In the meeting, Minister Savage informed Minister Guilbeault that Alberta Environment has sent officials to the Kearl site to conduct independent water sampling, which complements but does not replace extensive monitoring in place by the Alberta Energy Regulator and Imperial Oil. Alberta Environment has also completed water monitoring at Lake Athabasca and continues to monitor river locations downstream of the Kearl site. The Oil Sands Monitoring Program is also enhancing its regular tributary monitoring programs.
Minister Savage informed Minister Guilbeault that as of March 14, the Alberta government has not seen any evidence of waterway, waterbody or drinking water contamination as a result of the incidents under investigation but will continue with testing and monitoring and will share results with Minister Guilbeault as they become available. Minister Guilbeault agreed to reciprocate by sharing any federal testing results with the province.
Minister Savage and Minister Guilbeault reiterated a dual commitment to review information exchange processes and committed to maintaining open communication channels with Indigenous communities in the area with updates on water sampling and other monitoring results.
The ministers also discussed accelerating collaboration on a long-term solution for the treatment and remediation of tailings ponds and will work to establish a federal-provincial working group to ensure this is developed as quickly as possible.
More details will be released on the makeup and objectives of this working group in the weeks ahead.
Statement by Minister Guilbeault on ongoing spill situation at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Oil Sands Processing Plant and Mine
“The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, met yesterday evening with the Honourable Sonya Savage, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas for Alberta, regarding the ongoing spill situation at the Kearl Oil Sands Mine.
“Minister Guilbeault reiterated his commitment to take a collaborative approach to the situation.
“Minister Guilbeault raised the fact that Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers have issued a Fisheries Act Direction to Imperial Oil that requires immediate action to contain the seep and prevent it from entering a fish-bearing waterbody. Enforcement officers will continue to attend the site, monitor cleanup, and collect more inspection information to determine Fisheries Act compliance. Minister Guilbeault underlined that Imperial Oil’s own stated failures of communication were unacceptable and have raised broader concerns regarding the efficacy of existing notification systems through Alberta (EDGE). Environment and Climate Change Canada will be closely engaged with the Alberta Energy Regulator to review Imperial Oil’s remedial action plan to ensure it complies with the Fisheries Act.
“Minister Guilbeault also introduced the idea of a joint federal-provincial-Indigenous working group, with participation from the oil companies, to address the immediate concerns around the Kearl Oil Sands Mine situation to restore trust and give transparency to all parties involved. This would include meeting on a regular basis to discuss remediation and containment plans, and improvements to the notification systems for ongoing incidents of spill or seepage. Details on the make-up and objectives of this working group will be developed soon.”
Alberta Reclamation Practitioner Survey
At the 2023 Alberta Chapter, Canadian Land Reclamation Association annual conference, Chris Powter, Tanya Richens, Andy Etmanski, Amanda Schoonmaker, and Dean MacKenzie participated in a panel discussion designed to kick-start a conversation with Alberta reclamation practitioners about what principles should inform where we want to get to and how we want to get there. The Panel members have a combined 136 years of land reclamation experience in government, industry, consulting, and academia working in mining, sand and gravel, upstream oil and gas, and in-situ oil sands.
As a follow-up to the session, the Panel members are conducting a survey to identify interest in further discussions and your thoughts on some of the key issues raised during the session. The link to the survey and a copy of the Panel’s presentation are available here.
The conference organizers have already sent the survey to conference attendees. We value your opinion, but please only take the survey once.
BC: Provincial environmental assessment certificate granted for Cedar LNG
A B.C. environmental assessment certificate has been issued to Cedar LNG Partners LP for the proposed Cedar LNG project in northwestern British Columbia, following a joint decision by provincial ministers.
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, made their decision after carefully considering the environmental assessment conducted by B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).
Cedar LNG Partners is a Haisla majority-owned partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corporation. They proposed to build and operate the electrified floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and marine export terminal in Kitimat on Haisla Nation-owned land, to be supplied with natural gas from the Coastal GasLink pipeline that is under construction. The project assessment involved extensive consultation with technical experts, federal and provincial agencies, local governments, First Nations and the public.
The ministers acknowledge that the project takes all possible measures currently available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the lowest feasible level. With the requirement to implement a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan, combined with regulations that are under development by government regarding oil-and-gas-sector emissions, they concluded that the project can fit within B.C.’s climate targets and goals.
The ministers also agreed that the Cedar LNG project supports reconciliation with Haisla Nation. The ministers received letters expressing support for Haisla to pursue the project from Gitxaala Nation and Kitselas First Nation, and non-opposition to the issuance of an environmental assessment certificate from Gitga’at First Nation and Kitsumkalum First Nation.
The ministers issued the environmental assessment certificate with 16 legally enforceable conditions that Cedar LNG must follow over the lifespan of the project. Key requirements are:
- an environmental management plan for construction to mitigate potential impacts related to air quality, waste management and accidents or malfunctions;
- a greenhouse gas reduction plan that addresses provincial emissions reduction targets and schedules, considers technologies to minimize emissions, and outlines technologies and measures to be implemented to reduce emissions;
- a community feedback process that provides residents of the area with a way to have concerns and complaints about the project resolved;
- marine transportation communication reporting with First Nations on activities that may affect marine use, and a reporting mechanism for First Nations and other mariners to report concerns;
- participation in any future regional cumulative effects initiatives related to social and economic management and monitoring, airshed monitoring and marine shipping;
- a socioeconomic management plan to prioritize regional and Indigenous hiring and procurement, provide on-the-job training and apprenticeship, and minimize impacts on local housing and accommodations; and
- a health and medical services plan to reduce pressures from an outside workforce on local health services.
With the scope of the requirements contained in the environmental assessment certificate, including the design features that minimize the project’s impacts on the environment, the ministers determined that significant adverse effects are unlikely to occur.
The deadline for the provincial decision was extended by 69 days to allow additional time for ministers to consider the materials and their decision.
The project also requires a federal impact assessment and decision. The B.C. EAO carried out the assessment on behalf of the federal government under a “substitution agreement.” This means the one assessment carried out by the EAO is used to support separate decisions by each level of government, eliminating the duplication of two assessments for a single project.
The EAO recommended 65 federal mitigation measures and nine followup programs to address potential impacts from the project in areas of federal jurisdiction, including marine shipping, marine emergency response and greenhouse gas emissions. The federal decision is pending.
Cedar LNG Partners still must receive any required federal approvals and provincial permits and authorizations before they would be able to start construction.
Every project that undergoes an environmental assessment is assessed thoroughly on the specific and individual merits of that particular project.
As part of B.C.’s environmental assessment process, First Nations, government agencies, local governments, stakeholders and the public have input on decisions about major projects. The Cedar LNG project was assessed under the 2002 Environmental Assessment Act, for its potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects. The EAO also incorporated aspects of the 2018 Environmental Assessment Act into the assessment, including the consideration of additional assessment matters, consensus seeking with First Nations, and the opportunity for First Nations to provide a notice of consent or lack of consent at the end of the assessment process.
All documentation ministers considered in making their decision is available on the EAO’s website: https://projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/5d64644c2f3e4f00223e81c0/certificates
For more information about the environmental assessment process, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/environmental-assessments
BC: Blackwater Mine moves forward, creating jobs, economic opportunities
The Province has approved a Mines Act permit for a gold and silver mine that will provide jobs for hundreds of workers and generate economic benefits for communities and First Nations throughout British Columbia’s central Interior.
“Congratulations to Artemis Gold, the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, Ulkatcho First Nation and Carrier Sekani First Nations, and communities in the area for their work together to advance this critically important project through the mine-permitting and review process to final approval and construction,” said Premier David Eby. “The Blackwater Gold project will put lots of people to work and create a wide range of opportunities and benefits for local businesses, communities and First Nations, while ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection, mitigation and sustainability.”
It’s anticipated the project, located 112 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, will create 825 direct full-time jobs per year during the construction and expansion phases of mine development, and 450 full-time jobs per year during its 22-year operating life. The mine is expected to contribute $13.2 billion to the provincial economy during its lifetime, including $2.3 billion in provincial revenue.
Connection to the BC Hydro grid will provide Blackwater Mine with a sustainable source of low-carbon hydroelectricity and the potential to produce gold and silver with one of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
The mine site is located within the territories of Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation and Ulkatcho First Nation. The First Nations have been engaged in all aspects of the project – from exploration, to permitting, to environmental assessment. The mine’s owners and both First Nations have a project participation agreement in place.
Detailed terms of the agreements are confidential and between the parties, but generally include provisions for environmental protection and mitigation, employment and contracting opportunities, training, health and wellness support, and long-term economic benefits.
In 2020, the Province signed an economic and community development agreement with the Lhoosk’uz Dené and Ulkatcho First Nations to share mineral tax revenue from the project.
With approval of the Mines Act permit, Artemis Gold is able to move forward with major works construction activities. The first gold pour is scheduled for the second half of 2024.
Steven Dean, chairperson and CEO, Artemis Gold Inc. –
“We would like to thank the Government of British Columbia, the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, Ulkatcho First Nation and the Carrier Sekani First Nations for their substantial efforts during the consultation and review process for the B.C. Mines Act permit. Blackwater represents a generational opportunity to create employment and economic activity for our First Nation partners, each of their communities and B.C.’s Cariboo region. This approval is further evidence that Blackwater meets the world-class standards for responsible mineral exploration and development in British Columbia.”
Council of Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation –
“Council of Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation are very pleased that Artemis Gold Inc. has recently obtained the B.C. major mines permit. We are very grateful for all the hard work that has made this possible. We look forward to the future with our partners Ulkatcho First Nation and Artemis Gold Inc. Our joint collaborations will support our community to thrive for generations to come.”
Chief Lynda Price of Ulkatcho First Nation –
“Ulkatcho First Nation has been involved in the development of the Blackwater Gold Project in earnest since 2015 by working with New Gold Inc. throughout the environmental assessment process. Today, we continue to work in collaboration with Artemis Gold Inc., Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, and both the federal and provincial governments, to achieve the best mitigation results for all Canadians. We are pleased to hear the major mines permit has been approved. A lot of hard work has been done by all parties involved.”
Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation –
“British Columbians will benefit from hundreds of new jobs of this new mine, with both its construction and multiple decades of operation. Artemis Gold has designed a world-class mine that brings First Nations in as partners in training, business development and employment, helps to meet provincial climate targets with the use of sustainable, clean electricity, and generates significant economic activity in the local region.”
- In 2019, the Blackwater Gold project received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the Province, and a positive decision statement from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
- Current forecasts have the Blackwater Gold Project contributing more than $516 million to the province’s average annual gross domestic product and more than $47 million in average annual provincial mineral tax.
- The mining sector is a foundational part of British Columbia’s economy, with a forecast annual production value of more than $18 billion in 2022, providing more than 30,000 jobs for people in communities throughout the province.
The Blackwater Gold Project: https://www.artemisgoldinc.com/
Mine permitting in B.C.:
EPA moves to limit toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water
Quebec government to spend millions to move residents affected by smelter pollution
(Source: Canadian Press) ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. — The Quebec government will provide $88.3 million to support the city of Rouyn-Noranda in the creation of a new neighbourhood and the relocation of nearly 200 families living in an area contaminated by smelter pollution.
Glencore, the company that owns the copper smelter, will buy the properties and land from willing sellers in the contaminated area.
The households are currently being exposed to arsenic emissions from the Horne smelter.
Provincial officials said today nobody will be forced to move and community members will be able to live in their dwellings until their new homes are ready.
The province does not yet know where the new neighbourhood will be located and says the project could take several years.
The company will also be required to reduce its emissions to meet a target of 15 nanograms per cubic metre by 2027, down from a level of 100 nanograms per cubic metre that was permitted under a 2017 agreement with the province.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2023.
New ESAA Member
ESAA welcomes the following new members. If you are not a member of ESAA you can join now via: https://esaa.org/join-esaa/
TruGreen Metal Recycling
5710 48th Avenue
Olds, AB T4H 1V1
Tarilyn Gerla, Office Manager
Email: [email protected]
The Prairies Leading Mobile Scrap Metal Recycler Serving across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba.
University of Calgary
Upcoming Industry Events
Early Bird registration ends March 22nd – https://events.eply.com/BEST2023CBN’s 2023 Canadian Brownfield ConferenceDate: May 3, 2023Location: Toronto Metropolitan University
Brownfield Renewal: Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges
CBN’s 2023 Canadian Brownfield Conference,will be an in-person event on Wednesday, May 3, at the Toronto Metropolitan University.
An array of critical issues and complexities related to the future vitality of brownfield renewal will be explored.
CBN’s annual conference attracts attendees from across Canada, including land developers, engineering firms, environmental remediation companies, and legal and financial experts. The conference will feature engaging sessions including Case Studies, Panel Discussions, and the HUB Awards!
2023 Environment and Cleantech Business + Policy Forum
Theme: “Keeping Ontario Competitive on the Path to Net Zero”
Date: April 4th, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm
Location: Sheraton Centre Hotel, 123 Queen St W, Toronto
Cost: Early bird tickets are $450 for members, $495 for non-members; after March 10th, $495 for members, $550 for non-members
About the Forum:
The Business + Policy Forum is back in person this year on April 4th as a one-day event at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. Our theme is “Keeping Ontario Competitive on the Path to Net Zero”.
The event features a keynote address by Karen Hamberg. Ms. Hamberg is the national clean technology leader for Deloitte Canada and chair of the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table under the Government of Canada’s Industry Strategy Council. She is the author of “Scaling solutions: Accelerating the commercialization of made-in-Canada clean technology.”
The Forum will also include an expert panel discussion on the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, lunch with the Deputies, and nine off-the-record roundtable discussions with Ministry policy staff. Plus, enjoy networking at the event reception.
See the full schedule and register at: https://oneia.my.canva.site/bpf2023
Grassland Restoration Forum March Events
Grassland Restoration Forum Free Winter Webinar Series (please note the change in date)
GRF WEBINAR II – Containment/Restoration of Annual-Brome Invaded Mixedgrass Prairie Using the Herbicide Indaziflam
Anabel Dombro – University of Alberta
Wednesday March 22nd, 2023, 12:00 – 13:00.
Register GRF Webinar II
Grassland Restoration Forum In-Person Training Workshop
How to Use the Range Plant Community Guides and Recovery Strategies Manuals for Project and Reclamation Planning in Grasslands
Thursday March 23rd, 2023, 10:00 – 16:00,
Glenbow Ranch Schoolhouse,
255001 Glenbow Rd, Cochrane, AB, T4C 0B7
ESAA Job Board
Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board. Members can post ads for free.
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.
- Senior Environmental Scientist (Salt Specialist) – Matrix Solutions Inc.
- INTERMEDIATE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST OR TECHNOLOGIST – Matrix Solutions Inc.
- Environmental Technologist – Summit
- Intermediate Environmental Specialist – Summit
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
- Environmental Analyst – Summit
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist –
- Project Coordinator – Conservation and Reclamation
- Project Coordinator – Conservation and Reclamation –
- Environmental Project/Program Manager –
- ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST/TECHNOLOGIST –
- Senior Environmental Professional –
- Intermediate Environmental Consultant –
- Environmental Engineers/Scientists/Technologists – Edmonton, Alberta –
- Junior Environmental Scientist –
- Junior Environmental Consultant –
- Strategic Solutions – Manager –
- Remediation Manager, Intermediate –
- Intermediate Environmental Scientist –
- INTERMEDIATE WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary, Alberta (hybrid office/home) –
- SENIOR ECOLOGIST, Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary, Alberta (hybrid home/office) –
- Junior-Intermediate Inside Sales –
- Groundwater Science Team Lead –
- Intermediate Environmental Professional- Assessment and Reclamation Group –
- Intermediate Environmental Specialist – Summit
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist –
- Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist –
- Senior Reclamation Specialist –
- Senior Environmental Professional, Reclamation & Remediation –