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/.

Lost Insurance Policy? Pursuing Coverage For Long-Tail Environmental Liability Still Feasible

Companies facing environmental cleanup liability typically confront claims that are brought multiple decades after the alleged polluting activity took place. This passage of time often results in the loss or disappearance of crucial historic documents, including insurance policies, necessary to respond to the claims. Historic general liability insurance policies issued before pollution exclusions became commonplace in the 1970s are of particular value in protecting a company from exposure to “long-tail” environmental liability. Finding these policies, or evidence of their existence, therefore is a must. Companies without general liability insurance may want to seek out such policies, like those from feingoldco.com, to ensure that they are covered. A recent New Jersey federal court decision serves as a helpful reminder that when the actual policies cannot be located, even limited documentary evidence of their existence, when buttressed by the expert testimony of a credentialed insurance archaeologist, may be sufficient to prove the coverage and facilitate recovery. If this is not possible, then the next option may be to turn to https://insuranceoctopus.co.uk/tradesman-contractors-insurance/plant-and-machinery-insurance/ for help and advice.

In E.M. Sergeant Pulp & Chemical Co., Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., Inc., Civ. No. 12-1741, 2015 WL 9413094 (D.N.J. Jan. 17, 2017), the plaintiff policyholder was seeking insurance coverage for defense and indemnity relating to environmental pollution claims arising out of a New Jersey site. The policyholder, a distributor of heavy industrial inorganic chemicals and raw materials, owned property in Newark from 1942 to 1984. In 2004, the United States Environmental Protection Agency notified the policyholder that it was a Potentially Responsible Party (“PRP”) with respect to the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site. In 2009, the policyholder was sued as a third-party defendant in a lawsuit alleging property damage caused by environmental pollution from activities occurring 50-75 years ago.

Faced with this potential cleanup liability, the policyholder conducted a historical search for insurance policies covering the time period of the alleged polluting activities. The search failed to disclose any insurance policies, but it did produce a handful of documents containing scattered information identifying a certain insurance company and years of possible coverage, but no detail about the terms of coverage. The insurance company denied that it had issued any policy, so the policyholder sued it for coverage. On the insurer’s motion for summary judgment, the court concluded that the policyholder’s indirect (or secondary) documentary evidence of coverage, while “scanty,” was “barely sufficient” to defeat the motion because it was supplemented by the expert opinion of an insurance archaeologist with 30 years of experience.

The policyholder’s documentary evidence consisted of (1) four pages of handwritten entries in its bookkeeping ledgers, (2) an application submitted to another insurer in 1964, (3) a note relating to the application and (4) certain standard policy forms that it obtained from the insurance company in discovery. In addition to this documentary evidence, the policyholder submitted the opinions of an expert in the field of insurance archaeology, an area involving the reconstruction and auditing of historic insurance coverage. The expert expressed his opinion that the missing policies provided coverage for “public liability,” including third-party bodily injury and property damage, and that the coverage was continuous from 1948 through 1965.

The court observed in its ruling that a missing policy is not fatal to a policyholder’s coverage claim, but emphasized that the policyholder has the burden of proving the existence and terms of the missing policy by a preponderance of the evidence under New Jersey law. It noted that other jurisdictions have utilized a higher standard of “clear-and-convincing” evidence. The key factor for the E.M. Sergeant court, however, was the expert testimony which provided sufficient illumination of the otherwise limited documentary evidence.

There are several important takeaways from this case for any company named as a PRP or sued in connection with Superfund or other environmental cleanup liabilities:

    1. Search for pre-pollution exclusion policies or evidence of such policies. Prioritize locating general liability insurance policies for the time period of the alleged polluting activity and, if they cannot be found, carefully search the company’s historical records for any evidence of that coverage. A search should include not only the company’s insurance files, but also its financial records and claims files. As the M. Sergeant case demonstrates, ledgers and other bookkeeping records, including cancelled checks, may identify insurance companies in entries noting premium payments or refunds, and perhaps reference specific policy numbers. Claims files similarly may identify an insurance company that paid to defend or settle a claim in a particular year.
    2. Check with your broker(s). The records of a company’s insurance brokers can be a treasure trove of information. Brokers may have retained information on the placement of coverage in relevant years, including the specific insurance companies, policy numbers, limits and terms of coverage, if not the policies themselves. It is noteworthy that in the M. Sergeant case the broker’s records were not available, but they could have bolstered the policyholder’s otherwise meager documentary evidence.
    3. Consider retaining an insurance archeology expert. The most significant takeaway from M. Sergeantis the singular importance of the insurance archaeologist expert’s opinions with regard to the documentary evidence in that case. The expert opined, based on the available documents, that the missing policies included coverage for third-party property damage (that is, the environmental contamination), and that coverage continued for almost 40 years. As the court acknowledged, the expert’s opinion supplemented the documentary evidence and was the “difference” in a close case. Insurance archaeologists may also assist in the search for secondary evidence of lost policies, both inside and outside of the company. This may be especially warranted in situations where a company is charged with inherited environmental liability from an acquisition, compounding the already tedious task of searching for historic records.
    4. Know your evidentiary standard. It may be that more robust secondary evidence of historic insurance than that available in M. Sergeant would prove to be sufficient even without an expert’s opinion – at least under the “preponderance” evidentiary standard. In states with a higher burden of proof, however, an expert may be particularly valuable. Regardless of the evidentiary standard, it now behooves policyholders seeking coverage in a missing policy case to consider retaining an insurance archaeology expert to supplement available secondary evidence of coverage. Experienced insurance coverage counsel can provide helpful guidance and recommendations on this and other complicated issues in long-tail environmental coverage matters.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

This article was first published on the Beveridge and Diamond website.

______________________

About the authors

John H. Kazanjian is the Managing Principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.’s New York, New York office. He also chairs Beveridge & Diamond’s Insurance Coverage and Recovery practice, and has served as a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Kazanjian has over forty years of experience in complex civil and commercial litigation, including trials and appeals in federal and state courts throughout the country.

Mr. Kazanjian concentrates his practice on the representation of policyholders in insurance coverage disputes and manufacturers in product liability, toxic tort and mass liability cases. He also has extensive litigation experience in a variety of other areas, including antitrust, trade regulation, intellectual property, banking, business torts, securities, commodities, contracts, construction, defamation, international, real estate, admiralty and maritime disputes. In addition, Mr. Kazanjian has substantial experience in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.

Mr. Kazanjian has represented numerous corporate and governmental policyholders seeking insurance recovery for bodily injury, property damage, financial loss and other alleged liabilities. His clients have included chemical, oil, tire, building products, pulp and paper, mining, recycling, technology, beverage, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers as well as hotel operators, franchisors, home builders, property developers and owners, financial services companies, universities and municipalities.

Nicole Weinstein focuses her practice on insurance recovery, environmental litigation, and regulatory matters. Nicole excels at identifying avenues of coverage and defense, and in distilling complicated requirements into understandable terms.

Projects Nicole has worked on include:

Working with legal teams litigating, arbitrating, and mediating to successful settlement in coverage disputes, including suits involving general liability, professional liability, umbrella and excess liability, and Bermuda form policies for industries such as housing development, electronics, security, and hotels.
Advising on claims under various other types of policies in multiple industries, including specialty environmental and property policies.
Defending Fortune 500 companies against claims for cost recovery and contribution in multi-million dollar CERCLA cleanups.
Successful defense on behalf of a waste management company to protect its agreement with a municipality to operate a landfill against an appeal by residents claiming that proper notice procedures had not been followed.
Handling product liability cases related to alleged groundwater contamination involving a gasoline additive. Working as part of a team of Beveridge & Diamond attorneys, Nicole assisted with briefing efforts that successfully precluded irrelevant, costly discovery.

Nicole serves as co-chair of the Emerging Issues Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor for the School of Professional Studies at the City University of New York, where she teaches a Business Law II course for undergraduate students in the Business program.

Prior to joining the Firm, Nicole practiced insurance coverage with a national law firm and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Catherine M. Langlois, now retired, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Morris and Sussex County, General Equity Division. After her clerkship, Nicole earned an LL.M. in environmental law from Pace University, during which time she interned with the Environmental Protection Agency, in the New York/Caribbean Superfund Branch.

ONEIA’s 2017 Golf Day – July 19th 2017

REGISTER NOW!

The Ontario Environment Industry Association’s (ONEIA’s) annual golf event brings together a mix of environmental businesspeople from a range of companies to support the Association.

Prior to the afternoon of relaxing golf and networking, we offer an exciting morning program with speaker Karl Baldauf from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce who will be speaking to the topic of environmental exporting in an age of tight borders and “buy America”. We will conclude the day with a banquet dinner and awards presentation.

When: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Registration open from 9:00 AM. Start morning program: 10:00 AM. BBQ lunch: 11:00 AM; Shotgun start: 12:30 PM; Banquet dinner: 6:30 PM
Where: The Royal Ontario Golf Club, 6378 Trafalgar Rd., Milton, ON L0P 1E0

To register:

Foursome registration fee is $700.00 or bundle with a hole sponsorship for just $1,000 (unstaffed)
Or bundle your foursome registration with a staffed hole (up to two people) for $2,000 (ONEIA members) or $3,000 (not-yet ONEIA member)
Individual registration fee is $175.00

Registration: https://oneiagolf2017.eventbrite.com

A variety of sponsorship options are available. Please CLICK HERE to view the package or contact Marjan in the ONEIA office for further information at: [email protected] or 416-531-7884 ext. 2.

PROMOTIONAL ITEMS
Participating companies are invited to donate branded items for bags that will be given to all registrants. Items such as ball caps, pens, stress balls, note pads, key rings, golf balls, tees, and other items provide an opportunity for you to expose your brand to more than 120 golfers.

If you would like to donate promotional items for the registration bags, please send an email to Marjan at ONEIA, [email protected], or call 416-531-7884, ext. 1.

Marketing Opportunities in Hazmat Magazine

Hazmat Management Magazine’s weekly e-newsletter is distributed to over 18,000 environmental, cleantech, and hazmat professionals in North America. Have your company’s product or service included in our company profile section of HazMat Management’s weekly e-newsletter or web site.

Starting at only $695.00 per month (4 times) for the e-newsletter, advertising in Hazmat Magazine provides your organization with a cost-effective means of reaching your target audience.

For more information on marketing in Hazmat Management magazine, contact Brad O’Brien at 416-510-6798 or [email protected]

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.

U.S. EPA Announces Superfund Task Force

As part of his continued effort to prioritize Superfund cleanups, Administrator Scott Pruitt announced on May 22nd the creation of a Superfund task force to provide recommendations within 30 days on how the EPA can streamline and improve the Superfund program, including:

  • expediting the cleanup process;
  • reducing the burden on cooperating parties; incentivizing parties to remediate sites;
  • encouraging private investment in cleanups and sites; promoting the revitalization of properties across the country; and
  • establishing and strengthening partnerships.

This action follows Administrator Pruitt’s recent directive that authority to select remedies estimated to cost $50 million or more be retained by the Administrator to help revitalize contaminated sites faster. Read the full press release for more information about the Superfund Task Force at https://go.usa.gov/xNXYR.

 

 

 

Revitalization Plan of Mississauga’s Brownfield on its Waterfront

As reported by Insauga.com, plans are underway to turn 73-acre site on Mississauga, Ontario’s waterfront into a mixture of residential homes, offices, and a college campus.

A consortium of developers, West Village Partners closed a deal to develop the brownfield site and has prepared a draft plan for revitalization.

The 73-acre site stretches from Lakeshore Rd. W. to the lakefront and Pine Ave. to Mississauga Rd. It was the former site of a brickworks until 1932, and an oil refinery owned by Texaco until the mid-1980s before being bought by Imperial Oil. The land sat idle for years and residents wondered what would be done with it.

The City of Mississauga reached out to residents for ideas and in 2015 released Inspiration Port Credit, a report which called for the site to be revitalized as “a lakefront urban neighbourhood of landscapes, meeting places, living, working, and drawing people to the water’s edge to play.” Living, of course, means the plan includes residential buildings. The plan, we now know in concrete terms, includes about 2,500 housing units ranging from townhomes to mid- and high-rises. But it’s not just a simple matter of building the homes.

Environmental remediation, paid for by WVP, is being carried out in order to make the site a safe place to live.

The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)is heavily involved in the remediation process, which occurs in two key phases.

In phase one, qualified environmental consultants prepare a record of site condition.  In layman’s terms, the first step is to examine the development site and make note of any potential contaminating activity or other environmental concern that requires moving on to phase two.

In phase two, the qualified consultants find where the contaminants are and take action to reduce them to standard levels or those set by a risk assessment. A risk assessment looks at potential health risks to people and the overall environment of developing a given area. When redeveloping a former industrial site for more sensitive uses such as a residential area, this phase is mandatory.

One of the companies within the WVP consortium is Kilmer Group, a company which invests in and leads environmental risk management and development projects, including brownfield cleanup.

Brownfield is defined as “vacant or underutilized places where past industrial or commercial activities may have left contamination (chemical pollution) behind.”

David Harper, president of Kilmer-Brownfield and a leader in the Canadian Brownfield Network (CBN), is responsible for environmental risk management with Kilmer Group. He is a specialist in remediation and risk management who has consulted on over 200 brownfield projects.

Harper says it’s important to understand that the project is still in early stages, with the draft plan just submitted Monday. There’s a long road ahead. Kilmer Group will be in touch with stakeholders as that work moves forward, he said.

“We’ll be working with the Ministry of Environment, as well as the City of Mississauga, as well as the community on various steps during … the remediation. There’s a lot of third-party involvement.”

Imperial Oil, as the former owner of the site, has also provided crucial information.

“In the negotiation for the land, the former owners did exhaustive … environmental assessments. That information was provided to us in the purchase process for the property,” Harper said.

The information is extensive, including groundwater and soil quality. The primary concern, confirmed by information from the previous owner of the site, is petroleum hydrocarbons, which Harper expected to find on the site of a decommissioned oil refinery.

statement by Imperial Oil in 2014 said, after a year-long environmental assessment:

The [assessment] concluded that there are no physical site conditions which would prohibit redevelopment for commercial, medium and/or high density residential, and open space uses, but at a higher cost than a similar greenfield property.

Imperial Oil found no groundwater contamination that would pose a risk to surrounding lands or Lake Ontario.

Environmental consultants sorted through the information for Kilmer Group and designed a remedial approach for the site. That approach, though, will still be getting input from city officials and residents in Mississauga. “It by no means is final right now,” Harper said.

“What it identified [is] most of the impact on the site related to petroleum hydrocarbons was in the near-surface environment … the upper three metres of the site. Much of our development plan will take place in that upper three meters. There’s significant overlap between the materials that need to be moved for development and those that are impacted by the former use.”

In other words, remediation and redevelopment overlap, but remediation comes first. “There are areas of the site that were more impacted than others [by] former operations. That’s the focus of the remediation. Other [areas] will be dealt with through construction.”

The itinerary for now is to focus on that site assessment and remediation.

“We’ve been doing this now for more than 10 years. We use different technologies for different approaches. We haven’t yet determined all the technical components of our remediation approach at this time. ”

The development itself, he said, could take 10 years.

“We have been in the community talking about this stuff. There will be more engagement to come as we get into the site over the coming months with planning approvals.”

WVP expects to have an application prepared for the planning and development committee in very soon.

Renewing Canada’s commitment to banning toxic chemicals

The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), and not-for-profit environmental activist organization, recently issued a media release expressing its concern that the Canadian federal government’s stated commitment for a global phase-out of the toxic chemicals pentabromodiphenyl ether (PentaBDE) and octabromodiphenyl ether (OctaBDE) was being undermined by its support for a recycling exemption from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants(POPs).

The two PentaBDE and OctaBDE are part of the larger group of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).  PentaBDE and OctaBDE were added to the treaty in 2009.  A small group of countries, including Canada, obtained an exemption allowing recycling of articles containing these substances.  At an upcoming meeting of Countries that are parties to the Convention treaty, it will be decided whether to end the exemption or continue it. A PBDE decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) is now being considered for elimination under this treaty.

CELA is very concerned that Canada is seeking to continue the recycling exemption for PentaBDE and OctaBDE.  The exemption would allow for the presence of these toxic flame retardants in products created from recycling efforts.  Both chemicals are found in e-waste, including many plastics, and are incorporated into new products as a result of recycling.

Canada has regulated PBDEs (e.g. PentaBDE, OctaBDE and DecaBDE) under the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012. But, key exemptions exist domestically including, “the import, manufacture, use, sale and offer for sale of PBDEs or a product containing them, if PBDEs are incidentally present” as well as “the import, manufacture, use, sale or offer for sale of manufactured items containing PBDEs.”

 

 

Characterization and Treatment of Heavy Metals at Mining Sites

At the May 2017 meeting of the Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable (FRTR), the focus of discussions was on the characterization and treatment of heavy metals and mining sites.  A webinar series will be hosted this summer based on some of the topics covered at this meeting including risk assessment, biochemical and biogeochemical remediation treatments, modelling techniques, and the use of unmanned aircraft systems for biological surveying. Meeting materials and additional information can be found at https://frtr.gov/meetings.htm.

Click here to view/download the meeting’s agenda and presentations.

FRTR member-agencies meet semi-annually, usually in the Washington, DC, area.  These meetings offer a unique opportunity for federal cleanup program managers and other remediation community representatives to identify and discuss priority cleanup issues, share lessons learned, and form collaborative working groups to pursue subjects of mutual interest.