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Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
255 Front St West, North Building, Toronto Ontario 
June 13-15, 2018 


Partnership and Engagement to Bring Innovation to Parks Canada’s Approach to Preventing and Managing Contamination
Mikailou Sy, Jean-Claude Prévost, Brent O'Rae
Parks Canada
The objective of this presentation is to share Parks Canada's approach to bring innovation into contaminated sites management through partnership and engagement.
Abstract

Parks Canada protects and presents nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, and fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations. The Agency is custodian of over 90% of federal real property area, but only 2% of federal contaminated sites. Over 70% of this contamination originates in pre-park establishment or national historic site designation whereas the remainder 30% is the shared legacy of subsequent Agency operations and those of duly authorized third-parties.

The management of federal contaminated sites within Parks Canada is articulated around sound environmental stewardship that prevents further contamination, minimizes the environmental footprint of site assessment and remediation activities, mitigates risks to human health and the environment, achieves cost-efficiency and effectiveness, and integrates mandated responsibilities. The program delivery builds primarily on strategic partnerships with academia, industry, and interdepartmental collaboration. It also benefits from internal management leadership and engagement of managers and specialists of multiple communities: resource conservation; asset and environmental management; finance; and, investment planning.

This presentation highlights how Parks Canada partnered with Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston, ON), Public Services and Procurement Canada (Ottawa, ON), and several private sector companies from Quebec and Alberta to bring a range of innovative technologies into its approach for preventing and managing contamination. The following technologies will be introduced and discussed: the Milkweed Fiber Natural Petroleum Absorbent (HydroPAB), the Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), the Rapid Soil Analysis Systems (RSAS), and the Re-usable Hydrocarbon Sorbent (RHS) Beads. Implementing these innovations will reduce the environmental footprint, time and costs associated with managing federal contaminated sites at Parks Canada while meeting mandated responsibilities, particularly for remote and ecologically sensitive environments. The approach demonstrates a strong linkage with other federal government programs, a central pillar in the design and delivery of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP).

Innovative Strategy for Remediation of an Abandoned Coal Mine in a First Nation Community
Jeff Christie1, Mark Adamson1, Trish Miller2, Ervin Selak3
1Golder Associates Ltd.
2TAM Environmental Ltd.
3Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the innovative application of stable isotope analysis in risk assessment, as well as the benefits of stakeholder engagement and sustainable remediation of contaminated soil.
Abstract

The former Reserve Coal Mine, located approximately six kilometres southeast of Nanaimo, BC, operated on the Snuneymuxw First Nation (SFN) IR#3 reserve lands between 1913 and 1939. The mining operation occupied an approximately eight hectare footprint (the site) and included multiple pieces of operational infrastructure: a railway line; and, two mine shafts extending to approximately 299 m and 321 m below grade. Nanaimo River is located to the west of the site. As a result of the mining operation, most of the site area, which is held by Certificates of Possession (CP) by 19 community members, is now underlain by waste material comprising a mixture of overburden rock, coal, furnace clinker and ash. A series of environmental investigations have concluded that contamination associated with the waste material has impacted soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water with metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A large stockpile (estimated 90,000 m3) of mine waste is present on the north side of the site. In total, the estimated volume of mine waste at the site is 300,000 m3.

In 2017, a process of collaborative engagement began with the CP holders as part of a formal remedial options analysis for the site. A total of five remedial options were evaluated against criteria which included standard metrics such as duration, ease and cost of implementation, stakeholder specific criteria of future developable land, amount of waste material removed and finally an evaluation of how “green” a proposed remediation strategy was, in consideration of Canada’s climate change strategy. The site presented a variety of challenges for residential community development owing mainly to the remaining subsurface mine infrastructure. This, however, presented opportunities for innovation to manage waste material on site. Pilot testing is underway to determine design details for permanent mine shaft decommissioning which will use stabilized coal waste as backfill within the shafts.

A human health and ecological risk assessment evaluating both current and future conditions was conducted to assist with decision-making regarding remediation for the site. An important factor in the evaluation of risks was to determine if the plants and berries that are consumed by people and wildlife have taken up contaminants from the coal waste and ash. Standard analytical procedures for PAHs are hindered in plant material by matrix interference, leading to uncertainty in investigations of food web interactions that determine uptake by plants from coal waste, and then from plants to consumers of plants, including humans. We added stable isotope (13C, 15N) analysis, a common method used to investigate nutrient fluxes from soil into food webs, to the evaluation of risks to human health and ecological receptors. This methodology, using natural abundance isotopes to trace elemental fluxes through food webs, was first reported for Arctic and boreal forest ecosystems in 2007. The risk assessment for the site adapted this methodology in a novel approach to tracing fluxes of elements from contaminants and parsing this from unspoiled sources of elements, in forest ecosystems.

The project has highlighted, first and foremost, the benefits of meaningful two-way stakeholder engagement. Secondly, the project highlighted that the desire to align with Canada’s climate change strategy can lead to innovative approaches for remediation of contaminated soil, and that stable isotope analysis is an effective way to evaluate food web interactions in human health and ecological risk assessments.

Is There a Better Way? Reconsidering Our Remediation Approach by Evaluating Sustainability
Maylia Parker1 and Lori Bishop2
1Stantec Consulting Ltd.
2Public Services and Procurement Canada
The objective of this presentation is to provide a working example of how sustainability can be applied and measured on remediation sites in Canada. It will allow for comparison between standard remedial approaches and more sustainable options. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of available sustainable remediation tools.
Abstract

In this presentation we will reconsider the remedial approach at one of several decommissioned mine sites in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The sites are currently in long-term monitoring programs as part of site management/remediation. Sustainable remediation tools will be used to retrospectively assess the remedial approach for the site and determine whether a different, more optimal, approach would have been selected if these tools had been implemented during the remedial action plan phase. This presentation will provide a working example of how sustainability can be applied and measured on remediation sites in Canada. It will allow for comparison between standard remedial approaches and more sustainable options. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of available sustainable remediation tools.

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