BacTech Awarded OCE Grant in Support of Arsenic Research

BacTech Environmental Corporation (CSE: BAC, OTC Pink: BCCEF) recently announced that its joint application with Laurentian University to Ontario Centres of Excellence (“OCE”) has been approved for $75,000 through OCE’s Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II (“VIP II”), offered on behalf of the Province of Ontario.  These funds are to be leveraged against contributions from BacTech Environmental Corporation in the amounts of $37,500 cash and $37,500 in-kind.

“We are pleased to be part of a unique collaboration that we hope will lead to great advances in dealing with arsenic issues in mining. Given the amount of arsenic that is released globally through mining, both primary and artisanal, any advancements in this area should be welcomed”, said Ross Orr, President and CEO of BacTech.

The purpose of the funding is to test bioleaching against very high arsenic concentrates (+10%) that are becoming more prevalent, not only in Canada, but also in numerous South American countries. BacTech is interested in applying bioleaching as a process technology to treat high grade gold/arsenic concentrates being produced in Ponce Enriquez, Ecuador.  Presently, these concentrates are being sold overseas and include penalties for high levels of arsenic.  BacTech proposes a “made at home” solution whereby concentrates produced in Ponce Enrique will be processed locally using BacTech BACOX technology.  It is hoped that the introduction of a bioleach circuit would lead to lower levels of mercury use, as well as reduced discharges of arsenic into the local environment.

A 300-kg sample of arsenopyrite concentrate will be purchased shortly from the local flotation plants in Ponce Enriquez.  This material will then be shipped to Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada for 5-6 months of bioleach test work.  The results of the test work will form the basis of the plant design for the proposed bioleach plant.  Laurentian University partner, Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk, is thrilled to have the funding to advance the use of genomic tools and selective microbial culturing to help optimize the BACOX process.  The cultures, which are isolated from various mine sites, including Sudbury, Ontario, are going to be used in the trials.

 

“We are very pleased to be able to support this impressive company,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. “This is a technological approach with the potential for widespread application and the ability to solve a serious problem.”

This OCE funded project will not only help advance the Ecuador work, but will also help advance the technology and potential application for re-processing various mine wastes in Ontario and elsewhere.

BacTech Environmental Corporation holds the perpetual, exclusive, royalty-free rights to use the patented BACOX bioleaching technology for the reclamation of tailings and mining waste materials.  The Company continues to field enquiries globally with respect to additional opportunities for remediation, including licensing transactions for the technology.

Business Opportunity for Ontario Water Technology Companies

The Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP) recently launched a call for applications for our new Export Development Pilot Program.  It’s open to all Canadian companies.

Is your Canadian water technology company interested in targeting high-potential water and wastewater utility clients in California or Texas?

WaterTAP, with funding from the Global Opportunities for Industry Associations (GOA) federal government grants and contribution program, is pleased to announce a call for companies to participate in an export development pilot program for the Canadian water sector.

WaterTAP is partnering with WatrHub Inc. to deliver this program. WatrHub is an Ontario-based data-mining and analytics company that delivers timely, tailored market intelligence on water and wastewater systems. WatrHub works with its clients to define sales targets, mine municipal data, and help identify, prioritize, and monitor high-potential leads.

Participating companies will work with WatrHub and WaterTAP over a four-month period to:

  • Identify up to 300 potential utility/municipal sales leads in California or Texas.
  • Monitor these leads using specified indicators to identify high-potential clients and shorten the sales cycle.
  • Contact high-potential clients and, where possible, set up meetings during WEFTEC (September 30 – October 4, 2017) and Ontario Water Innovation Week (October 30 – November 3, 2017)

Participants may also have the opportunity to attend a targeted Canadian trade mission to Texas or California to further pursue these high-potential leads.

With the generous support of the GOA Program, participating companies will receive WatrHub’s service at a special rate. The current cost of this WatrHub service is US$16,000; companies will be asked to contribute CAN$8,921+HST, which is less than half of this service’s full market value.

This is an excellent opportunity to invest in market intelligence and refine your company’s sales strategy based on defined, high-potential leads in California or Texas.

Company eligibility requirements:

  • The company must be a Canadian registered for-profit company operating under the laws of Ontario or Canada and must have a permanent establishment in Canada.
  • Municipalities must make up 75 percent or more of company sales.
  • The company’s technology must be implemented or piloted in California or Texas.
  • Annual company revenues must be between $2 million and $10 million.
  • At least one company representative is attending WEFTEC 2017.
  • The company has never used WatrHub’s services.

Four companies from across Canada will be selected for this pilot program.  If your company meets the above eligibility requirements and you are interested in this opportunity, please submit this application form.

If you have any questions, please contact Lesley Herstein ([email protected], 416-593-0303 x108).

Alberta government announces $1.3 million creosote monitoring project for Calgary

As reported in the Calgary Herald, the Province of Alberta recently announced a five-year project to continue monitoring creosote levels in the West Hillhurst community in the City of Calgary.

The Alberta government said the goal of the $1.3-million study is to assess the extent of contamination in the neighbourhood and examine levels throughout the year to determine any changes between seasons. It is important that we try to preserve the health of this great city in any way that we possibly can. The city has so much to offer, not to mention the great pride we feel when we are on our way to the Scotiabank Saddledome clutching Calgary Flames tickets.

What is the Source of the Creosote?

The source of the creosote contamination is the former Canada Creosote Plant that operated on the south side of the Bow River in Calgary for over 40 years, from 1924 to 1962. The Canada Creosote Company (later Domtar Corporation) operated a wood treatment plant in downtown Calgary. Wood treatment, using a mixture of chemicals occurred at the Plant. With time, these compounds migrated into and under the Bow River into the community of West Hillhurst.

In its recent news release, the Alberta government stated: “The most recent monitoring, between 2010 and 2014, did not identify risks to human or aquatic and environmental health. However, the province is funding this long-term project to better understand the scope and nature of the creosote in the community and along the Bow River.”

What is Creosote?

Creosote is the name used for a variety of products that are a mixture of many chemicals. Coal tar creosotes are distillation products of coal tar, and coal tar pitch is a residue produced during the distillation of coal tar. Coal tar creosote volatiles are rarely formed in nature. Coal tar creosote, coal tar, and coal tar pitch are mixtures of similar compounds. For this reason, many profiles of coal tar creosote also include coal tar, and coal tar pitch and all three are simply referred to as creosote.

What the Environmental and Human Health Impacts?

Coal tar creosote contains some components that dissolve in water and some that do not. Coal tar creosote components that dissolve in water may move through the soil to eventually reach and enter the groundwater, where they may persist. Once in the groundwater, breakdown may take years. Most of the components that are not water soluble will remain in place in a tar-like mass. Breakdown in soil can take months for some components of coal tar creosote, and much longer for others. Sometimes, the small amounts of chemical remaining in the soil or water that take a long time to break down are still toxic to some animals and possibly to humans..

Volatile chemicals in coal tar creosote may evaporate and enter the air. About 1-2% of the coal tar creosote applied to treated wood is released to the air. This is a small amount compared with the amount of coal tar creosote found in waste water or soil.

Once coal tar creosote is in the environment, both plants and animals can absorb parts of the creosote mixture. Some components of coal tar creosote have been found in plants exposed to creosote-treated wood in nearby soil. The plants absorb very little (less than 0.5% of the amount available to the plant). Animals such as crickets, snails, and worms take up coal tar creosote components from the environment that are passed into the body through skin, lungs, or stomachs. Animals that live in the water, such as crustacea, shellfish, and worms, also take up coal tar creosote compounds. For instance, mussels attached to creosote-treated pilings and snails and oysters living in water near a wood-treatment plant had creosote in their tissues. Coal tar creosote components are also broken down by microorganisms living in the soil and natural water. The components of coal tar and coal tar pitch move in the environment in a similar way.

The West Hillhurst Study

The study is a continuation of monitoring in West Hillhurst that began more than two decades ago when officials discovered creosote had seeped into the area from a former creosote plant across the Bow River in the West Village.

“They’re being responsible about this because I think for a long time … we’ve had successive governments in the municipal and at the provincial level kind of think the containment was enough, the monitoring was enough,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters.

“What we’re really seeing both from the city and the province is, you know what, we actually can’t just contain it. We really have to move towards cleaning it up.”

The first year of the project will consist of sampling from an existing network of monitoring wells throughout the community.

The first report is expected to be available in mid-2018.

Environmental monitoring determined in the early 1990s that contamination had migrated under the Bow River into the neighbourhood of West Hillhurst.

A containment wall was put in place between 1995 and 1996 to prevent further migration of creosote into the Bow River.

 

Company pays $3.5 million in law suit alleging illegal Hazwaste Disposal

Big Lots Stores Inc. was recently ordered to pay more than $3.5 million in fines following settlement of a lawsuit alleging illegal hazardous waste disposal at its 206 California stores and a distribution center.  The law suit, filed by 35 California District Attorneys, was the result of an investigation into the company’s disposal of hazardous waste into trash bins at its stores throughout California.

In the opinion of the District Attorneys’, Big Lots failed to properly handle waste at all of its stores and its distribution center.  The hazardous materials were also illegally transported to local landfills not permitted to receive the waste.

“The hazardous waste included ignitable and corrosive liquids, toxic materials, batteries, electronic devices and other e-waste,” Deputy District Attorney Dan Loug for San Bernardino County said to Daily Press. “In some instances, the hazardous waste was the result of overstock or expired merchandise. “In others, it was the result of spills, damaged containers and customer returns.”

Per the settlement, Big Lots must pay $2,017,500 in civil penalties and $336,250 to reimburse the costs of investigation.  Additionally, $350,000 more “will fund supplemental environmental projects furthering environmental enforcement and consumer protection in California,” according to the statement.

The company will also fund hazardous waste minimization and enhanced compliance projects valued at $803,750 and has implemented new policies, procedures and training designed to properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste.

Alberta Court Places Creditors over the Environment

As reported by the CBC and the Calgary Herald, the Alberta Court of Appeal (in a 2-1 decision) has upheld the Redwater Energy decision that gave secured creditors priority over environmental clean-up in the case of an energy bankruptcy.

The case centered on a small energy company called Redwater Energy, which went into receivership in 2015, owing $5 million to ATB Financial, a financial institution owned by the province of Alberta.  At the time of its bankruptcy, Redwater had few producing oil and gas wells, as well as many more assets that were not producing and would need to be reclaimed.

Alberta energy regulations say that producing wells would have to be sold to pay the environmental clean-up costs of the non-producing wells or other assets.

Insolvency wins the day

The receiver for the insolvent company — accounting firm Grant Thornton — along with ATB Financial, instead wanted to sell the producing wells to pay off the debt to ATB and leave the non-producing wells to be cleaned up by the Orphan Well Association, which is funded by industry.

The case went to a lower court that was tasked with deciding which has priority: federal insolvency law, or provincial energy regulations.  Two courts have now decided insolvency law wins the day and Grant Thornton is in the process of selling the producing assets.

This case has implications that reach far beyond one small energy company.  British Columbia and Saskatchewan both participated in the appeal in support of the Alberta Energy Regulator because the case could act as a precedent in other provinces.

 Costs and benefits

There are some benefits, said Kathleen Shannon, a lawyer with Field Law.

“Lenders will still feel secure in their creditor positions, so they’re likely to continue lending to the oil and gas industry.  If the decision had been reversed, there would have been more hesitancy from financial institutions.”

Shannon pointed out that the AER will have some work to do to ensure it has enough security against the environmental obligations of energy companies. It also has the option to further appeal.

“I think the fact that there’s dissent means that potentially there will be another appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada,” she said.

Opportunity in the U.S. for Oil Spill Response Training

The U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, California, is soliciting proposals for a contract to provide Oil Spill Response Training via instruction of three classes–Facility Response Plan Training, Spill Management Team Training, and New Skimmer Training – at various locations worldwide.  The solicitation is available at https://www.neco.navy.mil/ under solicitation number N3943017R1912.  The resulting contract will be a single-award, firm-fixed-price IDIQ contract with a base ordering period of 60 months.  This requirement is set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses under NAICS code 541620. Quotes must be received by 4:00 PM PT on May 12, 2017.

 

Outlook of the Global Emergency Spills Response Market

Fior Markets recently issued a market study report entitled “The Emergency Spill Response Market Research Report.”  The report is a professional and in-depth study on industry Size, Share, Trends, Growth, Application, Consumption Volume and Value, Forecast, Supply, Production, Price, Professional Survey 2017 to 2022

The report offers a holistic overview of the Emergency Spill Response market with the help of application segments and geographical regions that govern the market currently.  Further, the report delves deep into the value chain of the Emergency Spill Response market so as to emerge with information specific areas that hold high revenue-generating potential. With the Emergency Spill Response market having undergone certain inherent shifts in the past decades, the report discusses how these changes will impact the future.

Moreover, the report also provides a realistic picture of the state of both traditional and emerging markets. The advantages and disadvantages of investing in these markets are discussed at length in the Emergency Spill Response market report. Companies in the Emergency Spill Response market have realized that innovation is of utmost importance for sustained growth. In keeping with this pressing need for innovation, the report tracks latest developments and analysts have dedicated substantial efforts toward spotting new business opportunities.

The report further focuses on the leading industry players that will steer the course of the Emergency Spill Response market through the forecast period. Each of these players is analyzed in detail so as to obtain details pertaining to their product/services, recent announcements and partnerships, investment strategies and so on. A detailed segmentation evaluation of the Emergency Spill Response market has been provided in the report. Detailed information about the key segments of the market and their growth prospects are available in the report.  The detailed analysis of their sub-segments is also available in the report.  The revenue forecasts and volume shares along with market estimates are available in the report.

U.S. EPA Marketplace 2017: Procurement Opportunities for Small Business

The U.S. EPA, Office of Acquisition Management, RTP Procurement Operations Division will be hosting Marketplace 2017 in Durham, North Caroline on May 31st, 2017.  The venue for the event is the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center.

The Marketplace event is a bi-annual regional “reverse” trade show that provides small business owners a broad-based business opportunity to meet contracting officers from over 50 large prime contractors and federal, state, and local government agencies.  Contracting officers and representatives from industry will present training sessions and answer questions on a variety of contracting topics.  The Marketplace 2017 website hosts the complete event agenda and electronic registration at http://www.sbtdc.org/events/marketplace/.

 

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Orders Clean-up of Contaminated Site

The Nova Scotia (N.S.) Supreme Court recently confirmed that polluters must clean up a contaminated site in rural community of less than 1000 people that is approximately 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of Halifax.

In the decision, the court ruled that a numbered company (3076525 Nova Scotia Ltd., referred as “307 NSL” by the court) must abide by a clean-up ordered issued in 2016 by the N.S. Department of the Environment.  The numbered company owns recycling operation and the property is contaminated.  The contamination from the property has spread into the groundwater and impacted the drinking water wells of residential neighbours.

Contaminants found in monitoring wells on the property and in neighbouring drinking water wells include uranium, lead and arsenic.  The contaminant levels exceed what is considered safe in the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines.

The numbered company had claimed that the clean-up order should not have been issued at it for a number of reasons.  The first reason being that is could not have known of the contamination with the exercise of due diligence.  Secondly, it did not receive any economic benefit when it purchased the assets of the previous owner, RDM Recycling [referred to by the court as “301 NSL”], and took over the recycling business in 2005 and the company name.  In particular, there was not any offset between the price paid and the fair market value of property.  In other words, they did not receive a discount for the purchase of contaminated property that would need to be remediated.

In the Court’s decision, it deemed the property “very polluted” and stated that for the past two decades the Province had received complaints from neighbours of the property about the deteriorating quality of drinking water in their residential wells.  During that time, from 1997 to 2005, 301 NSL, operating as RDM Recycling, ran a recycling business on the property for construction and demolition material.

In early 2000, Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) discovered stockpiles of waste material at the RDM C&D recycling site.  NSE allowed RDM to construct a one-time disposal cell on their site.  It took 4 years to complete, while the stockpiles remained, and finally in 2004 RDM finished the cell and they buried over 120,000 tonnes of stockpiled waste.

In 2005, the 307 NSL [the company appealing the existing clean-up order] took over the assets, operating name, and business operations of 301 NSL.  It did not purchase the property.  Instead, it leased the property from 301 NSL.

Government Orders for the clean-up of the property date back in 2010.  At that time, the clean-up cost was estimated at $10.6 million.  The two companies (301 NSL and 307 NSL) along with three individuals were named in the 2010 Order.  The 2016 Order before the Supreme Court replaces early Orders.  The companies have never fully complied with any of the Orders.

In its ruling, the N.S. Supreme Court dismissed the claims made by the 307 NSL and ruled that the clean-up ordered issued by the government was legitimate and must be followed.  As such, the 307 NSL must perform remediation of the property and conduct monitoring.

U.S. Army confirms PFOS/PFOA Contamination at New Jersey Base

U.S. Department of Defence officials at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst have confirmed that chemicals used in firefighting foam has been found in several groundwater sources on and off the base.

The chemicals in question are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  They are synthetic compounds classified that are components of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a type of fire-fighting foam.  AFFF is the most efficient extinguishing method for petroleum-based fires and is widely used across the firefighting industry, to include all commercial airports, to protect people and property.

PFOA and PFOS are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals.  They have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) that are resistant to water, grease or stains. They are also used for firefighting at airfields and in a number of industrial processes.

On the base, the groundwater monitoring program consisted of testing approximately 165 groundwater monitoring wells and 28 drinking water sources.  Results of analysis from groundwater samples show that 124 wells and two drinking water sources had contamination levels of PFOS and PFOA far in excess of the U.S. EPA health advisory for the compounds.  In some samples, the PFOS/PFOA concentrations were thousands of time higher than the standard.  The highest concentration of PFOS/PFOA was 264,300 parts per trillion.

To provide Americans, including the most sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure to PFOA and PFOS from drinking water, the U.S. EPA established the health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion.  When both PFOA and PFOS are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS should be compared with the 70 parts per trillion health advisory level.

Results of analysis from groundwater samples taken from private wells off the base also showed high PFOS and PFOA concentrations.  Of 131 off-base private drinking water wells tested, three were contaminated, and one had combined PFOS/PFOA levels of 1,392 parts per trillion.

Since the 1970s, the Air Force used this foam at crash sites, in fire training areas and some maintenance hangers at active, Reserve, Air National Guard and former installations.  The Air Force is systematically testing for potential PFOS/PFOA releases in soil, surface water and groundwater U.S. Air Force-wide where AFFF may have been used.

The U.S. Air Force identified approximately 200 installations (active, Reserve, Air National Guard and closed) where firefighting foam may have been released and is conducting site inspections to confirm if releases occurred.  As of November 2016, the U.S. Air Force completed preliminary assessments for 96 percent of the 200 installations.  The U.S. Air Force is prioritizing sampling based on factors, such as; potential pathways to drinking water, depth to groundwater and potential for contam

inate to migrate off base.

Currently, the U.S. Air Force is focused identify bases where there is PFOS/PFOA contaminated drinking water.  If contamination is found in the drinking water supply, immediate action will be taken to provide an alternative drinking water source.  Furthermore, the U.S. Air Force will initiate a long-term solution for safe drinking water which may include carbon filtration systems, plume-migration control, land use control, or other measures.  Finally, the U.S. Air Force is taking measures to prevent further groundwater contamination by replacing PFOS/PFOA-containing AFFF with more environmentally responsible AFFF.