May 30 – June 1, 2023
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/
Early Bird Registration Now Open
RemTech East Includes:
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
AER: Seismic Events Southeast of Peace River
The Alberta Geological Survey (AGS), a branch of the AER, is aware of a cluster of seismic events that occurred yesterday evening starting at 4:55pm, southeast of Peace River. Our initial investigation reveals an event at 5:55pm with a magnitude of 5.59 and a depth of approximately six kilometres. Due to the nature of earthquakes, we expect that aftershocks in this area are likely.
Scientists at the AGS use a network of approximately 50 seismic stations to measure and research seismic activity across Alberta. We utilize this information to form an accurate picture of earthquake locations, magnitudes and discern the nature of these events.
We are continuing to investigate and will provide more information as it becomes available.
Update: November 30 – 3:10 P.M.
The Alberta Geological Survey (AGS), a branch of the AER, continues to investigate yesterday’s seismic events which took place southeast of Peace River. Our dashboard has now been updated with a series of 14 events, which occurred over the past 24-hours. The largest of the events, which occurred at 5:55 p.m. local time, has been refined to a magnitude 5.58 and depth of 6 km. We are continuing to confirm the cause of these events, however initial findings point to natural tectonic activity. This initial finding was based on the following factors:
- There is no active hydraulic fracturing activity in the area
- While there are fluid disposal operations in the region, none are in the immediate vicinity of the seismic events, nor have there been changes in the rates of fluid disposal over the past year.
- The data we currently have is showing the events as occurring at greater depths than what we would expect in the case of an induced event
Yesterday’s events have been posted on the earthquake dashboard here.
We are continuing to investigate the events and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
Clover Bar landfill capping would be a ‘significant reduction’ in Edmonton’s emissions
(Source: CTV News) Thirteen years after closing to the public, Edmonton’s Clover Bar landfill continues to release methane fumes, with plans to implement capture technology converting them into renewable biogas moving ahead.
First opened in 1975, the Clover Bar landfill was the city’s first engineered sanitary landfill featuring groundwater diversion and leachate treatment.
It was able to operate for 20 years longer than planned after recycling programs were brought online, finally closing in August 2009 after reaching full capacity.
According to the city’s proposed waste services capital funding request for this budget cycle, safety and environmental enhancements to the landfill site need to be constructed, including erosion controls and a cutoff wall to prevent leaks into the North Saskatchewan River.
City council’s utility committee met privately Friday to discuss the landfill-gas-to-renewable-gas conversion project. That was approved, also privately, in February 2021.
A landfill gas collection system has been in place since 1992, the capital profile report for the project notes. It is currently owned and operated by Capital Power under a contract that ends in 2024.
The city will take back control of the gas conversion site, but a condition assessment shows it needs upgrades to meet minimum environmental regulations.
The proposed utility budget calls for $16.7 million to upgrade the landfill gas collection and flare system. Capital Power will fund $4 million of that project and the city will leverage a provincial grant for $10 million.
The city will contribute $2.7 million, with the remaining $14 million will be “funded externally.”
Once operational in 2024, the city anticipates it will produce approximately 325,500 gigajoules of renewable natural gas annually.
According to city administration, council heard about the project in private since disclosure of discussions could harm “economic and other interests of a public body.”
While specifics of what was discussed at that meeting are not known, some form of the project update required council approval.
When asked by Mayor Amarjeet Sohi during open utility committee proceedings what actions the city could take any action to “expedite” progress on addressing the city’s climate change and resiliency goals, Denis Jubinville, waste services manager, pointed to capping the landfill.
“Likely the largest impact we can have on our region is capping the Clover Bar Landfill,” Jubinville told the committee.
“We know there’s very harmful landfill gas that’s able to escape through the top of it,” he added. We need to cap it. We need to put three feet of clay on top of it. And so that’s what we are doing with our, I guess, landfill gas system that we are putting in place in the coming two years.”
“That will be a significant reduction in greenhouse gas.”
(Source: Alberta Primetime News) EDMONTON — Alberta’s new energy minister has promised to maintain an order protecting the Rocky Mountains in the province from coal development, for now.
However, Peter Guthrie says his department is already working on a controversial program to give oil companies breaks on their royalties to clean up old wells.
Speaking at an Edmonton press conference Tuesday on funding for a hydrogen project, Guthrie said he has no plans to withdraw an order from the previous minister that restored protections for the Rockies from open-pit coal mines.
“It will stand,” he said.
The 2021 order, made by Sonya Savage, restored protections to those beloved landscapes after encouragement from the United Conservative Party government led to a series of mountaintop removal mine proposals from coal companies. Those proposals were widely opposed.
New Premier Danielle Smith has mused about reopening the coal mine debate. Guthrie wouldn’t say how long he’ll keep the current order in place.
“I don’t have an answer on that,” he said. “But for now, there are no changes planned.”
At the same press conference, Guthrie confirmed his department is studying an industry proposal intended to encourage the cleanup of old wells and drilling of new ones by granting royalty credits on new production based on remediation spending. Estimates suggest that if the so-called RStar program grants the $20 billion in credits industry is seeking, Alberta taxpayers would forgo $5 billion in revenue.
“We are working internally on this,” Guthrie told reporters, adding any announcement is “weeks if not months away.”
In an email, Alberta Energy spokesman Scott Johnston confirmed Guthrie’s statement.
“We are exploring ways to help clean up some of the most expensive projects and older inactive oil and gas sites by providing more incentives to industry,” he wrote. “No decisions have been made yet.”
The RStar proposal has been widely criticized by energy economists, who say it would transfer money to companies who don’t need it to do work that most are doing anyway. They point out energy companies are already legally obliged to clean up their mess.
The plan was also rebuffed during Savage’s tenure as energy minister. She wrote then that RStar wouldn’t fit within Alberta’s current royalty structure and would clearly violate the polluter-pay principle, one of the foundations of environmental regulation.
Smith, however, spoke strongly in support of RStar when she was a lobbyist for the Alberta Enterprise Group, an influential association of some of the province’s largest businesses.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.
(Source: Western Producer) A new Alberta program will allow affected neighbours to call for companies to remediate oil and gas well sites
As Alberta wrestles with a $30 billion unfunded oil and gas infrastructure clean-up bill, a new program is set to begin in early 2023 that will allow landowners, municipalities and Indigenous groups to nominate wells to be remediated at the company owner’s expense.
Alberta’s Closure Nomination Program (CNP) will allow stakeholders with oil and gas infrastructure on their land, not including pipelines, to suggest an unlimited number of sites to be cleaned up if they meet eligibility requirements.
Those requirements include sites that have been inactive or abandoned in the province for five years or more and are not reclamation certified or exempt.
While the program has yet to open to applications, more than 1,400 sites that qualified under the billion dollar, federally funded Site Rehabilitation Program (SRP) that was part of Ottawa’s COVID relief package have already been transferred to the industry-funded CNP.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said during her Oct. 11 news conference, that was done despite federal dollars being left on the table.
“Sadly, I don’t think we spent all the money we were allocated just because of some internal inefficiencies that developed,” said Smith of the federally funded clean-up program administrated by the Alberta Energy ministry. “But I don’t think we want to lose any of that momentum.”
The SNP ends in February 2023 with the province having closed applications for that program in March 2022.
Applications for the CNP will open sometime in early 2023.
The CNP will manage the program through three avenues; baseline closures that are considered routine, non-baseline closures that have more complex issues in remediation and non-closures, which the well licensee will be required to justify.
The Alberta Energy Regulator has set mandatory closure spending targets for the oil and gas sector to complete remediation work. Some $700 million is to be spent in 2023 and that amount is expected to increase yearly to nearly $1 billion in 2027.
In a two-sentence statement to The Western Producer about CNP, Trevor Gosselin, AER director of transfers, said the CNP is one of several liability management initiatives put in place to tackle the ongoing risks and costs associated with inactive infrastructure.
“The (AER) wants landowners and Indigenous communities, municipalities to participate in this program because it is one of the very few ways they can have an active role in decreasing the amount of inactive and abandoned infrastructure in the province,” read Gosselin’s statement.
A request to Alberta’s Farmers’ Advocate, Peter Dobbie, for comment on the CNP and other programs like it, drew a response from an agriculture department spokesperson, who said the office would not comment.
The Alberta Farmers Advocate mandate is to assist, “in the resolution of disputes, provides timely information to the farming community on matters of concern, and advocates on behalf of rural landowners by bringing their concerns and ideas to decision-makers.”
The third of AER’s online engagement sessions on the CNP will be held on Oct. 25 with the focus on landowners, municipalities and disposition holders who can register for the event at Events | Alberta Energy Regulator (aer.ca).
Engagement sessions were held for industry on Sept. 28 and Indigenous communities on Oct. 18 and are posted on the AER website.
CCME: Public Review: Draft Excess Soil Reuse Guidance
November 23, 2022 in Public Review
A draft Excess Soil Reuse Guidance document is available for public review and comment until January 3, 2023. It is available in both English and French and is accompanied by a questionnaire containing specific questions for reviewers on certain sections of the draft document.
The document is intended to provide a reference tool for jurisdictions implementing excess soil management policies. It includes principles that should be considered in such a policy, circumstances under which they might be applied, and pros and cons related to the application of these principles. The guidance document provides elements that should be included in a traceability protocol intended to track beneficially reused soil. It discusses the responsibilities of both source and receiving sites in projects involving the reuse of excess soils.
Canada invests $34.1 million to protect priority species at risk across the country
The world is facing an unprecedented biodiversity crisis. Here and around the globe, cherished species that are critical to the health and well-being of Canadians and the economy are declining. Protecting species at risk and their habitat by working in collaboration with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and other partners, is critical to reverse the situation and recover Canada’s biodiversity.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced up to $34.1 million in funding as part of the Enhanced Nature Legacy initiative. This funding will support 13 new and ongoing projects focused on the recovery and protection of some of Canada’s most iconic species across the country.
To date, federal, provincial, and territorial governments have identified six shared priority species: caribou boreal, southern mountain, peary caribou, barren-ground caribou, greater sage-grouse, and wood bison. They are part of the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada. The priority species have special meaning for Indigenous peoples and most Canadians, and they have or had large geographic ranges and an important ecological role. Conservation of these priority species can have significant benefits for other species at risk, wildlife in general, and support related biodiversity goals.
Earlier this week, the Government of Canada released the Wild Species 2020: The General Status of Species in Canada report. The Report takes stock of 50,534 species, more than half of all those known in Canada. The results indicate that 20 percent of assessed species in Canada are at some level of risk of extinction, reinforcing the need for ongoing data, analysis, and action on species conservation.
Today’s Enhanced Nature Legacy funding includes an investment of up to $1.1 million to support the Government of Yukon’s monitoring efforts on wood bison. The data collected on bison will develop a better understanding of their populations, their health, and help identify their key habitats in the Yukon. Analysis of bison movements and habitat use will support management decisions and ensure that threats affecting their populations are reduced.
The focus on species at risk highlights one of Canada’s key priorities as it welcomes the world to Montréal for the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), from December 7–19. This is an important opportunity for Canada to show its leadership, along with international partners, in taking actions to conserve nature and halt biological diversity loss around the world.
Government of Canada invests $3.8 million to support barren-ground caribou conservation in the Northwest Territories
Caribou is an iconic species for Canadians and plays an important role in the culture and history of Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada is determined to halt and reverse Canada’s biodiversity loss, and the decline of this species, by working in collaboration with the provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the Government of Canada will support the Government of Northwest Territories’ actions to conserve barren-ground caribou by investing $3.8 million in three conservation projects. The Government of Northwest Territories will provide an equal investment of $3.8 million.
These projects will monitor barren-ground caribou, their habitats, and threats that may be affecting herds in the Northwest Territories by using Indigenous and Western science and knowledge. Projects also aim to conserve and protect barren-ground caribou populations and their habitats by working to minimize human and predator impacts, and identifying important barren-ground caribou habitats such as calving grounds and migratory routes for conservation. These actions have been identified as priorities in the 2020 Recovery Strategy for barren-ground caribou in the Northwest Territories.
The funding is part of the Enhanced Nature Legacy initiative that enables significant, targeted investments and partnerships to drive protection and recovery for a large number of species throughout the country and respond to threats to Canada’s ecosystem and wildlife.
In December, Canada will welcome the world to Montréal for the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15). This is an important opportunity for Canada to show its leadership, along with international partners, in taking actions to conserve nature and halt biological diversity loss around the world.
Canada’s top five federal contaminated sites to cost taxpayers billions to clean up
(Source: Canadian Press) YELLOWKNIFE — With a cost estimate of $4.38 billion, remediation of the Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanupin the country’s history.
The figure, recently approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, spans costs from 2005 until 2038, when active remediation at the former Yellowknife gold mine is anticipated to end. That includes $710 million the federal government said has already been spent, but does not include costs forlong-term care and maintenance.
“It doesn’t bother me so much that it’s going to cost $4 billion to clean up Giant Mine. What really bothers me is that the taxpayer is covering that cost,” said David Livingstone, chair of the Giant Mine Oversight Board.
It indicates the federal government failed to ensure private developers provided financial security to remediate sites. He said while that has improved over time, there will likely be more issues in the future.
“We as a society need to get a better handle on what it costs us to support mining industry and oil and gas industry,” he said. “If the numbers suggest that it’s going to cost more to clean up a site than that site generated in revenue to the Crown, we’ve got a problem.”
There are more than 20,000 locations listedin the federal contaminated sites inventory, from dumps and abandoned mines to military operations on federal land.
Environment and Climate Change Canada says that after Giant Mine, the four most expensive cleanups are the Faro Mine in Yukon, the Port Hope Area Initiative in Ontario, Esquimalt Harbour in British Columbia and Yukon’s United Keno Hill Mine.
More than $2 billion has been spent on the five sites so far, and it’s anticipated they will cost taxpayers billions more in the coming years. Their final price tags are not yet known.
The most recent numbers from the Treasury Board of Canada indicate more than $707 million has been spent on remediation, care and maintenance at Faro Mine, a former open pit lead-zinc mine.Its remediation project is expected to take 15 years to complete and is currently estimated to cost $1 billion, plus $166 million for the first 10 years of long-term operation and maintenance.
Parsons Inc. was awarded a $108-million contract in February for construction, care and maintenance at Faro Mine until March 2026, with the option to extend the contract for the duration of active remediation. The company said the contract could ultimately span 20 years and exceed $2 billion.
In 2012, Ottawa committed $1.28 billion in funding over 10 years for the cleanup of historical low-level radioactive waste in the municipalities of Port Hope and Port Grandby, Ont. To date more than $722 million has been spent on assessment and remediation.
The Port Grandby Project was completed earlier this year and has moved into long-term monitoring for hundreds of years. The Port Hope cleanup, which started in 2018, will continue into 2030.
The cleanup in the Esquimalt Harbour seabed in Victoria currently has a budget of $162.5 million. Roughly $214 million has already been spent on remediation and assessment. The Department of National Defence said that may include costs before 2015, when the remediation project began.
Cleanup of United Keno Hill Mine, a historical silver, lead and zinc mining property near Yukon’s Keno City, is estimated to cost $125 million, including $79 million during its active reclamation phase. That is expected to begin in 2023 and take five years, followed by a two-year transition phase then long-term monitoring and maintenance. More than $67 million has been spent on remediation, care and maintenance at the site so far.
Other costly federal sites that have been cleaned up include the Cape Dyer Dew-Line, 21 former radar stations across the Arctic, for $575 million, the Sydney tar ponds and coke ovens on Cape Breton Island, N.S., for nearly $398 million, and the 5 Wing Goose Bay air force base in Labrador, for $142.9 million.
The 2022 public accounts state the gross liability for the 2,524 federal contaminated sites where action is required is nearly $10 billion based on site assessments. Of the 3,079 unassessed sites, 1,330 are projected to proceed to remediation with an estimated liability of $256 million.
The federal contaminated sites action plan was established in 2005 with $4.54 billion in funding over 15 years. That was renewed for an additional 15 years, from 2020 to 2034, with a commitment of $1.16 billion for the first five years.
Jamie Kneen with MiningWatch Canada said the contamination from Giant Mine highlights the importance of the planning and assessment process for development projects.
“If you don’t actually do any planning around something, you can end up with a pretty horrible mess,” he said. “In this case, it killed people before they started even capturing the arsenic. We don’t want that to happen anymore.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2022.
Remediation Technology News and Resource
(The following are selected items from the US EPA’s Tech Direct – http://clu-in.org/techdirect/)
Upcoming Live Internet Seminars
ITRC Optimizing Injection Strategies and In situ Remediation Performance – December 6, 2022, 1:00PM-3:15PM EST (18:00-20:15 GMT). ITRC developed the guidance: Optimizing Injection Strategies and In Situ Remediation Performance (OIS-ISRP-1) and this associated training course to identify challenges that may impede or limit remedy effectiveness and discuss the potential optimization strategies, and specific actions that can be pursued, to improve the performance of in situ remediation by: refining and evaluating remedial design site characterization data; selecting the correct amendment; choosing delivery methods for site-specific conditions; creating design specifications; conducting performance evaluations, and optimizing underperforming in situ remedies. The target audience for this guidance and training course is: environmental consultants, responsible parties, federal and state regulators, as well as community and tribal stakeholders. This training will support users in efficiently and confidently applying the guidance at their remediation sites. An optimization case study is shared to illustrate the use of the associated guidance document. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org
Evaluating Plant Uptake Pathways of Chemical Contaminants in State Models for Risk Assessments of Contaminated Urban Gardening Sites – December 19, 2022, 1:00PM-3:00PM EST (18:00-20:00 GMT). Integration of urban agriculture into modern city planning has acquired an increased popularity in communities across the United States. Agriculture on the urban scale has proved to be a promising method to increase access to healthy, nutritious, and low-cost produce. Urban soil systems differ from their rural counterparts in terms of their physical and chemical properties. Due to their urban nature, the soil media used in these gardening plots are highly influenced by past and present anthropogenic activities that can threaten both soil health and food safety via chemical contaminants. Consequently, plant uptake findings from rural agricultural soils do not directly apply for risk assessment of urban soil media. This webinar will provide an overview of the following topics: contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) found at urban gardening sites, state-specific CECs, plant uptake of CECs from urban soil, and plant uptake models. For more information and to register, please visit https://clu-in.org/live
New Documents and Web Resources
ITRC Biosolids and Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Fact Sheet. ITRC has developed a series of fact sheets that summarizes recent science and emerging technologies regarding PFAS. This fact sheet summarizes the emerging technical information about risk and management for biosolids (https://www.epa.gov/biosolids) impacted by PFAS.This fact sheet discusses significant topics where management and use of PFAS-containing biosolid may distribute PFAS into the environment, such as land application and landfills, mobility, leaching and transport, uptake into plants and biota, and much more. To view the factsheet, please visit https://pfas-1.itrcweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Biosolids_PFAS_Fact_Sheet_102022_508.pdf
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 https://clu-in.org/products/tins/. The following resources were included in recent issues:
- Building Trust and Relationships in Cleanup Community Engagement, from Theory to Practice
- Injection Completion Report Former Atlas “D” Missile Site 4 F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming
- Occurrence of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Inorganic Analytes in Groundwater and Surface Water Used as Sources for Public Water Supply IN West Virginia
- Adaptive Site Management Strategies for the Hanford Central Plateau Groundwater
New ESAA Member
ESAA welcomes the following new members. If you are not a member of ESAA you can join now via: https://esaa.org/join-esaa/
Road to Rail Construction Group Inc
PO Box 29
Bawlf, AB T0B 0J0
Phone: (403) 588-5350
Tarren Pidherney, Business Development Manager
One Stop Shop for Reclamation and Remediation Services including but not limited to: Earthworks, Trucking, Material & Aggregate supply and delivery, heavy equipment rentals and heavy hauling.
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
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@example.com.
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist –
- Intermediate Biologist –
- Labourer (4 – Various Locations) –
- ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST/ENGINEER – SALT IMPACTED SITES –
- Project Manager –
- Practice Area Lead, Hydrogeology and Water –
- Environmental Project/Program Manager –
- Senior Environmental Consultant –
- Environmental Technician Intern –
- Soil Handling Monitor –
- Intermediate Soil Specialist –
- Junior Soil Specialist –
- Intermediate Vegetation Ecologist –
- Junior Vegetation Ecologist –
- Environmental Scientist (Biology/Biologist) –
- Intermediate Environmental Specialist –
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist –
- Environmental Analyst –
- Environmental Specialist –
- Labourer –
- Equipment Operator –
- Lead Hand –
- Remediation Specialist –
- Remediation Project Manager –