Week ending February 9th, 2024


New drought advisory committee for Alberta

Alberta’s new Water Advisory Committee will help prepare for drought and work to make every drop count in 2024.

After several dry years, Alberta’s winter snowpack is well below average, many rivers are at record low levels and multiple reservoirs remain well below capacity. El Niño is producing a warm and dry winter across Western Canada and more than 70 per cent of the country is experiencing drought conditions. Alberta is at risk of a severe drought in parts of the province this year.

The six-person advisory committee includes leaders with experience in agriculture, irrigation, Indigenous, industry, rural and urban issues. It will act as an independent sounding board to help the government support communities, farmers and ranchers, and businesses share, conserve and manage water during a potential drought. The committee will give advice directly to Alberta’s minister of environment and protected areas.

“When it comes to water, we are all in it together. This committee will provide me with ideas and perspectives from leaders across the province. They’ll share what they are hearing and seeing and help identify new or better ways to support families, farms, ranches and businesses if we face a severe drought this year.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

Alberta is taking action to prepare for a potential drought and to find ways to help maximize the province’s water supplies.

In the coming months, the Water Advisory Committee will meet regularly to discuss and debate ideas on how best to prepare for and respond to drought, give feedback on work already underway and suggest new ways to help manage water as fairly and efficiently as possible. The members will also help identify long-term solutions to benefit future generations.

The Water Advisory Committee will include:

  • Justin Wright, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat
  • Paul McLauchlin, reeve of Ponoka County and president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta
  • Ian Anderson, former CEO of Trans Mountain
  • Alex Ostrop, chair of the Alberta Irrigation Districts Association
  • Jack Royal, CEO of the Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council
  • Tanya Thorn, mayor of Okotoks and director, Towns South on the board of Alberta Municipalities

“I am excited to be part of this committee and to provide advice on how government can help residents of southern Alberta deal with drought this year. By working together, and listening to voices outside of government, we will make sure that everything possible is being done to prepare for drought and respond if needed.”

Justin Wright, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat

“Drought and water shortages are a deep concern for our irrigators and agricultural producers. That’s why we have strong representation on the Water Advisory Committee, so our producers can be assured their interest is represented. The work of this committee will be essential to maximizing and finding efficiencies that will ensure as much water as possible is conserved to produce the food that feeds our families, both here and abroad.”

RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

Along with the advisory committee, Alberta’s government will continue working with municipalities, water users, farmers, industry, First Nations and others to help prepare for the risk of severe drought this year.

Quick facts
  • The committee will operate for one year.
  • No remuneration will be provided to committee members other than reimbursement for travel expenses.
Related information

Swan Hills Treatment Centre Scheduled to Close in 2026. What’s next?

(Source: CBC News) The hazardous waste plant near the town of Swan Hills is something of a Rorschach test.

For some who live in the area, the facility offers much-needed tax revenue and a reliable paycheque, providing a steady counterbalance to the volatility of the oil and gas industry.

To others, it’s an environmental hazard with a track record of multiple explosive unplanned releases of hazardous “forever chemicals.”

To the provincial government, it’s a financial burden both dead or alive, given its high operating expenses and costly estimate for site clean-up — more than $220 million, considerably higher than previously reported.

Accordingly, the looming closure of the facility two years from now is either long overdue or a serious problem, depending on your perspective.

“There’s way more people with concerns than people who think it’s great,” says Jule Asterisk, an environmental advocate and longtime resident of the area.

“The townspeople were quite supportive in the beginning,” says Jeff Goebel, a councillor for the town of Swan Hills.

“And that support has not waned at all the whole time I’ve been here.”

The facility, officially called the Swan Hills Treatment Centre, has been processing various types of hazardous materials since it opened in 1987. But much has not played out as anticipated.

The facility was created, in part, to process and destroy polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs. These carcinogenic chemicals were widely used in Canada, mainly in electrical components. They fall under the category of persistent organic pollutants, or “forever chemicals,” because they don’t easily break down — they simply build up in organisms over time.

“The means that, even if we’re not using them anymore, they can still have an impact,” says Shira Joudan, an assistant professor environmental chemistry at the University of Alberta.

The SHTC is unique in Canada for its ability to destroy high volumes of high-concentration PCBs through incineration at extremely high temperatures. But it can also process many other types of hazardous materials, including household hazardous waste collected from around the province.

The facility began as a joint venture between the provincial government and the private sector, with a sweetheart deal that guaranteed a profit, subsidized by taxpayers if necessary. But the projected market of producers paying to have their dangerous wastes incinerated didn’t materialize as planned.

In 1985, the Alberta government put a stop to the importation of hazardous wastes into the province. Then in 1993, new legislation exempted hazardous oilfield wastes from being required to be sent to Swan Hills — a lobbying victory for the energy industry, but a blow to the profitability of the treatment centre.

Then on October 16, 1996, a furnace malfunction caused the release of PCBs, dioxins and other toxic compounds. A health and risk assessment study was ordered by the government to determine the exposure to humans. That study, published in 1997, resulted in advisories for consumption of wild game and fish taken within a 30 km radius of the treatment centre.

While that study was still underway, an explosion occurred on July 21, 1997. Although the company operating the facility at the time said there was “minimal” chance of contamination, PCB levels measured around the plant were as much as 14 times above average.

Since 2001, the province has owned the facility, with a succession of companies contracted to operate it — currently Veolia, a French multinational. In 2009, another explosion and fire caused the facility to shut down for 10 months.

The environmental advocacy group Keepers of the Water — formerly Keepers of the Athabasca — has been fighting the continued operations of the plant for years, pointing in particular to these numerous accidents where hazardous chemicals were released into the environment.

“Those are a huge concern because in an unplanned release, there’s uncalculable amounts of contaminants that are released into the air and people want to know, Where are these coming down and what kind of health effects do they have?” says Asterisk, who has worked with Keepers on the file for many years.

In 2015, Keepers filed a statement of concern objecting to the renewal of the SHTC’s operating permit on the grounds of environmental contamination. When the permit was renewed in 2019 despite those concerns, Keepers filed an appeal, which is still pending.

“We’ve had only one decision from Alberta’s Environmental Appeals Board back in March 2023, and otherwise, our substantive concerns about the plant have not yet been heard,” says Susanne Calabrese, a lawyer for Ecojustice, a legal charity representing Keepers of the Water in the appeal.

In 2020, the province announced the plant would shut down after 2025 due to high operating costs, and because federal legislation requires high-concentration PCBs to be out of use by the end of that year. But the closure of the plant doesn’t erase the group’s outstanding questions about the impacts to human health and the environment, says Asterisk. They want the province to investigate further and be more open with the public about the findings.

But not everyone is cheering the facility’s impending closure. The treatment centre still employs dozens of people in the town of Swan Hills and surrounding area.

“They are a fairly significant employer for the town and the region,” says Goebel, who used to work there himself.

“It’s definitely going to be a hit to our town.”

In response to requests for an interview, the administration of Big Lakes County, where the facility is located, instead provided a 2023 briefing document outlining its argument to the provincial government for keeping the treatment centre open.

The document says the closure of the facility “will be a devastating blow to the community of Swan Hills and Big Lakes County.  At the ground level, this facility is much more than simply a facility that processes waste. This facility provides 110 direct good-paying, stable jobs.”

However, Alberta Infrastructure told CBC News that the plant currently has 47 employees and operates four days a week.

The lobbying efforts began in 2021, and the county said in an email that the conversation was continuing.

“While no solution has been proposed to date, the Town of Swan Hills, Big Lakes County and the Provincial Government are actively working to find a solution that fits the needs of all parties.”

The advisories regarding consumption of wild game and fish, implemented after the 1996 accident, are less restrictive today but still in effect, most recently updated in 2012.

Goebel, the town councillor, says that while he doesn’t dispute that PCBs are harmful, he’s never been “overly concerned” about the health warnings from officials regarding eating local game and fish. It’s an attitude he says is widely shared among residents, many of whom still hunt and fish, viewing the advisories and outside media coverage as overblown.

If you read how the media has covered the saga of the plant, he says, “You might think, my goodness, there’s dead fish on the shore, or there’s fish floating in the lake or dead animals all over the place because they’re consuming these contaminated fish — and we don’t see that.”

Keith Tierney, a biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta, says that PCBs can be harmful in ways that are not always apparent.

“You probably wouldn’t expect to see mortality changes at low levels. So to say that because you don’t see death then there’s no concern would probably be a mistake,” he says.

“They affect your hormones. They can affect you developmentally. Yes, at higher concentrations they can be carcinogenic, but they manipulate the systems that regulate life. That’s what these things do at lower concentrations… they don’t necessarily kill you, they alter you.”

Joudan, the environmental chemist, adds that PCBs not only bioaccumulate, building up in an organism over time, but also biomagnify — that is, if you eat contaminated organisms, their PCBs become yours.

The facility, which previously received and destroyed household hazardous waste collected by municipalities across the province, stopped accepting such materials in 2021 due to a decision by the provincial government to begin scaling back operations to save money.

Alberta is transitioning to a new scheme of recycling and waste management called Enhanced Producer Responsibility that requires producers and suppliers of certain wastes, including household hazardous materials, to shoulder responsibility for collection and processing. This will shift that burden away from taxpayers once fully implemented in April 2025, according to the province.

In the meantime, however, municipalities have had to find new, private facilities to dispose of their hazardous waste.

Alberta Infrastructure did not answer questions on what types of material the Swan Hills facility is still processing.  Alberta Health Services confirmed that all of its biomedical waste requiring incineration is still sent to the facility, and it is in the process of seeking a new contractor for that job.

The infrastructure ministry noted in its 2022-23 annual report that a new policy to charge AHS for processing waste contributed a “significant portion” of the $14.7 million in revenue generated by the facility that year.

That revenue, however, is outweighed by the centre’s roughly $30 million in annual operating expenses. The high costs of operation and lack of significant revenue streams has weighed for decades on the province, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the plant since its inception.

In a statement, Alberta Infrastructure spokesperson Jared Gustafson said it was anticipated that the facility would be fully closed in early 2026. He said the province had submitted two requests for federal funding for decommissioning the site, and both were denied.

“This is yet another example of the federal government bringing forward regulations without consultation and downloading the associated costs onto the province and taxpayers,” Gustafson wrote in an email. He did not answer questions about whether Alberta had also requested federal funding to help keep the facility running.

A spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Canada said in a statement that the federal government had “engaged” with Alberta regarding the facility over the past several years, but that it does not fund site closure.

“The Swan Hills Treatment Centre is unique, in that it can destroy large volumes of high concentration PCBs,” said the statement. “However, there are a number of waste management options available in Canada for high concentration PCBs, including other destruction facilities that can handle smaller volumes.

“Once the end-of-use deadline has passed, ECCC does not expect there to be large amounts of high concentration PCBs remaining to be destroyed.”

What will remain, though, is the contaminated site of the Swan Hills Treatment Centre. Post-closure cleanup is a liability that has been grown in estimates over the decades, from $20 million in 2000 to around $176 million according to a 2015 report commissioned by the government.

However, Alberta Infrastructure told CBC News that site remediation is now estimated at $223 million, a liability that is “fully funded and accounted for.”

“Site remediation work will commence following closure,” Gustafson said in an email. “This is a complex undertaking that is expected to last several years.”

While local officials may have failed to convince the province to keep the SHTC operating in its current form, their conversations are continuing.

“We are exploring alternative options for the facility once operations cease,” said Gustafson.

What that might look like is only one of many uncertainties swirling around the plant as it prepares to close — just as it remains to be seen what the environmental clean-up might entail and how much it will cost, or whether Keepers of the Water will win its bid for additional testing, or how the town of Swan Hills will fare after 2025.


Government of Canada launches public engagement on the 2035 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target

February 2, 2024 – Gatineau, Quebec

To create a future with a clean, healthy environment and a strong economy for people living in Canada, the Government of Canada is working with Canadians to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. Everyone’s contributions are essential to reach Canada’s long-term target of net-zero emissions by 2050, a goal shared by more and more provinces, territories, businesses, and more.   

Today, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched a public engagement process to hear the opinions of Canadians and Indigenous peoples across the country to inform setting Canada’s 2035 national greenhouse gas emissions target. This important step is mandated under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act and Canada’s international obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Canada is steadily making progress on cutting our emissions and building a stronger economy. In 2015, Canada was trending to exceed 2005 greenhouse gas emissions levels. Today, following successive climate plans, culminating in the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy, we are now projected to exceed Canada’s interim objective of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2026. We are also on the right trajectory to meet our 2030 goals, with many of the important building blocks needed for net zero already in place across all sectors of the economy.

The 2023 Progress Report on the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, published in December 2023, demonstrates that Canada’s climate plan is working, and that the emissions curve is bending. In addition to the federal government, other partners, stakeholders, provinces, territories, and municipalities across Canada are helping drive down emissions. Setting the 2035 target will help advance ongoing economic opportunities that are driving Canada to net zero by 2050, such as electrification, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.

To help inform the government’s work in setting the 2035 target, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, is inviting Canadians to share their views on the virtual public engagement platform, Talking Targets: Canada’s Climate Future, which is open until March 28, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (PDT). The input collected through this engagement process is one of several components that need to be considered when setting the 2035 target.

Canada is leading the next decade of climate action toward a more sustainable future, but we can’t do it alone. We need everyone to join us in taking climate action.

Quick facts
  • Under the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries agreed to collectively strengthen the global response to climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 °C while also pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C.

  • All countries party to the Paris Agreement must submit greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, referred to as nationally determined contributions, to the UNFCCC.

  • Canada’s 2030 nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement was updated in 2021, with the enhanced target of 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels.

  • Canada’s next nationally determined contribution will be the 2035 emissions reduction target.

  • The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act enshrines Canada’s climate goals into law. It requires the government to establish targets and plans to achieve them at regular milestones on the pathway to net zero by 2050.

  • Under the Act, the government must set an emissions reduction target for 2035 by December 1, 2024.

  • The 2035 target is another milestone in the Government of Canada’s transparent and accountable approach to charting the course to net-zero emissions by 2050. Under the Act, increasingly ambitious targets must be set every five years between 2030 and 2050 to ensure Canada stays on track to achieve the net-zero objective.

Associated links


Regulator calls out Trans Mountain Corp. for ‘environmental non-compliance’ in B.C.

(Source: Global News) The company building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been cited for environmental non-compliance related to its management of recent flooding in B.C.

The Canada Energy Regulator said Thursday its inspection officers found issues near Abbotsford, B.C., where Trans Mountain Corp. has been working on the final stretch of the multi-year oil pipeline project.

The regulator said the Crown corporation was not properly maintaining a watercourse isolation, wildlife fencing, soil coverings and dewatering pump and sump locations following recent heavy rain.

The regulator has ordered Trans Mountain Corp. to address the environmental deficiencies, develop a water management plan and investigate and report on its environmental failings in the area.

The Trans Mountain pipeline is Canada’s only oil pipeline to the West Coast and its expansion will increase the pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day from 300,000 bpd currently.

Construction is more than 98 per cent complete, but Trans Mountain Corp. has been racing against the clock as it deals with a variety of difficulties related to hard rock and challenging terrain.


How an Alberta research team is working with Indigenous communities to reclaim land

A group of researchers are giving hands-on experience to members of Indigenous communities to teach them how to monitor remediation efforts of oil and gas companies on their traditional lands. 

NAIT’s Centre for Boreal Research based out of Peace River teaches communities about forest ecology, seed identification, and peatland restoration — all as a way to reclaim their lands.

“The initial activities … were to train the community members to be what we call the guardians, to understand how land reclamation works, to be able to talk to industry working in their area to see if they’re doing a good job,” said Jean-Marie Sobze, manager of plant and seed technology at the Centre for Boreal Research.

After a summer of unprecedented wildfires in Canada that saw more than 18 million hectares burned, the push for reforestation is more important than ever, said Sobze.

“The forest itself is very important … we know the role that the forest plays in regulating our climate,” said Sobze. 

“If we don’t have people who are committed to restore this forest, over time, we’re just going to lose more and more forests, which will have an impact on our climate.”

So far, the team has worked with First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta and British Columbia. 

The team takes a hands-on approach, with the classroom being the community’s own backyard.

“I get to work with Mother Nature, so that’s what I love about it, it’s … doing this type of work and just getting to know the territory where I come from,” said Jerri-Lynn Apsassin, who took the training program in Blueberry River First Nation in northern B.C.

“A lot of the work is gear[ed] towards basically healing the land.”

The program was launched in Blueberry River First Nation in collaboration with Grandmothers Greenhouse, an ecological startup launched by the community. 

“It was really nice to see that combination of Western science and traditional knowledge coming together and really reinforcing the knowledge that’s held by both because we’re kind of speaking the same language from different places,” said Bess Legault, general manager for Grandmothers Greenhouse.

The NAIT program trains Indigenous community members to be able to monitor oil and gas projects in their region, to ensure that the lands are returned to their original state.

As oil and gas companies start the work of remediating the land near Blueberry River First Nation,  Apsassin says it’s important that someone from her community is there to monitor the work being done. 

“What we’re doing is we’re working with industry leaders, meeting up with them and then they’re going to be basically working side-by-side throughout the process of healing the land,” said Jerri-Lynn Apsassin.

Jenna Apsassin, sister of Jerri-Lynn, recalls when the course took them out on the land, to see how the oil and gas industry affects their community.

“We were walking through the bush and sure enough there is a little tiny plant site there that is totally shut down … it’s just sitting there,” said Jenna Apsassin. 

“It needs to go back to its original state if they’re done with it.”

In 2010, the Alberta provincial government changed remediation guidelines that oil and gas companies have to follow, requiring them to do a more comprehensive cleanup of sites. 

Sobze says remediation can be more complicated if the province has clear rules around what seeds can be planted in what region. 

“In Alberta, we have what we call seed zones … [they] are just ecological zones that the province develop[ed] to restrict people [from moving] seeds from one seed zone to another,” said Sobze, which he says restricts how remediation can be done. 

He says it’s important that Indigenous people monitor remediation efforts, because they best know their traditional lands.

Jerri-Lynn Apsassin says that B.C. also has seed zones, and says that it’s important she’s there to see that her territory is brought back to its natural state. 

“As humans, over time we’ve done some damage and I’m happy to know that I can make a difference in our territory by bringing it back to its natural state before it was disturbed,” said Apsassin. 

For her sister Jenna Apsassin, getting involved in the NAIT program means they are creating a better future for generations to come. 

“I want to learn, I want to get involved and if this is something that my community is going to start doing, I want to make sure I’m part of it and learn from it … that way will help future generations as well,” said Jenna Apsassin. 

The Boreal Research Project at NAIT based in Peace River will receive $696,404 of funding from the province’s Ministry of Technology and Innovation. Last month the province announced a $3.6-million fund for post–secondary research driving innovation and technology. 



ESAA Member News


Stantec to acquire Morrison Hershfield, expand environmental service offering

Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, has signed an agreement to acquire Morrison Hershfield, a 1,150-person engineering and management firm headquartered in Markham, Ontario.

Founded in 1946 and employee-owned, Morrison Hershfield has a top-tier industry reputation in transportation, buildings, and environmental services, with offices in 22 cities in Canada and the United States, and one office in India. The additional employees will increase Stantec’s Canadian workforce by approximately 10 per cent.

The acquisition, which is being completed by way of a court approved plan of arrangement, is subject to Morrison Hershfield shareholder approval, court approvals, and certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q1 2024. The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to bring a firm of Morrison Hershfield’s stature into the Stantec fold,” said Gord Johnston, president and chief executive officer, Stantec. “Our firms have shared a mutual admiration over many years. Stantec and Morrison Hershfield have a similar history from our roots in the Canadian market, growing and diversifying services both by geography and service line. And, importantly, our values and culture are very well aligned.”

In addition to the substantial infrastructure and building engineering design services, Morrison Hershfield’s environmental services business will bolster Stantec’s capacity to support projects in key Canadian markets, including Toronto, Vancouver, and in Canada’s North by combining teams in Whitehorse, Yukon. The firm will also support Stantec’s work in the energy transition by providing additional capacity in environmental impact assessment, ecological services, and geosciences. Morrison Hershfield’s client base will benefit from Stantec’s expertise in nature-based solutions, carbon sequestration, and natural capital. Morrison Hershfield also has a team dedicated to climate change risk, climate resilience assessment and adaptation services, which will augment Stantec’s own expertise in this critical area.

See also  Senators for Climate Solutions launches official website

“Joining the Stantec family marks a historic moment for our 78-year-old company. Stantec is a highly successful firm that shares our corporate values and mission, with a unique culture that complements our own,” said Anthony Karakatsanis, president and chief executive officer of Morrison Hershfield.

“With access to Stantec’s depth of renowned experts, resources, and cutting-edge technology, we will be able to provide our employees with exciting and meaningful work, growth, and professional development for the long term. This acquisition provides us with access to many high-profile North American and global projects and markets in the communities where our employees live and work.”

Environmental projects in Morrison Hershfield’s portfolio include

  • Engineer of record for Project NextStar, Canada’s first lithium-ion EV battery manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario. Morrison Hershfield’s services include mechanical, electrical, and civil services on the 4,500,000-square-foot (418,000 square-metre) facility, ensuring optimal building performance and functionality to support its groundbreaking design.
  • Environmental monitoring for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s stormwater management ponds as part of their West Nile Virus monitoring and treatment program. Services include program planning and resource allocation, land use and hydrological assessment, monitoring and documenting daily results, and analysis of results. Morrison Hershfield has managed this program exclusively for the Ministry since 2004.

Recycling Council of Alberta Appoints Jennifer Koole as New Executive Director

The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) is excited to announce Jennifer Koole as the incoming Executive Director, effective January 15th, 2024. Jennifer, an environmental professional with two decades of experience in Alberta, will succeed Christina Seidel, who has passionately led the organization for the past 30 years.

Jennifer Koole, renowned for her 20 years of environmental leadership in Alberta’s municipal government, brings a wealth of expertise to the role. Her strong commitment to sustainability aligns fluidly with the RCA’s mission of promoting waste reduction, recycling, and resource conservation in the province. Jennifer’s proven track record in leadership, collaboration, and change management positions her as an ideal fit to build upon the strong foundation already established by the organization.

Jeannie Bertrand, Chair of the Board, expressed that the team “feels very fortunate for the opportunity to work with Jennifer as we enter the next chapter of the RCA. She has been involved with our organization for many years, and we know how passionate and dedicated she will be in taking on this new role. She has a great appreciation for the importance of the RCA’s role in advocating for waste reduction in Alberta, and brings a wealth of experience and a different perspective to the organization.”

Jennifer Koole also shared her enthusiasm, saying, “I am absolutely thrilled to step into the role of Executive Director for the RCA. With the incredible successes achieved so far, I’m excited to join forces with our visionary Board members, exceptional support staff, and our vibrant membership community. Together, we’re poised to further transform the recycling industry in Alberta, driving even greater impact within the Circular Economy realm. Exciting times ahead!”

The RCA looks forward to the positive impact that Jennifer will undoubtedly bring to the organization and the broader community. The Board of Directors is confident that her leadership will contribute to the continued growth and success of the RCA in its mission to promote a Circular Economy in Alberta through waste reduction and resource conservation, with support from members, directors, and stakeholders.


Ivey International Inc. Receives 2023 EBJ Business Achievement Award

Environmental Journal Recognizes Firms for Business Achievement in Growth, M&A, IT, D&I, Technology, Project Merit, Industry Leadership and Social Contribution

San Diego, Calif. (February 2024) – Environmental Business Journal®* (EBJ), an independent business research publication that has provided strategic market intelligence to the environmental industry* since 1988, has honored Ivey International Inc. with a Business Achievement Award for TECHNOLOGY MERIT: PFAS Mass Removal, in 2023. 

“In a year of strong growth and financial performance for the environmental industry in 2023, a number of companies set themselves apart with performance, transactions or projects that merit special recognition. With energy transition, climate resilience, and new federal programs driving business, as well as traditional environmental market drivers in infrastructure, air quality, remediation, water and wastewater, it is understandable that most companies report growing demand for environmental technology and services,” said Grant Ferrier, editor of Environmental Business Journal and chair of the EBJ Business Achievement Award selection committee. “Overcoming inflationary pressures, supply chain challenges, price & wage increases, labor shortages and general economic upheavals has almost become routine for resilient leaders in the environmental industry.”

Ivey International Inc. was recognized for its multi-year research and development project, with the Greenwich University (London England) which lead to the development of PFAS-SOL®, the only remediation technology globally that can achieve significant PFAS mass removal (242% to 622%) from soil and groundwater. Ivey International Inc. filed for their USPOT Provisional Patent for PFAS-SOL® August 28, 2023.

The 2023 EBJ awards will be presented live and in-person at the EBJ Business Achievement Awards banquet at Environmental Industry Summit XXII on April 02-04, 2024 in San Diego, along with CCBJ Business Achievement, Lifetime Achievement and 50-Year Company anniversary awards.

Ivey International Inc. is an Award Winning Remediation Technology Company that has developed and patented several innovative remediation technologies including: Ivey-sol® (Surfactant Remediation, DECON-IT® (Surface Decontamination) and PFAS-SOL® (PFAS mass-removal). The company has gained global recognition for the capacity to improve Physical, Biological and Chemical Remediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated Solvents, to PFAS. Client testimonials, journal papers, case studies, and international awards, speak to our role and commitment to sustainable environmental remediation for >30 years!

Environmental Business Journal has been published since 1988 by Environmental Business International Inc., an independent research and publishing company focused on the environmental and climate change industries.

* Environmental Business Journal® provides strategic market intelligence to executives and investors in 13 business segments of the environmental industry including environmental consulting & engineering, remediation & industrial services, water & wastewater equipment, air quality & pollution control equipment, hazardous waste management, resource recovery, solid waste management, water/wastewater infrastructure, renewable energy and environmental instrumentation & information systems.

Christina Seidel’s remarkable commitment to the RCA has been instrumental in shaping the waste and recycling landscape in Alberta and Canada. As she moves into an advisory role, Christina’s wealth of institutional knowledge and dedication will play a pivotal role in maintaining continuity and supporting a smooth transition, both for project delivery as well as in maintaining the valuable relationships that have been built over the course of her tenure.


RemTech 2024

October 16-18, 2024
Fairmont Banff Springs

Call for Abstracts / 40 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. (40 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).


Canadian Brownfields Network conference issues call for abstracts

The Canadian Brownfields Network  (CBN) is issuing a call for abstracts for presentations at its 2024 national conference. The CBN is a knowledge-based national network of passionate and multi-disciplinary volunteers focused on uncovering, understanding and sharing brownfield barriers and solutions.

The 2024 CBN Annual Conference will be held on May 30 at Toronto Metropolitan University. The theme of this year’s conference is “Brownfields Here & Now” and will explore the challenges and opportunities with current brownfield redevelopment and remediation, including issues related to policy and legislation, balancing community priorities, standard of care, and climate resilience.

Abstracts are being accepted for the following themes.

Innovative Practices in Brownfield Restoration and Remediation

Shining examples of brownfield restoration with new breathtaking ideas that will revolutionize the way brownfield redevelopment is done.

For example:

  • Next generation sustainability goals for residential, reaching beyond net zero
  • Green remediation and Circular Economy for Brownfield redevelopment
  • Advanced Information Management with AI


Preventing Future Brownfields

Lessons learned, and practices implemented, from natural disasters and climate change mitigation.

For example:

  • Wildfire contamination cleanup
  • Building back better to avoid flood risk
  • Planning mitigation/remediation to withstand floods and climate change


The submission deadline is March 1st. Click here for full details.



MARCH 20-21, 2024 | Delta Saskatoon Downtown

Meet the Speakers

SustainTech 2024 is an environmental conference in Saskatchewan that brings together industry experts, academia, consultants, and regulators to share innovative ideas, technologies, and sustainable practices. The conference includes a half-day workshop, 24 technical sessions, two keynote speakers, and a regulatory session by the Ministry of Environment. Four dedicated breakout sessions will address legal best practices, brownfield sites, and remediation and vapor mitigation technologies. The conference offers an opportunity for professionals, researchers, and regulatory officials to stay updated on environmental advancements and foster connections to drive positive change.

There are 3 ticket options:

  • Member SustainTech – $400 (you will have the option to add on the workshop for $125 during the registration process)
  • Non-Member SustainTech – $500 (you will have the option to add on the workshop for $125 during the registration process)
  • Workshop Only – $200 Select this if you are not planning to attend SustainTech


We are thrilled to announce that SustainTech 2024 is set to welcome an exceptional group of technical speakers. This year, we’ll have four extended breakout sessions to provide you with more comprehensive and in-depth presentations.

Here are our confirmed speakers as of today:

  • A Hypothetical Approach to Terrestrial Population Level Ecological Risk Assessment           
    Presented by:     Karl Bresee, Intrinsik Corp.
  • Advanced AI and ML Strategies for Cost-Effective Environmental Liability Reduction in Resource Sectors
    Presented by:      Brandon Smith, Clear Site Solutions Inc.
  • Assessment of Natural Source Zone Depletion (NSZD) as a Corrective Action Management Option, Buffalo Narrows Fire Protection Base, Saskatchewan. Part 1. Development of the LNAPL Conceptual Site Model.            
    Presented by:     David Pritchard, CD P.Geol., Clifton Engineering Group.
  • Balancing Liability and Costs while Meeting Ever-changing Regulations for Landfills            
    Presented by:     Kerri Walker, Associated Environmental Consultants.
  • Firefighter Training Facility Restoration: PFAS source control and novel in-situ Remediation
    Presented by:     Korene Torney, SLR Consulting Canada Ltd.
  • Fostering Sustainable Remediation: Debunking Cold Climate Myths and Harnessing Bioremediation in Canada       
    Presented by:     B.J. Min, TRIUM Environmental Inc.
  • Identifying and Addressing False Petroleum Hydrocarbon Detections from Natural Organics
    Presented by:     Dwayne Bennett, ALS Global.
  • Impacted Site Transactions – Hurdles and Issues 
    Presented by:     Ryan Riess, R Squared Environmental Inc.
  • Low Probability Receptor – Overview and Net Environmental Benefit        
    Presented by:     Cory Kartz, Millennium EMS Solutions Limited.
  • Nelson River In-Water Remediation         
    Presented by:     Vanessa Krahn, Dillon Consulting Limited.
  • Not Your Standard Remediation: Application of On- Site Water Treatment via Reverse Osmosis
    Presented by:     Jeff Belecky, Millennium EMS Solutions Limited.
  • Occupational Health and Safety in Saskatchewan – Responding to Incidents and Understanding Due Dilgence          
    Presented by:     John Agioritis, MLT Aikins LLP.
  • Overview to the Proposed Amendments to the Federal Methane Regulations       
    Presented by:     Joey Woehleke, North Shore Environmental Consultants.
  • PFAS: Regulatory Advancements and Lessons Learned on Assessment, Delineation, and Data Interpretation           
    Presented by:     Nikki Hilker, SLR Consulting Canada Ltd.
  • Phytoremediation of Contaminated Sites: Adapting a Natural System to Meet Remedial Goals       
    Presented by:     Ron Gestler, Geosyntec Consultants.
  • Quality Assurance of Laboratory Results
    Presented by:     Jeff Zimmer, Saskatchewan Research Council.
  • Rapid Transition of Abandoned Oil & Gas Well: The Renuwell Story            
    Presented by:     Keith Hirsche, Renuwell Energy Solutions Inc.
  • Real-time IoT sensors and site-specific biostimulation: accelerating contaminated sites down the path to closure. 
    Presented by:     Steven Mamet, Environmental Material Science Inc.
  • Snakes And Turtles And Bats, Oh My! What Environmental Consultants Need To Know About Species At Risk          
    Presented by:     Anand Srivastava, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP.
  • Sustainability implications of applying multiple site-specific salinity guideline methods to salt-affected sites            
    Presented by:     Eric Van Gaalen, Trace Associates Inc.
  • Techno-economic analysis of heat pump for clean heating in Saskatchewan          
    Presented by:     Adisorn Aroonwilas, University of Regina.
  • The Dirt on Developing Brownfields        
    Presented by:     Anand Srivastava, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP.
  • There’s Been A Spill…Now What? Legal Requirements For Responding To A Spill   
    Presented by:     Anand Srivastava, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP.
  • USASK Environmental Engineering Program – What the Environmental Industry Needs     
    Presented by:     Wonjae Chang, University of Saskatchewan.
  • Vapour Intrusion Demonstration              
    Presented by:     Darius Mali, Geosyntec Consultants Ltd.
  • Wastewater Plant Spill Cleanup 
    Presented by:     Gordon Will, Associated Environmental.
  • When a Claim Comes:  Strategies For Effective Outcomes
    Presented by:     Eric Mager, McDougall Gauley LLP.


For additional details, or to register visit: https://www.seima.sk.ca/sustaintech


ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • 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.
  • Intermediate Environmental Professional- Assessment and Reclamation Group  – Triton Environmental Consultants
  • Environmental Co-op Student – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Environmental Student – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Junior Geoscientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Junior Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.


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