ESAA Weekly News – Week ending March 18th, 2022

Our 2022-25 Strategic Plan builds on our 84-year history of energy regulation in Alberta and positions us well for continued growth and innovation.

The new strategy includes a new mission, vision, values, and four focus areas to set the foundation for our work.

Vision: The AER is a trusted regulator that delivers effective and efficient oversight of resource development.

Mission: To provide for the efficient, safe, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of energy resources in Alberta through our regulatory activities.

Values: accountability, transparency, trust and respect, and collaboration

Focus areas:

  1. Taking care of our people
  2. Enabling our operational effectiveness and innovation
  3. Enhancing our regulatory framework
  4. Strengthening our credibility and trust


We will also begin regulating additional energy and mineral resources, such as geothermal, metallics, and industrial minerals.

The strategic plan helps us prioritize our work and helps our staff recognize how their day-to-day work supports our vision and mission.

See what we’ve accomplished in previous years in our annual reports and opinion surveys.


AER: Directive 035: Baseline Water Well Testing Requirement for Coalbed Methane Wells Completed Above the Base of Groundwater Protection

Effective Date: March 15, 2022
Replaces the previous edition released on March 8, 2006.
See section 1.2 of the directive for what’s new.

Purpose of this Directive

This directive details updates to well licence and recompletion requirements to help applicants and licensees meet requirements in the Alberta Environment and Parks’ (AEP) Standard for Baseline Water Well Testing for Coalbed Methane/Natural Gas in Coal Operations, which came into effect on May 1, 2006. Baseline water well testing is mandatory for companies wanting to drill a new well or complete or recomplete wells for the purpose of producing coalbed methane (CBM) above the base of groundwater protection (BGWP). The test data and analyses must be submitted to AEP and the landowner/occupant. The AEP standard currently only applies to the development of CBM above the BGWP.

Further inquiries can be directed to the Facilities Applications Directive 056 Help System.

Directive 056 Help line phone: 403-297-4369
Email: [email protected]

Over $8.3 million from penalties for environmental infractions now available for conservation and restoration projects across Canada

Canadians value a safe and clean environment. The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) helps to ensure that environmental good follows after harm, by using fines from environmental infractions to support projects that restore nature and conserve wildlife and habitats.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, today announced that the department is now accepting applications for EDF funding. More than $8.3 million is available to help eligible recipients across the country carry out projects that improve Canada’s natural environment.

Funding distribution is based on the geographic region in which environmental convictions have resulted in fines and penalties being directed to the EDF:

  • British Columbia: $1,181,079
  • Alberta or British Columbia: $1,925,104
  • Alberta: $1,964,328
  • Manitoba: $76,100
  • Nunavut: $219,051
  • Ontario: $785,436
  • Quebec: $1,950,302
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $165,159
  • New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador: $44,874                                                                                           

To be eligible for funding, projects must have measurable outcomes that clearly align with one of four project categories: restoration, environmental quality improvement, research and development, or education and awareness. Non-governmental organizations; universities and academic institutions; Indigenous organizations; and provincial, territorial, and municipal governments can apply for funding. Applications will be accepted through the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System until April 20, 2022.


CDE commissions Canada’s first contaminated soils wash plant at Calgary Aggregate Recycling facility

(Source: Recycling Product News) Designed and engineered by CDE, the plant will be utilized for the processing of construction and demolition waste as well as contaminated soils.

Locally-owned concrete, asphalt and aggregate recycling firm Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc. (CAR) will invest in the development of a new C&D waste recycling plant.

Designed and engineered by CDE, the plant will be utilized for the processing of construction and demolition waste as well as contaminated soils, one of Alberta’s most abundant waste streams.

Set to be commissioned at CAR’s existing recycling facility in south-east Calgary, the wash plant will be the first of its kind in Calgary and one of a few plants CDE have installed in North America – CDE have similar plants commissioned in the state of New York in 2020, with the second in Maryland in 2022. 

When operational in the fall of 2022, CAR’s soil refuse facility will have the capacity to recycle up to 600,000 tons of excavated material annually, diverting significant volumes of high-value construction materials from landfill and channelling them back into the construction industry as premium recycled sand and aggregate products.

“We are privileged to work alongside Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc. to deliver a major C&D waste recycling system in Canada. The resulting solution will represent all that we strive for in pursuit of a circular economy, facilitating the diversion of vast tonnages of material from landfill, transforming them into high-grade recycled sand and aggregates for the construction industry, while simultaneously restoring land for future use and driving down CO2 emissions,” said Adrian Convery, CDE Business Development Manager for Canada.

Enabled by CDE processing technology, CAR’s soil refuse solution will divert over 510,000 tons of soil from landfill and reduce carbon emissions in Alberta by an estimated 22,567 tons annually.

Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc. president, Travis Powell, says: “At Calgary Aggregate, our mission is to reduce the cost of construction – socially, environmentally and economically. With the support from ERA (Emissions Reduction Alberta) and the Government of Alberta, we are pleased to construct Calgary’s first C&D waste recycling plant to disrupt the out-of-date practices in the construction industry with economical and viable solutions to position Alberta as a leader in sustainable and responsible construction.”


Regulatory body wraps up investigation into engineers involved in B.C.’s Mt. Polley mine disaster

(Source: CBCE News ) Nearly eight years after the largest environmental mining disaster in Canadian history, B.C.’s engineering regulatory and licensing body has wrapped up its investigation into three engineers who were involved.

Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (EGBC) brought a collective $226,500 in fines against two engineers involved in the Mount Polley mine disaster who are no longer working in the industry and a brief suspension and required training for a third engineer.

The regulatory and licensing body for the professions of engineering and geoscience in B.C. said on Friday it had concluded its disciplinary proceedings against Stephen Rice, Laura Fidel and Todd Martin, in relation to their work at the Mount Polley Mine in Central B.C.

‘Final chapter’

“This marks the final chapter in a long and difficult story for our province and our professions,” said Heidi Yang, CEO of EGBC, in a release.

On Aug. 4 2014, there was a breach in the gold and copper mine’s tailings storage facility, causing 24 million cubic metres of mine waste to be dumped into Quesnel Lake, Hazeltine Creek and other waterways in the area.

An independent report into the disaster said the dam was built on a sloped glacial lake, weakening its foundation. It said the inadequate design of the dam didn’t account for drainage or erosion failures associated with glacial till beneath the pond.

The regulatory body had previously announced in August 2021 disciplinary hearings for former engineer Stephen Rice and engineer Laura Fidel.

The panel found that both Rice and Fidel demonstrated unprofessional conduct in the course of their work at the mine. Rice was censured for not properly overseeing Fidel, the more junior, inexperienced engineer — and allowing Fidel to act as engineer of record for the dam’s tailing storage facility.

EGBC reported that a discipline hearing panel had imposed a maximum fine of $25,000 against Rice, who resigned in 2018.

Rice also agreed to pay $107,500 dollars in legal costs to the association and is no longer permitted to practice as a professional engineer in the province.

A separate discipline hearing panel found that Fidel also committed several acts of unprofessional conduct and failed to ensure sufficient observation and monitoring of the tailings dam.

The lack of site visits and monitoring of seepage flows allowed unsafe conditions — the instability of the embankment — to go undetected, according to EGBC.

Fidel also failed to ensure that an excavation left unfilled in the embankment was assessed to ensure stability — and failed to properly review the design drawings.

On Friday, EGBC announced a two-month suspension of Fidel’s registration as a professional engineer.

She was also ordered to complete three educational courses relating to tailings management, tailings facility design and operation, and engineering management for mine geowaste facilities.

EGBC also announced on Friday fines for a third engineer who worked at the mine, Todd Martin.

It said that from March 2011 to December 2012, Martin was the senior geotechnical engineer responsible for the geotechnical engineering work at the Mount Polley Mine.

During the course of the disciplinary process, he admitted that “aspects of his engineering work were not consistent with prudent engineering practice,” related to the stability of the embankment, and that he was unprofessional in some aspects of his conduct related to record-keeping, according to EGBC.

t announced that Martin agreed to pay a $25,000 fine and $69,000 toward the legal costs of EGBC.

It said Martin ceased practising engineering in 2018 and resigned his engineering license in January 2020. He is no longer permitted to practise professional engineering or geoscience in British Columbia, EGBC said.

Crticism of discipline

Ottawa-based MiningWatch Canada, which advocates for environmental and social responsibility in the mining industry, has repeatedly criticized the sanctions and fines related to the disaster as too lenient.

It said the company that owns the Mount Polley mine — Imperial Metals — has faced no discipline from any Canadian governments, and two lawsuits launched to hold the company to account were both quashed.

In 2019, a five-year deadline for federal Fisheries Act charges related to the disaster expired. British Columbia also missed the three-year deadline to proceed with charges under both the province’s Environmental Management Act and Mines Act.

EGBC said Friday that the years-long investigation into engineers working at the site had resulted in safety improvements for the industry as a whole.

“The conclusion of these cases, combined with resources we’ve developed to improve dam safety, will strengthen our professions and our province’s environmental safeguards,” said Yang.

The province said it also made significant changes to the Mines Act in 2020 so it can better hold companies accountable, including creating a unit to audit mining regulation. 

Imperials Metals said it was preparing to reopen the mine sometime in the next year and was complying with provincial legislation to safely do so.


Government of Canada encourages feedback on the draft 2022-2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The draft 2022-2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) sets out the Government of Canada’s sustainable development priorities from an environmental perspective. The FSDS explains how the Government is working towards a sustainable future while advancing the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The SDGs highlight the intersection of environmental, social, and economic issues such as food security in Indigenous and northern communities, sustainable food production, and the promotion of gender equality in the clean technology sector.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, launched the consultations on the draft 2022-2026 FSDS to get feedback from Canadians on the goals, targets, and actions that will shape the Government’s sustainable development plans over the next four years.

Ninety-nine organizations from across the federal government contribute to the FSDS, in part by preparing their own strategies that comply with and contribute to achieving environmental outcomes related to their programs. These organizations work together to promote a clean environment and tackle the crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, while growing the economy.

An extensive consultation process was enshrined in legislation in December 2020—the Federal Sustainable Development Act—to keep the federal government accountable for years to come. Each new strategy is released for a public consultation period of at least 120 days before it is tabled in Parliament. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to help define Canada’s goals, targets, and milestones. Comments on the draft 2022-2026 FSDS will be accepted from March 11 to July 9, 2022.

Canadians can share their views by:

  • submitting comments through the online version of the draft strategyusing the comment boxes;
  • providing feedback through the interactive consultation website, PlaceSpeak;
  • replying to Facebook (Environment and Climate Change), Twitter (@environmentca) and LinkedIn (Environment and Climate Change Canada) posts or tweeting with the hashtag #FSDS;
  • sending written comments or videos by email to [email protected];
  • writing to the Sustainable Development Office, 200 Sacré-Coeur Boulevard, 7th floor, Gatineau, Québec, K1A 0H3; and
  • actively participating in webinars, which will be shared through the interactive consultation website.

After the consultation period, a report summarizing public comments will be published with the final strategy.


ESAA Member News

 Proudly Celebrating 25 Years!

We are excited to announce that 2022 marks our 25th year in the business! We’ve spent the last quarter-century developing and providing innovative and effective environmental and engineering solutions to a dynamic client base across western Canada. Nichols takes great pride in this milestone, which was made possible through the integrity, commitment and hard work of each and every member of the Nichols family, past and present. We would also like to recognize our loyal client base and network of trusted vendors who have continued to support and partner with us over the years. We are so grateful for you and know our success over the past 25 years would not have been possible without you. As we embark on the next quarter-century, we look forward to building on these strong relationships and continuing to provide the level of service Nichols is known for. Over the next year, we will take time to reflect on the last 25 years, highlighting the great people and accomplishments that have allowed us the opportunity to rise to the top of our industry.

‘When I started at Nichols, we were a small team of professionals. As I reflect on my first day here, I remember feeling that this place was different. It felt more like a family where every team member genuinely cared about the well-being of their colleagues and clients foremost, which ultimately took care of the rest of the business. I could not be prouder to be celebrating this milestone with everyone that has played a role in our success over the past 25 years!’Barry Rakewich, President


New ESAA Members

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


Full Member:


EScIS: EarthScience Information Systems

1090 Homer Street, Suite 300
Vancouver, BC  VB 2W9
Phone: (604) 317-6167


Esma Al-Autman, Business Development & Marketing Specialist
[email protected]


EarthScience Information Systems (EScIS) specializes in the development of ESdat and related software for managing laboratory and field data for contaminated site and hydrogeological investigations and environmental compliance monitoring. EScIS work closely with Canadian laboratories to ensure seamless, accurate and automated transfer of lab data into ESdat. Canadian Environmental Standards are available in ESdat ready to compare with your data – including BC CSR 375/96, BC WQG and AB Tier 1 and 2. Companies such as Thurber, SLR, PGL, Next Environmental, Hemmera, and more utilize ESdat to ensure their laboratory and field data processes are optimized and efficient. EScIS: helping YOU do what YOU want with YOUR data.


Full Member:

Norstar Industries Ltd.

#202, 17930 – 105 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5S 2H5
Phone: (780) 414-6088

Renee White, Environmental Manager
[email protected]


Norstar Industries is a multi-faceted company established in 1999. Through our experience in construction management, we came to understand the vital role environmental sustainability plays when it comes to soil recycling and soil health. Today, our team of experts is proud to promote sustainability within communities, the environment, and the economy. We work with a wide variety of agriculture, environmental and construction companies, providing premier solutions to lessen environmental impact.


 Upcoming Events


EnviroTech 2022
April 20-22, 2022
Hyatt Regency Calga

Starts in 5 Weeks – Register Now!

ESAA is pleased to announce that the Agenda for EnviroTech 2022 is now Available.

The 2022 Program features:

  • 28 technical presentations
  • Project Forest Update
  • Thursday Lunch Keynote: ‘Canada Today and Tomorrow’, Andrew Coyne, Globe and Mail, CBC News At Issue Panel
  • Friday Lunch Keynote: Jay Ingram, Science Writer, Broadcaster, Former Host of Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet
  • ESAA Annual General Meeting and Wine and Cheese Reception
  • Bourbon, Beef and the Blues Reception
  • Exhibits, Networking and much more

Full program details at:

Early bird registration rates have been extended to February 28th.  Register at:   In addition, student passes and single day passes are now available. 

We look forward welcoming you back to EnviroTech and thank you for your continued support of ESAA and our events. 

Bettering Environmental Stewardship & Technology (BEST) Conference

May 25, 2022 – May 27, 2022

Whistler, BC

The British Columbia Environment Industry Association’s BEST Conference attracts environmental professionals to Whistler, BC every May for two days of technical sessions, networking opportunities, and a sponsor trade show. The 2022 Conference will be the 8th time BEST has taken place

To Register:




CLRA Alberta Chapter 2022 AGM & Conference  – Program Now Available

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:



AEP EPR March 18, 2022 Town Hall Session Details

Additional information on the upcoming Alberta Environment and Parks virtual town hall information session on extended producer responsibility (EPR) in Alberta scheduled for Friday, March 18th from 1:30pm to 2:30pm MST.

The first three town halls will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of EPR Town Halls                          Date: March 18, 2022
  • Hazardous and Special Products                       Date: April 8, 2022
  • EPR Regulatory Design and Framework                 Date: April 29, 2022

Additional town hall sessions will be identified and shared in April 2022.

The March 18 session will include:

  • a high level overview of the town hall objectives, plan, and proposed topics to be covered
  • setting the stage for subsequent sessions
  • the process for attending town halls
  • an EPR update
  • a Question and Answer session

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) file to your calendar system to save the recurring schedule and access information:

To join the each session, you can use any of the following four options:

  1. Click this link to join from your browser:
  2. Join by one tap mobile:

Canada: +12042727920,,92016342762#  or +14388097799,,92016342762#

  1. Join by telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location)

Canada: +1 204 272 7920  or +1 438 809 7799  or +1 587 328 1099  or +1 647 374 4685  or +1 647 558 0588  or +1 778 907 2071

Webinar ID: 920 1634 2762

International numbers available:


Please save the access information above to join Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) for the virtual town hall on Friday, March 18 to continue conversations on extended producer responsibility (EPR) in Alberta. This access information will remain the same for future town halls.

If you have any questions about these sessions, please contact: [email protected]


ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • Principal Risk Assessor – Advisian (Worley Group)
  • SENIOR WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST – Matrix Solutions Inc.
  • Reclamation Coordinator – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
  • Senior Technical & Reporting Lead – Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp.
  • Labourer – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Field Lead – Environmental Technologist/Scientist/Engineer – Advisian (Worley Group)
  • Environmental Project Supervisor, Assessment, Remediation & Reclamation – EARTHMASTER ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES INC
  • PRACTICE LEAD – ENGINEERING – Matrix Solutions Inc.
  • Environmental Scientist (Biology/Biologist) – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Remediation Specialist/Environmental Engineer – SUMMIT, An Earth Services Company
  • Environmental Analyst (#22-02-0507) – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Environmental Scientist/Engineer/Geoscientist II – Advisian (Worley Canada Services Ltd.)
  • Contract Environmental Inspectors – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Intermediate Reclamation Practitioner – Trace Associates Inc
  • Junior Environmental Engineer – Trace Associates Inc
  • Junior Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Junior Geoscientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Project Manager – Trace Associates Inc
  • Word Processor/Document Administrator – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Division Administrator –  Trace Associates Inc.
  • Vegetation Ecologist – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting Inc.
  • Soil Handling Monitor – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting Inc.
  • Soil Specialist – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting Inc.
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist (Spill Response) – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Project Technologist, Environmental Due Diligence & Remediation –Pinchin Ltd.
  • Senior Technical Specialist – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Project Manager – Summit, An Earth Services Company
  • Administrative Support – SUMMIT, An Earth Services Company
  • Project Manager (CISP) – SUMMIT, An Earth Services Company


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