Avoiding Common Phase Two ESA Errors – Part 2

By: Bill Leedham, P.Geo, QP, CESA.

Last month I discussed some common mistakes I have encountered in reviewing Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment reports, specifically in the initial planning stage, now it’s time to turn our attention to recognizing and reducing errors during the Phase Two ESA field work.

Sometimes, deficiencies that occur in the planning stages of a Phase Two ESA transfer into errors in field procedures.  This can be caused by poor communication between the project manager and field staff (i.e. the PM neglects to inform field personnel of specific project requirements, and/or field staff forget to include important sampling media or potential contaminants of concern).  Full, two-way communication is vital to successful completion of any Phase Two ESA. It’s not enough for senior staff to just assume that less experienced team members understand all the complexities of the sampling plan; nor is it acceptable for a project manager to fail to provide adequate guidance and answers to questions from the field.  I have always thought it was important for junior staff to ‘know what they don’t know’ and encouraged them to ask questions at any time.  When project managers are ‘too busy’ to answer questions and simply tell their staff to ‘figure it out themselves’ everyone loses.

Photo Credit: All Phase Environmental

Despite good intentions and full communication, deficiencies can still occur.  Some are the result of inexperience compounded by poor judgement; some are due to budget limitations or staffing shortfalls; and some are caused through poor sampling protocols.  Some of the more common field sampling errors can include: failure to sample all relevant media at a Site (e.g. no sediment or surface water sampling is undertaken despite the presence of a potentially impacted water body); failure to consider all potential contaminants of concern (e.g. sampling only for petroleum hydrocarbons at a fuel storage site and not volatile parameters like BTEX); failure to sample in locations where contaminants are most likely to occur or be detected (e.g. sampling only surficial or near surface soils, and not at the invert of a buried fuel tank or oil interceptor, or failure to sample groundwater in a potable groundwater situation); and lack of field or lab filtering of groundwater samples for metals analysis (failure to remove sediment prior to sample preservation can skew the results for metals analysis).

Inadequate sampling and decontamination procedures can also bias lab results, leading to inaccurate or faulty conclusions.  When samples are disturbed (such as grab samples of soil collected directly from a drill augur that has travelled through an impacted zone) or collected improperly (e.g. compositing soil samples for analysis of volatile components); the test results can be biased and may not be representative of actual site conditions.  Similarly, failure to properly clean drilling and sampling equipment can result in apparent impacts that are actually the result of cross contamination between sampling points. Consider using dedicated or disposable sampling equipment to reduce this potential. A suitable quality control program should also be implemented, including sufficient duplicate samples, trip blanks, etc. for QA/QC purposes, and inclusion of equipment rinsate blanks to confirm adequate decontamination.

These are only a few of the more common field sampling errors I have come across. In an upcoming article I will discuss other practical methods to reduce errors in Phase Two data interpretation and reporting.

About the Author

Bill Leedham is the Head Instructor and Course Developer for the Associated Environmental Site Assessors of Canada (AESAC); and the founder and President of Down 2 Earth Environmental Services Inc. You can contact Bill at info@down2earthenvironmental.ca

 

This article first appeared in AESAC newsletter.

BC Seeks Feedback on Second Phase of the Spill Response Regime

WRITTEN BY:

Bennett Jones LLP

David Bursey, Radha Curpen, and Sharon Singh

[co-author: Charlotte Teal, Articling Student]

Phase-2 to BC’s Spill Response Regime

The British Columbia government is moving forward with the second phase of spill regulations, announcing further stakeholder engagement on important elements, such as spill response in sensitive areas and geographic response plans. The government will also establish an independent scientific advisory panel to recommend whether, and how, heavy oils (such as bitumen) can be safely transported and cleaned up. While the advisory panel is proceeding, the government is proposing regulatory restrictions on the increase of diluted bitumen (dilbit) transportation.

The second phase engagement process follows the first phase of regulatory overhaul introduced in October 2017, when the Province established higher standards for spill preparedness, response and recovery.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press

Feedback and Engagement

The Province is planning an intentions paper for the end of February 2018 that will outline the government’s proposed regulations and will be available for public comment.

In particular, the Province will seek feedback on:

  1. response times, to ensure timely responses to spills;
  2. geographic response plans, to ensure that resources are available to support an immediate response that account for the unique characteristics of sensitive areas;
  3. compensation for loss of public and cultural use of land, resources or public amenities in the case of spills;
  4. maximizing application of regulations to marine spills; and
  5. restrictions on the increase of dilbit transportation until the behaviour of spilled bitumen can be better understood and there is certainty regarding the ability to adequately mitigate spills.

What this means for industry

This second phase was planned follow up to the October 2017 regulations. Many of the proposed regulatory changes have been part of ongoing stakeholder discussions for the past few years. However, the prospect of permanent restrictions or a ban on the increased transportation of dilbit off the coast of B.C. and the prospect of further regulatory recommendations from the independent scientific advisory panel creates uncertainty for Canada’s oil sector.

The government’s emphasis on environmental concerns related to bitumen and its recent initiatives to restrict oil exports to allow time for more study of marine impacts will further fuel the national discourse on how to export Canada’s oil to international markets from the Pacific Coast.

____________________

This article was first published on the Bennett Jones LLP website.

About the Authors

Canada-based GFL Acquires Accuworx Inc.

GFL Environmental Inc. (“GFL”) recently announced the closing of the acquisition of the Canadian operations of Accuworx Inc. including Sure Horizon Environmental Inc., based in Brampton, Ontario.  Since its founding in 1989 by Jason Rosset, Accuworx has grown to be a leading provider of “cradle to cradle” environmental solutions for a broad base of liquid waste customers throughout Ontario.  Accuworx’s services include industrial cleaning, emergency response, soil and groundwater remediation and liquid waste management which will complement and extend the service offerings of GFL’s existing liquid waste business in Ontario.  Jason Rosset will remain with GFL working to further develop the customer base of our combined operations.

Patrick Dovigi, GFL’s Founder and CEO said: “Started by its founder, Jason Rosset, the key to Accuworx’s success has been its core entrepreneurial values: creating solutions that allow it to be a single source provider for all of its customers’ service needs.  This aligns with GFL’s core values and strategy. Accuworx and Sure Horizon also have a committed, passionate employee base that bring the same level of commitment to service excellence for our customers as GFL’s employees.  We are confident that this common commitment will make the integration of our service offerings seamless and allow us to continue to grow and serve our customers.  We are excited to have Jason Rosset and employees of Accuworx in Canada join the GFL team.”

Jason Rosset, Founder of Accuworx said: “Accuworx has traveled a long way as an independent, trail-blazing company, and I am confident that this strategic fit with GFL represents an ideal opportunity for Accuworx and our employees to accelerate to the next chapter of growth while maintaining the entrepreneurial culture in which we have thrived.”

GFL, headquartered in Toronto, ON, is a diversified environmental services company providing  solid waste, infrastructure & soil remediation, and liquid waste management services through its platform of facilities across Canada and in Southeastern Michigan.  GFL has a workforce of more than 5,000 employees.

Remediation Industry loses Brownfield Pioneer

As reported in Brownfield Listings, the legendary brownfields pioneer Charles William Bartsch passed away on January 20th, 2018.  Charlie, as he was known by all who knew him, was a true original and the preeminent brownfield redevelopment policy expert.

He was a formative figure when United States federal brownfield policy was formalizing in the late 80’s and early 90’s that he became known as “Mr. Brownfield.” Many even credit Charlie with coining the term “brownfield” to this day – which might be true in spirit, if not in origin, for the degree to which his work was able to shape the term’s adaptation to the real estate redevelopment lexicon.

Charlie was instrumental is assembling the foundation of modern brownfield redevelopment policy and a plain-spoken, ever-traveling advocate who briefed thousands of lawmakers and local leaders over the years. Always on the road, Charlie was a featured fixture on the conference circuit constantly refreshing his policy picture for public consumption.

Prior to his appointment at U.S. EPA, Charlie was Senior Fellow at ICF International, where he served as ICF’s brownfields and smart growth policy expert. Before that, he was Director of Brownfield Studies at the Northeast-Midwest Institute in Washington DC, a Capitol Hill public policy center affiliated with the bipartisan Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions. Charlie was chair of the National Brownfield Association’s Advisory Board, chair of GroundworkUSA, and on the editorial board for the Bureau of National Affairs. In 2001, Charlie received the International Economic Development Council’s Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Service for ten years of work on brownfield policies and legislation. In 2013, he received a Brownfield Leadership award form the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals, for Lifetime Achievement.

Charlie received his Master’s in Urban Policy and Planning from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and his B.A. in political science and history from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. North Central College celebrated Charlie among their most outstanding alumni in 2013.

For more than 30 years, Charlie was dedicated to brownfield and community redevelopment/reuse strategies and financing. He provided training and technical assistance support in more than 200 communities in over 40 states.

He is the author and co-author of numerous reports and publications on brownfield opportunities, including the pioneering New Life for Old Building: Confronting Environmental and Economic Issues to Industrial Reuse in 1991. He also wrote numerous papers, including a series of formative papers of brownfield financing in the 1990’s, such as Financing Brownfield Reuse: Creative Use of Public Sector Programs, and he co-authored with Elizabeth Collaton the landmark Coming Clean for Economic Development and Brownfields: Cleaning and Reusing Contaminated Properties and Industrial Site Reuse and Urban Redevelopment— An Overview. Charlie also authored two annual reference resources, Brownfields “State of the States” and the Guide to Federal Brownfield Programs; and numerous other works relied on by his fellow professionals across the country.

FirstOnSite Restoration opens new Quebec branch

FirstOnSite Restoration, Canada’s leading independent disaster restoration services provider, has bolstered its Quebec offering with the opening of a new branch in Ste-Agathe, QC.  The branch will serve the restoration, remediation and reconstruction needs of both existing and new customers in the Laurentians region (including Mont Tremblant, Ste-Agathe and Saint-Sauveur) and complement service provided by the current branches in Montréal and Québec City.

This new branch is led by Senior Project Manager and Acting Branch Manager, Olivier Bertrand. Olivier, who resides in the Laurentians, originally joined FirstOnSite in 2010, and has had a successful history of entrepreneurship, business management and restoration industry expertise. He has more than 10-years experience in disaster recovery and restoration, and has worked on multimillion-dollar commercial restoration and reconstruction projects as well as condominiums and residential rebuilds. Olivier has also owned and operated his own construction firm, where he specialized in new build construction.

“Olivier’s experience in leadership, management and restoration uniquely qualifies him to launch and manage this new FirstOnSite location,” said Barry J. Ross, Executive Vice President, FirstOnSite Restoration.

Supporting Olivier is Project Manager, Eric Archambault, a 30-year veteran of the restoration industry, and an expert in loss evaluation and restoration of major residential and commercial properties. Eric is also a resident of the Laurentians.

The new branch will be reinforced by FirstOnSite’s flagship Montréal/Dorval branch – the largest full service commercial and residential restoration provider in the province, and is the next step of the company’s expansion plans in Quebec.

“The Ste-Agathe branch brings a dedicated and full-time staff to the region and reinforces our commitment to providing superior customer service,” said Ross. “It will help FirstOnSite extend the coverage we offer customers through our existing locations.”

About FirstOnSite Restoration

FirstOnSite Restoration Limited is an independent Canadian disaster restoration services provider, providing remediation, restoration and reconstruction services nationwide, and for the U.S. large loss and commercial market. With approximately 1,000 employees, more than 35 locations, 24/7 emergency service and a commitment to customer service, FirstOnSite  serves the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

In May 2016, FirstOnSite joined forces with U.S.-based Interstate Restoration, expanding its resource base, and extending its customer service offering and collectively becoming the second largest restoration service provider in North America.

Market Study on U.S. Volatile Organic Compound Detector Market

Questale, a firm specializing in market research, recently published an industry research that focuses on United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market and delivers in-depth market analysis and future prospects of United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market.  The study covers significant data which makes the research document a handy resource for managers, analysts, industry experts and other key people get ready-to-access and self-analyzed study along with graphs and tables to help understand market trends, drivers and United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market challenges. The study is segmented by Application/ end users Environmental site surveying, Industrial Hygiene, HazMat/Homeland Security , products type PID, Metal-oxide Semiconductor, On the basis on the end users/applications, this report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, sales volume, market share and growth rate for each application, including and various important geographies.

Remote Environmental Monitoring Research

The research covers the current market size of the United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market and its growth rates based on 5 year history data along with company profile of key players/manufacturers. The in-depth information by segments of United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market helps monitor future profitability & to make critical decisions for growth. The information on trends and developments, focuses on markets and materials, capacities, technologies, CAPEX cycle and the changing structure of the United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor Market.

The study provides company profiling, product picture and specifications, sales, market share and contact information of key manufacturers of United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor Market, some of them listed here are REA Systems , Ion Science , Thermo Fisher . The United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market is growing at a very rapid pace and with rise in technological innovation, competition and M&A activities in the industry many local and regional vendors are offering specific application products for varied end-users. The new manufacturer entrants in the United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market are finding it hard to compete with the international vendors based on quality, reliability, and innovations in technology.

United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor (Thousands Units) and Revenue (Million USD) Market Split by Product Type such as PID, Metal-oxide Semiconductor, On the basis on the end users/applications, this report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, sales volume, market share and growth rate for each application, including . Further the research study is segmented by Application such as Environmental site surveying, Industrial Hygiene, HazMat/Homeland Security with historical and projected market share and compounded annual growth rate.

 

Geographically, this United States Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Monitor market research report is segmented into several key Regions, with production, consumption, revenue (million USD), and market share and growth rate of Joint Mixture in these regions, from 2012 to 2022 (forecast), covering ,, etc and its Share (%) and CAGR for the forecasted period 2017 to 2022.

Read Detailed Index of full Research Study at @ https://questale.com/report/united-states-volatile-organic-compound-voc-monitor-market-report-2018/178527.

Transport Canada amends TDGR – Marine Requirements and other miscellaneous changes

As reported by the Compliance Center, the December 13, 2017 edition of the Canada Gazette II contains the expected rewrite of Part 11 “Marine” requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). In addition, there are related changes in other parts, as well as some unrelated miscellaneous changes in other areas.

Marine Amendment

The most wide-reaching change, although perhaps of relatively minor significance to the general regulated community, is the replacement of the term “ship” with “vessel”. This, among other changes, is to update the TDGR to current Canada Shipping Act (CSA, and related regulations) terminology. Many aspects of Part 11 related to the CSA had not been updated since 2008.

Note: Interestingly, the referenced definition of “vessel” in the CSA includes all “means of propulsion”:
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-10.15/page-1.html#h-2

This differs from the TDGR definitions for road and rail vehicles which expressly exclude “muscle power” as a means of propulsion. 

Other definition changes include elimination of the reference to “short run ferry”, previously defined in TDGR Part 1.3 as operating between points “not more than 3 km apart”. TDGR 1.30 special case exemption now refers only to “Ferry,” but describes within the exemption that it’s applicable to operating between two points “not more than 5 km apart.

The definition of an “inland voyage” now cites the CSA Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle regulations (CFTR):
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2007-128/index.html

; which, in turn, defer to the Vessel Certificate regulations (VCR):
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2007-31/

Other aspects of dangerous goods vessel shipment are also found in these CSA regulations.

One more definition that’s been changed to a citation is the one for a roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ship. The vessel is still referred to as a “ship”- since the definition cites the IMDG Code. For those without ready access to the IMDG, the current Ed. 38-16 version reads, in Chapter 1.2 (s. 1.2.1 Definitions):

“…Ro-ro ship (roll-on/roll-off ship) means a ship which has one or more decks, either closed or open, not normally subdivided in any way and generally running the entire length of the ship, carrying goods which are normally loaded and unloaded in a horizontal direction.”

Additional requirements now apply also to ferries regarding passenger vessel limitations, location of shipping documents and incident reporting.

Vessel Restrictions & Exemptions

Schedule 1 Column 8 restrictions regarding carrying DG on passenger vessels is further clarified by TDGR Part 1 sections 1.6 and new special case 1.10.

Gasoline and propane now have a Part 1 special case exemption 1.30.1 to facilitate fuel deliveries and reduce the need for equivalency certificates.

UN3156 is also now permitted in 25 L quantities on passenger vessels.

Mercurous chloride (calomel) is no longer included in the s. 1.46 special case exemption list.

The requirement to mark the flash point on packages with Class 3 contents (s. 4.13) has been removed as it was never an IMDG requirement.

IMDG v. TDGR

Additionally, the often-confusing reference to “Home Trade Voyages” in determining the applicability of the IMDG Code, versus the “standard” TDGR extension of ground requirements, has been replaced by a direct, simplified explanation. Voyages where the vessel (oops – I almost said ship!) is within 120 nautical miles – i.e. 222 km- from shore are considered non-IMDG unless the vessel travels south of the ports of New York or Portland, Oregon, or to another foreign destination. Thus, vessel transport of dangerous goods to St. Pierre and Miquelon (territories of France), despite being within 20 km or so from Newfoundland, require compliance with IMDG.

Inland (mostly “fresh water”) voyages between Canada and other countries – e.g. Great Lakes or rivers to the US – remain excluded from mandatory IMDG compliance. Conversely, vessels registered in Canada but transporting between two foreign destinations, remain under IMDG requirements.

Other Amendments

Changes not directly related to Part 11 topics include correction of some typographical and miscellaneous errors in the TDGR or website html information.

Examples include re-entering the PG II information for UN1790, UN2734 on the website; editing SP 159 to clarify that the new Class 9 Lithium Battery label illustration is only used for labels and not used for placarding purposes – standard Class 9 placards are used (as is the case in air, ocean and US 49 CFR); and updating ICAO references in Part 12.

The Table in 5.16 has been repealed due to the updates in the referenced CSA standards.

Transition:

The changes are effective as of the December 13th CG II publication date and have a transition period of 6 months for mandatory implementation. The CGII document which includes a discussion of the changes in the RIAS (Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement) is found at:

http://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2017/2017-12-13/html/sor-dors253-eng.html

 

Nearly $3 million awarded for R&D of Marine Oil Spill Response Technology by Canadian Federal Government

The Canadian federal government recently announced investments of $2.89 million for four projects to enhance marine incident prevention and responsiveness along Canada’s ocean coastlines.

Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering (C-CORE)

Through its Oil Spill Response Science (OSRS) program, the federal government provided $991,500 to C-CORE, a St. John’s-based research and development company, to increase the efficiency of existing mechanical oil recovery systems for heavy oil products in harsh, cold environments.  The government of Newfoundland and Labrador will also provide $428,500 to the project.

“This project leverages C-CORE’s expertise in analytical modelling, computer simulation and large-scale physical tests to assess and optimize technology performance in harsh environments,” Mark MacLeod, C-CORE president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Lab-scale test apparatus for oil recovery

The main intermediate outcome of this project consists of an improved oil spill collection and separation system that can be integrated in an efficient response technique including a specially designed vessel.  The system will be based on the established concepts and proven technologies for recovery of heavy oil spills from sea water in cold and ice prone ocean environments.

The long-term outcome of the project will include specialized vessels with the required detection, storage, and spill removal systems, tested and proven in the real life conditions.

Project partners with C-CORE include Elastec, Eastern Canada Response Corporation Ltd. (ECRC), and InnovatechNL.

University of Toronto

A further $400,000 will go to a University of Toronto project that will develop a sorbent-based direct oil collector (called In-Situ Foam Filtration System or ISFFS) for use in oil spills.  This system will be capable of directly reclaiming the dissolved, emulsified, dispersed, and free oil from marine spill sites.  To meet this objective, the development of advanced functional foams (sorbents), implementing a bench-top system, and design and optimization of in-situ filtration process as a proof-of-concept will be undertaken.

The ISFF will directly collect the oil from the spill site by pumping through oil sorbent bed, which serves as the filtration media.  For this type of foam, there is no need for high oil-sorption capacity thus, functionalizing the foam with toxic and expensive elements can be avoided along with minimizing material costs.  Moreover, the in-situ filtration will make the oil sorption process continuous, simplifies oil collection, making oil spill response quicker and more cost effective.

Project partners include Tetra Tech, Polaris Applied Sciences Inc., Dr. Foam Canada, Gracious Living Innovations Inc., and ShawCor Ltd.

University of Alberta’s Advanced Water Research Lab

The OSRS program will be contributing $600,000 towards a $1.65 million project be undertaken at the University of Alberta.  The project involves the development of an on-board membrane based hybrid oil/water separation system.  If successfully developed, the system will significantly increase the capacity of recovery vessels that physically collect oil spilled at sea, thereby reducing the cost and spill response time for cleanup.  The technology can be directly and easily incorporated into existing rapid deployment spill clean-up systems mounted on ships or barges.  It would be ready to commercialize for manufacturers of existing oil spill clean-up tankers, making the research easy to implement for large or small-scale spills and for potential use in future high-risk areas of development.

BC Research Inc.

Finally, the federal OSRS program committed $925,000 to BC Research Inc., a company with a broad experience in chemical product development, to further develop a hybrid spill-treating agent (STA) that will help slow or prevent the spread of an oil slick on water.

If the R&D project is successful, a hybrid STA will be commercially available that can be used to combat marine oil spills at large scale.  The hybrid STA would have both gelling and herding properties, to prevent or slow down the spreading of an oil slick by rendering it into a thickened (gelled) state, as well as to use it as a herding agent, to facilitate either controlled burn or skimming operations.

Current oil recovery rates for spills on water are estimated to be in the range of 10-20%.  With current STAs, there are few options to prevent or slow down weathering processes, including spreading and dispersion. Delaying the spreading and weathering process would potentially facilitate cleanup and improve the degree/rate of oil removed.

Project partners include NORAM Engineers and Constructors and the University of British Columbia.

Volunteers cleaning Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, 1973. (Source: John Denniston)

Brownfield Redevelopment in Western New York

As reported in the Buffalo Law Journal/Buffalo Business First, Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated four Brownfield Opportunity Areas in Buffalo last month, providing another tool for area stakeholders to have the areas developed.

He designated areas in South Buffalo, the Buffalo Harbor, the Buffalo river corridor and the Tonawanda Street corridor.

“These designations will equip Buffalo officials with tools and resources needed to carry out their vision of community revitalization and help turn these blighted properties back into economic engines,” he said. “This is one more reason why Buffalo remains a city on the move.”

Before the designation, the city had to submit plans for the areas, said Michael Hecker, senior associate at Hodgson Russ. “The goal is to find these areas and figure out a way for the state to work with them to help them with long-term planning on how to redevelop the sites.”

It’s a three-step grant process to determine how to revitalize a brownfield area, Hecker said.

“The first step is a pre-nomination study,” he said. “The second is step is nomination and the third is implementation strategy.”

South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area (Credit: Buffalo Urban Development Corporation)

In the pre-nomination phase, a municipality and associated groups look at an area that may have an issue and explore ways to revitalize the area. In the nomination process, funding sources are considered, as well as market trends. And in the third step, implementation of the plan is identified and there’s a thorough accounting of funding sources.

“It’s a wholesome package that the state has developed as a basis to spur economic development,” Hecker said.

The three steps are completed through the New York State Department of State. Once the governor designates a brownfield opportunity area, various programs can lead to more state benefits.

“If you do your redevelopment project through a BOA, there are additional tax credits available,” Hecker said.

“It’s basically the governor recognizing that these areas have spent the time and focus on an economic redevelopment strategy and they should qualify for additional credits to spur redevelopment in these areas.”

He said the designations fit in with the city’s Green Code under Mayor Byron Brown.

“(BOAs) are a central component of our city’s Green Code initiative and my administration’s place-based economic development strategy,” Brown said in a statement.

“The State’s approval of the BOAs, created by the city of Buffalo with significant public input, places Buffalo at the forefront of brownfield redevelopment nationally and will further enhance Buffalo’s ability to compete for investment, bringing new life to even more neighborhoods by making use of underutilized properties that create jobs for city residents.”

Some of the areas will need to go through remediation in order to be redeveloped, according to Hecker. For instance, the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area, which consists of approximately 1,968 acres in an area that was once heavily industrialized by the steel industry, has sites that will require remediation.

Plans for that site include a nine-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor recreation and expansion of the Tifft Nature Preserve.

The Buffalo River Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area also has long-standing contamination issues. It’s made up of 1,050 acres in the Old First Ward, containing 58 possible brownfield sites.

“One of the main areas of that project is restoration and enhancement of the environmental quality of the river and enhancing waterfront access,” Hecker said.

“Buffalo is lucky in the fact that it has an unbelievable natural resource with water access. Over the last 10 to 15 years, you’ve definitely seen an enhanced focus on trying to leverage that natural resource to be an economic driver. I think the city, to its credit, has done a very good job of doing that. This is just another option for them to utilize that program to benefit it.”

The Buffalo Harbor Brownfield Opportunity Area is 1,045 acres, with six brownfield sites. The area includes waterfront space at both the Inner and Outer harbors.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said BOA designation will help with future waterfront development.

“Investing in environmental remediation prepares our communities for revitalization and renewed economic activity,” Ryan said. “Contaminated sites along our waterfront have made progress difficult over the years.”

The Tonawanda Street Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area is 650 acres containing 46 potential brownfield sites. Plans include reconstruction of the Scajaquada Expressway and restoration of Scajaquada Creek.

Hecker said the designated areas represent places where longtime residents can see the potential benefit to redevelopment.

“One of the interesting things to me about these projects is that they really are fully integrated community projects,” he said.

Brownfield funding is available at the federal level through the Environmental Protection Agency, as well, Hecker said.

While the Trump administration has pared back the EPA, Administrator Scott Pruitt has said that brownfields would remain a priority to the agency.

“There hasn’t been any change in that area,” Hecker said.

Pruitt is focused on shifting the responsibility for contaminated sites to states, Hecker said.

“(Pruitt) wants states to work together with the federal government in a limited capacity to manage these things on their own,” he said.

“From a standpoint of economic development, especially with President Trump’s focus on infrastructure, I don’t think this is going to be a major issue unless there are further cuts in the budget. That remains to be seen.”

Canadian Government to spend $80 million to Study Oil Spills

Building on the announcements of $3 million in funding for R&D on oil spill response technology, the federal government recently announced it is spending $80-million on oil spill research on preventing spills as well as their effect on the marine environment.

There will be $45.5-million set up for a research program that will foster collaboration among researchers in Canada and around the world, with $10-million a year to bring scientists together to study how oil spills behave, how to clean and contain them and how to minimize environmental damage. 

The Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research in Halifax will also get some of the $16.8-million in funding for new scientists and specialized equipment.  It will support oil spill research to better understand how oil degrades in different conditions.

Another $17.7-million will be used to fund research and development of enhanced ocean computer models of winds, waves and currents to allow responders to better track spills.

The funds are part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan, which is aimed at developing a marine safety system.