FUTURE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY
JANUARY 2021 UPDATE
Our development team has prepared this newsletter as an information tool for parties who may be interested in our proposed waste management facility. Our team had been hoping to hold an information session in 2020, but the continued issues with COVID 19 will not allow that to occur for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we considered that an informal newsletter would be an alternative to try to “keep people in the loop”.
The proposed waste management facility is a Class II Industrial Waste Landfill. Having a Class II Industrial Landfill means we will only be approved to accept non-hazardous, solid materials. Our experience gained from the operation of our Class II Landfill in Breton, Ab., suggest most of the waste we will receive will be affected soil materials that are a result of oil and gas operations. All wastes considered for disposal must meet strict Alberta Government Regulations, a series of inhouse tests and third-party laboratory chemical analysis to ensure the wastes meet criteria.
WHATS BEEN COMPLETED?
INVESTIGATIONS, STUDIES AND APPLICATIONS
We have invested over 3 years of time to ensure the Facility location is exemplary. This has included;
- Market studies (potential clients, locations, etc.)
- Multiyear Geotechnical investigations to ensure underlying geology conditions are favourable
- Multiyear Groundwater investigations
- Traffic surveys
- Biophysical studies
- Facility design
- Applications to Alberta Environment and Parks and to local county to develop the site
- Presentation to county council
- Open house
- Responses to all questions and/or comments
In a nutshell, we believe that the proposed site is impeccable in terms of its physical setting, customer base, access etc. etc.
WHATS LEFT TO DO?
The process to develop a waste management facility in Alberta is inherently slow as it involves both Provincial and County authorities; however, we are moving forward and doing our best to inform all the parties as we progress. We are confident the Facility will be a positive addition to the area, but we still have a list of things to do;
- Public meeting and all other submissions at the local county as part of the Land Use Amendment to Redesignate the lands to Direct Control and then a DP
- Receive our Approval to Construct and Operate a Class II Landfill from Alberta Environment and Parks. The Application has been with AEP since February 2020
- Electrical service application to Fortis
- Submit the Biophysical Inventory Study of the subject area
- Assuming successful completion of the above, initiate the bidding and procurement process for the construction
- Respond to all questions or comments from all interested parties
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have assembled a list of typical questions and answers regarding the proposed Facility.
Will the environment (soil/groundwater) be affected by the Facility?
One of the main reasons we selected the proposed site, was its extremely dense and thick clay zone underlying the site (extending greater than 30 meters). The native clay materials will be shaped and smoothed to form the base of the landfill structure. On top of the native clay will be an engineered, continuous high-density polyethylene liner system and protective layers. During loading of the lined cell, great care is taken to ensure that the waste material immediately on top of the liner system is rock and debris free, which protects the liner system from possible punctures. The combination of the liner system, the exceptional clay material, depth to groundwater and continuous monitoring over the life of the landfill means that soil and groundwater is most certainly not going to be affected from our operations.
All precipitation that lands within the landfill and may come into contact with wastes, always remains within the landfill, which has a constructed liquid tight holding sump. The entire landfill is sloped to direct precipitation to the sump area where the liquids are naturally evaporated. As material is successively compacted as it arrives at the facility, precipitation does not pass through the waste.
What type of wastes will be accepted at the Facility?
As a Class II Industrial landfill, we can only accept materials that are non-hazardous solids as per Alberta Regulations generated from industrial sites. This means we cannot take in municipal waste or general refuse. Materials accepted are expected to be primarily contaminated soil from oil and gas sites and construction wastes, based upon our experience.
How can you be sure the waste is “acceptable”?
All incoming wastes require the generator to go through an application process whereby a standard suite of analytical data must be provided to our waste specialists for review, including hydrocarbon content, metals, reactivity, etc. This ensures that incoming waste is not hazardous, is solid, etc., etc. Materials that do not meet the specified regulatory criteria, cannot be accepted. As a further check, all loads are inspected at the landfill (video and/or visual confirmation) and field tested at the onsite laboratory for hazardous characteristics (no liquids, non-flammable, etc.). Additionally, samples of all incoming projects are collected at the landfill and submitted to a third-party laboratory to further ensure the material is “as described”. If a material is found not to meet any of these checks, it will be returned to the generator. All analysis and checks are submitted to Alberta Environment and Parks annually to ensure compliance.
How will traffic be affected in the area?
One of the reasons this location was selected is because of its high-grade access and good sight line ingress/egress into the facility from three directions. We anticipate there will be increased heavy truck traffic coming and going on both highway passing through through the site. The traffic flow will be variable depending on what projects are occurring at the site and is seasonal with the summer-fall normally being higher traffic flow. While difficult to gauge exactly, we see an average of 12 trucks into our site in Breton, with more truck traffic in the high season and fewer in winter and Spring. We will strictly enforce a “no jake break” rule for our trucking contractors within town limits.
Will there be blowing garbage, animal issues or odours?
No, unlike municipal type waste, the nature of the waste to be accepted (primarily soil) minimizes the possibility of blowing litter, birds, and odour at the Facility. While there is always a possibility that incoming wastes may have an odour as much of the material will be from oilfield activities, all trucks are tarped incoming and the facility is far enough away from our neighbours and prevailing winds suggest odour will never be an issue. The site is entirely fenced which ensures wildlife do not have access.
What will be the impacts on our community, is this a project that can spur other activity?
We will always strive to be a good neighbour; we have never had a complaint in over 20 years of operations at our Breton Facility. We recognize that a good relationship with the community is critical to our operations and we will do our utmost to become a part of the fabric of the area. We plan to donate to community-based causes and can be counted on to help when we can. In terms of economic impact, the overall budget for the first phase of construction is over $5 MM with a full buildout estimated at ~ $25 MM, with the majority of these monies spent with Alberta companies and as much locally as possible. A waste management facility will spur any number of commercial activities, including remedial and reclamation work, trucking, excavation works etc., not to mention ancillary employment and services in the immediate area. We are confident that spin off business opportunities will arise and we expect the Facility to be a “lever” that will help expedite remedial and reclamation projects in the area. The construction of the facility should coincide with recently announced Orphan Well and Site Rehabilitation Program initiatives and we believe could be a valuable component for the success of these important programs.
What about long-term liability?
Our facility will be required to post financial security as part of our Approval to operate. This ensures the Facility is managed and monitored for 25 years after the site is closed.
Will the site be visible now or in the future?
The final surveyed location of the Facility is such that we don’t think the site will be easily visible from the highway as it is behind a series of hills and we will be constructing our salvaged topsoil pile along the western edge of the site. The Facility will eventually be approximately 25 meters in height above the existing ground level at its highest peak, gently sloping to ground level. At closure, the site is covered with a clay cap and the salvaged topsoil will be placed on top and seeded to match existing vegetation and blend in with the area topography.
There are plans in our design to develop a constructed wetland in the Northwest area outside of out Facility fence line. We completed a similar addition at our Breton Facility, and it has proven to be a boon for local wildlife.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update newsletter. We hope it has provided some pertinent information about the proposed facility and its operations.