ESAA Weekly News – Week ending February 26th, 2021

This issue sponsored by: THINK Envirotechnical Services

ESAA Board Election – Call for Nominations

Are you an employee of an ESAA full member?  Are you interested in serving on the ESAA Board of Directors?  The ESAA AGM and Board Election is happening on April 7th.  Full details below.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 ESAA Annual General Meeting will be held virtual via the GoToMeeting Platform.  Full voting members will be able to vote online for the Board of Directors.  Details to be announced prior to the meeting. 

Proposed List of Nominees

The ESAA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the initial slate of candidates for the upcoming Board of Directors election to be held at the ESAA AGM on April 7th, 2021  online.

There will be four (4) positions open for the ESAA Board of Directors, each for a three (3) year term.

If you would like to be included on the list of candidates for the ESAA Board of Directors and are a representative of a full ESAA Member, please submit 6 letters of support* by no later than March 15th, 2021, to the ESAA Office via e-mail: [email protected]. 

Proposed List of Candidates 

  • Darren Cherniak, North Shore Environmental Consultants (I)
  • Darrell Haight, Trace Associates (I)
  • Karen Schmidt, Osprey Scientific (I)
  • Rob Traynor, SLR Consulting (I) 

(I) Incumbent 

(*) Letters of support must be from ESAA Members and only one letter per member.

Notice of ESAA Annual General Meeting

1:00 pm – April 7th, 2021

Online via GoToMeeting

Click Here to RSVP

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual General Meeting of the Members of the Association will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, on April 7th, 2021, at the hour of 1:00 pm for the following purposes:

  1. to approve the minutes of Members dated March 10th, 2020;
  2. to receive the report of the President;
  3. to receive the report of ESAA Management;
  4. to receive the report of the Treasurer;
  5. to appoint Auditors;
  6. to appoint/elect Directors; and
  7. the transaction of such further and other matters as may properly be brought before the meeting or any adjournment thereof.

All full members have the right to appoint a proxy, who needs not to be a member, to exercise the same voting rights that the member appointing such proxy would be entitled to exercise if present at the meeting.

Dated at the City of Edmonton, in the Province of Alberta, this 25th day of February 2021.

Per:    ESAA President

* There is no charge to attend the ESAA AGM

2021 AGM Documents including the AGM Notice, AGM Agenda, 2020 AGM Minutes, and AGM Proxy information can be found online at:

Alberta Coal Consultation Update

Minister of Energy Sonya Savage issued the following statement on forthcoming public consultations with Albertans on a modern coal policy for Alberta:

“Since announcing our commitment to widespread consultation on a modern coal policy for Alberta, we have heard from many passionate Albertans and interested groups who want to be engaged.

“I’m pleased to announce these public consultations will begin on March 29. I have directed my department officials to bring forward a comprehensive consultation plan that is by Albertans and for Albertans. The details of the process will be announced before consultations begin.

“With the input of Albertans, a modern coal policy will protect the areas Albertans cherish while allowing responsible resource development in the appropriate places.

“Albertans interested in receiving regular updates about the process, future consultation sessions and how to participate can submit their contact information to”

Quebec excavation company sentenced for violating Species at Risk Act by destroying nests of threatened bank swallows

Strong and effective enforcement of Canada’s environmental and wildlife protection laws is one of the concrete ways we are delivering on our commitment to providing clean air, clean water, and conserving wildlife species and their habitat.

On February 18, 2021, in Granby courthouse, Pete Persons Terre Sable & Gravier Inc. was sentenced and fined a total of $15,000 after pleading guilty to two offences under the Species at Risk Act. The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.

On June 5, 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada wildlife enforcement officers visited quarries and sandpits in the Estrie region of Quebec to carry out inspections to verify compliance with the Species at Risk Act and to carry out public education and outreach concerning bank swallows (Riparia riparia).

During those activities, officers discovered a sandpit containing three bank swallow nesting sites, two of which were active or in use. Officers met a heavy machinery operator working for the company in the area and informed him of the presence of the swallows and the nesting sites, as well as the responsibility to ensure that work activities did not disturb the birds or their nests. On a subsequent follow-up visit on July 31, 2019, officers discovered that two nesting sites, one of which was active on June 5, had been destroyed with heavy machinery.

It is an offence under the Species at Risk Act to kill or harm a wildlife species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened or to damage or destroy the residence of a listed species. The bank swallow was listed as a threatened species under the Act, on November 2, 2017.

On February 18, 2021, the company pleaded guilty to two counts under the Act, for having destroyed nests of bank swallows, and in doing so, harming individuals of a wildlife species that is listed as threatened, and damaging or destroying the residence of one or more individuals of a wildlife species that is listed as threatened.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.

Quick facts

  • Bank swallows nest in burrows dug into exposed soil, primarily on the banks of ponds and rivers, but also in sandpits and quarries, and at some construction sites where vertical banks of soil are found. To reduce the risk of damaging or destroying a bank swallow nest, it is recommended that persons conducting work near potential nesting areas avoid scheduling excavation or construction activities during the spring and summer nesting season.
  • Bank swallow populations in Canada have declined by 98 percent in the last forty years.
  • The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit the environment.


Canada Announces New National Net-Zero Advisory Body Appointed

(Source: Environment Journal)

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, has launched the Net-Zero Advisory Body, an independent group of 14 experts from across the country, who will provide the Government of Canada with advice on the best pathways to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Advisory Body is a key part of the proposed Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act tabled in the House of Commons last fall, which would enshrine Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 into law.

“Canadians expect us to take urgent action to address climate change to protect the planet and grow a cleaner and more prosperous economy,” said Wilkinson. “By providing expert advice on how we can meet Canada’s goal of getting to net-zero emissions by 2050, the Net-Zero Advisory Body will help ensure we can continue to meet the environmental goals and economic ambitions of Canadians at the same time.”

The Advisory Body is comprised of 14 individuals with a diverse range of experience and expertise in business, policymaking, science and other areas, who will consult with Canadians and advise the Government of Canada . The group’s initial work will include a focus on identifying actions that set a strong foundation for achieving net-zero emissions while also growing the economy and enabling a strong and resilient economic recovery following the pandemic.

Reaching net-zero emissions will require support from all parts of society and there is no one way to achieve this goal. That’s why the Advisory Body will follow a transparent and inclusive process to engage with and hear from provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous Peoples, youth, businesses, environmental groups, and interested Canadians.

The Advisory Body will be a permanent resource. Its ongoing role will be to ensure its advice remains aligned with and adapts to the best available analysis, research, technological changes, scientific developments, and public perspectives. The Advisory Body’s independent public reports and recommendations will inform the development of the emission-reduction milestone plans required by the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.

The Net-Zero Advisory Body will be co-chaired by Dan Wicklum and Marie-Pierre Ippersiel. Learn more about the Advisory Body’s mandate and membership on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.

Supported by the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, the work of the Advisory Body will further demonstrate how serious Canada is about addressing the climate crisis and meeting the economic demands of global markets, now and into the future. The transition to a cleaner, prosperous economy needs to be both an immediate priority and a sustained effort over the years and decades ahead.

Canada is one of over 120 countries committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. Most recently, the United States—our closest ally and largest trading partner—committed to net zero by 2050 too. The United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, France and others have already introduced their own net-zero advisory bodies and Canada joins their ranks with this announcement.

Achieving net-zero emissions means either emitting no greenhouse gas emissions at all or offsetting them completely through actions that remove climate-warming gases from the atmosphere. Reducing Canada’s emissions to the lowest extent possible in the decades ahead will allow us to reach net-zero by 2050.

For further information, visit: Net-Zero Advisory Body Members Bios

Upcoming Events

Virtual EnviroTech 2021 Information and Call for Abstracts
June 2 & 3 

While we had hoped to see you all in-person at EnviroTech 2021, with the ongoing COVID19 restrictions, EnviroTech will once again be on-line, scheduled for June 2nd & 3rd. Complete EnviroTech 2021 details can be found at:

ESAA has listened to all of the feedback we received through 2020 and we have made a number of major changes to the delivery of EnviroTech 2021. 

What changes can you expect?

  • New Event Website
  • New Platform
  • Virtual Exhibits
  • Virtual Group Chat Features
  • Individual Speed Networking
  • and much more

Additional details about the platform will be released in the weeks prior to EnviroTech.

Registration, Sponsorship, and Exhibitor Information

Registration: Registration is now open for EnviroTech 2021.  Early bird rates for members and non-members are available until April 16th.  Rates start as low as $69.  Student and Unemployed rates are also available.  Register Now at:

Sponsorship: If you were a sponsor in 2020, we will be in touch with you shortly about your options for 2021 and how to use any credits you have on file with ESAA for EnviroTech.  Watch your email in the next 7-10 days for additional details. For new sponsors, information will be available soon via the sponsor page of the EnviroTech 2021 website.

Virtual Exhibit Space: Virtual exhibit space is only available with sponsorship packages.

Call for Abstracts 2021

ESAA invites you to submit technical abstracts for EnviroTech 2021. Abstracts are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following areas:


  • modelling, monitoring, quality, hydraulic fracturing, emerging contaminants, oilsands issues, saline, contamination, industrial re-use, wastewater treatment, risk management, groundwater, surface water, water wells, wetlands, produced water

Climate Change

  • adaptation, alternative energy, carbon credits, energy efficiency, energy from waste, GHG monitoring and sampling, regulatory, sustainability, impacts of climate change, CleanTech


  • monitoring, modelling, sampling, quality, regulatory, noise management


  • landfill design, landfill closure, hazardous waste management, emerging contaminants, resource recovery, regulatory


  • laboratory testing and sampling, field testing and sampling, monitoring, analysis


  • management, safety, hidden dangers, technology


  • engagement, stewardship

Panel Discussion

  • ESAA will consider submissions that could be used as a panel discussion for the opening of either day.


  • topics from areas not listed will also be considered

The preliminary selection of presentations will be based on submitted abstracts and reviewed by a panel of peers.

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words (not including bio), should include a presenter biography and be submitted as a Word Document by no later than midnight on Friday, April 2nd, 2021.

Before submitting your abstract, ensure that client approval has been obtained.

Send abstract submissions to Joe Chowaniec via email to: [email protected]

Notification of acceptance will be given by April 30th, 2021.

Thank you for your continued support of ESAA and ESAA events.

SustainTech 2021 – Registration Now Open


SustainTech continues to be a well-attended conference that promotes sustainability and environmental responsibility and brings together industry, academia, consultants, and regulators to share ideas on new developments and technologies that help us make a better and more sustainable world.

The conference highlights the latest environmental practices and technologies from industry, consultants, and regulators to address sustainability issues over the lifecycle of Saskatchewan’s principal resource sectors, including: agriculture, mining, and oil and gas.

This years event will be condensed to 12 speakers.  All sessions will be available for viewing live as well as post conference through the conference platform to all registered attendees.

Sponsorship and Exhibit opportunities are also available.  Contact the office at [email protected] to learn more!

The Full Conference Program will be announced next week
Register –

Wetland Knowledge Exchange March 2021 Webinar

On March 23rd, Emma Bocking of Ducks Unilimited Canada will present on Floods, carbon, ducks and trails: Quantifying and communicating wetland ecosystem services in Atlantic Canada.

Registration for this free webinar can be found at:

This events is part of the Wetland Knowledge Exchange’s monthly webinar series.

The Knowledge Exchange provides a forum for sharing and exchanging boreal wetland BMP information with a network of industry, government, academic, consulting, not-for-profit, and other interested contacts from across the country. The Knowledge Exchange was developed to address a need for increased information transfer and collaboration that was identified by participants of the Wetlands Best Management Practices Workshop hosted by Ducks Unlimited Canada in January of 2016.

The Knowledge Exchange is supported and administered by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and membership is free and open to anyone who wishes to join, so please consider sharing this invitation with anyone you think might be interested in participating. You can subscribe to the Knowledge Exchange’s newsletter here to receive a monthly electronic newsletter covering wetland BMP events, studies, demonstrations, products, news, and other related information.

Wednesday, March 10th & Wednesday March 24th, 2021 from 12:00 – 13:00 MST.

To attend you must register via the GRF Website homepage at by adding the no cost webinar item(s) to cart and providing the required information. You will receive a meeting invitation and webinar access instructions from Donna ([email protected]).  See below for more details on these upcoming webinars.  

Winter Webinars for 2021

AEP Native Prairie Protocol for Reclamation Certification of Salt-Affected Wellsites  Wednesday March 10th, 2021 12:00-13:00 MST – Gordon Dinwoodie P.Ag. of Alberta Environment and Parks   

Alberta Environment and Parks released the Native Prairie Protocol for Reclamation Certification of Salt-Affected Wellsites in November, 2019.  The goal of the Native Prairie Protocol is to avoid the disturbance of sensitive native grasslands associated with remediation of salt contamination when it can be shown that the contamination is not causing an adverse effect.  Alberta Environment and Parks has successfully worked with the oil and gas industry to encourage minimal disturbance construction and operation on native grassland.  Remediation of salt contamination typically requires excavation and disposal of salt contaminated soil, resulting in significant disturbance to this sensitive landscape.  The Native Prairie Protocol provides an approach for identifying sites where adverse effects from elevated salinity are not occurring, and are not expected to occur in the future.  Sites that meet the conditions specified in the Native Prairie Protocol are eligible for reclamation certification without further remediation even though salt concentrations may exceed Alberta Tier 1 guidelines.

Working in Native Grassland: A primer for Project Managers and Contractors working in the Oil and Gas Industry

Wednesday March 24th, 2021 12:00-13:00 MST – Marilyn Neville, Gramineae Services Ltd.

The oil and gas industry and government regulatory authorities have developed principles, guidelines and tools that reduce the footprint of industrial activity in this multiple use landscape. Project managers and contractors must understand where they are working, the applicable regulatory authority and the operating conditions that apply for the proposed activity in native grasslands. This presentation provides a step-by-step guidance and links to information for:

  • Minimizing Surface Disturbance in Native Grassland
  • Obtaining approvals and maintaining compliance
  • Access and Work Plans
  • Reclamation and Recovery Strategies


ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • Business Development Manager – Remediation Services – Clean Harbors
  • Health & Safety Coordinator – McCue Engineering Contractors
  • Journeyman Plumber – McCue Engineering Contractors
  • Mechanical Engineer / Project Manager – McCue Engineering Contractors
  • Summer Students / Seasonal Staff – Vegetation Management – North Shore Environmental Consultants
  • Environmental Technician – McCue Engineering Contractors
  • Senior Aquatic Ecologist – SLR Consulting
  • Environmental Scientist – SLR Consulting
  • Principal Hydrogeologist – SLR Consulting
  • Senior Environmental Assessment / Environmental Planning Professional – SLR Consulting
  • Sales Specialist – CARO Analytical Services
  • Intermediate Reclamation Specialist – Ecoventure
  • Project Archaeologist – Tree Time Services
  • Permit Archaeologist – Tree Time Services
  • Senior Project Manager – Saskatchewan – Nichols Environmental (Canada)
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