Week ending May 19th, 2023

ESAA is Hiring!

Application Deadline May 31st

Accountability. Innovative. Community Involvement. Environmental Integrity.

The Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) was established in 1987. With over two- hundred-member organizations, we have grown to become one of Canada’s leading environment industry associations. ESAA has provides its members with educational publications and conferences; much needed in the ever-changing environmental industry, as well as providing  important networking opportunities. ESAA is committed to promoting its many members and their  services and is proud to serve its member organizations.

We are looking for our new Manager, Strategic Relations to join our team. This position is responsible for fostering relationships that will promote ESAA and the industry with other industry sectors and levels of government. The role is also responsible for building and fostering relationships, supporting the messaging of key trends, and communicating the changes in the regulatory areas which directly impact the ESAA membership. This position is also responsible for member retention and recruitment activities.

Full details and how to apply available at:  https://esaa.org/job/manager-strategic-relations/

Please, no phone calls.


Government of Canada taking next step in addressing “forever chemicals” PFAS

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and the environment from the effects of chemical substances. Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced the publication of the draft State of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Report.

PFAS, sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals”, are a large group of extremely persistent human-made substances used in a wide range of everyday products, such as food packaging, non-stick cookware, clothing, and cosmetics. They are also used in industrial products and specialized applications including firefighting foams, lubricants, and oil/water repellants. PFAS are found nearly everywhere in the environment, including in the air, groundwater, oceans, lakes, rivers, and soils, as well as in wastewater, landfill leachate, sewage sludge, and contaminated sites worldwide.

Canada has previously prohibited the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, and import of three subgroups of PFAS, with limited exemptions. The government is also taking action to protect firefighters, reduce Canadians’ exposure to PFAS in drinking water, and manage PFAS in biosolids. Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, efforts are underway to reduce releases of these substances into the Great Lakes. Canada has also nominated the long chain perfluorocarboxylic acids group for addition to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

The report is a draft assessment of the potential risks of these substances to the environment and human health. It proposes concluding that all substances in the class of PFAS have the potential to cause harm to both the environment and human health. The Government of Canada is working diligently to ensure that the final report is completed as soon as possible to continue to safeguard the health and environment of Canada.

Several options to reduce environmental and human exposure will be considered following review of public comments and finalization of the report, including recommendation for additions to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and controls for PFAS in firefighting foams. Information will also be gathered to identify options for minimizing exposure from other sources and products. Based on the precautionary approach, the goal would be to limit exposure, to the extent possible.

In 2021, the Government announced its intention to address the broad class of PFAS in recognition of scientific evidence that suggests that all PFAS may be associated with environmental and/or human health effects. This assessment report is in an important step toward deciding whether to address these chemicals as a class under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

This process will need to follow the appropriate steps diligently. Should the final report confirm that PFAS may pose risks to the environment and health, the completion of this work would lead to swift action to address more than 4,700 substances, rather than treating them individually. Canada and the European Union are the first jurisdictions in the world to propose class management of PFAS.

Canadians and stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft report and risk management scope and provide information that would help inform the development of the final report, until July 19.

“It is a matter of concern that PFAS contamination is present throughout Canada and is not limited to a few sources and regions. Based on emerging science and what is known about well-studied PFAS, a proactive and precautionary approach is needed to help address these substances as a class. Our priority must be the continued protection of the health of Canadians and the environment.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“We must do all that we can to protect the health and safety of Canadians and our environment. The widespread use of PFAS and their presence throughout the environment means that we are exposed to these substances every day without really knowing about it. To reduce the immediate and long-term harmful effects on human health and the environment, important measures are needed to control the use of PFAS.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • PFAS are a group of more than 4,700 substances.

  • Potential adverse effects associated with PFAS include effects on the liver, kidney, thyroid, immune system, nervous system, metabolism and bodyweight, and reproduction and development.

  • In wildlife, PFAS have been shown to cause toxicity to the immune and nervous systems, and general effects on growth, reproduction, and development.

  • Science has shown some PFAS are readily absorbed into the body and can accumulate and persist in the body for years.

  • Humans can be exposed to PFAS from various sources, such as food and products available to consumers, including food packaging, textiles, and cosmetics, as well as through air, dust, and drinking water.

  • As an example of actions that the Government of Canada is taking to reduce PFAS in Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is signaling its intent to implement an interim standard for PFAS in biosolids imported and sold as commercial fertilizer. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will engage provinces, industry, producer organizations, and other stakeholders on its approach over the summer months.

Related products

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AER Board Chair, David Goldie, Provides Kearl Review Update

On May 11th, following a rigorous RFP process, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)’s Audit and Finance Committee, on behalf of the Board of Directors, engaged Deloitte LLP to conduct an independent review of the AER’s actions in handling the Imperial Oil Kearl seepage and spill incidents.

The review will begin in May and take about 90 days to complete. Deloitte will examine AER’s current response and notification policies and procedures, including internal and external communications protocols, to determine any issues or gaps in AER’s actions in handling the Kearl seepage and spill and, if so, provide recommendations for improvement.

In the spirit of openness, honesty and transparency, the Board will publicly share the review’s findings once completed and the Board has considered the recommendations and follow-up actions.


Suncor Mildred Lake Site Avian Deaths

On May 13, Suncor reported through EDGE, a total of 27 deceased waterfowl including 7 Grebe, a sensitive bird species. The birds were found at the Syncrude Mildred Lake Settling Basin, a tailings pond located on the north side of the Mildred Lake oil sands site. Syncrude is operated by Suncor.

In addition, 5 Grebe were found at the Millennium Mine site tailings pond at Suncor Base Plant.

All birds were found between the dates of May 8 and May 13, 2023.

On May 13, an AER inspector visited the Mildred Lake site to gather and review information and assess the existing bird deterrent systems. The AER is ensuring that all safety and environmental requirements are met during the response to the incident.

Suncor and the AER are notifying regional stakeholders in the area. Alberta Environment and Protected Areas, and Environment Canada and Climate Change have been notified through Alberta EDGE.

The AER will continue to assess the situation closely and provide further updates as required.


Ontario: Lyons Creek cleanup plan topic of public info session

The waterway is a tributary of the Welland River

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is partnering with the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan (NRRAP) program, which works to clean up the shoreline of the river from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, to host the session at Welland International Flatwater Centre.

Am NPCA release said Lyons Creek East is contaminated with a historical source of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and is the last remaining contaminated sediment site within the Canadian side of the Niagara River Area of Concern, identified for cleanup as part of the NRRAP.

The creek is east of the Welland Canal and a tributary of the Welland River, which eventually flows into the Niagara River.

In 2008, a natural recovery approach was selected to manage the contaminated sediments, said the release.

It said scientific evidence showed ecological and human health risks were low and it would have the least impact on the natural environment.

“Contaminated sediments were expected to be buried by cleaner sediment over time; however, long-term monitoring results indicate that natural recovery has not progressed as expected in some areas of the creek,” the release added.

Environment and Climate Change Canada and Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Conservation scientists involved in monitoring the area recommend a more active remediation approach, which may involve sediment removal, capping or a combination of techniques, the release said.

Additional studies to determine potential remediation options will be conducted and NRRAP will continue to engage the community to support future decision-making.

The release said the information session marks the beginning of the process.

“This portion of Lyons Creek is the last site requiring cleanup as part of the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan, and this project is an important step in our multi-year strategy for delisting the Niagara River as an area of concern,” said Natalie Green, NPCA manager of climate change and special programs.

She said collaboration is key to improving the environment.

“As we have demonstrated in the past, we are committed to sharing information and involving people in this important decision about our shared resources. We look forward to working with government agencies, Indigenous partners, stakeholders and the local community to determine the next steps for this important project.”

Residents interested in the project are encouraged to attend the information session on Tuesday, May 30, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the flatwater centre, 16 Townline Tunnel Rd.

Registration is required, and places can be reserved at www.eventbrite.ca/e/lyons-creek-east-public-information-centre-tickets-623946108607.


Yukon government takes over Minto Mine after company ceases operations

(Source: Canadian Press) WHITEHORSE — The Yukon government says it’s focused on protecting the environment after taking control of the Minto Mine located on Selkirk First Nation territory.

Stephen Mead, the government’s assistant deputy minister of mineral resources and geoscience services, says the government was informed on Friday by Minto Metals Corp. that it intended to cease operations of the mine and remove its staff over the weekend. 

Mead says the government hired JDS Mining to take over the site as a contractor, deploying the firm within 24 hours to secure critical employees and infrastructure. 

He says the mine had around 180 staff and contract employees before the decision Friday by Minto, and that so far JDS has approached around 50 staff members with the intent to hire them to continue working on the site. 

Mead says the government had already been monitoring the mine from an environmental perspective, and while it’s too soon to comment on the future of the mine, the current priority is on maintaining the pits that store contaminated water.

Whitehorse-based Minto said in a news release Saturday that it’s working with the government and that it has invested a significant amount of money into improving the water treatment plants at the mine. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2023.

CLRA National 2023 Call for Nominations

Nomination Deadline: May 31, 2023

The Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) is currently looking for 3 new National Board Directors to fulfill openings as a Treasurer, Awards Committee Lead, and Director.

This is your opportunity to be more involved with your reclamation industry peers, be part of the inner workings of a valued industry association, learn and function as a board member, and make a difference.

The Association is governed by an elected Board of Directors that represents most geographic areas of the country. It holds conference call meetings monthly or bi-monthly (8 to 10 times a year) and meets with as many directors as are able to attend at the annual meeting.

More details at: https://www.clra.ca/blog/clra-national-2023-call-for-nominations


Upcoming Industry Events


RemTech East

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


Program Now Available – Starts in 3 Weeks

RemTech East starts in 3 weeks.  Still time to register.

The program features 42 technical talks covering a number of topic areas, plus a special session specific to Ontario regulations. 

The program also features keynotes by: Matt Jamieson, President/CEO Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, Brian Keating, Going Wild, Tovah Barocas, Earth Rangers and Yvonne Camus, Eco Challenge Adventure Racer.  

The conference also features 45 exhibits, numerous networking opportunities and two amazing receptions including one at Table Rock Restaurant.

Program details can be found at: https://esaa.org/remtecheast/agenda/

Full conference details at: https://esaa.org/remtecheast/ 

Registration Fees 

ESAA / ONEIA / QPCO Member    $875Register Now
Non-Member    $995Register Now
Student    $225     Register Now
Hotel Reservations – For full details visit: https://esaa.org/remtecheast/hotel-travel/   Hotel Reservation deadline is April 28th.

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


PTAC Reclamation Forum

The PTAC Remediation Reclamation Research Committee (RRRC) has provided a central gathering place for hundreds of research and technology providers, oil and gas producers, academia, government organizations, and regulators to collaborate and advance new innovations, supported through the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF). This unique collaborative approach allows consortium to work together to identify challenges, leverage funding and technical expertise, and support applied research and technology development activities in the hydrocarbon energy industry.

The PTAC RRRC has evaluated that four recently completed projects resulted in a realized cost savings estimated to be $93M annually. Program results have proven against the conventional wisdom of economics that there is a trade-off between social license and fiscal performance. Business can indeed profit while reducing environmental liability through collaborative solutions, oriented toward research and innovation that drive smart policies and regulations, while improving environmental performance and cost savings in an efficient, effective, and predictable manner.

In following our mission and vision, PTAC will continue to assist more producers, research and technology providers and industry stakeholders to get engaged in expanding our industry’s innovation ecosystem. Please join the PTAC RRRC May 30th, 2023 at the Remediation Reclamation Forum as we will host presentations from current projects. You will learn how the practical application of outcomes will benefit your organization with realizing significant cost savings while reducing environmental footprint.

More details at: https://shop.ptac.org/product/2023-ptac-remediation-reclamation-forum3rd-annual-digital-innovation-in-oil-and-gas-forum-copy/

ESAA Job Board

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

Current Listings:
  • Manager, Strategic Relations – ESAA
  • Intermediate/Senior Environmental Specialist – Summit
  • Senior Reclamation Specialist – H3M Environmental
  • Senior Environmental Professional, Reclamation & Remediation – H3M Environmental
  • Senior Advisor, Environment With Specialization in Ecology, Wildlife, Environmental Planning and Monitoring – EPCOR
  • Manager of Engineering & Environment – City of Lethbridge
  • Intermediate Environmental Scientist (Various Locations) – 360 Energy Liability Management
  • Planner, Land – ATCO Electric
  • Environmental Manager (remote) – Action Land & Environmental Services Ltd.
  • Senior Environmental Professional, Planning – H3M Environmental
  • Senior Environmental Professional, Planning – H3M Environmental


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