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

Overview of the Impacts of Climate Change on Contaminated Site Management in Canada
Jonas Roberts, Wood - Environment and Infrastructure Solutions
The objective of this presentation is to provide an overview of the projected impacts of climate change on contaminated site management in Canada, as well as provide an introduction to likely risks and potential adaptation measures.

Anything affected by weather has the potential to be impacted by climate change. The Canadian contaminated sites community in particular will likely experience a range of potential climate related challenges. In this context, understanding the evolution of the changing climate is vital for maintaining efficient and safe operations, while guiding risk assessment and adaptation plans to ensure resilience.

This presentation will provide an overview of climate change considerations for Canadian contaminated sites. Changes in the mean, timing, variability and extremes of temperature, precipitation and winds will all impact site management across Canada. In certain regions, the increased prevalence and intensity of wildfires will also require consideration.

Sea level rise (projected to be up to 1m in some regions by 2100) and associated storm surge will be an issue for coastal locations, bringing increased risks of contaminant mobilization via floodwater and sediment. The associated flux in groundwater levels will require flexibility in the design of containment structures and groundwater remediation strategies.

Moreover, northern regions will be faced with challenges associated with melting permafrost. In some situations, winter transportation of equipment via land and sea-ice based routes has been relied upon, with personnel arriving in summer via helicopter. However, as rising winter temperatures and inconsistent ice cover make this approach less reliable, new transportation strategies, such as more costly air transportation of equipment, are required.

A high level discussion of potential adaptation measures for likely risks (such as changing exposure rates and spread of contamination, increased contaminant transport, reduced effectiveness of bioremediation, and damage to structures and infrastructure) will also be provided.

Climate Change Influence on the Microbial Community Response to Petroleum Contamination in the Arctic
Charles Greer1, Julien Tremblay1, David Juck1, Nathalie Fortin1, Jessica Wasserscheid1, Katrina Callender1, Andrew Tam2, Chris Mcrae2, Thomas King3, Kenneth Lee3
1National Research Council Canada
2Department of National Defence
3Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The objective of this presentation is to show how climate change is affecting site bioremediation in the Arctic using genomics approaches.

Climate change is having some of its most significant impacts in the Arctic. Declining sea-ice coverage has resulted in ice-free summers in all of the major Arctic shipping lanes, making these regions more susceptible to accidental releases of crude oil, diesel fuel, bunker fuel, and other transportation related contaminants as a result of increased marine vessel traffic. In addition, land-based spills of fuels and other compounds adjacent to the marine environment increase the risk of contamination to natural water bodies that are an important resource for local communities. These issues are important to federal government facilities operating in the Arctic where human and resource security and environmental stewardship are priorities.

We have an opportunity now, before these risks increase more, to assess and establish natural attenuation and bioremediation as viable approaches for addressing petroleum spills in the Arctic. As part of an effective oil spill response strategy, having reliable baseline data represents one of the first requirements, against which change (impact or recovery) and performance can be measured. Microbes, and in particular bacteria, are the first and fastest responders to oil in the natural environment, so a better understanding of who’s there and what they are capable of doing under Arctic conditions is critical. A preliminary genomics-based survey of various Arctic marine microbial community structures and functions has demonstrated that bacteria with the potential to degrade oil hydrocarbons are very widespread and active at sub-zero temperatures.

Studies are being conducted at Canadian Forces Station (CFS)-Alert to characterize fuel oil degrading bacteria in soil and in the marine environment. In addition to the bioremediation of fuel-contaminated soil in constructed bermed areas, seawater and sea ice samples have been evaluated for the presence and activity of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. Microcosm studies under ambient Arctic conditions have demonstrated that hydrocarbons are degraded within a few weeks, even at temperatures as low as -1.5°C. These studies are being expanded to address the initial/early biodegradation kinetics and the impact of dispersants on oil degradation under Arctic conditions. The results to date indicate that natural attenuation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic marine environment is not only feasible but can occur at rates that were previously thought not possible, thus providing an important strategic approach to address oil spills, should they occur.

Climate Change and the Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSCP) Cape Breton (Former Mining) Operations
Belinda Campbell1 and Fred Baechler2
1Public Services and Procurement Canada
2EXP Services Inc
The objective of this presentation is to review and predict the impact of Climate Change on the Contaminated Sites Program of the former federal coal mining corporation (Cape Breton Operations)

Not available. 

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