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Sunday
Sep162018

Case Study: Socio-Economic Considerations during a Large-Scale Remediation Project


Title

Socio-Economic Considerations during a Large-Scale Remediation Project

Location

Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens, Sydney, NS

Project

One hundred years of steel and coke production resulted in >1M tonnes of contaminated soil and sediment.  Chosen remedial method included solidification/stabilization, surface capping and cut-off walls. Remediation resulted in the reclamation of 240 ac (97 ha) in Sydney’s downtown.

Regulatory Context

The longterm social, economic and environmental impact on the entire community required a community-based process for the project to be successful. Following several “false-starts”, in 1996, a Joint Action Group was formed. In 1998/99 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed and a cost-sharing agreement created between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.  In 2001, the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency was created to manage the clean up effort.  In 2002-2004, the clean-up alternatives were tested and deemed successful, the JAG provided recommendations, and Environment Canada/STPA formulated the clean-up plan. In 2005, a full panel review of the clean-up plan was ordered (highest level of EIA). 

Sustainable elements/approach

After three weeks of public hearings in 2006, the Panel delivered 55 recommendations that were accepted in January 2007.  Of the 55 recommendations, there was heavy focus on socio-economic considerations:

#32 – Community involvement

#33 – Economic Benefits (local business and Labour, market skills, long-lasting)

#34 – Women’s Employment (non-traditional trades and technologies)

#35 – African NS Employment (CB Black Employment Partnership Committee)

#36-38 – Transportation/Rail

#39 – 45 – Future use

#55 – Community Liaison Committee

The stakeholders involved in this process were chosen by the Panel and included groups impacted by the industry: women, youth, aboriginal community, African NS, local business, residents.

The success of the project was dependent on the incorporation of these recommendations; thus, indicators were established. For instance, #34 could be measured as “number of women employed in a non-traditional trade”, and this could then be used when comparing different options throughout the remedial process.

Monthly Local Economic Benefits (LEB) report cards were required by contractors and consultants working on the project and STPA was required to report on progress in meeting 55 recommendations.

Value Added

The sustainable benefits of this approach include:

  • The focus on the socio-economic health of the community created the best possible environment for this challenging project to advance.  

Sunday
Sep162018

Case Study: Asphalt Emulsion Spill - Lake Remediation

Title

Asphalt Emulsion Spill - Lake Remediation

Location

Regina, Saskatchewan

Project

The release of 20,000 L of asphalt emulsion impacted 1,900 meters of storm sewer and the discharge water body at Wascana Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan. Initial assessments identified asphalt impacts in sediments in the vicinity of the storm sewer outfall and along the lake shorelines. 

Remedial approaches primarily included: containment, coffer dam construction and dewatering, excavation, dredging, water treatment, soil washing, and storm sewer flushing.  

A comprehensive environmental risk assessment was also completed. This assessment evaluated the potential risks to human and ecological receptors associated with incremental impacts of the asphalt emulsion release that remained in and around Wascana Lake after the remediation program was completed.

Regulatory Context

Risk-based approach under CCME protocol (2007)

Sustainable elements/approach

A Remedial Action Plan (RAP) was developed to address the monitoring, cleanup and restoration of the natural environment to pre-release conditions. The contractor and other stakeholders including Wascana Centre Authority, the City of Regina, Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided input for the development of the RAP.  Completion of a comprehensive environmental risk assessment was completed to confirm protection of environmental health while also limiting over-extension of the remediation project and thereby reducing the environmental footprint of the project..

Value Added

The sustainable benefits of this approach include:

  • Stakeholder involvement in development of the remediation plan was key to project success and helped ensure an optimal approach that would meet stakeholder objectives. 
  • The use of risk assessment reduced the environmental footprint and costs associated with the cleanup while being adequately protective of environmental health.
  • Water from dredged sediments was removed, cleaned, tested and released (reduction in energy consumption, protection of water resources).  
Sunday
Sep162018

Case Study: Shell Phytoremediation and Monitoring Program


Title

Shell Phytoremediation and Monitoring Program

Location

Peterborough, Ontario

Project

A phytoremediation program was designed and implemented in 2007 to remediate soil and groundwater impacted with petroleum hydrocarbons.

Regulatory Context

Remediation under O.Reg. 153.04

Sustainable elements/approach

A phytoremediation system was installed at a former bulk fuel facility in Peterborough in order to facilitate remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons found in soil and groundwater.

Given that the site was located within a parkland area, the design of the phytoremediation system took into account the requirements for remediation by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) but also relied on information collected from a terrestrial vegetation survey. This resulted in the design of a phytoremediation system that consisted of the installation of hybrid poplars coupled with other post-remediation species. The longer-living, post-remediation species (such as black oak, white and red pine) were included in the program to ensure ecological succession after the phytoremediation period and beyond the short lifespan (20-30 years) of the hybrid poplars. 

In order to address the shallow groundwater impacts, a hydraulic control barrier was installed by deep-planting (up to 1m) select hybrid willows species.  

In total, 345 trees were planted in the 0.1715 hectare planting area.

Performance was monitored by conducting semi-annual groundwater monitoring and ecological monitoring. Monitoring continued until 2009 when the phytoremediation cover had become established and performance monitoring indicated that groundwater results from June 2009 in general were either stable or decreasing. Neither additional monitoring wells nor additional remedial actions were further required by the MOE.

Value Added

The sustainable benefits of this approach include:

  • In-Situ remediation resulted in a reduction of emissions, energy consumption, and resources, as well as the benefits of plantings.
  • Stakeholder involvement in development of the remediation plan.
  • Cost efficient remediation that attained the defined objectives.
  • Minimized long term disruption of site and usage of land resources by avoiding the excavation and off-site transport of impacted material for treatment and/or disposal.