2020 FCSNW logo

FOX-D: Remediation to Reconciliation
Charlotte Lamontagne, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate that if we approach remediation with the lens of reconciliation, we can have a great impact on affected communities. The main focus of the presentation will be on how we worked with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to advance recommendations from the Qikiqtani Truth Commission and works towards reconciliation.  

The Nunavut Regional Office of the Northern Contaminated Sites Branch of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for overseeing the remediation and/or risk management of the high priority contaminated sites in Nunavut and making plans to address all other sites. The goal of the program is to manage these sites to protect the health and safety of Nunavummiut, to protect the environment, to reduce the liability associated with these sites and to deliver socio-economic benefits to Inuit and northern communities.

FOX-D (Kivitoo) was an Intermediate Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line Site constructed in 1957 and operated until October 1963. The site is located on the Davis Strait and is located 50 km to the west of the nearest community, Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut. In addition to the DEW Line, the area is also known as a historical whaling station and a settlement area for Inuit.

This presentation will discuss the unique challenges at the site which included additional work being required for delineation, managing work in a culturally sensitive area and a failed demobilization which extended the project. We will focus on the challenges that were faced, the mitigation that was applied and the lessons learned of those mitigation measures and how they can be implemented in the future.

In addition, we will explore how we worked with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to help fulfill a recommendation stemming from the Qikiqtani Truth Commission (a compendium of testimony about Inuit history in this region between 1950 and 1975). The goal was to help give those affected an opportunity to return and see where their family members had lived or were buried and work towards reconciliation. Some of the initiatives used were employment opportunities, site visits and community consultations.

Charlotte Lamontagne, Director, Nunavut Regional Contaminated Sites Program, Northern Contaminated Sites Branch, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Charlotte Lamontagne is the Director of the Nunavut Regional Contaminated Sites Program, part of the Northern Contaminated Sites Branch with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. She has lived and worked in Iqaluit, Nunavut for over 13 years. She has been working on Northern Contaminated Sites for over 10 years.

Indigenous Engagement in Northern Construction Projects
Amy Philip and Sarah Taschuk
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the unique ways we have increased Indigenous involvement on our projects. 

An important component of completing work in remote Canadian communities is the meaningful involvement of Indigenous groups. For many projects, it is likely that the proponent has already completed some form of stakeholder engagement during the preconstruction phase, but it is important to continue this engagement throughout the project to prevent the Indigenous stakeholder’s involvement from being minimized.

There three main streams of Indigenous engagement that should be considered while completing a northern construction project in a remote area, training, employment, and procurement. Providing training that leads to jobs is extremely important but may be difficult to carry out for short-term projects. Boosting local employment rates immediately increases local economic factors and provides future opportunities for individuals through the experience they receive during the project. Procurement of goods and services can also bring significant benefits to the community and local Indigenous businesses. These businesses often hold valuable knowledge and resources that can greatly increase the chances of the project’s success.

Using specific examples from ongoing projects, this presentation will explore some of the unique ways we have been able to increase Indigenous involvement on our projects, as well as some of the challenges that have been faced.

Amy Philip, Parsons
Amy Philip has been with Parsons for 12 years. She has a degree in Chemistry, Geology and a Masters in Environmental Studies. Past projects include the remediation of a former refinery within a large urban center. Most recently Amy has been managing large construction projects on abandon mines in Northern Canada.

Successful Local and Indigenous Engagement to Complete a Northern Remediation Program
Alana Duncan1, John Hibbard2, William Govenlock3, David Kettlewell1
3Public Services and Procurement Canada
The objective of this presentation is to detail the benefits and challenges of community engagement and the Indigenous engagement procurement strategy for a remediation program in Northern BC and provide insight into how these considerations could potentially impact future project sites. 

From an owners’ perspective, a project is often considered successful if completed on time and on budget. However, from a local community perspective, a project may be considered successful if there has been good communication and community engagement. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) successfully completed a remedial works program within a small community in northern BC that delivered on both themes. The presentation will focus on the local benefits of the program to the community.

In 1942, a Maintenance Camp at Toad River was constructed approximately 189 km west of Fort Nelson, BC to support the construction of the Alaska Highway. Across the highway is the Toad River Lodge which opened in 1947 using the former military camp buildings built during the highway construction. The community of Toad River was established in 1980.

The current community of Toad River has a population of about 40 persons with a restaurant, lodge, RV campground, fueling station, airstrip, community hall and a small school. Many of the residents travel and work elsewhere for periods of time. The Toad River Highway Maintenance Camp provides some limited employment opportunities for the community.

Historic activities at the Maintenance Camp have resulted in residual petroleum hydrocarbon contamination within soil. The contamination appears to be related to releases from former above ground storage tanks, underground storage tanks, equipment maintenance, material storage and other site activities. Three remedial programs have been undertaken at the Maintenance Camp since 2007, with the excavated hydrocarbon contaminated soils transferred to a soil treatment facility located 10 km to the west on the Alaska Highway.

Prior to the remedial programs in 2017 and 2019, PSPC notified the community that remediation work would be undertaken, and the community expressed interest in understanding what was happening. PSPC subsequently worked with SNC-Lavalin and the contractor to engage the community during both programs.

The tender documents for the 2019 remedial program required the bidders to include a plan for subcontracting or employing specific Indigenous communities including obtaining materials and goods in addition to work done. The process was very successful with the Deylu Dena Council who proved operators and equipment, labourers, the first aid attendant, the mobile first air unit, site facilities and equipment rental.

In addition to the prescribed inclusion of select local indigenous communities, the remedial work provided direct benefits to the Toad River community through job creation and increased revenue to various local businesses such as the restaurant, lodge and fueling station.

This presentation will detail the benefits and challenges of community engagement and the Indigenous engagement procurement strategy applied to this project, and potential impact of this program at future project sites. Specific employment benefits will be explored, as will financial impact of the project to local and Indigenous communities.

Alana Duncan, Project Manager, SNC-Lavalin
Alana Duncan has 25 years of contaminated site assessment and remediation experience for both provincial and federal projects. She also has expertise in remediation construction planning, tendering, project and contract management, and remediation construction closure under federal (Canadian Standards Association, Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment) and provincial (BC Contaminated Sites Regulation) regulatory frameworks. Alana has a broad understanding and exposure to various contaminated site investigative/remedial technologies and approaches, hazardous waste management, through experience on a wide variety of projects in Canada. Alana has undertaken projects at downstream petroleum facilities, airports, rail yards, shipyards, highways maintenance yards and retail service stations. Alana’s main role has been as a Project Manager responsible for overall supervision of projects including management of multidisciplinary teams, supervision of intermediate technical staff, providing specialized advice on contaminated sites assessment and remediation planning and design as well as providing quality assurance components. In addition to project management, her involvement in projects has included coordination of field staff, contractors and subconsultants, data reduction and interpretation, and technical reporting and review.

The Use of a Human Health Risk Assessment of the Country Foods Pathway for Evaluation of Socioeconomic Impacts to Indigenous Communities
Mackenzie Denyes, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions
The objective of this presentation is to highlight that a human health risk assessment of the country foods pathway can be utilized in the assessment of potential socio-economic impacts to Indigenous communities. 

The identity and culture of Indigenous communities is tied, in part, to their ability to practice traditional land and resource use, including the harvest and consumption of country foods. Country foods include foods that are trapped, fished, hunted, harvested or grown for subsistence or medicinal purposes. Country foods are consumed more frequently by Indigenous peoples and are known to have commercial value within Indigenous communities. Consumption of country foods leads to improved nutrient intake; however, when impacted by contaminants, potential health impacts from of consuming these foods may outweigh their benefits. In recognition that the true spirit and intention of Treaty Rights at Treaty time was to protect the livelihood of Indigenous peoples by protecting their ability to use lands and resources for traditional purposes, consideration of how a project may impact the quality of country foods for consumption is fundamental to the spirit of partnership and mutual respect between industry and Indigenous groups. A human health risk assessment was completed for the Goliath Gold Project using Health Canada’s detailed quantitative risk assessment guidance as well as Health Canada's recent guidance documents for using human health risk assessment for evaluating human health impacts in environmental assessment, to evaluate how the mine may impact the quality of country foods for consumption. The problem formulation and exposure assessment considered information shared by the Indigenous groups as part of formal traditional knowledge and land use studies and other meaningful engagement activities. The results of the human health risk assessment were subsequently relied on to evaluate potential socioeconomic effects to Indigenous communities that have identified commercial interests related to country foods. While the socioeconomic assessment determined that there would be no direct adverse effects on commercial interests, the potential for negative perceptions particularly for fishing and tourism could not be ruled out. The results of the combined human health risk assessment and socioeconomic assessment of country foods have been integral to building relationships with Indigenous communities as part of ongoing engagement activities, as they demonstrated that the mine is unlikely to have an adverse effect on the livelihood of those individuals who rely on lands and resources for traditional purposes.

Mackenzie Denyes, Senior Environmental Scientist and Human Health Risk Assessor, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions
Mackenzie Denyes is a Senior Environmental Scientist and Human Health Risk Assessor with Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions based in Mississauga, Ontario. Mackenzie has over ten years of project experience related to human health risk assessment, stakeholder engagement and risk communication, and contaminated site assessment and management. In her role at Wood she is focused on the assessment of potential human health impacts as a result of project activities and completion of human health risk assessments with special consideration given to gender-based analysis principles and traditional knowledge. Her specific areas of expertise include contaminant toxicity, transport and fate in the food web; thus, allowing her to provide expert strategic support for the completion of country foods assessments. Prior to joining Wood, Mackenzie worked as a human health risk assessor specializing in federal contaminated sites and Brownfield redevelopment projects. Mackenzie is passionate about sustainability issues facing the natural resource industry and holds an Adjunct Professor position in the Faculty of Engineering at Queen’s University for a 4th year course called “Sustainability and the Environment”. Mackenzie received her Doctorate in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada in 2014 and is a registered Professional Geoscientist in Ontario.

Remediation of Wetland Used by First Nation for Hunting, Fishing, and Plant Harvesting
Muntazir Pardhan, Rebecca Appleton, Michael Charles
Dillon Consulting Limited
The objective of this presentation is to review the unique considerations and challenges faced following the discovery of contamination in a previously unidentified wetland that served as a key source of traditional medicine. The presentation will also demonstrate effective collaboration with the First Nation as the project went through the final stages of the FSCAP 10-step process. 

Four areas within traditional lands of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) in the Township of Tyendinaga, Ontario were found to be significantly contaminated with metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and petroleum hydrocarbons. These lands are of great importance to the First Nation community as they are used for hunting, fishing and the harvesting of plants (e.g., sweet flag) used by community members for medicinal purposes. In 2019, to support the transfer of lands to MBQ, Dillon Consulting Limited was retained to complete the final stages of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan 10-Step process (remediation and closure) by preparing a remedial action plan and remedial design based on source removal. The discovery of contamination encroaching on a previously unidentified wetland required alternative remedial approaches to remediate and risk manage the lands while balancing the need for ongoing traditional use by MBQ.

This presentation reviews the unique considerations and challenges faced following the discovery of contamination in a previously unidentified wetland that served as a key source of traditional and medicine. The problems within the wetland were further aggravated by high water levels and species at risk which introduced additional constraints to a final remedy. A phased approach was adopted that included source removal of impacts adjacent to the wetland from targeted areas and the completion of a risk evaluation and functional assessment of the wetland for successful management of the remaining impacted areas of the wetland. Further field data collection was necessary to address data gaps and included benthic sampling, soil/sediment sampling and analysis of medicinal plants located in the wetland. Stakeholder collaboration (MBQ and Indigenous Services Canada) and the implementation of an environmental monitoring program during construction was critical to the success of the phased approach for the remediation and risk management of the wetland. In addition, in collaboration with MBQ, the planned excavation of impacted soil in heavily forested area outside of the wetland was curtailed as risks were evaluated and a mitigation plan was incorporated into the design.

Muntazir Pardhan, Environmental Engineer, Dillon Consulting Limited
Muntazir Pardhan has a Bachelors of Civil and Environmental Engineering from Western University and is licenced as a Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario. He is an Environmental Engineer at Dillon Consulting Limited in London, ON and has over 18 years of experience in consulting. Muntazir specializes in phased environmental site assessments and remediation projects with Indigenous communities in Ontario. He also manages large scale phased environmental site assessments for infrastructure projects and monitoring of active and closed landfills.

Indigenous Consultation and Process Inclusion, Reserve-Wide Site Assessment: The Risk Assessment and Remediation of Two Remote Indigenous Communities in Coastal British Columbia
Ingo Lambrecht and Michael Shum
PGL Environmental Consultants
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the need for meaningful consultation and the benefits of consultation on the outcome of the project. The focus of the presentation is on examples of successful collaboration on contaminated sites projects on remote coastal sites from the perspective of the First Nations community and the consultant. 

Our approach completing environmental work on First Nation lands follows industry standard approaches, and yet demonstrates the need for respectful cooperation and the recognition that each First Nation has a distinct culture, history and relationship with the crown. This presentation provides an insight in our specific approaches for consultation as part of several environmental site assessment and remediation/risk assessment programs in two remote First Nation communities, challenges of each project and our lessons learned.

The first site consists of three reserves within River’s Inlet, a remote area in coastal BC, approximately 400 km north of Vancouver, BC, accessible only by boat or plane. The main reserve site is developed with residences, municipal facilities and associated infrastructure. The identification and assessment of areas of potential environmental concern were conducted in consultation with the First Nation in several stages from 2014 to 2019 and was challenged by the limited amount of available documents that identified past land uses and activities with a risk for contamination (e.g., spills, vehicle repair, waste disposal, etc.). While past reports existed with federal departments, available documentation from the nation was sparse, including the presence and location of subsurface utilities.

The second site is located on the north-west coast of Vancouver Island, approximately 250 km northwest of Vancouver. The assessed reserve was previously used for residential purposes and a portion had been leased to an adjacent pulp mill.

In all instances, formal and informal interviews with First Nation members and representatives provided the most significant information on topics of concern. However, nominated representatives did not always have the information and knowledge required, and information received was not complete at the time of the Phase I ESA.

During subsequent stages of investigation and repeated site visits, additional information was provided by Nation members, which were needed to complete the conceptual site models. The information was mostly provided through a phased consultation process that was often informal in character and developed over time. Examples include participation in community meetings, informal discussions during field work and respectful discussions with elders. The consultation process often included the inclusion of elders and younger members of the Nation, the first providing first-hand knowledge and the latter providing a role in connecting elders with assessors.

During all stages of the field work, First Nation members were included in a capacity building role. Transfer of information was always a two-way street, as our field staff provided detailed explanation of what we did and why and the First Nation members provided valuable insight in historical activities that contributed to the contamination during the assessment process. Valuable information was provided during the assessment process such as past practices of waste oil disposal, the extent of a former overgrown landfill, etc.

Further along the process, our experience with risk assessment and risk management on contaminated First Nation lands demonstrates the significance of consultation to identify culturally and spiritually significant areas as well as traditional (country) foods and medicinal plants on and adjacent to contaminated lands. Consultation provided important insight into specific traditional foods, their location and harvesting schedule, as well as preparation details on traditional medicines. First Nation members were retained to harvest country foods and instructed on how to collect the samples for laboratory submissions.

Ingo Lambrecht, PGL Environmental Consultants
Ingo Lambrecht started his career as an environmental geoscientist in 1993 for an environmental consulting business in Ontario. Following his move to British Columbia in 1998, his focus shifted to brownfield redevelopment, including sawmills, marine fuel docks, petroleum bulk plants and federal contaminated sites, including light stations, small craft harbours, First Nation reserves and Canadian Forces Bases. Due to this varied project focus, Ingo is an expert in both federal and provincial environmental regulatory frameworks.

Since 2008, he is an Approved Professional and Member of the Contaminated Sites Approved Professional (CSAP) Society of BC and since 2016, he is a member of the CSAP performance assessment committee.

In 2017, Ingo joined PGL Environmental Consultants with a focus on managing PGL’s Victoria contaminated sites group.

A highlight in Ingo’s career was a site assessment, risk assessment and remediation program for the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation on Vancouver Island for one of their reserves that was leased to and contaminated by a pulp mill.

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