U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to hear Pollution Case against Chevron

The U.S. Supreme Court recently made the decision not to hear the case against the Chevron Oil Company made by villagers in Ecuador that claim the company is evading the payment of $8.65 billion (U.S.) for a pollution judgement against it in that country.

The Supreme Court turned away an appeal by U.S. based lawyers for the Ecuador villagers that have spent more than two decades trying to hold Chevron responsible for pollution in that country.

Chevron, in its defence, did not dispute that pollution occurred but claimed it was not liable for it. According to a news report in Reuters, the company claims that the environmental report was biased and the presiding judge in the case in Ecuador was bribed. Chevron’s claim is backed up by lower court rulings in the United States. In 2014, a U.S. District Court Judge barred enforcement of the ruling made in Ecuador citing the corruption used to obtain it. A similar ruling was made by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Contamination of the soil and water of the Ecuador rain forest was caused by Texaco when it operated in the country between 1964 and 1992. The villagers claim that Texaco dumped billions of litres of toxic oil-drilling waters into hundreds of open-air pits. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001. Prior to acquiring Texaco, Chevron signed an agreement in 1998 with the Ecuador government absolving it of any further liability.

The lawyers for Ecuador villagers vow that they will seek a court ruling in Canada. However, a January 2017 ruling by the Ontario superior court ruled that Chevron’s Canadian arm isn’t a party to the Ecuadorian court decision. The lawyers for the Ecuador villagers are appealing the decision.

Urban Land Restoration Index: Harnessing the value of industrial surplus property for urban transformation

Industrial land owners with large surplus properties in central locations hold the key to one of the critical challenges of re-urbanization, the creation of new places with scale and critical mass. Not only does the redevelopment of such sites provide an opportunity to transform urban communities, but it will enable impaired land owners to maximize the value of their underutilized properties.

Proactive cities recognize the role that real estate can play in driving sustainable growth. In fact, many have well-established regeneration programs in place to help transform previously used or environmentally impaired land. In an effort to create rejuvenated urban landscapes that leave a lasting, sustainable heritage, developers and investors in real estate want to minimize risk and maximize returns for redeveloping environmentally stressed properties.

“The future of highly competitive cities may rest within the unlocked value of industrial surplus property”

Given the clear potential for surplus properties held by industrial firms and public sector organizations in urban locations, what is holding back redevelopment and what can be done to more effectively bring these sites into productive use? The answer is complex. It remains a challenge to align the interests of industrial land owners, developers and city authorities, particularly where the owner may have a large portfolio of property in many cities, and when investing in regeneration is an expensive business.

Better quality information that accelerates the identification of cities and sites with the greatest development potential will simplify and increase the certainty of the decision-making required. While key indicators in real estate markets provide a baseline for short-term trends affecting residential and commercial development, they don’t capture the long-term redevelopment potential of cities or the relative challenge of remediation.

The Arcadis Urban Land Restoration Index (ULRI) tackles these issues and identifies the cities where sites are most cost-effective to clean up while providing the greatest potential for long-term uplift and returns for residential, commercial, and mixed-use development. In effect, the ULRI highlights the best locations to unlock value from surplus property with environmental liabilities in key cities across the United States.

By enabling industrial land owners, city leaders and developers to focus on common opportunities, the ULRI will help to unlock the potential of surplus industrial properties – breathing new life back into communities, creating a lasting legacy for citizens, and generating significant returns from prime, underutilized land.

Alberta Court Orders Company to pay $3.5 million for Mine Spill

Prairie Mines & Royalty ULC (formerly known as Coal Valley Resources Inc.) pleaded guilty in Alberta Provincial Court on June 9, 2017, to two counts of violating the Canadian Fisheries Act.  The Honourable Judge C.D. Gardner sentenced the company to pay monetary penalties totalling $3,500,000.

Of the total fine, $1,150,000 of this sentence will be put into a trust to be managed by the University of Alberta to create the Alberta East Slopes Fish Habitat and Native Fish Recovery Research Fund. The remainder of the monies, $2,150,000, will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

On October 31, 2013, a dike that was holding back a large volume of waste water at the Obed Mountain Mine failed, resulting in more than 670 million litres of contaminated water and sediment (made up of coal, clay and sand) spilling into the Apetowun Creek and Plante Creek and additionally impacting the Athabasca River.

The case was a multi-year joint investigation by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Province of Alberta.

Prairie Mines & Royalty ULC pleaded guilty to:

one count of carrying on a work, undertaking or activity that resulted in in the harmful alteration or disruption, or the destruction, of fish habitat in contravention of s.35(1) of the Fisheries Act; and,
one count of depositing or permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish in contravention of s.36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

In addition to the penalties under the Fisheries Act, Prairie Mines & Royalty ULC has pleaded guilty to one count under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. For further information on that charge, see the Alberta Energy Regulator’s news release.

‘Leakless’ Pipeline Could Be the Safest Way To Transport Oil

As reported in the Huffington Post and the CBC, Researchers at the University of Calgary say they’ve developed a way to get oil to its destination without spilling a single drop.

Engineering professor Martin Mintchev and master’s student Thiago Valentin de Oliveira say their leakless pipeline prototype could be a near-risk-free solution — if companies are willing to shell out for the increased cost.

The proposed pipeline has three things that make it different: it’s double-layered, segmented and has real time wireless monitoring sensors embedded in each section. The inner-most pipeline would transmit the fluid, and if a leak were to occur, it would end up in the air gap between the inner and outer layers, where it would immediately be detected from a central monitoring station. The spill would be contained to one segmented section.

As pressure builds, oil will leak into the adjoining segment, tripping the next set of sensors (by filling the space between the two pipes with fluid, interrupting the connection) and giving crew even more time to respond. This gives workers multiple layers of fail safes so they have time to react, reduce pressure and fix the problem before a drop ever leaves the pipeline.

Double-layered pipelines are not a new idea. Mintchev told HuffPost Canada that double-walled lines were first proposed in the 1980s and are now in the public domain.

In 2015, a double-walled pipeline at Nexen’s Long Lake oilsands facility in northern Alberta spilled 32,000 barrels (five million litres) of bitumen, sand and wastewater. The pipeline was less than a year old, and was built with new technology at the time.

But, the pipeline didn’t have segmentation to contain the rupture, and its warning system didn’t detect it in time — Nexen said it may have been leaking for up to two weeks before it was discovered.

“If we could turn the time back and use the Nexen pipeline that would utilize our technology … this leak would have been prevented completely and inevitably,” Mintchev says.

Mintchev says that in the case of the Nexen spill, the pipe was filled with sensors, but they generated numerous false alarms that motivated employees to turn the sensors off, which was one of the reasons the spill went undetected for so long.

Nexen isn’t alone when it comes to having a flawed leak recognition system. A 2011 report from TransCanada on the Keystone XL’s environmental impact noted that its systems can’t detect leaks lower than 1.5 to two per cent of the pipe’s flow rate. For a pipeline that will carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day, that’s a lot.

In Mintchev and de Oliveira’s proposed pipeline, a leak interrupts the connection between sensor stations, so it’ll be immediately obvious something is wrong.

“Any disturbance in the pipeline, any earthquake, any movement, any possible sabotage, we’ll catch it at the moment it happens with this approach.”

The proposed technology would be more expensive than regular pipelines, depending on whether or not the pipeline needs to be replaced or can be modified, Mintchev says.

Here’s how the proposed costs would break down:

· Replacing an existing single-walled pipeline, segment by segment, would cost double the cost of the pipeline’s construction

· Upgrading an existing double-walled pipeline to add segmenting rings and wireless monitoring stations would add no more than 10 per cent to the cost

· Sleeving an existing single-walled pipeline with a second layer, that includes segments and monitoring technology, would increase the cost by 20 to 25 per cent

· Upgrading an underground or undersea pipeline would increase the cost by 50 per cent, and would reduce the pipeline’s flow, as the second layer would have to be built inside the existing pipeline

If oil companies start by only upgrading pipelines in sensitive areas — near water crossings, ecological reserves and towns — Mintchev says the benefits would far outweigh the costs.

U.S. Study on sites contaminated by PFC

A team of researchers from Northeastern University and the Environmental Working Group recently released a report that showed that numerous locations across the United States had drinking water contaminated with perfluorocarbons.

PFCs – highly fluorinated toxic chemicals, also known as PFASs, have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened immunity and other health problems.
New research from EWG and Northeastern University in Boston details PFC pollution in tap water supplies for 15 million Americans in 27 states and from more than four dozen industrial and military sources.

EWG and the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern collaborated to produce an interactive map that combines federal drinking water data and information on all publicly documented cases of PFAS pollution from manufacturing plants, military air bases, civilian airports and fire training sites.

On the map, blue circles show public water systems where PFCs were detected in public drinking water systems – the larger the circle, the more people served by the system. Clicking on a circle brings up detailed information, including contamination levels. Red dots indicate a contamination site in Northeastern’s PFAS Contamination Site Tracker. Clicking on a dot brings up detailed information and links to more information and resources from the Institute.

The map, which will be updated as more contamination is discovered, is the most comprehensive resource available to track PFC pollution in the U.S. Its release coincides with a major PFAS conference June 14 and 15 at Northeastern which will bring together scientists, regulators, activists and others to examine a class of pollutants that contaminate water, soil, and the bodies of animals and people worldwide but were little known until recently.

The map focuses on the most well-studied fluorinated compounds – perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, formerly used to make DuPont’s Teflon, and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard. Because of their nonstick, waterproof and grease-repellent properties, these and closely related chemicals were used in hundreds of consumer products and industrial applications, including cookware, outdoor clothing, food packaging and firefighting foam..

PFOA and PFOS are known as “long-chain” PFCs because they are built around eight or more carbon atoms. They were phased out in the U.S. after information became known about their health hazards.

Despite widespread contamination and mounting evidence of health hazards, there are no federal regulations for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. Last year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency dramatically lowered its nonbinding health advisory level to 70 parts per trillion for either chemical or the two combined.

FLIR Announces FLIR Griffin G510 Portable Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer for Chemical Hazard Identification

FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) recently announced the Griffin G510 Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS), its first person-portable chemical identifier. The FLIR Griffin G510 enables military and civil responders to easily sample all phases of matter, including solid, liquid, and vapor, to rapidly identify chemical hazards in the field. The versatile Griffin G510 represents a new-generation of portable GC/MS capability, with multiple integrated sample inlets that simplify on-scene analysis and a technology core that delivers actionable, lab-caliber answers.

The FLIR Griffin G510 comes equipped with an integrated heated sample probe designed for downrange missions. When used in survey mode, it identifies vapor-phase chemicals within seconds. The split/split-less injector allows for environmental, forensic, and hazardous material sampling by enabling syringe injection of organic liquids, a first for person-portable GC/MS systems.

Featuring a nine-inch touchscreen, the FLIR Griffin G510 can be operated while wearing full personal protective equipment when in a hot zone. When a chemical threat is automatically identified using industry-standard NIST library, the FLIR Griffin G510 alerts the operator with audible, visual, and color-coded alarms. Designed to withstand harsh environments, the FLIR Griffin G510 is IP65-rated, dust-tight and spray-resistant. Long-lasting, onboard, rechargeable batteries ensure every mission receives support from beginning to end.

“The FLIR Griffin G510 is a groundbreaking chemical analysis tool that brings versatility and lab quality performance and identification to the field.” said Dennis Barket, Jr., Vice President and General Manager of FLIR Detection. “The ability to quickly identify unknown threats and confirm known hazards gives responders confidence to take immediate action, ensuring the public’s safety.”

FLIR will showcase the FLIR Griffin G510 at the International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference hosted by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) June 16-17, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, booth #1153. The FLIR Griffin G510 will be available for order worldwide in the second half of 2017 through FLIR and established distribution networks. To learn more about the FLIR Griffin G510, please visit: www.flir.com/G510

About FLIR Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon, FLIR Systems is a world-leading maker of sensor systems that enhance perception and heighten awareness, helping to save lives, improve productivity, and protect the environment. Through its nearly 3,500 employees, FLIR’s vision is to be “The World’s Sixth Sense” by leveraging thermal imaging and adjacent technologies to provide innovative, intelligent solutions for security and surveillance, environmental and condition monitoring, outdoor recreation, machine vision, navigation, and advanced threat detection. For more information, please visit www.flir.com and follow @flir.

Innovative Application of Centrifuge Technology

Terrapure Environmental recently received an Environmental Leader Award for Product of the Year for its creative use of technology – the centrifuge – which provides its customers in the petrochemical and refinery sector with significant environmental and financial benefits.

The Environmental Leader program recognizes excellence in the environmental, sustainability and energy management fields. Terrapure’s use of centrifugation for waste management and volume reduction was awarded for its innovative ability to:

recover valuable resources such as raw minerals, oil and water;
reduce the volume of waste requiring disposal in landfills or by incineration; and
reduce costs and environmental impacts associated with transportation and disposal of waste.

Modern centrifuge technology is not new but Terrapure’s application in waste management is innovative and useful. Terrapure uses centrifugation to actively separate different components within a waste stream. Many of the recovered by-products from this process, such as hydrocarbons and water, can go back to customers for re-use at their facilities, encouraging a cycle of recycling and re-using.

“Traditionally, environmental companies serving the petrochemical and refineries sector prioritize transporting large volumes of waste for disposal at an incinerator or a landfill, without considering more sustainable solutions,” said Todd Smith, Vice President of Environmental Solutions for Central Canada, Terrapure Environmental. “It’s gratifying to be recognized for finding cost-effective solutions that improve operating performance and minimize environmental impact for our forward-thinking customers in the sector.”

Terrapure operates centrifuges of varying sizes that can process anywhere from 5,000 to 300,000 litres of material per hour. On average, Terrapure can reduce solid-liquid and liquid-liquid waste volumes by 65 to 85 percent, while recovering the valuable oil and water components for reuse.

While the caliber of entries was exceptionally high this year, judges agreed that Terrapure’s use of technology was particularly notable. As one judge explained, “while centrifuge technology is not a new concept, Terrapure’s application is very innovative.” For more information on the Environmental Leader Awards, visit https://www.environmentalleader.com/environmental-leader-product-project-awards-2017/.

Marketing Opportunities in Hazmat Magazine

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CBN Brownfields Conference – June 15th 2017

FIND OUT HOW BROWNFIELDS ARE DEFINING URBAN PLANNING!WHAT’S NEW – WHAT’S NEXT – WHAT’S NECESSARY

 

Discover the Impact of NEW Technologies
Get Updates on NEW Provincial Regulations
Hear NEW Perspectives from Professionals
Network with NEW>/u> Practitioners

Featured Speakers
Featured Speakers

                                        

Christopher De Sousa, Professor and Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University
Bruce Tunnicliffe, President of Vertex Environmental Inc.
Stephanie Bohdanow, Knowledge Services Advisor at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund
Yvo M. M. Veenis, Hydrogeologist and co-owner and Director of Groundwater Technology (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Karen St. Martin, Chief Administrative Office, Town of Mayerthorpe

Program

Time Session Title
7:30 AM CBN Annual General
Learn about the programs and initiatives undertaken by the CBN this past year and where the organization is heading in the year to come.
8:30 AM Keynote
Speaker: Ken Greenberg
Brownfields play an active role in the ongoing redefinition/reinvention of cities – truly, “Brownfields: the Next Generation”. Learn how the opportunities and constraints of brownfields help create new, more dynamic models for city building
9:00 AM Cross-Country Check-Up
Speakers: Alan McCammon (BC), Lisa Fairweather (Alberta), Mathieu Laporte Saumure (Quebec) and Dean Therrien (Ontario)
Coping with an evolving regulatory environment doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration – join our panelists as they guide you through the latest changes in the regulatory landscape.
10:30 AM Networking Break
11:00 AM Research You Can Use
Speakers: Chris de Sousa, Reanne Ridsdale (Ryerson University), Brent Sleep, Paul Furbacher (U of T)
This interactive session features a discussion of the latest research on brownfields policy, redevelopment and remediation science. At the conclusion of the presentation, you’ll have an opportunity to recommend and prioritize future research areas – research YOU can use in the next generation of brownfields!
11:45 AM Legal Update
Speakers: Janet Bobechko (Norton Rose Fulbright LLP)
It isn’t only regulations that evolve; case law moves at an even faster pace! Join this discussion of recent and important changes in the interpretation of the law that will affect brownfields practice in the near future.
12:15 PM Networking Lunch
1:00 PM Municipal Innovations
Speakers: Meggen Janes (CH2M), Karen St. Martin (Town of Mayerthorpe), Stephanie Bohdanow (FCM) – moderator
As brownfield redevelopment benefits, barriers and regulations become more broadly understood by local government bodies, we’re seeing an increasing number of innovative policies, programs and projects emerge across Canada. In this session, panelists will discuss various approaches being used to catalyze and accelerate the brownfield redevelopment process at the local level.
2:00 PM Emerging Technology: The Evolution of Innovation in Land Revitalization
Speakers: Bruce Tunnicliffe (Vertex), Diana Saccone (ERIS), Todd McAlary (Geosyntec), Yvo Veenis (Groundwater Technology) and Jean Pare (Chemco)
This session provides a series of short, highly condensed presentations packed with information on new and emerging technologies that may influence current approaches to brownfield redevelopment – tools that can help you move into the next generation.
3:30 PM Networking Lunch
4:00 PM Award Winning Projects – Where Are They Now?
Speakers: Hammarby Stockholm (Doug Webber (WSP)) and Brantford Sydenham Pearl (Joshua Schram (Brantford) and Ed Taves (CH2M)
This session will present updates on two Brownie Award-winning projects: Brantford’s Sydenham Pearl and Hammarby Sjostad (Stockholm, Sweden), so you can catch up on the progress both have made as they turn former brownfields into important parts of their communities – the current generation becomes the next generation!
5:00 PM HUB Awards
Join us as we celebrate individual excellence in brownfields through the presentation of the 2nd Annual HUB Awards. Who will be acknowledged?
5:30 PM Networking Reception at Joey Restaurant
1 Dundas Street West

Keynote Speaker:

Ken Greenberg

 

 

 

Renowned urban expert Ken Greenberg will open the conference with a discussion of how repurposing obsolescent lands is helping to create new models for city building.

Ken Greenberg is an urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto and Principal of Greenberg Consultants. For over four decades he has played a pivotal role on public and private assignments in urban settings throughout North America and Europe, focusing on the rejuvenation of downtowns, waterfronts, neighborhoods and on campus master planning, regional growth management, and new community planning. Cities as diverse as Toronto, Hartford, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Montréal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis, Washington DC, Paris, Detroit, Saint Paul and San Juan Puerto Rico have benefited from his advocacy and passion for restoring the vitality, relevance and sustainability of the public realm in urban life. In each city, with each project, his strategic, consensus-building approach has led to coordinated planning and a renewed focus on urban design. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Design Excellence and the 2014 Sustainable Buildings Canada Lifetime Achievement Award. Involved in many grass roots and community initiatives he is a Board Member of Park People, a non-profit dedicated to the improvement of Toronto’s parks. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto where he an Adjunct Professor in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. He is also a co-founder and a Visiting Scholar at the new City Building Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto. A frequent writer for periodicals, he is the author of Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder published by Random House. His current major project is as urban design lead and client representative for Project: Under the Gardiner in Toronto.

The conference will close with a networking cocktail and the second annual HUB Awards, a celebration of today’s brownfield redevelopment leaders.

Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to learn from and network with Canada’s most engaged “brownfielders”.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION INFORMATION

THURSDAY, JUNE 15TH 2017

Early Bird Rate (by May 15, 2017)

CBN Members $399.00 +HST
Partner Member $399.00 +HST
CBN Student $129.00 +HST
Non-Member Conference + Special Membership Rate $650.00 +HST
Non Members $499.00 +HST
Downloadable registration form to print, fill and fax
Register Online
Thank you to all of our current sponsors!

SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION

Be a part of the only National Brownfields-focused conference in Canada!

You are sure to be visible to key stakeholders with ample opportunities at all budgets!

Sponsorships are available at every price point, each with great visibility!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Ontario Environment Ministry Issues Drafts Order for company to investigate mercury contamination

The Ontario government recently issued a Draft Order for preventative measures to the Domtar paper mill.  The draft Order requires the Paper Mill, located in Dryden Ontario, to study the mercury contamination on its property that was deposited by a previous owner.

History of the Mercury Contamination

The origin of the mercury contamination at the site is from Reed Ltd. that operated a chlor-alkali plant at the Dryden property from 1962 to 1975 the used mercury in a process to generate chlorine and sodium hydroxide to bleach pulp. During this period of operation sewage and waste water from the site, including the chlor-alkali plant, was discharged to an effluent ditch located parallel to the Wabigoon River. This effluent ditch also served as a settlement basin. Effluent discharged through a culvert at the north end directly to the Wabigoon River.

From 1963 to 1970 approximately 10 metric tonnes of mercury were discharged into the Wabigoon River through the effluent ditch. The quantity of mercury discharged from the plant was reduced by 99 percent by 1970 and operation of the plant was terminated in 1975.

The discharges from the plant affected aquatic life in the Wabigoon and English Rivers. In 1971 Ontario suspended the commercial fishing licences for walleye, pike and sauger for the Wabigoon and English river systems due to the elevated levels of mercury in fish.

Studies by the federal and provincial governments were conducted in the 1970’s and 1980’s in the Wabigoon River to determine the location and the extent of mercury contamination. A joint federal-provincial report from 1983 titled “Mercury Pollution in the Wabigoon-English River System of Northwestern Ontario, and Possible Remediation Measures” in relation to studies conducted in 1973, 1976 and 1979 by the Ministry, provided that mercury levels in fish in the Wabigoon English River system all the way to the Manitoba border were elevated above the limit of 0.5 ppm set by the Canada Food and Drug Directorate for edible fish marketed in Canada.

Further studies of mercury contamination on the surrounding environment were conducted in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s.

In March 2016 a report entitled “Advice on Mercury Remediation Options for the Wabigoon-English River System, Final Report” prepared for Grassy Narrows by Rudd et al. concluded more study was needed to determine if mercury releases were still occurring from the former chlor-alkali facility or if the mercury- contaminated river sediments are moving downstream.

Details of the Order

An Order under section 18 of the Ontario Environmental Protection Act, requires a company or individual to do the following:

(a) prevent or reduce the risk of a discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment from the undertaking or property; or

(b) prevent, decrease or eliminate an adverse effect that may result from

(i) the discharge of a contaminant from the undertaking, or

(ii) the presence or discharge of a contaminant in, on or under the property.

The proposed requirements in the draft order issued to Domtar by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change include:

  • The development and implementation of a work plan to assess groundwater and soil on the mill site, and surface water and sediment within the Wabigoon River adjacent to the site for the purposes of determining if mercury is discharging from the site to the Wabigoon River.
    • The assessment must include the installation and sampling of monitoring wells along the shoreline and a geophysical survey of the shoreline area. Samples will be analysed for total mercury, methyl mercury and chloride.
  • The provision of opportunities for area First Nation communities and other affected members of the public to be engaged in the development and implementation of the work plan, including making the progress reports and final report readily available to First Nations and members of the public who may be affected by a discharge of mercury from the site.
  • Upon the completion of the assessment, Domtar Inc. is required to provide a final report to the ministry detailing whether mercury is coming from the land portion of the mill site, or present in sediments within the Wabigoon River portion of the site, and whether mercury has the potential to impact downstream water and sediment quality, and mercury concentrations in fish. Recommendations for further investigation and any necessary remedial measures necessary are also required.
  • The order includes timelines to ensure work is conducted in a timely manner.

Domtar Inc. conducted sampling from groundwater monitoring wells on the mill site and provided analysis in December 2016.  The results indicated an elevated level of mercury in one groundwater monitoring well. All other wells were within provincial standards.

Accordingly, the work required by the order is necessary and implements a science-based approach to determine if there is an ongoing source of mercury from the mill property with the potential to impact the Wabigoon River.

If there is evidence that the Dryden mill site is an ongoing source of mercury, then measures to prevent further mercury from entering the river, and how those measures are to be implemented, will be assessed. This may include future orders.