Week ending February 24th, 2023

EnviroTech is Evolving

EnviroTech is now the ESAA Environmental Summit

April 12-14, 2023
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge


Meet the Keynote Speakers

ESAA is please to announce that Environmental Summit will feature two great keynote speakers.

Infodemic! Is Misinformation Killing Us?
Dr. Timothy Caulfield
Professor of Health Law and Science Policy | Bestselling Author, University of Alberta  

Professor Timothy Caulfield is an unrivalled communicator who debunks myths and assumptions about innovation in the health sector — from research on stem cells to diets and alternative medicine — for the benefit of the public and decision-makers. He is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and the Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

Over the past several years, Caulfield has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have led him to publish more than 350 academic articles. His research focuses on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, and the public representations of science and health policy issues. Caulfield has won numerous academic, science communication, and writing awards, and is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Caulfield also writes frequently for the popular press and is the author of several bestselling books, including The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness; Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash; and, most recently, Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety.

In addition, Caulfield is the co-founder of the science engagement initiative, #ScienceUpFirst. He is also the host and co-producer of the award-winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which aired in over 60 countries and is currently streaming on Netflix in North America.

We Are All Interconnected: Protecting Our Planet

Jill Heinerth, Explorer-in-Residence, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society 

More people have walked on the moon than have visited many of the places that Jill Heinerth has seen on Earth. From the most dangerous technical dives deep inside underwater caves, to searching for never-before-seen ecosystems inside giant Antarctic icebergs, Heinerth’s curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life. In her visually stunning presentations, she encourages audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown, and overcome their fears, while sharing practical lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration.

From desert oases of the Sahara to Baffin Bay’s cold waters, Heinerth has been the hands and eyes for climatologists, archaeologists, and engineers worldwide. She led the first dives into underwater caves inside Antarctica’s massive B-15 iceberg and was a lead diver on a ground-breaking US Deep Caving Team project, piloting the first accurate 3D cave mapping device using tech that’s now bound for space.

Heinerth was named the first Explorer-in-Residence of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2016. She was the 2021 recipient of the Explorer’s Club Stefansson Medal for her lifetime of work in exploration. In recognition of her lifetime achievement, Heinerth also received the Wyland ICON Award, an honour she shares with several of her underwater heroes including Jacques Cousteau, Robert Ballard, and Dr. Sylvia Earle. She was also awarded the inaugural Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration, which recognizes singular achievements and the pursuit of excellence by an outstanding Canadian explorer.

A bestselling author, Heinerth’s first book Into the Planet, was lauded by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times. Her children’s book, The Aquanut, is a Blue Ribbon Selection for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Heinerth is a fellow of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, Women Divers Hall of Fame, and the Explorers Club, which also awarded her with the William Beebe Award.

Registration: Register now at: https://esaa.org/summit/register/

Agenda Now Available 

You really don’t want to miss this event. If you have never been to the Jasper Park Lodge (JPL) you might not want to leave afterwards.   The JPL is truly a magnificent venue in Jasper National Park.   The guest rooms are spectacular, the meeting spaces and great hall are exceptional and the price for a room for delegates is just $199 + taxes.   Room rates are easily double this if you were not attending the Summit.


The Draft Agenda is now available for the inaugural ESAA Summit – April 12-14th at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
Agenda features 7 panel discussion:

  • Future of the Environmental Workforce
  • Biogas: Economics, Efficiency, Chemistry
  • Meeting Canada’s Methane Reduction Targets-
  • Practical Considerations for Risk Assessment and Management
  • Regulatory Modernization and Upcoming ESG Disclosure Requirements
  • Collaborative Approach to Watercourse Management
  • ESG – Driving Understanding in our Evolving World


The program also includes an Indigenous Awareness and Inclusion Workshop, a PTAC Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF) Update Session, the ESAA Annual General Meeting and two great keynotes.

Full details at: https://esaa.org/summit/agenda/

Hotel Accommodations: 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 $227 + taxes.  Book your room at: https://esaa.org/summit/hotel/

Registration: Register now at: https://esaa.org/summit/register/

Sponsorship:  A very limited number of sponsorship opportunities remain – details at:  https://esaa.org/summit/sponsors/

Delegate List:  The current delegate list can be found online at: https://esaa.org/summit/delegate-list/  If you receive an email offering to sell you a list, don’t respond.  ESAA does not give or sell our conference registration lists. 

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

RemTech East

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

Sponsorship Opportunities / Exhibit Space Now Available

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 to the Fallsview Casino – Niagara Falls: May 30th – June 1st, 2023.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are now available for RemTech East, including:

  • Exclusive Tradeshow Sponsor – 1 only and includes exhibit space
  • Gold Level – 3 remaining and includes exhibit space
  • Silver – 3 remaining
  • Bronze – 3 remaining
  • Networking Reception – Wednesday night – 1 only
  • Thursday Closing Keynote – 1 only
Exhibit Space:
  • 8 non-sponsor exhibit spaces are also available


For additional details, and pricing contact Lorrine Hamdon, [email protected] or Joe Chowaniec, [email protected]

Full event details can be found online at: www.esaa.org/remtecheast  

ESAA and ONEIA look forward to seeing you at the Falls!


Rehabilitating problematic oil and gas sites: Statement from Premier Smith

Premier Danielle Smith issued the following statement in response to inaccurate claims about the government’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate Alberta’s oldest and most problematic oil and gas development sites, many of which have flare pits, sumps and other environmental hazards that must be cleaned up promptly:

“Of the approximately 83,000 inactive wells in Alberta, approximately 20,000 were drilled before 1980 and have been inactive for more than 20 years. The number and potential environmental problems posed by these older well sites worsen with time. For example, the number of orphaned wells surged from approximately 705 in 2015 to 5,279 in March 2019, a staggering increase of approximately 648 per cent during that time frame. This failure has led to an environmental hazard for which they provide no realistic solutions to address.

“In response to that failure, the government has introduced regulations mandating oil and gas companies spend a prescribed minimum amount on well site closure and reclamation work. The minimum amount to be spent by industry on this ongoing cleanup work has grown to about $740 million this year and will increase by nine per cent annually in the coming years. This action will fix the orphan well backlog that previous governments failed to address and continue to ignore today.

“In addition, Minister of Energy Peter Guthrie is consulting with landowners, Indigenous groups and industry to design a rehabilitation pilot program to expeditiously clean up these pre-1980 inactive well sites. This consultation process will take several months to complete, after which the cabinet and government caucus will consider the feedback provided and make a final decision on whether and how to proceed with the program.

“The pilot program under consideration would potentially provide a royalty credit on new oil and gas development for energy companies willing to also invest in cleaning up these problematic well sites. The amount spent on cleaning up these sites would have to be over and above the amount these same companies are legally required to spend on regular well site rehabilitation.

“While final decisions have not been made, the total amount of royalty credits proposed to be used for the pilot program is likely to be up to $100 million over three years – after which time, the government would assess the effectiveness of the program and consult again before deciding how best to proceed. It is hoped the pilot program will greatly accelerate the cleanup of the most unpredictable and challenging oil and gas sites in Alberta.

“Bluntly put, these problematic well sites must be promptly and properly cleaned up. The government is designing a pilot for a program that is good for the environment, respects landowners’ rights and the rights of Indigenous groups, and incentivizes industry to simultaneously invest more in both the cleanup of these well sites and new resource development.

“This is the first government to try to find solutions to this problem and we look forward to the results of the consultations.”


Alberta announces $58 million for circular economy projects worth $528 million in public and private investment

EDMONTON, AB – The Government of Alberta is advancing the province’s global leadership in the circular economy by committing $58 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to projects across the province worth $528 million. All funding is sourced from the province’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.

Producing high-quality fertilizer for farmers, recycling asphalt from roof shingles, sequestering carbon in concrete, and novel plastics recycling are some examples of the technology solutions receiving funding through ERA’s Circular Economy Challenge.

If successful, these projects will result in cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of up to 4 million tonnes by 2050—equal to offsetting the GHG footprint of 1 million homes. Circular Economy Challenge funding is expected to create 1835 person-year jobs* in Alberta and have a $350 million GDP impact in the province by 2025.

The investment aligns with provincial initiatives including the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approach, the agricultural plastics recycling initiative, and the Natural Gas Vision and Strategy’s goal to establish Alberta as a centre of excellence for plastics diversion and recycling.

“Advancing technology solutions that support a circular economy makes good environmental and economic sense. Circular Economy Challenge projects supported by the TIER fund will help keep valuable materials in the economy and out of landfills, which drives investment, bolsters economic activity, cuts emissions, and creates jobs. It’s a win across the board.”

Sonya Savage, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

“A more sustainable, diversified provincial economy requires using our resources more wisely, we need to think about waste as a resource rather than a cost. This investment in converting waste into other uses is going to make a real difference.”

Justin Riemer, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

Circular Economy Challenge projects support waste reduction, material and feedstock substitution, value recovery, and reduction of the lifecycle environmental footprint of materials and products. These technology solutions can reduce the impacts of material production, processing, and disposal. The innovations invested in will support industry competitiveness, new venture creation, and economic diversification.

Projects include:

Carbon Upcycling Technologies
Demonstrate a commercial-scale carbon sequestration and utilization technology for the cement and concrete sector
ERA funding: $4.4 million | Project cost: $11 million

Circular Rubber Technologies Inc.
Reclaim rubber from end-of-life, high-grade tires from industrial activities and sell the end product back to manufacturers for use in new tires
ERA funding: $3.2 million | Project cost: $16 million

Hydrovac Waste Solutions Ltd.
Divert slurry from the landfill and recover valuable products from the hydro-vacuum process
ERA funding: $1.7 million | Project cost: $8 million

INCA Renewtech
Construct and operate a first-of-kind commercial facility to create a sustainable, advanced bio-composite material made from hemp stalk
ERA funding: $10 million | Project cost: $174.5 million

Northstar Clean Technologies Inc.
Design, build, and commence operations of a new asphalt roof shingles recycling facility
ERA funding: $7.1 million | Project cost: $20.6 million

Phyto Organix Foods Inc.
Construction of a large-scale, commercial, net zero yellow pea fractionation facility
ERA funding: $10 million | Project cost: $231 million

RBW Waste Management Ltd.
Install and commission a recycling system for high-density polyethylene containers and process them into new products
ERA funding: $700,000 | Project cost: $1.4 million

Rimrock Renewables LP.
Development of a prototype for digestate water treatment and fertilizer value-add opportunity for on-farm feedlot anaerobic digestors (AD)  
ERA funding: $8.4 million | Project cost: $19 million

Sparks Eggs
Dehydrate inedible eggs from an existing grading and packing facility into a powder to be used for pet food and animal feed
ERA funding: $500,000 | Project cost: $1 million 

Suncor Energy Inc.
Recover Vanadium, a valuable critical metal/element, and use it in the growing energy storage market
ERA funding: $7 million | Project cost: $36 million

“Government of Alberta funding through Emissions Reduction Alberta is critical to fulfilling our objective of meeting consumer demand for healthy, functional proteins and food co-products that are produced in a sustainable way. This project creates the opportunity to add value to Alberta’s pulse resources, diversify our economy, and directly help mitigate global food security risks, while doing so with a differentiated carbon and water sustainability footprint.”

 Chris Theal, President & CEO, Phyto Organix Foods Inc.

“The Suncor team and our partners are excited to advance this project which has the potential to produce commercial quantities of a critical metal used in the production of grid level energy storage solutions. The Alberta Vanadium Project is consistent with Suncor’s leading position in developing new lines of revenue that also support greater adoption of low carbon sources of energy.”

Todd Pugsley, Director, Technology Development – Bitumen Value Chain, Suncor

“This support of Circular Rubber Technologies’ project is pivotal in advancing Canada’s circular economy. CRT is constructing the world’s first commercial scale rubber devulcanization facility for industrial tires, its first state of the art facility in Alberta, set to begin production in Fall 2023. ERA accelerates bringing CRT’s product—the world’s cleanest, highest quality rubber reclaim—to a $45 billion global market.”

Maartje Van Der Sande, CEO, Circular Rubber Technologies (CRT)

“Circularity in our economy will be integral to Alberta’s decarbonization efforts. Circular Economy Challenge funding signals the government’s commitment to supporting innovative companies like Carbon Upcycling, as we collaborate with industry partners and look to achieve commercial-scale impact in the cement industry.”

Ryan Bourns, Business Development Partnerships Manager, Carbon Upcycling

“Circular Economy Challenge funding will facilitate our company to meet zero-waste and sustainability goals for our food processing facility in Calgary. We will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and transform our current waste product into a new ingredient for the pet food industry, creating a circular economy and permanent sustainable waste management solution.” 

Scott Brookshaw, Executive Vice President, Sparks Eggs, Division of Golden Valley Foods Ltd.

“Rimrock Renewables is honored to be recognized by the Government of Alberta through ERA as an innovator in the development of alternative energy solutions to support the Canadian energy transformation. Funding from partners like the ERA is key to accelerating our shovel-ready project and making an immediate impact to Canada’s emission reduction goals.”

Scott McLean, Director Rimrock Renewables; Executive Vice President Operations Tidewater Renewables Ltd.

“This funding will enable INCA Renewtech to significantly accelerate construction of our state-of-the-art hemp processing and composites manufacturing factory.  We will purchase waste straw from farmers currently growing hemp for plant-based protein and transform this renewable resource into advanced bio-composites for the automotive, marine, wind energy, and consumer plastics industries.”

Davd Saltman, Chairman & CEO, INCA Renewtech

“With funding from the Government of Alberta through ERA, we can reliably scale up a cleantech process that recycles hydrovac waste into valuable products for cement production. This will keep materials out of landfills, while helping Alberta’s cement and hydrovac industries get closer to meeting their sustainability and net-zero emission goals.”

Ash Thibault, Vice President, Hydrovac Waste Solutions.

“The Government of Alberta and ERA’s contribution to our innovative and proprietary clean technology process is hugely supportive in the commercialization of our first scale up asphalt shingle reprocessing facility in Alberta. This landmark facility will be the first in North America and launches our scalable business model to deploy our circular economy, clean technology solution across Canada and the US.”  

Aidan Mills, President and CEO, Northstar Clean Technologies Inc.

“Plastic recycling has been a longstanding aspiration of RBW Waste Management Ltd. Circular Economy Challenge funding allows this to become a reality. Plastic waste received at our facility will be converted to new recycled plastic products, reducing waste and reliance on virgin materials to make industrial products, while promoting a circular economy model for high-density polyethylene plastics.”

Rick Williams, President, RBW Waste Management Ltd.

Projects were selected through ERA’s competitive review process. A team of experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and greenhouse gas quantification conducted an independent, rigorous, transparent review overseen by a Fairness Monitor.

All ERA funding recipients are required to produce a final outcomes report that is shared publicly for the broader benefit of Alberta, as well as other funding proposals. Funding recipients will be required to report on project outcomes, achievements, and lessons learned including GHG reductions, job creation, and other environmental, economic, and social benefits.

​*A person-year is equal to one-year of employment for one individual.

For more information contact:

For more than 13 years, ERA has been investing revenues from the carbon price paid by large emitters to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative clean technology solutions. Since we were established in 2009, we have committed $884 million toward 246 projects worth $7.1 billion that are helping to reduce GHGs, create competitive industries and are leading to new business opportunities in Alberta. These projects are estimated to deliver cumulative GHG reductions of 40 million tonnes by 2030 and 99 million tonnes by 2050.


AER: New Editions of Directive 088 and Manual 023

Today we released new editions of Directive 088: Licensee Life-Cycle Management and Manual 023: Licensee Life-Cycle Management. These new editions come into effect immediately. 

Section 4.2 of Directive 088 has been updated to include requirements around the closure nomination component of the AER’s Inventory Reduction Program. These new requirements support the Government of Alberta’s new Liability Management Framework and rule changes announced in Bulletin 2020-26

The changes

  • introduce the closure nomination component of the Inventory Reduction Program, which provides an opportunity for eligible requesters (e.g., private landowners, First Nations, Métis settlements, municipalities, disposition holders, ministers) to request the closure of a site, and
  • describe the closure plan approaches available to licensees when a site is nominated.


Additionally, the licensee capability assessment (LCA) tool is undergoing routine updates and improvements that correspond to the changes in Manual 023. These changes are expected to be released in early March 2023. When the changes to the LCA are released, the LCA release notes in OneStop will be updated at the same time, and licensees are encouraged to review them for further details. 

Closure nomination will be implemented in spring 2023. Additional communications about how to make a closure request and how to find additional information on existing nominations will be made available at that time. Licensees with sites associated with the Government of Alberta’s site rehabilitation program (SRP) will receive further direction on how to implement these new requirements in spring 2023.

The draft requirements were released on November 7, 2022, for public review, and we accepted feedback until December 6, 2022 (see Bulletin 2022-35). We engaged and considered feedback from various stakeholders, including Indigenous communities, industry, and environmental groups. A summary of the feedback, including our responses, is available on the Directive 088 webpage.

Directive 088 and Manual 023 are available on the AER website, www.aer.ca. If you have any questions, contact our Customer Contact Centre by phone at 1-855-297-8311 or by email at [email protected]


B.C. modernizes oil, gas, energy regulator board

The Province is improving transparency in oversight and governance of the energy resource sector through a more modern, inclusive and larger board for its energy regulator.

“As the energy sector evolves, it’s vital that we ensure its regulation reflects the values and expectations of a modern industry and of British Columbians. I want to thank existing and new board members for guiding the regulator into the future,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Emerging energy sectors, such as hydrogen, geothermal and carbon capture, will generate economic opportunities and help B.C. reduce emissions and transition to clean energy. Increasing the size and diversity of the board of directors improves inclusion and better reflects the expanded energy resource mandate.”

Other key changes include an official name change from the BC Oil and Gas Commission to the British Columbia Energy Regulator to better align with its expanded role of regulating the life cycle of oil, gas and hydrogen industries within B.C.

In addition, the board will now consist of five to seven directors and be required to include Indigenous representation. Previously, there were three directors and a number of independent board consultants who assisted the board in its oversight responsibilities.  

“I look forward to working with all of the new and existing board members and to support all British Columbians within the role,” said Chris Hayman, board chair, British Columbia Energy Regulator board. “I am excited to build upon the important work the life-cycle energy regulator does and I believe these new changes will create more clarity for industry while moving toward a lower-emissions future for British Columbians.”

The new board members are Natascha Kiernan and Ken Cameron, who will be on two-year terms, as well as Sharon Singh and Kevin Brewster, who are appointed for one-year terms. Hayman, who will be on a two-year term, has been appointed chair.  

Existing board members are Shannon Baskerville, who will be on a two-year term, and Patrick Kelly, who will continue his current term.

To underscore the board’s independence from the management team, the chief executive officer will no longer serve as a member.

Quick Facts:

  • In fall 2022, B.C. passed the Energy Statutes Amendment Act, which added responsibility for hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, carbon capture and underground storage, and geothermal to the previously named BC Oil and Gas Commission’s responsibilities.
  • The legislation created a regulatory framework for hydrogen development in British Columbia.
  • It also ensured a more comprehensive consultation and engagement approach with First Nations.
  • The regulator will officially take on responsibility for hydrogen oversight this year.


Board member biographies

Chris Hayman
Chris Hayman has more than 30 years experience in the oil and gas, mining services and regulatory environment. Hayman is a chartered accountant, has served as the president of multinational mining services, and has been providing ongoing consulting services to the board.

Ken Cameron
A former Chief of Saulteau First Nations, Ken Cameron leads important initiatives in business, clean energy, wildlife preservation, reclamation, and community health and well-being. Cameron is a fluent Cree speaker, an accomplished artist and musician, a successful business owner, and a respected community leader.

Sharon Singh
Sharon is a partner and co-head of Aboriginal Law of Bennett Jones LLP. She advises on environmental, Aboriginal law, regulatory and governance matters. Singh guides organizations through impact/environmental assessments, agreements and partnerships with Indigenous communities, ESG-related disclosures, opportunities and risks, and a variety of regulatory and environmental matters. She is actively involved with the community, including as a member of the Wet’suwet’en Community Advisory Council, as senior policy adviser to the Mining Association of British Columbia and the Association of Mineral Exploration, and as a member of several community boards.

Natascha Kiernan
Natascha Kiernan is a lawyer and has provided ongoing consulting services to the BC Oil and Gas Commission. She serves as a regional ambassador for Women Get on Board, an organization whose purpose is to promote women in leadership positions.                     

Kevin Brewster
Kevin Brewster has had a 30-year career in the B.C. public sector for the provincial and regional governments. He was the assistant deputy minister and executive financial officer for the B.C. ministry of advanced education, skills and training. Brewster holds a diploma in building technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, a bachelor of architecture from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom.

Patrick Kelly
T’esóts’en (Patrick Kelly) is a member of the Leq’á:mel First Nation (Stó:lō Nation.) He was Coastal First Nation board chair (2000 to 2018) and chief executive officer (2017 and 2018.) He was adviser and director of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, and a member of the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of B.C. He is a director on the board of Golf Canada, the Government House Foundation and the International Advisory Board of the Gustavson School of Business. He has operated a private business for 16 years, focused on Indigenous relations, governance development, economic development, issues resolution and other services.

Shannon Baskerville
Shannon Baskerville was appointed deputy minister, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation in December 2022, including responsibility for the BC Hydro Crown corporation. Baskerville has served the Province of British Columbia for 30 years. Prior to her current appointment, Baskerville held the positions of deputy minister of advanced education and skills training; deputy minister of jobs, tourism and skills training, and deputy minister of international trade. Prior to that, she held the position of assistant deputy minister at three other ministries.


UPDATE – Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and recognizing a right to a healthy environment

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada


February 2023

Since its reintroduction in February 2022, the bill Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act, also known as Bill S-5, has been carefully studied and reviewed; it first underwent a review by the Senate and is currently under review by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. The Committee has invited over 30 witnesses, ranging from various experts, organizations, and communities, to share their points of view and recommendations.

The Bill includes numerous amendments to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) for the first time in twenty years.

The House of Commons and Senate will both have to approve the proposed bill before it becomes law.

Through this bill, the Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to amend CEPA and recognize that Canadians have a right to a healthy environment.

The amendments will enable the Government to respond effectively to new science, which is pointing to harms that were unanticipated in the past, and to enable the use of new tools and sources of information that are now available to assess those risks. The amendments included in the Bill in February 2022 are outlined below.

A right to a healthy environment

The Government of Canada recognizes that every individual in Canada has a right to a healthy environment and that the Government has a duty to protect that right when administering CEPA.

The Government would be required to develop an implementation framework, which would set out how that right will be considered in the administration of the Act. The framework would detail, among other things, how principles such as environmental justice and non-regression (e.g. continuous improvement in environmental protection) would be considered in implementing the Act, as well as how the right would be balanced with relevant factors, such as social, health, economic and scientific considerations.

The amendments also include requirements for the minister of Environment and Climate Change and the minister of Health to consider available information on vulnerable populations and cumulative effects of substances when assessing risks posed by substances and to conduct research, studies or monitoring activities to support the Government in protecting Canadians’ right to a healthy environment.

The framework will be developed through robust consultations and can be continuously improved in light of experience and as views evolve. Ministers will report on the implementation of the framework annually.

The implementation framework would set out a path for continuous improvement in environmental protection. It is expected that applying the lens of a right to a healthy environment will support strong environmental and health standards and incent robust engagement and the collection of data and analysis to identify populations that are particularly vulnerable to environmental and health risks. The framework will also support new thinking about how to manage risks so that disproportionate impacts of substances on certain populations are addressed.

The proposed amendments to the preamble will also confirm the Government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Protecting vulnerable populations

CEPA amendments will also require that the Government administers the Act in such a way as to minimize risks to the health of vulnerable populations.

The amendments define a vulnerable population as “a group of individuals within the Canadian population who, due to greater susceptibility or greater exposure, may be at an increased risk of experiencing adverse health effects from exposure to substances.” Those with a greater susceptibility may include, for example, children and people in poor health. People with greater exposure may include workers and those living in areas where levels of pollution are particularly high.

To better protect people and communities in these situations, changes to CEPA would provide that the Government’s duty under the Act to protect the environment and human health includes protecting vulnerable populations. The changes would also require the ministers to consider available information regarding vulnerable populations in risk assessments. In addition, amendments would require the Government to conduct research and studies, including biomonitoring surveys, specifically in relation to the role of substances in illnesses or in health problems that may relate to vulnerable populations. The amendments would also enable geographically targeted regulations to better support the protection of communities at risk from local sources of pollution.

Assessing real life exposures

Generally, a substance-by-substance approach is taken when assessing the risks posed by substances—that is, substances are often assessed for risks in isolation. However, in real life we are exposed daily to multiple substances from many different sources, often at the same time and over a lifetime.

Recognizing that the science of assessing cumulative effects is still evolving and that data is not always available to support decisions made on this basis, amendments to CEPA will require the Government to consider available information with respect to the cumulative effects on human health and the environment that may result from exposure to the substance being assessed in combination with other substances.

A stronger regime for substances that are toxic under CEPA and of the highest risk

Amendments to CEPA will create a stronger regime for controlling certain substances found to be toxic under CEPA that pose the highest risk to human health or the environment.

The new regime will retain the risk-based approach in the current Act. For substances assessed as meeting the criteria to be considered toxic under CEPA, the amendments would then require that the ministers give priority to prohibiting activities relating to said toxic substances of the highest risk. The criteria for substances of the highest risk would be set out in regulations and would include persistence and bioaccumulation as well as criteria for such things as carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and reproductive toxicity. The regulations will be developed in consultation with stakeholders.

In some cases, giving priority to prohibition will involve requiring the substances to be phased out entirely. In others, it means activities or releases of concern will be prohibited, and in others it may mean that all new uses will be prohibited unless it can be shown that there are no safer alternatives and that the use can be undertaken safely.

To reflect this new approach, Schedule 1 will be divided into two parts. Part 1 will contain substances of the highest risk, for which the Act will prioritize the prohibition of activities and releases of concern; Part 2 will contain all other CEPA-toxic substances. The Government is also proposing to change the title of “Schedule 1: List of Toxic Substances” to “Schedule 1”.

Supporting the shift to safer chemicals

In order to support the shift to safer chemicals, the Government will recognize, in the preamble, the importance of encouraging the progressive substitution of substances with alternatives that are safer for the environment or human health.

Proposed amendments will require the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to publish and maintain a “Watch List”—a list of substances that have been determined to be capable of becoming toxic under CEPA if, for example, exposure increased. The Watch List will help importers, manufacturers and Canadian consumers to select safer alternatives and avoid regrettable substitutions—which could occur when one problem chemical is replaced with another that in turn becomes a problem.

A new Plan of Chemicals Management Priorities

The Government will develop a new Plan of Chemicals Management Priorities for the assessment of substances to better understand and protect Canadians and the environment from substances of concern.

In 1999, CEPA prioritized the categorization of 23,000 substances already in commerce based on bioaccumulation, persistence, inherent toxicity and the greatest potential for exposure. The work to address the almost 4,300 substances that were then identified as priorities through this process has largely been completed. For this reason, a new process for prioritizing and assessing substances is needed. The amendments set out the process for this new plan to be developed that will reflect constantly evolving science and input from Canadians. The plan will include information gathering, monitoring, and research to support these assessments. It will also consider ways to provide meaningful information to the public through labelling and other means.

Increased transparency in decision making

Proposed amendments to CEPA will provide Canadians with a means to formally request that a chemical be assessed, requiring ministers to consider and respond to any such request.

The proposed amendments will also require that the Government communicate anticipated timelines for completing all the risk management actions proposed when a substance is found to be toxic under CEPA.

Industry will also be required to provide the Government with a rationale to support requests for confidentiality for business information. In addition, the Government will establish the circumstances under which the ministers may disclose the names of masked substances or living organisms. This proposal is consistent with the approach taken by the United States Environmental Protection Agency based on similar requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Reducing reliance on animal testing

Amendments to the preamble of CEPA will recognize the need to reduce reliance on animal testing when assessing the risks that substances may pose to human health and the environment. These amendments will encourage federal government departments to promote the development and timely use of alternative methods and strategies.

Changes to the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) to strengthen the environmental risk assessment and risk management of drugs

The Government is also proposing to make amendments to the FDA that will enable it to create an environmental notification, risk assessment and risk management framework for drugs under the FDA. Currently, the safety, efficacy and quality of drugs are assessed under the FDA, and the environmental risks of the drug ingredients are assessed under CEPA. The proposed framework would streamline the regulatory process for industry while strengthening the environmental risk assessment and risk management of drugs.

Additional measures

In addition to proposed legislative changes, the Government is moving forward with the following new measures that will further protect Canadians’ health and their environment.

Labeling and information for consumers

To address growing demand for readily accessible information on chemicals in consumer products, the Government is committed to enhancing mandatory labelling requirements for certain consumer products and to improving the transparency of chemical ingredients in business supply chains.

Several acts already provide authorities to regulate the labelling of harmful substances in products, including CEPA, the FDA and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. In 2022, the Government launched national consultations to identify new ways to strengthen labelling and improve disclosure and communication of information about chemicals in supply chains. These consultations will allow the Government to propose regulatory changes or other equally effective actions.

In addition, the Government will propose requiring certain fragrance allergens to be disclosed on cosmetic product labels. The Government consulted Canadians in the summer of 2021 on potential changes to the Cosmetic Regulations under the FDA, which will inform a planned regulatory proposal.

Updating the regulatory framework for products of biotechnology

To keep pace with the rapidly evolving biotechnology sector, the Government of Canada will undertake a full and comprehensive review of the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms), which provide for the assessment of risks posed by new living organisms prior to their being introduced into the Canadian marketplace.

The objectives are to amend the regulations to respond effectively to advances in biotechnology, ensuring that Canadians and the environment continue to be protected, and to increase public participation and transparency when assessing and managing the risks associated with living organisms, particularly with respect to higher living organisms (e.g. genetically modified plants and animals).

Moving forward, CEPA will continue to maintain its fundamental structure, including the risk-based approach, which considers a substance’s properties as well as exposure to the substance. Furthermore, the criteria for determining whether a substance is toxic under CEPA have not changed—this provides continued certainty and predictability for the industry. The proposed amendments to CEPA represent the first major reform to the CEPA in more than 20 years. This is a very important step, the first of its kind since CEPA came into force, but it will not be the last. Sustained efforts to further improve CEPA and the Chemicals Management Plan will be ongoing. Taken together, the steps announced today will further support a healthier environment and economy for decades to come.



Upcoming Industry Events


Upcoming ESAA Webinar

Upcoming ESAA Webinar: Advances in Treatment and Sorption Technologies for PFAS & Other Contaminants

March 8th, 2023 – 12 – 2 pm (Edmonton Time)

Register Now

ESAA and CHEMCO are hosting a free technical webinar on  March 8th @ 12:00 MST.  The technologies targeting PFAS contaminants are developing at a rapid pace to meet new environmental requirements. This training will present 2 in situ and ex situ remediation techniques that can be used to deal with this family of contaminants.


Martin Bureau is the Vice President for Innovation at ALTRA Solutions. Martin holds a Master’s degree in Physical Metallurgy and a Doctorate in Composite Materials. He was instrumental to the development of the ALTRA technology, formerly known as Aqua-Pipe, as part of a CNRC-SANEXEN partnership. He is the author of more than 250 scientific journal articles and international conference presentations.

Dr. Julian Bosch is the Managing Director at Intrapore. Dr. Bosch is the former project manager at the Institute for Groundwater Ecology at the Helmholtz Centre Munich and 10 years of experience in the development of nano- and microparticles for groundwater remediation. 


Register Now



SustainTech 2023

Delta Saskatoon – March 22-23, 2023


Schedule of Events
March 22nd – GWSDAT Workshop
March 23rd AM – Regulatory Speakers
March 23rd PM – Technical Sessions
Full details and registration information at: https://www.seima.sk.ca/sustaintech

RemTech 2023

October 11-13, 2023
Fairmont Banff Springs

Call for Abstracts / Early Bird Registration

ESAA is pleased to announce that early bird registration is open for the 22nd edition of RemTech.   RemTech 2023 will feature an out door tailgate party to start the conference, 55 exhibits, technical talks, networking opportunities, a Thursday night reception featuring Canadian comedy legend Ron James and three great keynotes. 
Full conference details can be found at: https://esaa.org/remtech/
Registration:  Early bird registration is now open – visit: https://esaa.org/remtech/register/ to register early and save.

Sponsors / Exhibitors: Previous sponsors and exhibitors will be contacted in the next week to secure your previous sponsorship level and exhibit space. 

Hotel Reservations: The Fairmont Banff Springs is now accepting reservations for the conference.  The conference rate starts at $254 per night per night depending on the type and occupancy of the room. (rates do not include taxes, fees and surcharges).  Rate also includes 2 free drinks (per room) in the Rundle Lounge.  (Drink vouchers valid during October 11-13, 2023).  Make your reservation via: https://esaa.org/remtech/hotel-travel/

Call for Abstracts

ESAA invites you to submit technical abstracts focusing on technologies for the remediation of contaminated soil. Abstracts are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • In-Situ and Ex-Situ Treatment, Physical / Biological / Chemical Treatment, Soil Washing and Scrubbing, Thermal Desorption
  • Incineration, Stabilization / Solidification, Immobilization, Aeration, Soil Venting, Membranes, Encapsulation, Vitrification, Natural Attenuation, Oil Sands Remediation / Reclamation, Oil Spills Management, New Technology and Research, Remote and Difficult Locations, Reclamation, Emerging Contaminants, Superfund Projects, Landfill Closure, Phyto-remediation, Site Rehabilitation Program (SRP) – Projects, Lessons Learned
  • All other related topics will be considered

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

Abstracts should be no longer that 500 words (not including bio), should include a presenter biography and be submitted as a Word Document by no later than July 21st, 2023.

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

Notification of acceptance will be given by August 31st.

For instructions on how to submit an abstract visit: https://esaa.org/remtech/call-for-abstracts/

Full presentations must be submitted no late than one week prior to RemTech 2023.

Thank you for your continued support!


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.
  • Environmental Technician Intern – Paragon Soil & Environmental Consulting
  • Intermediate Environmental Project Manager – TerraLogix Solutions Inc.
  • Summer Students and Seasonal Staff – North Shore Environmental Consultants Inc.
  • Senior Environmental Scientist (Salt Specialist) – Matrix Solutions Inc.
  • Lead Crew Hand – Summit
  • Sustainability Engineer Waste and Recycling – City of Lethbridge
  • Intermediate Environmental Field Technician – Flint
  • Senior Hydrogeologist – Summit, An earth Services Company
  • Environmental Technologist – Summit
  • Lead, Reclamation and Remediation Services -RemedX Remediation Services Inc.
  • Intermediate Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Environmental Analyst – Summit
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Practice Area Lead, Natural Sciences – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Practice Area Lead, Hydrogeology and Water – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Project Coordinator – Conservation and Reclamation – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Project Coordinator – Conservation and Reclamation  – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Environmental Project/Program Manager – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Senior Environmental Professional –Ecoventure Inc.
  • Intermediate Environmental Consultant – Ecoventure Inc.




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