Week ending December 16th, 2022

Sad News – Passing of former ESAA Board Member and Past President – Craig Robertson

Our deepest condolences to Anna-Faye and the Roberston family on the recent passing of Craig. Craig was a long time supporter of ESAA and a very valued mentor and member of the environment industry.


February 16, 1950 – Natal, British Columbia
December 4, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta

Craig was the eldest son of Harry and Grace Robertson, born in Natal, British Columbia on February 16, 1950. After graduating high school, Craig entered the Canadian Armed Forces. His last posting was with the 20th Independent Field Battery, and he retired as a Major after 12 years of service.

While serving in the military, Craig agreed to go on a blind date with a friend of a friend, Anna-Faye Collins. Proving himself to be a gentleman, Anna-Faye agreed to see Craig again and, after five years of courtship, they married. They recently celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary.

Together Craig and Anna-Faye enjoyed adventure and traveling. They have visited 27 countries, including their favourite destinations in India, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Craig loved learning. He earned several degrees, including a degree in geological engineering degree and a Master of Science. As a Professional Agrologist, he became active in the Environmental Services Association of Alberta, serving for a time as president of the Association. He was also a member of Hydrogeologists Without Borders, serving those in need in developing countries. Craig was a trusted and capable leading member and mentor for the technical teams he worked with over the years.

Craig was a man of faith. He served as an elder and was active in congregational life at Symons Valley United Church. He loved to sing and participate in choir with Anna-Faye. Craig was also a Freemason, having membership with Mosaic Lodge 176. He revelled in his Scottish heritage, treating his friends to the occasional meal of haggis with a whiskey chaser (or was that whiskey first, then the haggis?).

Craig passed away peacefully at home in the early hours of Sunday December 4th, 2022, with his beloved Anna-Faye at his side. He was 72 years old. Besides his loving wife, Craig is survived by his sister Rita and his niece Jennifer. Craig was predeceased by his parents and his brother Duncan. Craig will be missed by all who knew him.

A Celebration of Craig’s life will be held at Symons Valley United Church (38 Kincora Rise NW, Calgary, AB), on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Mr. Robertson’s service streamed live (https://lnkd.in/gkd56HsR ) on the day of the service.

RemTech East

May 30 – June 1, 2023
Fallsview Casino and Resort
Niagara Falls, ON

Call for Abstracts and Early Bird Registration

The Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) is pleased to announce that in partnership with the Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) that RemTech East is returning in 202 to the Fallsview Casino – Niagara Falls: May 30th – June 1st.  

The two and a half day technical program will consist of presentations grouped into sessions chaired by leaders in environmental remediation research and application.

The event will feature great keynote speakers, lots of networking opportunities and an amazing reception at Table Rock House Restaurant.

Call for Abstracts – Deadline to submit an abstract is February 17th, 2023.  Full details at: https://esaa.org/remtecheast/agenda/call-for-abstracts/ 

Early Bird Registration Now Open 
 Early BirdRegular Price
 (ends March 1st, 2022) (after March 1st, 2022)  
Non-Member        $850$995Register

RemTech East Includes:

  • 3 Keynotes
  • Technical Sessions
  • Breakfast and Lunch each Day
  • Table Rock Reception
  • Reception in the Exhibit Area
  • and much more

Sponsors / Exhibitors – Sponsor and exhibitor information will be available in the next few weeks.  Previous sponsors and exhibitors will receive priority to reserve their 2022 sponsorship level / exhibit space for 2023.

Hotel Reservations – In the next few weeks, hotel and reservation information will be available for two properties with a wide range of pricing options.

ESAA looks forward to seeing you at the Falls!

EnviroTech is Evolving

EnviroTech is now the ESAA Environmental Summit

April 12-14, 2023
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

The ESAA Environmental Summit (‘The Summit’) is the re-imagining of EnviroTech with a new location and format.  The Summit will feature all of the things you expect from an ESAA event: great talks, great location and great networking.

The 2023 edition will take place at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.  The 700 acre year-round luxury mountain resort wraps around the shores of the pristine lake “Lac Beauvert”.  Room rates at the Jasper Park Lodge start at $199 + taxes. 

The format will be a series of panel discussions over the two-days of the conference.  Full event details can be found at: https://esaa.org/summit/

Registration is now open.  Early bird rates end January 20th – Register now at: https://esaa.org/summit/register/

A number of great sponsorship opportunities are available and can be purchased online.  Full details available at: https://esaa.org/summit/sponsors/.  The only exhibit spaces (12) will be available for the top tier sponsors. 


Call for Panel Discussion Proposals

ESAA invites you to submit proposals for panel discussions to be held during The Summit.

Proposals for panels are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Risk Management
  • Disaster Management
  • The Future of Water
  • Evolution of Energy in Alberta
  • Climate Resiliency
  • ESG and the Environment Sector
  • Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion
  • The Future of the Environment Industry Workforce
  • Other topics will be considered

To propose a panel, please submit the following:

  1. The panel’s topics
  2. The panel’s overall goal
  3. A summary of each panelist’s topic/contribution to the panel discussion.  Note: Each panel must have 3 speakers and one moderator.
  4. Panel should include a variety of presenters representing not just individuals from company submitting the proposal.  Example: a panel ideally would include, a consultant, a supplier and a client with one of these possibly being replaced by a regulator.
  5. Limit the proposal to 750 words not including the speaker bios
  6. Deadline January 15th, 2023.
  7. Submit to [email protected]

Note: The individual submitting the proposal and organizing the panel should act as the moderator and be comfortable with moderating a panel discussion.  The moderators registration will be complimentary.  Panelists will be required to register at a discounted rate.

ESAA truly appreciates your support of world-class events and looks forward to welcoming you to ‘The Summit’ at the amazing Jasper Park Lodge. 

Pilot program aims to refurbish solar panels before they end up in Alberta landfills

(Source: CBC News) Thousands of solar panels are set to reach their two-decade lifespan in the coming years, but one Alberta group is aiming to keep some of those panels out of the landfill. 

Canada could pile up 800,000 tonnes of expired solar panels by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The Alberta Recycling Management Authority is preparing for the wave of expired panels and has launched a pilot project to try to keep them in use. ARMA has already recovered close to 700 over the past two years with hopes of testing and refurbishing them. 

“I think what we’re experiencing right now is a calm before the storm,” said Brad Schultz, ARMA chief operations officer. “We’re going to start seeing these coming in by the hundreds of thousands. So it’s nice to have a solution before it becomes a problem.”

With many solar panels expected to reach the end of their life expectancy over the next few years, Alberta Recycling Management Authority is working on a program to reduce the amount of waste by refurbishing the panels.

ARMA has been working on the pilot project for the past two years to solve the problem. Solar panels aren’t included in Alberta’s electronics recycling program, and the agency wants to change that. 

“What we thought we would do is try to get an understanding of the volume that’s out there and what are the challenges, how do we actually recycle this material,” Schultz said.

“So working with our processors, we have come up with a method of funding them to go to all these collection sites, bring it back to their facilities and recycle it and just understanding the challenges, and the cost.”

In a west Edmonton warehouse, Darren Dunfield demonstrates how he tests out solar panels to assess how safe they are, and monitors how much production might be left.

Dunfield, a research lead at NAIT’s Centre For Grid Innovation, is hoping to eventually automate the process.

“We need processes that can rapidly test, discard and move to refurbishment,” Dunfield said. “So expanding the speed that we do the testing, expanding the refurbishment ability of how many more we can salvage. Ultimately for me it’s about removing them from the waste stream.”

The refurbished solar panels may not be able to generate electricity for the province’s power grid due to certification and insurance issues, but the ARMA considers them a good fit for farmers who are looking to cut back on low-end energy use.

In the meantime, Dunfield is training people like Mark Schell, the owner of Hi-Tech Recyclers, to test hundreds of solar panels that have already been recovered.

“It’s always fun and exciting to be on the cutting edge of something,” Schell said. “It’s nice to be the first guy. You’ll learn a lot and you don’t have to take a whole bunch of time like the others will.”

While the pilot is expected to wrap up this month, the province is exploring opportunities to continue it, said Miguel Racin, press secretary for Alberta’s minister of environment and protected areas.


Michels Canada Co. fined $2.8 million for releasing harmful deposits into British Columba rivers


Canadians value clean water and a sustainable environment. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers strive to ensure that businesses and individuals comply with the laws and regulations that protect Canada’s natural environment.

On December 6, 2022, Michels Canada Co. was ordered to pay a total of $2.8 million after pleading guilty to two charges laid under subsection 36(3) of the federal Fisheries Act at the Provincial Court of British Columbia in Surrey. The charges stem from the deposits of drilling fluid and sediment-laden waters into Cape Horn Creek in Coquitlam on August 22, 2017, and Quibble Creek in Surrey on September 2, 2017.

On August 22, 2017, Michels Canada Co. was the head contractor responsible for horizontal directional boring operations in Coquitlam, when drilling fluid and sediment-laden waters were released through the storm sewer system into Cape Horn Creek. Twenty dead fish were found in the creek following the release.

On September 2, 2017, the company was carrying out horizontal directional boring operations in Surrey, when there was a release through the storm sewer system of drilling fluid and sediment-laden waters into Quibble Creek. Following the release, 533 dead fish were found in this creek.   

Environmental enforcement officers conducted investigations into these incidents. Officers went onsite where they collected water samples, dead fish, and other evidence relating to the spills. Through testing, the deposits of drilling fluid and sediment-laden waters into Cape Horn Creek and Quibble Creek were determined to be deleterious, or harmful, to fish, which is a violation of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

The fines will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and the money will be used to support projects that have a positive impact on the environment.

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.

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.


Government of Canada invests in Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solutions across the country


Indigenous peoples have been stewards of our natural environment since time immemorial. Conserving and restoring nature through Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Science is fundamental to addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Climate change is altering the water cycle, resulting in flooding, droughts, and wildfires. It is also one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss. Conserving and restoring nature are important ways for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Canada is committed to implementing nature-based solutions to build resilience and help meet the country’s 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced $5.8 million in funding for 14 Indigenous-led initiatives, as part of the Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solutions initiative. These initiatives are taking place across the country, focusing on building capacity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing important benefits to support increased well-being and resilience in Indigenous Nations and communities. This includes the initiative of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi in Northern Quebec, where they are training Indigenous land users on best practices for nature-smart climate solutions to complete restoration and enhancement of coastal ecosystems.

The Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund is a $631 million, 10-year fund to support projects that conserve, restore and enhance wetlands, peatlands, grasslands, and forests, in order to store and capture carbon. Of this amount, up to $36.9 million is allocated to provide targeted support for Indigenous peoples through the Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solution funding stream. Of course, Indigenous organizations can also submit applications directly to the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, like the Stqeeye’ Learning Society’s Indigenous-led, 5-year funded initiative at Burgoyne Bay on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, to protect and increase the carbon sequestration of local forests and wetlands and help increase the quality of wildlife habitat.

Countries from around the world are in Montreal for the 15th United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), where Canada continues to demonstrate a strong leadership role in biodiversity and nature conservation. Along with international partners, Canada is championing both the development of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework with clear targets and actions, as well as the important role Indigenous Knowledge plays in our efforts to conserve and protect biodiversity and natural environments at home and around the world.

EPA says no drinking water was contaminated by Keystone Pipeline oil spill in Kansas

(Source: Kansas City Star) The spill, which is the largest in Keystone Pipeline’s history, released an estimated 14,000 barrels of oil into Mill Creek in Washington County Wednesday night, Dec. 7, 2022. By Video Elephant The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday said no drinking water was contaminated after a Keystone Pipeline oil spill in northern Kansas.

The spill, which is the largest in the pipeline’s history, released an estimated 14,000 barrels of oil into Mill Creek in Washington County Wednesday night. The EPA said it dispatched two representatives to the scene of the ruptured pipeline to provide oversight and monitoring of containment and clean-up efforts by TC Energy, which operates the pipeline.

“EPA on-scene coordinators have been on-site providing oversight and monitoring of containment and cleanup actions being performed by TC Energy,” EPA spokesperson Kellen Ashford wrote in a Friday press release. “The discharge has been contained, and no drinking water has been impacted.”

The agency added that TC Energy deployed around 100 employees to “contain the discharge and clean up the impacted areas.” 

About three miles of surface water in Mill Creek was impacted and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a stream advisory warning residents to not enter the creek and keep livestock, pets, and children out of it, Ashford said in an email Friday.

Local property owners of the surrounding farmland have relocated livestock to keep the animals safe while cleanup operations are underway, he said. The estimated volume of oil released is more than all of the pipeline’s 22 prior spills combined.

The spilled amount is equivalent to around 558,000 gallons— enough to fill around 43 ½ standard swimming pools. Top headlines in your inbox Sign up for Morning Rush and get all the news you need to start your day.

The 2,687 mile long Keystone Pipeline carries crude oil from Canada to refineries across the U.S, particularly in the Midwest. CNN reported Thursday that the pipeline’s overnight shutdown caused the price of oil to rise by around 5% before returning to normal levels.

Photos from the scene showed crews building an emergency dam across the creek and deploying vacuum trucks and floating barriers called “booms” to collect spilled oil. The pipeline remains shut down as repairs are underway.

“We are continuing to collect information from authorities and local residents regarding this disaster, its impact and cleanup,” Sierra Club lobbyist Zack Pistora told The Star Friday. “The situation is certainly distressing for the community and ecosystem impacted in Washington, Kansas.”

Read more at: https://www.kansascity.com/news/state/kansas/article269820777.html#storylink=cpy


Upcoming Industry Events


Canadian Environmental & Engineering Executives Conference

January 25-27 – Vancouver

We are less than three months away from the next CE3 Conference in Vancouver.  There has been excellent response to our registration calls and we will have representation of company executives from across the country. We have lined up outstanding speakers, panelists and moderators who will discuss some of the key challenges and opportunities facing the environmental and engineering consulting sector in Canada.

We are very pleased to present to you the executives who will be speaking at CE3C in January in Vancouver. Don’t miss this rare networking and business opportunity to meet with your peers and colleagues in the industry.

See you in Vancouver on January 25-27, 2023

www.ce3c.ca Register Now

BEST 2023 – Call for Abstracts Now Open!

May 10-12, 2023 | Fairmont Chateau Whistler | Whistler, BC
Presenters Receive 50% Off Registration Price

The British Columbia Environment Industry Association invites submissions of papers and technical presentations for its eighth annual Bettering Environmental Stewardship and Technology Conference (BEST 2023) to be held in beautiful Whistler, BC, May 10 – 12, 2023.

Abstracts must include a presenter biography, with the combined length of both the abstract and bio not exceeding 500 words. Submissions that do not include a speaker biography will not be considered. Abstracts must be received by January 20, 2023. Please send submissions via e‐mail to [email protected].  Notification of acceptance will be provided by February 17, 2023.

Download the BEST 2023 Call for Abstracts for full submission details.


Announcing Smart Remediation 2023:
Topics & Ticket Information

The 2023 SMART Remediation seminar series is once again taking place in-person this year:

January 26, 2023: Toronto
February 2, 2023: Ottawa

Early Bird Registration is Available Now until January 4:

Purchase Tickets

Speakers & Topics

This year we have another great lineup of interesting talks on a wide variety of topics, including PFAS, excess soils, risk management, technical case studies, and more!  The full set of talks are presented below:


For more information, please visit www.smartremediation.com/upcoming-events/.

ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Practice Area Lead, Hydrogeology and Water – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Environmental Project/Program Manager – Ecoventure Inc
  • Senior Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants Inc.
  • Environmental Technician Intern – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
  • Soil Handling Monitor – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
  • Intermediate Soil Specialist – Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting
  • Junior Soil Specialist –Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting
  • Intermediate Vegetation Ecologist –Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting
  • Junior Vegetation Ecologist – Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting
  • Environmental Scientist (Biology/Biologist) – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Intermediate Environmental Specialist – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Environmental Analyst – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Environmental Specialist – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Labourer –  Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Equipment Operator – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Lead Hand – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Remediation Specialist – TRIUM Environmental Inc.
  • Remediation Project Manager – TRIUM Environmental Inc.
  • Field Services Manager – Alberta Recycling Management Authority
  • Project Manager- Assessment, Remediation & Risk – Arletta Environmental Consulting
  • Intermediate/Senior Hydrogeologist- Water Resources – Arletta Environmental Consulting
  • Seedling Coordinator – Tree Time Services


Subscriptions are free and open to members and non-members.

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