Week ending March 17th, 2023

AER: New Edition of Directive 059 and New Manual

Today we released a new edition of Directive 059: Well Drilling and Completion Data Filing Requirements and a new companion Manual 027: Well Drilling and Completion Data Submission System

The directive was restructured, and procedural guidance was moved to the manual. These changes are administrative, and no new requirements have been created. Redundant and outdated content has been removed. Information on daily records of operations and personal information, which resided in Bulletin 2010-43, has been incorporated into the directive. In the manual, fracture fluid water source types have been updated to align with the Water Conservation Policy for Upstream Oil and Gas Operations.

Several other documents have also been consolidated into the directive and manual and have been discontinued:

  • Well Drilling Completion User Guide
  • Modify Packer Operation (DDS Completion Submission Enhancement from April 1, 2012)
  • Directive 059 FAQs

The revised edition of Directive 059 is available on our website at www.aer.ca > Regulating Development > Rules and Directives > Directives. The new edition of Manual 027 is available on our website at www.aer.ca > Regulating Development > Rules and Directives > Manuals

If you have any questions, contact [email protected]


AER: New edition of Directive 056 and Manual 012 – Geothermal and Brine Hosted Mineral Resources Amendments

Today we released a new edition of Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules and Manual 012: Energy Development Applications, Procedures, and Schedules as part of the implementation of the geothermal and brine-hosted mineral resource regulatory frameworks. This edition supersedes the March 2 edition of Directive 056 that was released with the proclamation of the Brine-Hosted Mineral Resource Development Rules.

The following are specific to the March 16 revisions:

  • Directive 056 and Manual 012 have been updated to align with the OneStop system changes. OneStop functionality and enhancements now include geothermal resources and brine-hosted mineral resources.
  • Directive 056 now includes well, pipeline, and facility licensing requirements for geothermal and brine-hosted mineral development.
  • Brine-hosted mineral and geothermal resource development are now both integrated throughout Manual 012 to reflect the OneStop application process and procedures. However, application guidance for public lands and liability management for brine-hosted mineral and geothermal resource development remains in section 8 of Manual 012.
  • Directive 056 and Manual 012 also include changes relating to licensing of carbon sequestration evaluation wells and carbon sequestration wells, as well as other administrative changes.

The revised editions of Directive 056 and Manual 012 are available on our website at www.aer.ca > Regulating Development > Rules and Directives > Directives or Manuals. If you have any questions, contact our Customer Contact Centre by phone at 1-855-297-8311 or by email at [email protected].


Readout: Minister Savage meets with Minister Guilbeault

On March 14, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Sonya Savage had a bilateral meeting with Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada Steven Guilbeault to discuss the incident at Imperial Oil’s Kearl site.

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


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.


EPA moves to limit toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

(Source: AP News)  The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed limiting the amount of harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water to the lowest level that tests can detect, a long-awaited protection the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer.

The plan marks the first time the EPA has proposed regulating a toxic group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous and expensive to remove from water. PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, don’t degrade in the environment and are linked to a broad range of health issues, including low birthweight babies and kidney cancer. The agency says drinking water is a significant source of PFAS exposure for people.

Fox called the federal proposal a “transformational change” for improving the safety of drinking water in the United States. The agency estimates the rule could reduce PFAS exposure for nearly 100 million Americans, decreasing rates of cancer, heart attacks and birth complications.

The chemicals had been used since the 1940s in consumer products and industry, including in nonstick pans, food packaging and firefighting foam. Their use is now mostly phased out in the U.S., but some still remain.

The proposal would set strict limits of 4 parts per trillion, the lowest level that can be reliably measured, for two common types of PFAS compounds called PFOA and PFOS. In addition, the EPA wants to regulate the combined amount of four other types of PFAS. Water providers will have to monitor for PFAS.

The public will have a chance to comment, and the agency can make changes before issuing a final rule, which is expected by the end of the year. Water providers will have time to adjust.

The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators said the proposal is “a step in the right direction” but compliance will be challenging. Despite available federal money, “significant rate increases will be required for most of the systems” that must remove PFAS, the group said Tuesday.

Environmental and public health advocates have called for federal regulation of PFAS chemicals for years. Over the last decade, the EPA has repeatedly strengthened its protective, voluntary health thresholds for the chemicals but has not imposed mandatory limits on water providers.

Public concern has increased in recent years as testing reveals PFAS chemicals in a growing list of communities that are often near manufacturing plants or Air Force bases.

Until now, only a handful of states have issued PFAS regulations, and none has set limits as strict as what the EPA is proposing. By regulating PFOA and PFOS at the minimum amounts that tests can detect, the EPA is proposing the tightest possible standards that are technically feasible, experts said.

“This is a really historic moment,” said Melanie Benesh, vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group. “There are many communities that have had PFAS in their water for decades who have been waiting for a long time for this announcement to come out.”

The agency said its proposal will protect everyone, including vulnerable communities, and reduce illness on a massive scale. The EPA wants water providers to do testing, notify the public when PFAS are found and remove the compounds when levels are too high.

Utilities that have high levels of a contaminant are typically given time to fix problems, but they could face fines or loss of federal grants if problems persist.

The proposal would also regulate other types of PFAS like GenX Chemicals, which manufacturers used as a substitute when PFOA and PFOS were phased out of consumer products. The proposal would regulate the cumulative health threat of those compounds and mandate treatment if that threat is too high.

“Communities across this country have suffered far too long from the ever-present threat of PFAS pollution,″ EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. The EPA’s proposal could prevent tens of thousands of PFAS-related illnesses, he said, “and marks a major step toward safeguarding all our communities from these dangerous contaminants.”

Emily Donovan, co-founder of Clean Cape Fear, which advocates for cleaning up a PFAS-contaminated stretch of North Carolina, said it was important to make those who released the compounds into the environment pay cleanup costs.

“Today is a good step towards tackling our nation’s massive PFAS public health crisis by including commercially relevant PFAS like GenX,” she said.

The EPA recently made $2 billion available to states to get rid of contaminants such as PFAS and will release billions more in coming years. The agency also is providing technical support to smaller communities that will soon be forced to install treatments systems, and there’s funding in the 2021 infrastructure law for water system upgrades.

But still, it will be expensive for utilities to install new equipment, and the burden will be especially tough for small towns with fewer resources.

“This is a problem that has been handed over to utilities through no fault of their own,” said Sri Vedachalam, director of water equity and climate resilience at Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc.

Many communities will need to balance the new PFAS requirements with removing poisonous lead pipes and replacing aged water mains prone to rupturing, Vedachalam said.

Fox said there “isn’t a one-size answer” to how communities will prioritize their needs. She said, however, that there are billions of dollars in federal resources available for water improvements.

The proposed rules are achievable and utilities have access to federal funds for drinking water upgrades, according to Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that works to get toxic chemicals out of food, water, clothing and other items.

Several states have already imposed PFAS drinking water limits. Officials in Michigan, which has the tightest standards of any state, said costs to remove PFAS in communities where it was found were reasonable.

If the rules are finalized and imposed, many communities will learn they have been supplying drinking water with harmful compounds. When people learn of problems, they may stop using tap water altogether, distrusting its safety, and turn instead to bottled water. That’s often a more expensive choice and one that can have negative health effects if people replace tap water with sugary drinks that cause cavities and contribute to obesity and other health problems.

“This,” Fox said, “is such an issue of concern for people.”


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/


Full Member:


TruGreen Metal Recycling

5710 48th Avenue
Olds, AB T4H 1V1
(403) 352-6229


Tarilyn Gerla, Office Manager
Email: [email protected]


The Prairies Leading Mobile Scrap Metal Recycler Serving across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba.


Kishan Pitroda

University of Calgary


Upcoming Industry Events

Early Bird registration ends March 22nd – https://events.eply.com/BEST2023
CBN’s 2023 Canadian Brownfield Conference
Date: May 3, 2023
Location: 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

Event Details:

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

Course details and registration can be found at In-Person Training March or email Donna Watt at: [email protected].


ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Senior Environmental Scientist (Salt Specialist) – Matrix Solutions Inc.
  • Environmental Technologist – Summit
  • Intermediate Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Environmental Analyst – Summit
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Project Coordinator – Conservation and Reclamation – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Project Coordinator – Conservation and Reclamation  – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Environmental Project/Program Manager – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Senior Environmental Professional –Ecoventure Inc.
  • Intermediate Environmental Consultant – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Environmental Engineers/Scientists/Technologists – Edmonton, Alberta – Nichols Environmental (Canada) Ltd.
  • Junior Environmental Scientist – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Junior Environmental Consultant – Ecoventure Inc.
  • Strategic Solutions – Manager – SOLSTICE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
  • Remediation Manager, Intermediate – RemedX Remediation Services Inc.
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist – SOLSTICE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
  • INTERMEDIATE WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary, Alberta (hybrid office/home) – SOLSTICE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
  • SENIOR ECOLOGIST, Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary, Alberta (hybrid home/office) – SOLSTICE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
  • Junior-Intermediate Inside Sales – RemedX Remediation Services Inc.
  • Groundwater Science Team Lead – Stantec
  • Intermediate Environmental Professional- Assessment and Reclamation Group – Triton Environmental Consultants
  • Intermediate Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Senior Reclamation Specialist – H3M Environmental
  • Senior Environmental Professional, Reclamation & Remediation – H3M Environmental


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