Week ending February 2nd, 2024



Alberta: Water-sharing negotiations start on Feb. 1

Alberta’s Drought Command Team has been authorized to start negotiations with water licence holders to strike water-sharing agreements to mitigate the risk of drought.

Alberta relies on melting snow and rain for all of its water. This winter, snowpack is below average, rivers are at record low levels and multiple reservoirs remain well below capacity.

As a result, for the first time since 2001, Alberta’s government has authorized the Drought Command Team to begin negotiations with major water licence holders to strike water-sharing agreements in the Red Deer River, Bow River and Old Man River basins. If a severe drought occurs, these agreements would see major users use less water to help others downstream.

“Starting Feb. 1, the Drought Command Team will begin negotiations with major water licence holders throughout Alberta to secure significant and timely reductions in water use. This effort will be the largest water-sharing negotiation to have ever occurred in Alberta’s history. I want to thank licence holders for coming to the table – your generosity, ingenuity and participation in this effort reflects the very best of our province.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

“Drought is something our farmers and ranchers have experienced before. Based on that experience, our irrigators and agricultural producers have done an amazing job to manage their operations during tough times. I also want to be clear, that Alberta producers are leaders in water conservation, environmental stewardship, and I am proud of the work they do. As always, Alberta’s government is doing everything we can to help producers impacted by drought, and our producers have always stepped up to work together to build solutions that are in the interest of the entire province.”

RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

In Alberta, there are 25,000 organizations and businesses that hold licences for 9.5 billion cubic metres of water. The Drought Command Team will select and prioritize negotiations with Alberta’s largest water licence holders in an effort to secure significant and timely reductions in water use.

To help manage water during previous shortages, individuals and groups have worked together to share available water. However, the scope and scale of the collaborative work underway and being proposed is unprecedented in Alberta’s history.

Quick facts
  • There are 25,000 water licence holders in Alberta.
  • Alberta licences 9.5 billion cubic metres of water – enough water to fill 3.8 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • There are currently 51 water shortage advisories in place in Alberta.
  • According to the most recent assessment by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 70 per cent of Canada was classified as abnormally dry or in moderate to exceptional drought, including 81 per cent of the country’s agricultural landscape.
  • At least one water-sharing agreement will be developed for each of the Red Deer River, Bow River and Oldman River basins, although multiple agreements could be put in place in some areas.
  • Under Alberta’s water management system, the province cannot unilaterally change the terms of water users’ allocation.
  • The Government of Alberta is closely monitoring snowpack, rainfall, river levels and water use levels throughout the province to help understand how much water will be available this year.
  • The water-sharing agreements will be entered voluntarily. They are expected to be completed before March 31.
Related information



Waste-to-ethanol biofuels plant in Edmonton closes 11 years ahead of schedule

(Source: CBC News) A state-of-the-art biofuels plant in northeast Edmonton has shut down production, 14 years after the City of Edmonton and Enerkem Alberta Biofuels struck a deal to turn waste into ethanol. 

Under the initial 25-year agreement signed in 2010, the city supplied garbage that couldn’t be recycled or composted and Enerkem would use its proprietary technology to turn it into biofuels. 

When it closed this week, the plant had produced five million litres of biofuels, far less than the 36 million litres a year Enerkem had projected it would generate.

On Thursday, Michel Chornet, Enerkem’s executive vice-president of technology and commercialization, said it was a bittersweet day. 

“We felt we had reached our main objectives which was to demonstrate this technology at commercial scale,” Chornet said in an interview with CBC News. “Now we are retiring this facility.”

The Edmonton plant was once touted as the world’s first industrial-scale biofuels project to use municipal solid waste as feedstock.

The $80-million facility was projected to generate biofuels to supply over 400,000 cars per year running on a five per cent ethanol blend, the company’s news release said. 

The city says with the plant closing at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, its agreement with Enerkem is also ending. 

Enerkem’s facility was built and operated at the company’s expense and will be dismantled at Enerkem’s expense, said Denis Jubinville, branch manager of waste services at the City of Edmonton.

“While this innovative project did not fully achieve the desired waste diversion, we have gained important learnings that will inform future waste diversion strategies,” Jubinville said in an email this week. 

The city invested about $45 million into its own refuse-derived fuel (RDF) facility that turns waste into a low-carbon fuel that can be used for energy production. 

This facility is still operational and will continue to produce RDF, he added. 

“The closure will not have significant impacts on the city’s day-to-day waste management activities,” he said. 

The city doesn’t plan to replace or expand the Enerkem plant but is establishing new partnerships to divert waste from landfill using waste-to-energy, Jubinville noted.

The operation encountered technical obstacles in producing ethanol and had adjusted equipment along the way. 

“Each phase had some specific milestones,” Chornet said. “Once they were achieved, we added more equipment on and on, so the phasing induced some delays that may have been perceived.”

This week, former city councillor Ben Henderson said he was disappointed the plant didn’t turn out to be a long-term solution to Edmonton’s waste disposal. 

“The hope was that it was going to take the majority of our non-organic non-recyclable waste and turn it into something useful.” 

He said if things had gone according to plan, the plant would have been running at full steam for quite a number of years already. 

“It was a difficult week,” Chornet said. “We had 56 employees in Edmonton — great employees, dedicated, passionate and very professional. So my thoughts are with them.”

Henderson said he is happy that the city walks away with some technological advantage.

“I would hate to see us stopping to try new things and to try new solutions,” he said. “If no one is prepared to do that, then we’re not going to be able to make any kind of progress on what’s a really significant problem with what to do with their solid waste.”

Montreal-based Enerkem Inc., founded in 2000, develops and commercializes its gasification technology, transforming non-recyclable waste into biofuels, low-carbon fuels and circular chemicals for hard-to-abate sectors, including sustainable aviation and marine fuels.

The Alberta government contributed $4.5 million from its Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation program, set up to help industrial facilities find innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions. 


Dangerous oil lease fire sparks investigation in County of Minburn

(Source: My Lakeland Now)  An investigation is underway into the cause of a dangerous fire that engulfed four oil lease sites in the County of Minburn, prompting emergency response efforts on Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency crews rushed to extinguish the blaze, which erupted at four crude oil tanks located 23 kilometers south of Mannville, emitting toxic chemicals into the air. An air quality alert was issued, urging residents to avoid the area as a precaution. Collaborative efforts between the Minburn County Fire Department and emergency response teams from the County of Vermillion River, the Town of Wainwright, the Town of Vegreville, and the Village of Irma were pivotal in containing and extinguishing the fire.

Firefighters initiated defensive cooling of unaffected oil tanks while awaiting the arrival of private contractors. Once on scene, private water haulers were mobilized to support the water shuttle, facilitating the implementation of a suppression plan that ultimately controlled the fire by 9 pm.

“We are grateful for the diligent efforts of emergency responders in successfully containing and extinguishing the fire,” stated Pat Podoborozny, Chief Administrative of the County of Minburn, in a press release. “Now, in collaboration with the Alberta Energy Regulator and the lease site owners, we are focused on the cleanup phase to ensure the community’s safety and the preservation of our environment.”

The Alberta Energy Regulator oversees the remediation and cleanup efforts of the lease site owners in accordance with their regulatory responsibilities.

The Minburn County Fire Department deployed two engines, two tenders, one wildland unit, and a command unit in response to the fire. Crews successfully evacuated personnel from the lease site and established a staging area for operations.

The county disclosed that the lease site owner informed the county Fire Chief that suppression specialists were dispatched from Blackfalds, prompting authorities to seek mutual aid.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported from the incident.


Alberta adds two new park spaces, 12 parks delisted

(Source: Calgary Herald) Banff-Kananaskis NDP MLA Sarah Elmeligi said the new park additions are ‘nice to see,’ but she’d like to see more consideration given to improving sites instead of removing them


Alberta is adding more than 1,400 hectares to the province’s parks system with the addition of two new parks and three expansions, but the deregulation of 12 smaller spaces is causing concern among some advocacy groups.

The province announced the creation of Kleskun Hills Provincial Park — comprising 1,000 hectares of rare grassland ecosystems north of Grande Prairie — and La Biche River Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) west of Lac La Biche — and the expansion of three other sites — on Thursday.

“The expansion of the provincial parks system creates opportunities for Albertans to visit and appreciate some of Alberta’s most spectacular landscapes. The changes we are making will enhance the ability to access and enjoy our province’s outdoor spaces without impacting recreational use,” said Forestry and Parks Minister Todd Loewen, in a news release late Thursday.

The province says the boundary changes will enhance recreation and camping opportunities and protect rare ecosystems. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), a conservation advocacy group, says the additions are ultimately welcome news.

“We hope that this is a signal of more to come,” said Kecia Kerr, the executive director of CPAWS’s northern Alberta branch in a Thursday news release. “There are many other opportunities to increase habitat protections such as areas previously identified through land use planning, areas proposed by communities, and much-needed protection of habitat for particularly vulnerable populations of species at risk.”


However, the province also delisted 12 smaller PRAs — totalling about 50 hectares in various locations across Alberta. Ten of the sites are decommissioned highway rest stops or flood-damaged areas that have been closed for at least a decade, some for upwards of 20 years.

The sites in question have been on the chopping block before, saved when the government reversed its 2020 “Optimizing Alberta Parks” plan that sought to nix 164 locations from the province’s parks system — upended in part by the Defend Alberta Parks campaign CPAWS helped organize. While the newly delisted sites weren’t a focus of that campaign, CPAWS still stated Alberta Parks should be properly funded so that decommissioning sites isn’t necessary.

“The response of our members and the public seeking clarity on these recent changes shows that Albertans are still watching closely. It is critical that the government makes these decisions transparently and in consultation with Albertans,” said Katie Morrison, executive director of CPAWS’s southern Alberta chapter, in the release.

Additionally, four of the sites delisted Wednesday were marked for deregulation in the 2014 South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, a land-use plan for a portion of southern Alberta. CPAWS criticized the government for following through on the delistings but not the designation of new protected areas also suggested by the decade-old plan.

“If the Government of Alberta is moving forward on delisting areas identified in land-use plans, we can just as readily move forward on protecting areas as proposed in those same plans. We look forward to the province making progress on this front, too,” said Morrison.

Big Elbow PRA in the Kananaskis area is among the sites being delisted, but it exists within the boundary of Don Getty Provincial Park. The province says the site will remain part of that park and no disruption is expected for the backcountry campground.

Banff-Kananaskis NDP MLA Sarah Elmeligi said the new park additions are “nice to see,” but she’d like to see more consideration given to improving sites instead of removing them.

“There are so many provincial recreation areas across the province. Many of those just need to be upgraded to provide camping opportunities, rather than dying these slow deaths and then being closed for 10 years and then eventually being delisted and raising all these questions and red flags for Albertans,” Elmeligi, the NDP’s critic for tourism, sport and recreation, told Postmedia on Thursday.

The planned changes caused a stir on social media Wednesday night as the government’s orders in council that initiated the changes were published online before any announcement was made. Elmeligi said better communication is needed from the provincial government, noting that concerns arose quickly among some as the information spread on social media without any provided context.

“People started to get very concerned again, even though it was fewer sites, even though it maybe wasn’t the sites that they were concerned about in 2020,” she said. “The social media response was actually surprising to me, but also, I think it really demonstrates that people don’t trust this government to make decisions on behalf of the people in a positive way, especially when it comes to parks. I don’t think that Albertans trust the UCP when it comes to parks, so they’re paying attention.”

Elmeligi also said the government needs to provide information on criteria used in the decision-making process for the boundary changes and follow through on promises to expand Alberta parks and camping opportunities in the 2024 budget.

Last year, the province announced plans to invest $211.3 million by 2026 in Alberta’s parks and public lands, including $500,000 for new campgrounds.


Top Environmental Fines in Canada, 2023

(Source: Hazmatmag.com)  Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Enforcement Branch is responsible for Canada’s environmental and wildlife legislation. In 2023, ECCC implemented enforcement actions, leading to significant fines and penalties for a range of environmental infractions. Below is an overview of the most significant federal environmental fines and penalties in 2023, focusing on the five greatest fines and the provinces where these violations took place.

Top 5 Federal Environmental Fines in 2023
1Canadian Kraft Paper Industries LimitedUnlawful deposit of effluent$1,000,000
2Peace River Hydro PartnersContaminated drainage water$1,100,000
3Arctic Pearl Ice and Cold Storage Ltd.Ammonia discharge$755,000
4Plastique Royal inc.Non-compliant products$600,000
5Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.Fisheries Act violation$500,000

The severity of environmental violations is reflected in the fines and penalties imposed in 2023, which demonstrate the government’s dedication to the protection of species and the preservation of ecosystems. Prominent instances, including the penalties levied against Peace River Hydro Partners and Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited for effluent discharge and contaminated drainage water, respectively, serve as illustrations of the government’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Provinces with Top Environmental Offenses in 2023
2British Columbia2

The federal government enforcement actions are implemented with a twofold objective: firstly, to deter subsequent violations; and secondly, to cultivate an environment that promotes responsibility and accountability among both individuals and organizations. The financial resources derived from fines and penalties are of critical importance in backing up environmental conservation endeavors, underscoring the significance of adhering to environmental legislation and conducting oneself ethically across Canada.


Billions of litres of water are used yearly by Quebec’s mining and metal industry, data reveals

(Source: CBC News) Quebec has lifted the veil of secrecy around the province’s biggest water users, revealing that billions of litres of water are withdrawn yearly by the mining and metal industry, along with pulp and paper manufacturing.

The data dump, which includes records going back a decade, also lists golf clubs, ski hills, water bottling plants and food processors among the companies that are withdrawing tens of millions — sometimes hundreds of millions — of litres in a year.

The records don’t specify the quality or amount of water withdrawn by each organization that’s returned to the environment after use.

Although Quebec is abundant in freshwater, holding three per cent of the world’s renewable supply, regions in the south that rely on groundwater for agriculture and drinking water are often more vulnerable to shortages.

Calls for more transparency have mounted in recent years after towns in the south of the province struggled with water shortages and, in some cases, were even forced to restrict water usage.

“This information is very useful, it’s essential,” said Sarah Dorner, a civil engineering professor at Polytechnique Montréal.

Dorner said the data can help municipalities get a better understanding of what activities might impact water availability or water quality in their region, and factor that into planning around future risks.

Overall, in terms of total withdrawals reported in Quebec, the City of Montreal was the biggest water user in 2022, the most recent year available in the dataset. The city of more than two million people reported withdrawing a whopping 559.2 billion litres of water for various services, including its aqueduct network, botanical gardens and recreational operations.

When it comes to commercial and industrial water use, an analysis by CBC News found that mining and metals giant Rio Tinto comes out on top.

When water withdrawals by Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium are combined with water withdrawals by Rio Tinto Alcan, the company reported using a total of 72.5 billion litres of water across all of its operations in the province in 2022.

That much water would fill 29,000 Olympic swimming pools or 60 billion Stanley cups (the water bottle, not the trophy).

The province’s Ministry of the Environment released the data as part of its update to water regulations, following through on a campaign promise of the Coalition Avenir Québec government.

The changes came into effect in January, which means water withdrawals are now published for organizations that use at least 75,000 litres of water at least one day per year. That cap will lower to 50,000 litres a day in 2026.

Quebec is the third province to make water withdrawals public, joining Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Some other provinces, such as Alberta, publish water use by sector but don’t break it down by individual organizations.

“We need every province to do the same thing, because Canada needs to find ways to regulate our water,” said Soula Chronopoulos, president of Montreal-based non-profit Aqua Action.

Chronopoulos, who advocates for the protection of freshwater across Canada, said transparency is essential.

“If I’m blunt, the climate crisis is a water crisis, and water constraints are going to impact the global, national and regional economies,” she said. “Our future economy is a water-constrained economy. That’s what we’re living through, and I think we need to face that.”

Quebec has also increased water royalties and created a Blue Fund that will use that money to finance projects, including flood prevention, ecosystem conservation and municipal water management.

Companies that use water but return it to the environment, such as pulp and paper and mining, will see their rates increase from $2.50 per million litres of water to $35 per million litres.

Companies that incorporate water into a final product, such as the cement or food industry, will go from paying $70 per million litres of water to $150 per million litres, while companies that produce bottled water will have to pay the most: $500 per million litres.

The province earmarked a total of $500 million over five years for the Blue Fund in its last budget, part of which it expects to come from royalties. The fees apply to water bottling companies, mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, and most manufacturing activities.

In an email response to CBC News, Rio Tinto said it already independently publishes its water usage data online and that its water usage reflects the magnitude of its operations in Quebec.

Jean-François Samray, president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, said that more than 90 per cent of the water used by his industry is treated and returned to the environment.

Samray, whose council represents lumber, pulp, paper and cardboard companies in the province, said the industry has reduced its water consumption by two-thirds since 1981.

“The thing is that there’s no more low-hanging fruits. We have already reduced what we could. We are recycling the water several times,” he said.

While pulp and paper manufacturers could reduce water use by replacing water-based cooling methods with the type of cooling used in a fridge, Samray said to do that, they would need to increase their electricity consumption.

“In order to get more electricity, we need a government decree saying to Hydro-Québec that you need to provide new capacity,” he said.

The hike in water royalties is an added financial pressure compared with Ontario, he said, where the pulp, paper and cardboard industry is exempt.

While the mining, steel, and pulp and paper industries use a lot of water overall, typically much of that water is returned to the original source.

“The main concern is withdrawals where the water is then incorporated into a product of some sort,” Polytechnique Montréal’s Dorner said. “It would be nice to know how much is being returned to the environment and in what quality.”

The water withdrawal volumes are self-reported by organizations. In some cases, water use could be based on estimates rather than actual measurements. In fact, Quebec legislation allows for a 25 per cent margin of error in monthly volumes reported.

Dorner, who specializes in water protection and water quality, said having the data is a good thing, but added that “it also might be interesting to make sure that the data quality is sufficient.”

Rébecca Pétrin, executive director of environmental group Eau Secours, one of the groups that fought for years to get withdrawal data published, said it’s a “great victory” to see the numbers released.

“It’s [now] much easier to say, ‘OK, we will have a dry summer, so we need to reduce the consumption — who can easily cut down their use?'”

It’s a good first step, Pétrin said, but she would also like to see caps on maximum volumes of water in cases where watersheds could be affected.

“Some mining activities are up in the north, and there’s a lot of water there … but there’s mills in the south of Quebec — areas with agriculture, cities and municipalities that realized they are running out of water during the summer,” she said.

While much of Canada has been sheltered from water issues compared with other parts of the world dealing with extreme drought and shortages, freshwater advocate Chronopoulos said it’s time the country started thinking more about its water use.

“We’re blessed to have this much water, but we can’t take it for granted,” she said.


ESAA Member News


Trace Associates Inc. acquires XCG Consulting, expands geographic and service offering

Calgary, Alberta-based Trace Associates Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire the assets and employees of XCG Consulting (XCG), an environmental science and engineering consulting firm based in southern Ontario with offices in Kitchener and Kingston.

Founded in 1990, XCG and its 28 employees have deep expertise providing environmental site assessment, remediation, risk assessment/management, solid waste advisory, and hazardous building materials management services across Canada, to a wide range of industry sectors.

With XCG, Trace expands its Canadian geographic footprint with a great presence in southern Ontario and adds solid waste advisory, surface water management, and environmental engineering capabilities that can be provided to public and private clients across Canada.


Trace’s president and CEO, Darrell Haight, is excited to welcome XCG to the Trace team: “Our cultures are very similar as we both take great care of our people, so they can take care of our clients and suppliers. Both XCG and Trace clients will benefit as we now have greater national coverage and more diverse services to offer.”

Tom Williams, president of XCG, believes the combined efforts will “allow us to better serve our national and regional clients while also providing technical and professional growth opportunities for our staff.”

“I am extremely excited to be joining such a great team of established professionals at Trace,” says Grant Walsom, senior technical advisor with XCG. “We are like-minded in delivering top-notched services to our clients and they have shown they look after their people. We see great things to come for us in this acquisition.”

XCG will become the Ontario division of Trace on February 1, 2024 and will operate under the name XCG, a division of Trace Associates Inc.

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: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Training – February 6, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EST (18:00-20:00 GMT). The ITRC Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR-1) Training is intended for state regulators and stakeholders who may not be familiar with the opportunities and challenges associated with MAR. It provides a basic understanding of MAR concepts, along with case studies, that showcase examples of successful MAR applications. For those who are familiar with MAR, the training gives an overview of the components of the MAR process along with the important considerations associated with each component necessary for the design and implementation of a MAR project. It is important to understand that MAR is an area of active research and expanding practical applications, and that this management process is continuing to evolve with time. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://www.clu-in.org/live.

In Vitro Bioaccessibility Assay (IVBA) Sampling Guidance Update Part 1 – February 12, 2024, 1:00PM-2:30PM EST (18:00-19:30 GMT). The Technical Review Workgroup (TRW) Bioavailability Committee recently published the “Guidance for Sample Collection for In Vitro Bioaccessibility Assay for Arsenic and Lead in Soil and Applications of Relative Bioavailability Data in Human Health Risk Assessment.” This is an update to the 2015 Guidance for Sample Collection for In Vitro Bioaccessibility Assay for Lead (Pb) in Soil. The update is intended to help EPA risk assessors, remedial project managers, and on-scene coordinators develop and use bioavailability data at their sites. It incorporates sample planning and data analysis recommendations from EPA’s Guidance on Systematic Planning Using the Data Quality Objectives Process that are pertinent to sampling for In Vitro Bioaccessibility (IVBA) and Relative Bioavailability (RBA). It also clarifies the application of IVBA and RBA data to human health risk assessment, the development of risk-based goals at CERCLA remedial and removal sites and includes arsenic (As) which was recently added to the In Vitro Bioaccessibility Assay. For more information and to register, see https://clu-in.org/live.

SERDP ESTCP Novel Research on In-Situ PFAS Adsorptive Technologies – February 22, 2024 1:00PM EST (18:00 GMT). This webinar will feature DoD-funded research efforts to develop adsorptive technologies for PFAS removal. First, Dr. Kurt Pennell (Brown University) will discuss the development a polymer-stabilized powdered activated carbon and a polymer-stabilized ion exchange resin for use as injectable particulate amendments for PFAS adsorption in situ. Second, Mr. Matt Vanderkooy (Geosyntec Consultants) and Dr. Anh Pham (University of Waterloo) will present research on in situ PFAS immobilization via activated carbon barriers. or more information and to register, see https://serdp-estcp.org/webinars.

ITRC Microplastics Training – February 27, 2024, 1:00PM-3:15PM EST (18:00-20:15 GMT). In response to one of the biggest emerging environmental concerns, ITRC formed the Microplastics Team in 2021 to develop the Microplastics Guidance Document. Plastics have become pervasive in modern life and are now used in a wide range of commercial and industrial applications. Microplastics may result from the degradation and fragmentation of larger plastics, or they may be intentionally produced for specific applications and products. Regardless of their origin, microplastics are now ubiquitous in our environment. Because of their small size and pervasiveness in the environment, microplastics, along with any other contaminants which are adhered to the microplastics, may be inadvertently consumed by humans and other organisms. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://www.clu-in.org/live.

FRTR Presents…Recent Advances in PFAS Characterization Technologies – February 28, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EST (18:00-20:00 GMT). This webinar will include live deliveries of two presentations from the recent FRTR Fall meeting, with updated information: “Best Practices for PFAS Sampling and Evaluation” and “Clean Water Act Methods: Overview of EPA’s CWA PFAS Method Activities”. The science and technology of site characterization for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has advanced in the five years since FRTR last addressed the topic in 2018. Federal agency budgets for PFAS remediation have grown substantially during this time. As a result, site characterization efforts such as Remedial Investigations, as well as early response actions, are underway at many Federal facilities. Funding for field-scale projects to further advance PFAS characterization technology and methodologies also has increased substantially. For more information and to register, see https://clu-in.org/live.

ITRC PFAS Introductory Training – February 29, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EST (18:00-20:00 GMT). Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large and complex class of anthropogenic compounds whose prevalence in the environment are an emerging, worldwide priority in environmental and human health. The ITRC PFAS Team, formed in 2017, has prepared readily accessible materials to present PFAS information to stakeholders, regulators, and policy makers. The PFAS team represents a diverse cross-section of expertise and experience working on PFAS. This training will include emerging science on PFAS, including topics such as Properties of PFAS, Fate and Transport, Sampling and Analysis, and Treatment Technologies. The technical presentations will be focused on those who are relatively new to PFAS. The training will last approximately 90 minutes and include time for questions. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://www.clu-in.org/live.

New Documents and Web Resources

Consideration of Climate Change at Contaminated Groundwater Sites (EPA 542-F-24-001). Use of ex situ or in situ technologies to remediate a site with contaminated groundwater relies on a thorough understanding of the site’s unique hydrogeological conditions. It also relies on an understanding of groundwater characteristics that may change under future climate scenarios. The changes should be considered throughout the site cleanup pipeline, from site assessment through long-term remedy maintenance. This fact sheet describes potential climate change impacts on groundwater, such as altered directions of groundwater flow or decreased infiltration, as well as potential impacts on cleanup remedies and associated remediation technologies. The fact sheet also describes how climate vulnerabilities are addressed at National Priorities Lists sites such as the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Superfund site in California, Torch Lake Superfund site in Michigan, and Wyckoff Co./Eagle Harbor site in Washington. To view or download, please visit https://clu-in.org/greenremediation/docs/Consideration_of_Climate_Change_at_Contaminated_Groundwater_Sites.pdf

Updated Soil Lead Guidance for CERCLA Sites and RCRA Corrective Action Facilities. On January 17, 2024, EPA announced updates to guidance for lead in residential soil at CERCLA (also known as Superfund) sites and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act corrective action facilities. EPA is lowering recommended screening levels and strengthening guidance for investigating and cleaning up lead-contaminated soil in residential areas where children live and play. Screening levels are not cleanup standards. While this update will help EPA site teams make site-specific cleanup decisions to protect nearby communities, EPA makes cleanup decisions specific to each site, using site-specific factors, including risk factors and community input that can vary from site to site. For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/superfund/updated-soil-lead-guidance-cercla-sites-and-rcra-corrective-action-facilities

Research Brief 349: Mapping Microbe Interactions That Support PCB-Degrading Bacteria. Researchers partially funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) mapped interactions between microbes that may support the growth of certain bacteria that degrade polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a harmful contaminant. By harnessing those microbial relationships, researchers could improve the bioremediation, or bacterial breakdown, of PCBs from the environment, according to a team led by Timothy Mattes, Ph.D., University of Iowa SRP Center. View or download the brief at https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/researchbriefs/view.cfm?Brief_ID=349

Biopile and ISCR Case Studies Needed for IMPEL. The Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) is promoting a project entitled Water and Land Remediation, that focuses on best practices in several remediation technologies. For 2024, two questionnaires have been drawn up for collecting case studies on Biopiles and In Situ Chemical Reduction. The case studies should be submitted by than February 28 2024. For more information and to submit a case study, see https://www.impel.eu/en/projects/water-and-land-remediation.


Upcoming Industry Events


Edmonton February 6th 2024
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm



Blanco Cantina
101, 1708 99 Street NW

$10 Members
$20 Non-Members
–  Sponsorship Available – 

SCARS (Second Chance Animal Rescue Society) is a non-profit Edmonton and Athabasca based charity that helps communities by taking in pets that are homeless, unwanted, sick and injured or slated for euthanasia.  They typically have over 400 pets in care at any given time.  SCARS is dedicated to reducing the number of homeless and abandoned animals in Northern Alberta.

RemTech 2024

October 16-18, 2024
Fairmont Banff Springs

Call for Abstracts / 50 Super Early Bird Passes Remaining


ESAA is pleased to announce that early bird registration is open for the 23rd edition of RemTech.

RemTech 2024 will feature technical talks, 2 receptions, 55 exhibits, networking opportunities and three great keynotes. 


Timothy Caulfield
Professor of Health Law and Science Policy, University of Alberta

Bill Weir
Chief Climate Correspondent, CNN

The Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould
Former Member of Parliament, Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,
Bestselling Author



New this year: 100 passes are available at a Super Early Bird Price. (50 passes remaining at this price)  $850 Members and $1,250 Non-Members.  When the 100 passes are sold, regular early bird rates will be in effect and available until May 31st.  Registration details at: https://esaa.org/remtech/register/  Register Early and Save.

Call for Abstracts

Complete details for the 2024 call for abstracts is available at: https://esaa.org/remtech/call-for-abstracts/.   Submission deadline is June 14th, 2024.

Sponsors / Exhibitors

Previous sponsors and exhibitors will be contacted in early February to secure your previous sponsorship level and exhibit space.  Once their deadline to respond passes, remaining spots will be offered to companies on the waiting list.

Hotel Reservations

The Fairmont Banff Springs will be accepting reservations shortly.  Accommodations for RemTech™ 2024 delegates start at $265 per night plus $16 resort fee (tipping of bell and housekeeping not required) per night depending on the type and occupancy of the room. Rates do not include taxes and surcharges.  Rate also includes 2 free drinks (per room) at any Fairmont Banff Springs bar (valid during RemTech, October 16-18, 2024). Full details available soon along with the reservation link.


🚨 Unlock Your Expertise in Technical Spill Response! 🚨

Are you ready to be the hero when disaster strikes? Introducing our comprehensive Technical Spill Response Course – the ultimate training program designed to empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to handle hazardous spills with confidence and precision!
🔧 Technical Spill Response Course Highlights:
✅ Comprehensive Training: Delve into the intricacies of spill response with our expert-led courses. From identifying potential risks to executing precise cleanup procedures, our training covers it all.
✅ Industry-Approved Techniques: Learn from the best! Our course is designed by industry veterans, ensuring you acquire the latest techniques and best practices in spill response and containment.
✅ Certification: Upon completion, receive a recognized certification that attests to your proficiency in technical spill response. Boost your professional credentials and demonstrate your commitment to environmental stewardship.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to enhance your skills or a newcomer eager to make a difference, our Technical Spill Response Course is your pathway to becoming a trusted leader in environmental safety.
📞 Contact Us Today to Reserve Your Spot! ProEnviro Technical Spill Response

🌐 Website: www.proenviro.ca 📧 Email: [email protected]
 📞 Phone: 1-888-KITS247


ECO IMPACT Awards – Are you ready to vote?

ECO IMPACT is only two weeks away! Our yearly event is dedicated to honour and celebrate the successes of Environmental Professionals (EP®s) and individuals who’ve made a significant mark on the environmental sector. Explore our conference agenda featuring a lineup of 40+ speakers, including governmental officials, CEOs, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and experts!  Join us and enrich your knowledge.

NEW Highlight: Every session and presentation will feature real-time AI-powered translation to interpret different languages using Wordly for enhanced accessibility.

*EP® members get up to 30 PD credits for attending!

Register Now: https://ecoimpact.ca/registration/

Nominations have officially ended for most of our awards and it’s time to cast your votes! The following awards are open for voting to anyone in the community:

Community Award

Recognizes individuals, groups, and communities that consistently demonstrate their dedication to Canada’s environmental growth and make a positive impact on the environmental workforce through their actions.


Top Employer Award

Recognizes and celebrates organizations operating in the environmental sector in Canada that exemplify an outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability through their employment practices.



UVIC Ecological Restoration Professional Specialization Certificate Summer Online course:

ER 505 Climate Change in Ecological Restoration

Learning objectives

When you have finished the course, you will be able to:

  • Give examples demonstrating the physical and biological effects of climate change on species and ecosystems
  • Evaluate the use and efficacy of climate change tools (e.g. climate envelope models) in restoration planning
  • Critically assess how climate change has impacted restoration theory and practice in the 21st century
  • Critically analyze climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in restoration practise
  • Demonstrate how restoration can be used to further our understanding of, and response to, climate change


Online May 8 – Aug 2, 2024;

Registration starts Feb. 1.

Tuition: $825.00

For more information contact: [email protected]

 For more details visit:  https://continuingstudies.uvic.ca/science-and-the-environment/courses/special-topics-in-ecological-restoration/


ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • Hydrogeologist, Environmental Engineer or Environmental Scientist, Terex Environmental Group
  • Summer Students and Seasonal Staff, North Shore Environmental Consultants Inc.
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist, Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp
  • Emissions Technologist, North Shore Environmental Consultants Inc.
  • Intermediate Wildlife Biologist, Ecoventure Inc.
  • Intermediate Vegetation and Wetland Ecologist, Ecoventure Inc.
  • Environmental Construction Monitor, Ecoventure Inc.
  • Intermediate Report Reviewer, North Shore Environmental Consultants Inc.
  • Environmental Professional / Project Manager, Ecoventure Inc.
  • Senior Project Manager, RemedX Remediation Services Inc.


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

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