Environmental Technical

This page presents three example environmental projects carried out on First Nation lands at one level down in technical description to provide technical and professional readers with a more in-depth view of our work. For a full professional description of these projects, or any other projects carried out by Brian Olding & Associates Ltd., please contact us directly.

Contamination site inventory, assessment, and Remediation Strategy for Treaty Settlement Lands

We carried out an Environmental Evaluation of the proposed Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group treaty settlement lands which were identified during Stage Four AIP negotiations with the provincial and federal governments. Environmental contaminants are typically associated with commercial, industrial and waste disposal activities and are commonly the result of improper chemical storage practices, spills, leaks and waste disposal.

We wanted to know how land use changes, particularly those associated with producing significant amounts of environmental contaminants, had impacted these lands since Contact. With the assistance of the provincial government we were able to identify and map known and potential sources of contamination. Sites immediately up gradient from the lands were also mapped due to their potential to contaminate lower settlement lands.

We based this particular approach on the recognized ten step approached used by the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers so that sites could be classified using standards such as the National Classification System for Contaminated Sites, the Aquatic Site Classification Ranking System, and the Method for Ranking Contaminated Marine and Aquatic Sites on Canadian Federal Properties.

The purpose of this Environmental Evaluation was to develop a remediation / risk management strategy that could be supported by the negotiating parties.

 

Environmental Evaluation carried out for ocean life Dioxin contamination

thumb dscf4466If there is one thing in particular that has impacted coastal first nations, that must be the loss of access to traditionally harvested ocean food. We looked at this issue from the point of bivalve and crustacean closures due to habitat contamination by both improper sewage discharge as well as by pulp mill discharge of a suite of dioxins resulting from bleached paper processing.

Through our Environmental Evaluation we documented and mapped sanitary shellfish closures, including information from Fisheries and Oceans Canada shellfish contamination websites, particularly in Areas 18 and 18.

The Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations, and subsequent amendments, constituted an unprecedented regulatory response to the emission of dioxins. This required not only end-of-pipe controls, but also the implementation of environmental effects monitoring.

In spite of significant emission reductions by pulp mills, the effects monitoring clearly showed the continued high dioxin levels in crabs due to constantly shifting ocean sediments in the tidally active Stuart Channel. This, in turn, has led to continued crab closures. Both the shellfish and crab closures form an important knowledge base for treaty negotiations concerning these resources.

 

Remediation strategy for major Chlorophenol contaminated site on Esquimalt Indian Reserve

  thumb Esquimalt Web 2A sawmill had been historically operated on the Esquimalt I.R. and used uncontained chlorophenols as an anti-fungal and sapstain agent. Federal investigations determined that high levels of chlorophenols (in excess of the CCME Level C remediation criteria) had contaminated both soils and groundwater and were leaching into the salmon habitat of Plumper Bay.

Brian Olding, M.Env.Des., served as the Indian and Northern Affairs representative on the Steering Committee which included the Esquimalt First Nation, and which subsequently established terms of reference to engage geotechnical consultants for the remediation planning and tender specifications for the remediation clean-up. The Esquimalt remediation constituted one of the largest and most complex remedial operations at that time in Canada. One of the top priorities was the negotiation of remedial objectives which would allow for post-remediation residential use. In other words, the site would be safe for use by families.

The first order was to carry out sub-surface sampling to identify the approximate size and shape of the contaminated area. This was followed by excavation and repeat sampling. This process was carried over many months until all contamination was eliminated. The next challenge was the treatment of over 11,000 m3 of contaminated soils, which was carried out at different locations according to the level of chlorophenol contamination.

Finally, a groundwater system was installed to treat remaining up gradient leachate to eliminate any continuing leaching of chlorophenols to the ocean environment. This work took 18 months to complete and represented the first time the department of Indian and Northern Affairs had engaged in a environmental project of this level of complexity. The site was finally restored to enable its use for residential and recreational activities.

Contact Brian Olding & Associates Ltd.

E-mail: brian@brianolding.com

Telephone:   604.531.7132

Mobile:         604.790.1948

Thank you for your visit. If you have an issue or concern that you would like to discuss with Brian Olding, please email or call me directly. We are experienced in working with Chiefs, Elders, Staff, Cabinet Ministers, Corporate Officers and Professional Colleagues from all aspects of Environmental Science.

Brian Olding M Env Des 2

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