latest version (v3.1) is the ability to perform well redundancy analysis by allowing the user to drop a well or a combination of wells from the analysis and investigate the resultant impact, including comparison to full dataset. More information and access to this tool can be found at For more information and to register, please visit

New Documents and Web Resources

New 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 Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (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, please visit

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 The following resources were included in recent issues:

    • Biogeochemical Processes That Control Natural Attenuation of Trichloroethylene in Low Permeability Zones
    • Advanced Environmental Molecular Diagnostics to Assess, Monitor, and Predict Microbial Activities at Complicated Chlorinated Solvent Sites
    • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, and State Partners Announce Winners of International Challenge Seeking Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS in Firefighting Foam
    • Remediation Techniques for Radioactive Contaminated Land on Nuclear Licensed Sites
    • 2020 National Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Award Nomination: the Ehrenfeld AML Pilot Reclamation/Recreation & Watershed Improvement Project

New ESAA Members

ESAA welcomes the following new members.  If you are not a member of ESAA you can join now via:

Full Members:


4702 – 59th Avenue
Leduc, AB T9E 7A2
Phone: (780) 246-6039

Paul Swenson, Account Executive


Brenntag is the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution. We hold a central role in connecting customers and suppliers of the chemical industry.

Our two global divisions, Brenntag Essentials and Brenntag Specialties, provide a full-line portfolio of industrial and specialty chemicals and ingredients as well as tailor-made application, marketing and supply chain solutions, technical and formulation support, comprehensive regulatory know-how, and digital solutions for a wide range of industries.

We have more than 17,000 employees worldwide and operate a network of more than 670 sites in 77 countries.



DMT Geosciences Ltd

708 11 Ave SE #415
Calgary, AB T2R 0E4
Phone: (403) 863-8737

Mike Law, Junior Geophysicist


 DMT Geosciences applies the science of geophysics to the management and execution of environmental and geotechnical investigations, geohazard assessments, and mineral and exploration programs. We are also part of a parent company (DMT GmbH & Co.) that provides a comprehensive range of mining and engineering services down to the feasibility level worldwide.



Eurofins Environment Testing Canada

8-146 Colonnade Road
Ottawa, ON K2E 7Y1
Phone: (438) 396-7823

 Philippe Blais, Vice-President – Sales and Marketing


 A clean and safe environment is a prerequisite for health and quality of life. Eurofins’ Environment Testing laboratories contribute to this by providing market-leading laboratory testing, monitoring and consulting services to a wide range of industrial companies, environmental consultants, contractors, retailers and government authorities. With over 50,000 employees across more than 800 laboratories in 50 countries, Eurofins Scientific is a leading international group of laboratories providing an unparalleled range of testing and support services to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental and consumer products industries and to government.


Long Chain Reclaim

960 Boulder Blvd
Stony Plain, AB T7Z 0E6
Phone: (780) 886-2024

Mike Myshak, President


Long Chain Reclaim has the innovative technology to change the world’s perception of oil related industries by providing a sustainable bioremediation solution for long-chain hydrocarbons. The technology transform hydrocarbon contaminants into water and a minute amount of carbon dioxide through a 100% environmentally safe process. The drive, commitment, and network will mitigate the environmental and socio-economic issues and provide the industry with a safe, environmentally responsible, and affordable bioremediation solution. Working with industry partners, LCR is promoting a cleaner environment that leads to a healthier society, creating a stronger economy.

ESAA Job Board

Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board.  Members can post ads for free.

Current Listings:
  • 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
  • Remediation & Reclamation Project Manager – North Shore Environmental Consultants
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist / Project Manager – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
  • Senior Environmental Scientist- Reporting Lead – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
  • Environmental Technician – Geo Tactical Remediation Ltd
  • 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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