RemTech East / Canadian Water Summit Announce Keynote Speakers
RemTech East and the Canadian Water Summit are pleased to announce the keynote speakers for the joint conference being held June 1-3, 2022 at the Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls.
The conference will kick off with Nik Nanos, founder of Nanos Research, one of Canada’s most distinguished research companies. Nik’s engaging presentation, ‘Inside the Minds of Canadians’ will be followed by a conversation with our MC and will include a Q&A segment. Nik Nanos was named one of the Top 100 most influential people in government and politics in Canada in 2017.
Lunch on Thursday will feature Robert Swan, OBE, the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles and the founder of the 2041 Foundation. Robert will inspire conference attendees with a message of Leadership, Resilience and a call to action to save Antarctica.
The closing lu ncheon on Friday will feat ure, Simon Jackson, founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. Simon will bring the conference to a close with a positive message of balancing people and nature.
For additional conference information or to register visit: www.esaa.org/remtech
For RemTech East sponsorship inquires, contact email@example.com
ESAA sincerely thanks all of the RemTech East sponsors and supporting organizations.
* RemTech East is organized by the Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) and the Canadian Water Summit is organized by Actual Media.
Alberta: New Guideline: Guidelines for End Land Use Planning for Reclaiming Borrow Pits Supporting Energy Activities on Public Lands
Alberta Environment and Parks has released the Guidelines for End Land Use Planning for Reclaiming Borrow Pits Supporting Energy Activities on Public Lands.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for end land use on public lands when planning, conserving and reclaiming new surface dispositions incidental to energy activities.
The Guidelines for End Land Use Planning for Reclaiming Borrow Pits Supporting Energy Activities on Public Lands is available for download at:
Questions about the guidelines can be set to:
Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program Update January 14th, 2022
At the January 13th, 2022 SRP Industry Advisory Committee, Alberta Energy announced a number of program funding modifications in hopes of accelerating program spending. The changes announced include:
- Sequencing requirements will be removed for all applications being submitted in open and active Periods (Period 4, 5,6,7,8)
- Going forward, bench-marking requirements for all new applications will be removed, allowing for larger and more complex projects to be considered.
- The clause requiring work must begin within 3 months of an application being approved has been removed to allow for future planning/seasonal work to take place, as well to accommodate removal of the sequencing requirement.
Additionally, they notified the IAC of the following updates regarding the re-allocation of funds:
- Period 5: An additional $100 million will be added to this period. Notification from Alberta Energy to Licensees will be sent out shortly to notify them of their allocated amounts.
- Period 6: An additional $33.33 million will be added to this period as well.
- The additional amounts for both Period 5 and 6 work out to approximately 1/3rd of their original funding.
- Period 5 and 6 were chosen as these periods have larger scopes of work and have had the most active number of applications.
It is worthwhile to note that Alberta Energy will be requesting Licensee’s review all allocated funds and if Licensees do not feel some of the received funds will be spent that they will be asked to return these funds for future re-allocation.
ESAA is pleased with these program modifications.
$1B orphaned oil and gas well cleanup bill estimate leaves out ‘most expensive part,’ critics say
(Source: CBC News) The parliamentary budget officer has found the cost of cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells in Alberta and Saskatchewan already dwarfs the money collected from industry to pay for it.
But critics immediately called Yves Giroux’s estimated $1 billion by 2025 price tag a massive underestimate.
“It’s a great disappointment,” said Regan Boychuk of the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project, a group whose research was cited in Giroux’s report.
“They left out the most expensive part.”
The report considers about 10,000 wells in Alberta and Saskatchewan that are considered orphans — those with no viable operator capable of addressing their environmental liabilities.
It says the cost of cleaning up those wells is currently $361 million and will rise to $1.1 billion by 2025 as the number of orphan wells grows 35 per cent a year.
Industry has paid only about $237 million in security deposits, the report says.
It adds the federal government has already devoted $1.7 billion to well cleanup and says about half of that has already been given to 10 viable energy companies, including giants such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Imperial Oil.
But the report is careful to mention what it doesn’t include.
Oilsands, cleanup of pipelines not included in report
The cost doesn’t include cleanup of pipelines or other energy infrastructure on the land. It doesn’t include oilsands.
It does not include 7,400 wells that are considered abandoned but not yet orphaned. If those wells were included, the report says current liability would more than double to $801 million.
It doesn’t include liability from the 225,000 wells in Alberta and Saskatchewan that are considered inactive or plugged. Nearly two-thirds of all wells in those provinces no longer pump, the highest percentage ever, and most wells declared inactive never start again.
Nor does it include the full cost of cleanup.
The report only considers the cost of tidying up the land surface and removing equipment. It doesn’t consider the costs of remediating ongoing contamination from underground chemicals or leakage.
“The exclusion of remediation will understate the total cost of well cleanup,” the report says.
There isn’t enough data on the highly variable costs of such cleanups to make a meaningful estimate, said Giroux.
“The data is very limited on this. The reclamation costs can vary greatly from one well to another.”
‘There is no number in that report that is reliable’
The report estimates the cost of plugging and reclaiming a well to be about $78,000. That’s less than half the estimate from the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project.
Boychuk said the report’s focus on orphan wells is misleading. Legislation already exists to force industry to fund cleanup of those wells, he said, and it’s all the other wells and infrastructure on the land not yet classified as orphaned that are the threat.
“It’s not about orphans,” he said.
He criticized the report for only looking at publicly traded companies and for using the same methods used by the Alberta Energy Regulator to determine a company’s financial health and to define an orphan well.
He said there are 8,000 wells belonging to hundreds of companies bankrupt in all but name that aren’t included in the report’s calculations.
“There is no number in that report that is reliable and credible and defensible.”
The report points out there are environmental costs to unreclaimed wells on the landscape.
Those wells are estimated to release the equivalent of 545,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. As well, Alberta’s energy regulator says about 10 per cent of inactive wells and seven per cent of abandoned wells leak. Farmers and ranchers complain about poor weed control contaminating their crops and pastures.
Spokespeople from the Alberta government and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers were not immediately available to comment on the report’s findings.
Update on AER Review of Administration Fee (Industry Levy)
In late September 2021, we released Bulletin 2021-37, which announced two changes to how we calculate fees:
- basing the allocation on a three-year rolling average of AER staff effort for each sector, including the effort of the new sectors, and
- adjustments to the rate tables for the oil and gas sector that included revising the class fees, adding two additional well classes for higher producing wells, and including inactive wells.
The Government of Alberta has since amended the Responsible Energy Development Act General Regulation to expand the definition of “facility” to include pipelines and certain larger facilities. This now enables us to make the following additional changes in spring 2022:
- A new levy on pipelines based on pipeline classes determined by pipe diameter will be introduced. The levy will be phased in for spring 2022 and reflect the full amount of staff effort by 2024 as each year of effort is determined.
- A new levy on certain larger facilities will be introduced. The levy would apply to 26 gas plants with approved inlet rates greater than 10 million m3/day and 4 standalone oil sands facilities. The larger facility sector allocation will be prorated based on inlet rate for gas plants and by production capacity for standalone facilities. The levy will be phased in for spring 2022 and reflect the full amount of staff effort by 2024 as each year of effort is determined.
We recognized that affected licensees would require time to understand the implications of these new levies. To assist, we issued mock invoices to these licensees on September 28, 2021, that approximate the 2022 levy on pipeline and larger facilities for planning purposes.
Effective April 1, 2022, we will stop mailing paper copies of levy invoices to licensees and will send invoices by email only. Electronic invoice delivery will ensure secure delivery and create efficiencies in approval and payment processing. Please forward your preferred corporate email address or addresses to AdminLevyReview@aer.ca by March 15, 2022. A generic email address is preferred to avoid issues resulting from staff turnover.
This concludes the administration fee review announced on October 16, 2020, through Bulletin 2020-21. We thank all stakeholders that contributed to the review process.
B.C. securing watersheds for a stronger future
Climate change and extreme weather events are strengthening the call for protection and restoration of B.C.’s watersheds to ensure healthy ecosystems support communities with secure access to clean water.
The Province is developing B.C.’s first Watershed Security Strategy and Fund. The first step is to explore key themes, including governance, climate change, ecosystems and sources of drinking water, as well as community and economic stability, through the release of a discussion paper for feedback. The Province is developing the strategy with Indigenous Peoples and in collaboration with other levels of government.
“Climate change and cumulative human impacts are threatening the health of the watersheds we depend on for clean drinking water, growing our food, habitat for aquatic species and healthy local economies,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We need to ensure healthy watersheds for strong communities and ecological health, so we are collaborating with Indigenous Peoples and all British Columbians to build a legacy of healthy rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers for our children and grandchildren.”
A discussion paper has been developed that outlines key strategic themes for safeguarding B.C.’s watersheds and builds on the important work many communities are doing to protect and restore their local watersheds. People are now being invited to provide input about the ideas and options presented in the discussion paper.
“Watershed security is the common theme that links the top issues of our time and is about much more than just environmental problems. Watershed security includes reconciliation, health, and economic imperatives,” said Oliver Brandes, co-director of the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. “Without watershed security, the costs of climate and flood impacts grow, droughts endure, wildfires intensify, salmon die, forests fail, soil is lost, food cannot grow, local economies falter and conflict mounts. We fully support the Province to advance watershed security and the urgent need for a watershed security fund.”
In addition to feedback generated from the discussion paper, the strategy will align with several government commitments, including development of coastal and wild salmon strategies, work on drinking water, modernized land-use planning, and the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. The ministries of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, and Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development also have key roles in managing water resources.
“Healthy watersheds mean healthy communities and a robust environment,” said Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture. “By restoring rivers and wetlands, we are creating spawning grounds for salmon and other key freshwater species, and improving the health of B.C.’s aquatic ecosystems that so many species, humans included, rely on.”
Nathan Cullen, Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations, said: “All British Columbians care deeply about our environment and the health of our watersheds, and we will give everyone a voice in the management of those watersheds. This is an incredibly important opportunity for people to share their ideas for the creation of B.C.’s Watershed Security Strategy. Have your voice heard about our environment’s future.”
The deadline for public comment on the discussion paper is March 18, 2022, at 4 p.m. (Pacific time). During this time, there will also be direct engagement with key stakeholders and partners, as well as local and federal governments. Feedback will inform a draft strategy to be released in the fall, with additional opportunity for input following its release. The Province expects to release the final strategy in 2023.
“This year, we’ve seen extreme weather ranging from droughts and wildfires to floods and debris flows. These events underscore the critical importance of water management in the province,” said Sarah Nathan, B.C. provincial operations manager, Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Because of their capacity to absorb and store excess water, wetlands play a key role in mitigating extreme weather events. Ducks Unlimited Canada looks forward to sharing our science about wetlands and watersheds, and engaging with the ministry to help keep our communities safe and healthy.”
To share your thoughts about development of the strategy, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watershedsecurity
Written submissions can also be made by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Iqaluit water treatment plant shut down over fuel contamination
(Source: National Post) IQALUIT, Nunavut — The City of Iqaluit shut down its water treatment plant Wednesday after the water was contaminated last week with fuel for the second time.
The city said a breach in the system is suspected to have caused residents to smell fuel in their water, with breaches detected last week and Wednesday.
The city said it is using a bypass system to pump water to residents instead and the entire territorial capital is now under a precautionary boil water advisory.
Nunavut’s health department said the level of contamination in the plant was below the limits for fuel set by Health Canada.
“The boil water advisory is a precautionary measure because the water is not filtered through the normal water treatment processes,” the department said in a release.
The release said residents should boil their water for one full minute if it is to be used for drinking, preparing infant formula, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking and brushing teeth.
Iqaluit residents couldn’t consume their tap water for two months last fall after it was found to be contaminated with fuel.
The city has said an old fuel tank buried next to the water treatment plant was the source of the previous contamination and residual traces of fuel entered the distribution system again last week.
The city said engineers and experts are on-site to find out how fuel entered the water again.
The water is being pumped from Lake Geraldine, Iqaluit’s water source, and piped to residents without going through the water treatment plant.
The city said the bypass system chlorinates the water, but residents may notice discoloration, a different taste or smell.
“Residual hydrocarbons from the historic fuel tank discovered, and removed last fall, entered the distribution system, and were noted on the real-time monitoring station at the water treatment plant,” the city said.
“Identification of the exact path of the contamination as it entered the distribution system is underway.”
New ESAA Member
ESAA welcomes the following new member. If you are not a member of ESAA you can join now via: https://esaa.org/membership/join-esaa/
Bowron Environmental Group
2200, 101 – 6th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3P4
Phone: (403) 512-8133
Profile:Bowron’s Site Closure and Liability Management services are focused on ensuring that our client’s liabilities are managed in the most appropriate and effective way. Our team of professionals have the experience required to ensure that site closure is achieved in the most timely and cost effective manner.
New ESAA Member Benefit: Add Your Event to the ESAA Calendar
ESAA is pleased to announce a new feature of our website. ESAA Members and non-profit environment related organizations and associations can now add their upcoming webinars, workshops and conferences to our website.
To add an event, visit: https://esaa.org/events/ and click the Add Community Event link.
Once you click the link, there will be a short form to complete with your event details. Once you submit the link, it will go through a manual review process and should appear in the calendar during the same day.
There is no charge for members or non-profit organizations to submit events.
Gather & Connect at ECO Impact 2022
ECO Impact 2022 is just around the corner and you can attend virtually from the comfort of your home or office. With opportunities to network with professionals from across Canada, learn from experts on a range of topics including ESG and Climate Tech, receive additional on-demand content, and pop in & out of sessions to suit your needs, don’t miss this ‘must-attend’ event!
Date: 2 & 3rd February, 2022
Date: April 5 – 6, 2022Location: VirtualEnvironmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Brownfield Land Development: Making the Connection
New Dates: CLRA Alberta Chapter 2022 AGM & Conferenc
May 3-5, 2022
The Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) will be hosting its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference in Red Deer, Alberta from Tuesday, May 3 to Thursday, May 5, 2022.
The conference consists of:
- Sponsor Booths
- Two Days of Presentations
- Networking Opportunities
- Tuesday Evening Reception
- Wednesday Evening Social, Banquet, and Awards
- CLRA Alberta Annual General Meeting
Register Now: https://pheedloop.com/CLRAAB2022/site/home/
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Project Technologist –
- Intermediate Accountant –
- Environmental Engineers/Scientists/Technologists –
- Intermediate Environmental Consultant –
- Intermediate Report Reviewer –
- Project Administration/Support –
- Sustainability Manager –
- Environmental Scientist/Engineer/Technologist –
- Principal Risk Assessor –
- Spill Response Supervisors and Reclamation Supervisors –
- Labourer –
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist / Project Manager –
- Intermediate/Senior Reclamation Project Manager –
- Hydrogeologist –
- Sustainability Specialist –
- Environmental Compliance Administrator –
- Environmental Analyst –
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist or Technologist –
- INTERMEDIATE REGULATORY ADVISOR –
- SENIOR WETLANDS SPECIALIST –
- SENIOR WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST –
- INTERMEDIATE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST (SALT SPECIALIST) –
- INTERMEDIATE AQUATIC SCIENTIST –
- Senior Environmental Professional –
- Environmental Scientist –
- Field Services Inspector (Paint & Household Hazardous Waste) –
- Occupational Hygienist –
- Approval Officer –