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Brownfields Marketplace Emergency Response Spill Cleanup Voluntary Disclosure

Solutions for the Business of the Environment

Asbestos Abatement

Black Bear Crossing military housing site demolition — page 8

An EcoLog Group Publication / CPMP no. 40069240

CLEANTECH CANADA supplement – pages 17-30


vol 22 no 2 SPRING 2010



When the Tsuu T’ina Nation reserve near Calgary, Alberta decided to demolish its Black Bear Crossing military housing development, the discovery of asbestos generated technical challenges and a practical solution. by Rob Smith

features 13

PERSONAL PROTECTION ONESuit protective suit helps in chlorine gas incident. by Peter Kirk



Editorial Up Front Environment Business HazMat Products Chemical Corner News Ad Index Legal Perspective

SPILL CLEANUP Sorbents for in-plant spills. by John Hosty


EDITORIAL Announcing CleanTech North. by David Pamenter


COVER STORY Ontario Solar FIT program. by David Oxtoby


WATERWORKS Robot device for pipe inspection. by Michael Stadnyckyj


INFRASTRUCTURE Phosphorous recovery from wastewater. by Phillip Abrary


WASTE-TO-ENERGY Plasma gasification for municipal solid waste. by Rod Bryden


CLIMATE CHANGE BC programs to reduce GHG emissions. by Tony Crossman


4 6 46 47 50 51 53 54


(PAGES 31-43) EDITORIAL BC Brownfields Renewal Strategy. by Jamie Ross


REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGY Dispelling myths about chemical oxidation. by Christina Caldwell


SOIL WASHING Dredging and dewatering contaminated soil. by Bastiaan Lammers


SOIL WASHING SIDEBAR Ontario-Netherlands cooperation on remediation. 40 by Hans van Duijne

next edition (summer 2010) Supplements: Brownfields Marketplace Editorial Focus: • Wastewater treatment • Confined Space Entry • PCBs • BioHazardous Waste Advertising closes, May 24, 2010. Advertising Artwork required, May 26, 2010. Call 1-888-702-1111. SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 3


Cementing Relationships Technology transfer from the Sydney Tar Ponds


The Sydney Tar Ponds

by Guy Crittenden

“A key commitment by the funding partners is to create a brain trust from this project, the first of its size in Canada.”

hings are progressing with the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency (STPA) and the cleanup of one of Canada’s worst contaminated sites. A federal/provincial partnership signed in 2004 committed $400 million in environmental remediation funds to clean up the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens sites that cover about 210 acres. A key commitment by the funding partners is to create a brain trust from this project, the first of its size in Canada, says STPA project director Donnie Burke. “There are other potential sites in the country that will need a technology something like this.” Technology transfer is an outcome we should expect from large remediation projects, especially when they’re funded by government. Drawing national and international interest is the solidification and stabilization (S/S) with cement of 600,000 cubic metres of impacted sediments in two natural ponds, the residue of a century of steel making and coking operations. The STPA has apparently rolled out the welcome mat to parties interested in cleaning up a contaminated site in future using S/S technology. STPA conducts 30 or more tours annually for local people and others from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. “A lot of the talk is technical in nature, but they also want to know how we build community relationships, stakeholder involvement, and how we’ve managed to work with regulators on the project,” says STPA spokesperson Tanya Collier MacDonald. Project Director Donnie Burke points out, “We have lots of resources here, people who are more than willing to talk about the project. Why go down the road and try to reinvent the wheel? We went with experts that have done it... utilized everything we learned from everybody else and put it in one envelope.” “Canada has one of the most stringent environmental screening processes in the world. I think that can be offered to anybody,” he adds. “Air monitoring, environmental quality assurance and quality control, and now S/S expertise is available here.” Randy Vallis (Director, Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Remediation Projects for Public Works and Government Services) describes the cleanup project as a true partnership. “For the federal/provincial governments, it’s not just a piece of paper, it’s a solid working relationship that is bringing this thing all together...” he says. “On the federal side, it’s an important project for Canada in demonstrating that things we do in Canada we also do well internationally. We want to showcase this to the world.” Vallis notes the use of cement in the overall solution. “We are resolving an environmental problem with cement.” The simplicity of treating contaminants with cement and having a useable property afterwards is very significant, he points out. According to the Cement Association of Canada’s Sylvie Moncion, STPA’s focus on sharing information is already paying off with a pilot project in Montreal. “The Vespo Group, a general contractor, will use S/S technology to remediate the site for their new office building and garage facility along the Lachine Canal,” she says. “The site was acquired from Corbec, which operated a hot-dip galvanization plant there for almost three decades.” Vespo and its consultants, Qualitas (a division of SNC-Lavalin), first read about S/S technology in a 2007 scientific article by Ciment Quebec in its corporate magazine Synergie. Officers of the Vespo Group and its consulting firm toured the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens in 2007 to learn more about solidification and stabilization of impacted sediments and how it could be applied to their property. The 17,000 square metre site is heavily contaminated with zinc, a key ingredient in the galvanizing process. About 11,300 cubic metres of excavated soil will be screened, treated with cement through pugmill continuous plants and safely reused for a base under the parking lot. In cost analysis and feasibility studies, the owner and consultant considered four options: dig-anddump in secure sites; on-site confinement with bentonite walls; on-site confinement with waterproofing membranes; and, on-site solidification/stabilization with cement. S/S proved to be the cheapest and safest technique for this project, according to Moncion. To further showcase government emphasis on technology transfer, a three day S/S-Tech conference will be held June 15-17 at Cape Breton University. Over 200 delegates from around the world are expected. The conference will feature two days of peer-reviewed technical papers, delivered by experts in S/S from the Sydney Tar Ponds project, and tours of the remediation sites. Register at HMM Guy Crittenden is editor of this magazine. Contact Guy at

4   SPRING 2010

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Vol. 22, No. 2 

Solutions for the Business of the Environment

Guy Crittenden EDITOR

Brad O’Brien PUBLISHER 416-510-6798 Jamie Ross ACCOUNT MANAGER 416-510-5221 Sheila Wilson ART DIRECTOR Kimberly Collins PRODUCTION MANAGER 416-510-6779 Selina Rahaman CIRCULATION MANAGER Carol Bell-LeNoury GENERAL MANAGER, ECOLOG GROUP Bruce Creighton PRESIDENT


TIGG Corporation acquires new plant

AWARD-WINNING MAGAZINE HazMat Management, USPS  016-506  is  published  four  times  a year by EcoLog Group, a division of BIG Magazines LP, a div. of  Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd., a leading Canadian business-tobusiness information services company. HazMat Management magazine provides strategic information  and perspectives to North American industry and government on pollution prevention and waste management issues. Readers  include  corporate  executives,  compliance  and  safe ty  officers,  industrial  plant  managers  and  operators,  municipal  govern ment environment officials, working scientists, and consulting engineers. EcoLog Group products include Solid Waste & Recycling magazine, the ERIS risk information service, and a number of newsletters  affiliated with Head Office:      Internet:  Email: 

12 Concorde Place, Suite 800 Toronto ON M3C 4J2  Call: (416) 442-5600   Fax: (416) 510-5133

Information  contained  in  this  publication  has  been  compiled  from  sources  believed  to  be  reliable,  thus  HazMat Management  cannot be responsible for the absolute correctness or sufficiency of  articles or editorial contained herein. Al though the information contained in this magazine is believed to be correct, no responsibility  is assumed therefore, nor for the opinions ex pressed by individual  authors. Articles in this magazine are intended to convey information rather than give legal or other professional advice. Reprint and  list rental services are arranged through the Publisher at (416) 5106780. This magazine is printed on RECYCLED PAPER made with 10%  post consumer and 50% post commercial waste. Periodical Postage Paid Niagara Falls, NY,  U.S. P.S. #016-506 U.S. Office of publication: 2424 Niagara Falls Blvd.,  Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0357 U.S. Postmaster: Send address corrections to: HazMat Management, P.O. Box 1118, Niagara Falls, NY 14304 Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40069240 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Circulation  Department — HazMat Management magazine 12 Concorde Place, Suite 800 Toronto ON M3C4J2 From time to time we make our subscription list available to select  companies and organizations whose product or service may interest  you.  If  you  do  not  wish  your  contact  information  to  be  made  available, please contact us via one of the following methods:  Phone: 1-800-668-2374   Fax: 416-510-5133   Email: Mail to:  Privacy Officer   Business Information Group   12 Concorde Place, Suite 800   Toronto ON M3C 4J2


IGG Corporation is pleased to an­ nounce the acquisition of a new manufacturing facility on 40 acres in Heber Springs, Arkansas. The former Robert Bosch Tool Company building will be the new home of TIGG’s tank and pres­ sure vessel manufacturing plant. TIGG purchased the 154,000 square foot building with the intention of expanding its current manufacturing capabilities. Major modifica­ tions planned for the new facility include: • Installation of a high bay crane area, crane structures and accessories, and larger steel columns and foundations to accommodate two 10­ton cranes with 30 ft. underhook height, a 7.5­ton crane, and several 5­ton cranes; • Construction of a new vessel prep booth and paint spray booth to accommodate lining and finishing larger vessels; • Installation of two 16 ft. overhead doors with truck ramps for receiving and ship­ ping materials and products. TIGG’s manufacturing capabilities include

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Canadian Business

manufacturing steel tanks and pressure ves­ sels with diameters up to 14 ft. in carbon steel and stainless steel. Additionally, they can provide a variety of linings and finish coatings such as high solids epoxy and vinyl esters. TIGG is fully certified for fabrication of steel tanks and pressure vessels in accordance with ASME Code Section VIII and holds ASME R and U stamps. “We plan to complete the renovations and relocation by the middle of the year. The new facility is part of our overall strategic plan to expand our capabilities and enable us to build much larger vessels which will pos­ ition us well for our next phase of growth,” says Georgiana Riley, President of TIGG Corporation. “In addition to manufacturing tanks and pressure vessels for our traditional water and air purification business, we intend to provide tanks and pressure vessels for various other markets including air receivers and water storage tanks,” Riley says. Visit


6   SPRING 2010

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Michael Cant • John Hosty • Dianne Saxe • Usman Valiante • Laura Zizzo


ECO Canada to implement strategy

From the left: Grant Trump, Diane Ablonczy, Fariborz Birjandian and Craig Robertson.


he Government of Canada is helping newcomers better integrate into the Canadian workforce through a new initiative to help foreign-trained workers find jobs in the environmental sector. The Hon. Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Calgary — Nose Hill, made the announcement on behalf of the Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “[W]e’re taking action to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can maximize their talents. I’m pleased to support the Environmental Sector Immigration Strategy,” says Ablonczy. The Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) will receive $1.29 million in Foreign Credential Recognition Program funding for the strategy. The funding will enable ECO Canada to create an assessment and job matching system for foreign-trained workers to find jobs in the environmental sector. This system will place skilled immigrants in areas with the highest demand, and will enhance their employment opportunities in Canada. “ECO Canada is pleased to be part of this project as it aligns with our mandate of ensuring a sufficient supply of skilled professionals to address the labour requirements of the Canadian environmental sector,” says Grant Trump, President & CEO, ECO Canada. “The bridging component of this project provides an effective vehicle to link the environment sector’s labour market demands with competent immigrants arriving in Canada with environmentally related education and experience.” Canada’s Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as employers, to address barriers to foreign

credential recognition in Canada. This investment directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which was announced last November. Under the Framework, foreign-trained workers who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized. The Framework is part of the federal government’s strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. With this $50-million investment, the government will: • Develop the principles that will guide the process of foreign credential recognition; • Develop standards for the timely handling of requests; • Identify key occupations that will be the priority for developing recognition standards; and • Help people who want to come to Canada understand what they need to know before they arrive. The Foreign Credential Recognition Program and the Foreign Credentials Referral Office are the key federal initiatives in place to support pan-Canadian implementation of the Framework. ECO Canada is an industry-lead human resources organization that develops programs that help individuals find and build meaningful environmental careers and provides employers with resources and tools to find and keep the best environmental professionals. Eco Canada also informs educators and government of employment trends to ensure the ongoing prosperity of this growing sector. Find environmental profession products, services, and information at Gain formal recognition of your environmental expertise at SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 7


The Tsuu T’ina Nation reserve near Calgary, Alberta

Asbestos A H

ow’d you like to save $10 million and still complete a successful demolition project? Questions of this nature are asked by many building owners whose facilities no longer meet their intended use and need to be torn down. The Tsuu T’ina Nation was asking such questions when it was time to demolish the former private military quarters called Black Bear Crossing (BBC) on their reserve. BBC was a former military housing development consisting of 196 units arranged in 43 complexes constructed in 1959 on the Tsuu T’ina Nation reserve adjacent to Calgary, Alberta. The problems began at BBC in 2006 when Health Canada issued an “Unfit for Human Habitation” declaration — based on possible asbestos contamination — to the residents of BBC. The outcome of the declaration was the evacuation of more than 600 residents. With the former residents relocated in hotels as a short term solution, the future of BBC needed to be determined.

8   SPRING 2010

Some of the units were in good shape, with pictures hung on the walls and welcome mats on the front steps; other units, sometimes adjascent, were in disrepair. Damage included holes in walls and broken windows. The Tsuu T’ina Nation started

“The initial step is to meet the requirements of the Bulletin and apply for acceptance from Section 34.” by Rob Smith


Abatement to lose control of who was occupying the units. In a number of instances fires were started in unoccupied units, drug use became prevalent, and copper piping was stolen (for its resale value). The ripping out of pipes caused numerous water leaks that in turn led to mould infiltration. These were just a few of the health and safety concerns developing at BBC as the Tsuu T’ina Nation and stakeholders met to decide on its future. Due to the Health Canada declaration, the stakeholders knew that at some point they’d have to deal with hazardous building materials. This, they knew, would generate health and safety concerns and increase abatement costs. A number of ideas were bounced around to determine the future of BBC, including trying to sell the units to a developer (who would move the buildings off-site) to keeping the foundations and turning the site into a business park. Each option was investigated, but in the end it was determined that the safest and most responsible option was to simply demolish the BBC.


Two of the main problems when completing demolition projects with hazardous building materials present are the safety of individuals handling the materials (and the safety of others including the surrounding public) and the cost of removing the materials. The proposed solution was to use alternative methods for the asbestos abatement. Alberta Employment and Immigration, Workplace Health and Safety has produced a bulletin that allows for asbestos-containing materials (ACM) to remain in place during demolition following an application process that leads to acceptance from Section 34 in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code that states, “If a building is to be demolished, the employer must ensure that materials with the potential to release asbestos fibres are removed first.” By allowing select ACM to remain in place during demolition, workers no longer have to remove these ACM and their potential exposure is far reduced. As importantly, by allowing select ACM to remain in place during demolition the cost to remove them is eliminated.

SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 9

Material was wetted during demolition as part of a protocol to reduce  airborne contaminants.

10   SPRING 2010


“It was determined that the percentage of asbestos in the mixed waste stream would be significantly less than one per cent.” Yet, leaving ACMs in place during demolition is one of the original taboos in the HazMat world. So how was this project possible? The initial step is to meet the requirements of the Bulletin and apply for acceptance from Section 34. Key items required to receive acceptance include the following: • ACM that can remain in place must have less than five per cent chrysotile asbestos;

• all demolition is conducted by mechanical means; • all staff involved in the project must have training to understand and control the hazards associated with asbestos; • written procedures that identify how to control the dust generated by demolition must be developed and approved by the Government; • the contractor must have the appropriate

insurance to handle hazardous materials (their policy should not have an asbestos exclusion); • the landfill where the asbestos waste will be disposed must acknowledge in writing their understanding of the asbestos content of the demolition waste and their intended acceptance of this waste; and • written confirmation must be provided that the contractor will not salvage for

SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 11


recycling or resale, any building materials having ACM on them or mixed in with them. As part of the acceptance, specialized safe work procedures were developed to help control potential exposure. Generally speaking, these included setting up controlled work areas, continuously wetting the materials, using mechanical means to demolish the buildings in small sections, ensuring all materials remain wet during transportation and are covered, covering the material at the end of each shift if debris is present, and setting up decontamination areas for the workers and equipment. The other key item in the application is finding a landfill that will accept the waste. The Guidelines for the Disposal of Asbestos Waste document prepared by Alberta Environment defines asbestos waste as waste containing asbestos in a concentration greater than one per cent by weight. Based on calculations, it was determined that the percentage of asbestos in the mixed waste stream would be significantly less than one per cent. As such, the mixed waste did not meet Alberta Environment’s definition of asbestos waste and a landfill that normally accepts dry, inert demolition debris could accept it. 12   SPRING 2010


ACMs that did not meet the criteria of the Bulletin were removed following classical asbestos abatement methods. During the demolition, area and occupational air samples were collected and analyzed by phase contract microscopy following NIOSH 7400 methodology. The results were analyzed by a laboratory accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and were found to be below the method limit of quantification with only five out of 166 samples collected were slightly over 0.01 f/cc. Following the completion of the project, surface soil samples were collected and analyzed following EPA/600/R-93/116 methodology at a National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) laboratory. Asbestos was not detected in the samples submitted. As a second level of quality control, a selection of both air

samples and soil samples were submitted for analysis by transmission electron microscopy. Asbestos structures were not detected in any of the samples. The safe and successful completion of the project was due to procedures implemented and communication between the contractors, the consultant and the building owner. These procedures may not work with every project but in the right situation, with the right team, it’s a viable option to help provide better protection for the workers, with the potential (in this HMM case) to save $10 million. Robert Smith, B.Kin., CRSP, is Associate, Senior Occupational Hygienist, with Golder Associates Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta. Contact Rob at


Chlorine gas sends two to hospital Protective suit helps fire department respond to HazMat incident by Peter Kirk


he safety and cleanliness of public swimming pools are regularly taken for granted by members of the swimming public. And rightly so. It’s proper to assume the community pool is treated with the appropriate disinfectants. Sterilizing pools with calibrated chemical doses is a well regulated and safe practice repeated countless thousands of times a day across North America. Standard operating procedure requires that two specific liquid chemicals be piped separately into the water: sodium hypochlorite for residual disinfecting and hydrochloric acid to achieve the proper pH balance. The system works fine as long as these two chemical agents don’t directly come in contact with each other. But what happens when these chemicals mix?

the role of junior chemist and created chlorine gas. Dangerous, caustic chlorine gas. The world’s first chemical weapon — used in World War I — chlorine gas is, in fact, still being deployed by insurgents against U.S. and Iraqi troops in that nation’s conflict. According to the Centers for Disease Control, chlorine gas exposure can lead to “nausea and vomiting, burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin... difficulty breathing or shortness of breath may appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled, or may be delayed if low concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled in the lungs (pulmonary edema) within two to four hours.” For these two employees on this one morning, there was no fun to be had at The Laramie Community Recreation Center.



“Here at the Laramie Community Recreation Center we have two indoor pools: a leisure pool and a lap pool,” says Paul Harrison, department head of the Laramie Parks and Recreation Department in Laramie, Wyoming. “Our liquid sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid are stored in two large separate tanks. Each week the maintenance staff has to transfer barrels that we receive from shipment to storage tanks housed in an adjacent, sealed room. These chemicals are then automatically fed into the pools.” “This past winter two employees involved in the chemical transfer inadvertently put a small amount of sodium hypochlorite solution in the hydrochloric acid tank,” continues Harrison. “They immediately discovered this was wrong, vacated the area, called for assistance, and eventually were transported to the hospital for observation and treatment.” Wrong indeed. A strong vapor was rapidly filling the small storage area, burning their eyes and lungs; they were wise to flee the scene. Understandably, given the circumstance, the employees left the hydrochloric acid tank unsealed and closed the door to the storage area on their way out. The unlucky duo had accidentally stumbled into

“We got the call that two people had been exposed to chlorine gas at the Rec Center,” recalls Jim Hoflund, a Laramie Fire Department company officer. “When we arrived on scene, we had personnel who were checking on the victims in the ambulance — so that was under control. Since the immediate life/safety issues were okay, we had to figure out how to mitigate the incident.” While the Laramie Fire Department serves a relatively small community (population 31,000), it’s particularly well prepared for the unique challenges of a major HazMat operation; the surrounding public is in very good hands. Some background: The State of Wyoming Department of Homeland Security divides Wyoming into seven different regions. Laramie is in Region 3, which includes Albany and Carbon counties, and the Laramie Fire Department provides HazMat response in this region. The Laramie Fire Department also features 20 firefighters (out of 43 total) who have achieved the highest National Fire Protection Association Hazmat Certification — the Technical Level — requiring a minimum 80 hours of specialized training. Many have received additional advanced training at the American Railroad Institute School in Pueblo, Colorado.

“The two employees were released from a local hospital later that afternoon.”

SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 13


“Once we found out that these two chemicals were involved we knew exactly what we were going to do,” continued Hoflund, listing them off. ���One: Put on our ONESuit Hazmat protective gear. Two: Mitigate and ventilate the incident site.”

SUITING UP, GOING IN Prior to entering the incident site, Hoflund and a colleague put on their new ONESuit® Flash hazmat suits. Manufactured by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, ONESuit Flash is a single-skin, flame-resistant chemical protective suit. Certified to vigilant NFPA 1991 standards, ONESuit Flash protects HazMat professionals against the most dangerous chemical and biological agents in both liquid and vapor form, as well as the dangers of flash fire from a chemical fire. Hoflund and his partner encountered their first problem when the door to the storage facility was locked, forcing them to cut out the door with a reciprocating saw.

“That was first thing that I noticed about the ONESuit — it had very good maneuverability and it was easy to hold tools in my hand,” says Hoflund. “We hadn’t trained cutting doors off in a HazMat suit, but we quickly found that it was easy to move around in the ONESuit.” “Once we gained entry, we discovered that certain areas of the room were difficult to move around in. With our old HazMat suits we were always worried about tearing. But these ones are really flexible. In fact, I ran into a couple of things in the room but the suits were very durable,” Hoflund comments. This was the first time that the Laramie Fire Department deployed the special suits, which were purchased to replace another company’s protective gear that had approached the end of its shelf life. Hoflund and his partner sealed up the exposed hydrochloric acid tank and proceeded to ventilate the small space with positive pressure fans. Using a chlorine

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monitor and pH paper they were able to determine when it was safe for civilians to reenter the room. The citizens of Laramie were free to swim again. (The pool reopened the next day.) The two employees were released from a local hospital later that afternoon.

Poulos noted that with ONESuit Flash there is no current shelf life. “You just have to do an annual recertification test: Pressurize the suits to four inches of water pressure and examine the exhaust valves. As long as they’re intact and serviceable, you can keep using it. We haven’t had a ONESuit fail yet.” “We receive funding every year from the State Homeland Security Grant Program (federal funding) and we like to be good stewards with that money,” said Poulos. “We do a lot of comparisons and the safety issue is of course paramount. ONESuit Flash was the best fit in terms of cost and capabilities.” The Laramie Fire Department has 12 hazmat suits in its arsenal. In the meantime, jump on in... the water’s great. HMM

WHY ONESUIT FLASH? “Our old hazmat suits were approaching the end of their shelf life and our distributor, Wise Safety, recommended we try a new suit on the market,” says John Poulos, a company officer and Hazardous Materials Coordinator for the Laramie Fire Department. “He brought them for the team to try on and the main reason we liked them so much was because of the flexibility and softness of fabric. They were also extremely lightweight. While our old suits were also Level A and singleskin, they didn’t meet the flash fire requirement. They were also much heavier, not nearly as flexible, and nowhere Clean Earth ad a 4/21/09 10:20 AM Page near as soft,” said1/4 Poulos, 25-year department veteran.

Peter Kirk is Product Manager for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in of Merrimack, New Hampshire. 1 Contact Peter at

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technologiesymposium October 20-22, 2010 The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta

Call for Abstracts

Tools, Techniques & Technologies The Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) invites you to submit papers and technical presentations focusing on technologies for the remediation of contaminated soil. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words, should include a presenter biography, and must be received by Friday, May 7, 2010. Please send submissions via e-mail to:

Symposium organized by: Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) 102 2528 Ellwood Drive SW Edmonton, AB T6X 0A9 phone: 1.800.661.9278 or 780.429.6363

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION OF ALBERTA SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 15 RT2010CallforAbstracts1/4pageAD.indd 1 Process CyanProcess MagentaProcess YellowProcess Black

2/22/10 8:46:38 AM


Spill! Use and application of sorbents for in-plant spills by John Hosty

Blue Group, oil only.

Yellow Group, HazMat

here are many types, uses and applications of “sorbents” used for spill response and control in commercial and industrial settings. This broad range leads to confusion in terms of selecting the best or “right” tools for the job. Hopefully, we can clarify some of the key issues here.

nature and can be used in universal and hazmat applications. In terms of cost, there is a wide variety of polypropylene pads in the marketplace, the key differences being in thickness, density of the polypropylene, and tensile strength. In addition to being formed in pads, polypropylene may also be found as fluff, particulate and shred. • Peat. When ground, dried and treated, peat is used as a loose, oleophilic material for the cleanup of hydrocarbon materials such as fuel and lubricating oils. When properly enclosed in a device such as a simple pool skimmer it can be deployed on the surface of an oil/ water mixture and has high efficiency at separation and removal of the oil. • Clay. A very common loose material that is mined, treated and packaged in many regions of the world. Clay was probably the first particulate sorbent found in common use. It has poor sorbent qualities and, because of its large particle size, is inefficient at removing liquids from any surface. This factor, coupled with its significant mass per volume absorbed makes clay a poor material for most applications. The primary reason for its longevity is history, and the fact that it a “relatively cheap,” the choice of some purchasing managers but not environmental practitioners. One final limitation on clay sorbents is that they release silica into the air; a designated substance requiring particular handling techniques.



“Some sorbents will reduce the rate of vaporization and therefore significantly reduce the flammable zone surrounding a release.”

Different sorbent types have been developed and designed to meet varying key utilization features. For example, oleophilic sorbents are designed to absorb oil while repelling water, universal sorbents are designed to absorb all liquids and hazmat universal are designed to absorb all liquids, while being able to withstand any aggressive effects of the material being absorbed. Sorbents are made from a variety of substances, including oil-based polymers, naturally occurring minerals, organic materials and others. Some common examples are: • Polypropylene. This is generally used to create “pads” of material used for direct application to a liquid. These pads may be either universal or oleophilic in nature, depending on their method of manufacture and the treatment chemicals used therein. Melt-blown polypropylene, the most common type in use, is naturally oleophilic, when treated with a wetting chemical it loses this natural

16   SPRING 2010

... continues on page 44

Published by HazMat Management and Solid Waste & Recycling magazines. PUBLISHED IN ASSOCIATION WITH:

Ontario Solar FIT program



Cleantech will lead the economy through the next decade



lobally, three main drivers promise to make clean technology (“cleantech”) a major force. First, climate change is better understood so there is a new drive to reduce carbon emissions. Second, world populations continue to increase, driving up the consumption of natural resources. Third, ongoing access to oil and gas is uncertain and finite, thus spurring initiatives to develop alternate energy sources. While Copenhagen was a disappointment to most, Prime Minister Harper did get one thing right; Canada cannot have an effective carbon reduction mandate until the United States does. The United States has seen the green light. Obama pledged to embrace a green energy economy. He proposes federal carbon mitigation legislation to cut greenhouse emissions dramatically. Part of the solution is a cap-andtrade system structured to generate US$15 billion annually for investment in renewable energy. The Economic Stability Act contains tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and cleantech. The Act will boost the cleantech industry and create new “green-collar” jobs, a key component of the Democrats’ plan to re-energize the U.S. economy. Time will tell how much this agenda is affected by the election of the new Republican senator from Massachusetts and the new power balance in the US Senate. If the United States restricts carbon emissions from its own manufacturers, it will not permit the migration of U.S. jobs to countries with less stringent controls. The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will regulate carbon emissions, even if Congress does not act. What are we doing in Canada to kick start the green economy? Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government has passed the Green Energy Act providing for, among other things, a “feed in tariff” programme by which renewable energy is purchased at premium prices on

by David Pamenter 18   SPRING 2010

“We have formed CleantechNorth to mentor promising cleantech companies possessing intellec­ tual property, man­ agement, scalability and the desire to grow internationally.”

20-year contracts. (See Cover Story here. ) A deal for establishing wind and solar equipment manufacturing facilities in Ontario has recently been announced with Samsung. Other provinces have less dramatic initiatives in play; but really there is not a lot more and the feds are becoming fixated on fiscal restraints. Our country must develop a green strategy quickly — one that includes more effective ways to encourage the development and exploitation of new technologies, or we will lose many more of our cleantech innovators to Waltham and we will not replace the jobs lost across the country. As a reaction to this vacuum, Gary Schwartz, David Berg, Albert Behr and I are putting our shoulders to the wheel. We have formed CleantechNorth to mentor promising cleantech companies possessing intellectual property, management, scalability and the desire to grow internationally. CleantechNorth will select 10-15 companies focussed on water, air and energy for this purpose. There is also a public face. CleantechNorth held its first conference in November for 250 attendees and we will hold our second event in the spring, to be focused on “Cleantech in the City.” CleantechNorth is supported by organizations such as Gowling Lafleur Henderson, Royal Bank Group, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Cooley Godward, Hub International, GrowthWorks, MaRS, BDC, GCI, McQuarrie and many others. These sponsors will actively help coach our member companies. Take a look and sign up at (or cleantechnorth on LinkedIn). Despite the questions, complications and current economic malaise, we can expect significant progress in the cleantech industry in the very near future. We can also anticipate an increased drive toward more eco-friendly processes in all businesses. This will be caused in part by the need to reduce costs as energy prices rise and as costs are attached to carbon emissions. We will also see a rising chorus of voices encouraging social responsibility in cleantech matters; a different workplace dynamic because young employees are more interested in such issues than their present managers; “green activists” in the media, among our customers and at shareholder meetings. Stay tuned — cleantech is becoming more muscular!

David Pamenter is a business law partner with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in Toronto, Ontario and also the national leader of the firm’s Technology Industry Group. Contact David at





he Ontario government’s new Feed-In Tariff for solar power has only been in place for a few months, but already it’s spurring a huge amount of activity and setting the stage for the construction of literally hundreds of industrial, commercial and institutional rooftop solar power systems across the province over the next few years. Many building owners — some with environmental missions and others with purely economic motives — have taken note of this new program and are wondering whether and how to get in on the action. If they do want to install solar power systems on one or

“The developer can pay the building owner somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 annually for 20 years for the use of the roof.” by David Oxtoby

more of their roofs, the most fundamental decision building owners face is whether they want to pay the capital cost themselves, or alternatively let a third party own the system. With the ownership option, the building owner buys the system and sells the power it generates to the government under the Feed-In Tariff (commonly referred to as the FIT). This approach normally results in a simple payback of eight to 10 years — too long for most organizations, especially when compared to faster returns for other environmental opportunities such as energy efficiency measures. For this reason many building owners are looking at the alternative of renting roof space to solar power developers eager to own and operate the systems over the long term. A number of solar developers have sprung up in the past year, and many are now scrambling to tie up roof space for potential systems. But until the market reaches some kind of equilibrium, the big question will be how much rent they can realistically pay. Estimates vary widely, with the low end of the range potentially insufficient to justify the hassle of making a roof available, and the high end of the range potentially jeopardizing the long-term financial viability of the system owners leasing the space. Let’s consider some of the potential costs and benefits of hosting a solar power system. Please note, however, that many of the following comments are applicable only to Ontario and not to installing systems in other provinces or SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 19


U.S. states with different incentives, though the learnings in Ontario could be useful in other jurisdictions.

Ontario’s program The Ontario Feed-In Tariff is a European-style incentive which requires the government to buy all of the electricity generated by qualifying photovoltaic (PV) systems at fixed rates — well in excess of current prices for grid electricity — for 20 years. This is the same type of incentive Germany has used since 2000, leading to that nation’s global dominance in terms of total capacity of systems installed. Under the FIT, the Ontario Power Authority pays: • 71.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated by rooftop systems up to 250 kilowatts (kW) in size; • 63.5 cents per kWh for systems sized 250-500kW; • 53.9 cents for systems larger than 500kW. While these rates are high, they are fixed for 20 years with no escalators. The justification for the FIT rates is that they incentivize the generation of clean energy on a distributed basis (i.e., close to where it’s needed), helping the province keep its promise to close down its remaining coal-fired power plants and reducing the need for new power trans20   SPRING 2010

mission and distribution infrastructure. Ontario solar system content requirements of 50 per cent in 2010 and 60 per cent thereafter are mandated in order to foster job creation. Ontario has chosen the FIT rates very carefully, and they do not create any real windfalls for building owners or solar project developers.

Benefits for building owners Let’s take as a standard example a building with a 50,000 square foot, unshaded roof. This is sufficiently large to host a 250kW DC system, costing approximately $1.5 million. Depending on where the building is located, the system will generate approximately 275 MWh of electricity per year, which can be sold to the government at $713 per MWh for annual revenues of $196,000. This would yield a simple payback of 7.65 years if it were not for operations and maintenance expenses, which put the payback above eight years. Alternatively, the same building owner could rent the roof space to a third-party owner, who would use debt to leverage the equity returns to above 10 per cent — comparable to those of many other utility or infrastructure-


like investments. The developer can pay the building owner somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 annually for 20 years for the use of the roof. While this income is essentially a windfall for the building owner, it comes with an obligation to make the roof available for the system for the 20 years, risking the payment of a penalty if plans change and the system needs to be removed. It’s also worth noting that the most attractive buildings are those whose roofs have been recently built or replaced, and that buildings with older roofs requiring replacement part-way through the life of a solar power system may not benefit from the same economics.

Important considerations Some building owners have concerns about the solar technology itself, and think of it as somewhat unproven. Nothing could be further from the truth. Systems are solid state — most use silicon technology dating back to the 1950s — and the solar modules themselves are so well understood that they normally carry 25 year manufacturers’ warranties. Other important questions many building owners raise include: • Who is responsible for the roof if there is a leak? • Where does the power go and are electricity bills affected? • Who owns the environmental attributes associated with the clean power? • Does the system affect property taxes? • What happens if the building is sold or there is a need to have the system removed? In general, solar developers work with roofing contractors to ensure that roof warranties are maintained. This means that any problems with a roof are still a matter for the roofer, unless it can be clearly shown that the solar system caused them. The power generated is metered separately, and does not affect electricity bills. From a technical standpoint the electrons created by the system may flow into the building,

“Building owners can rent roof space to a third-party owner who uses debt to leverage equity returns above 10 per cent.”

but from a financial standpoint they are sold to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). The environmental attributes are also transferred to the OPA. For marketing purposes, a building owner can say that they are hosting a solar power system to help Ontario meet its renewable energy objectives. If the roof is leased, the value of the equipment does not affect the assessed value of the building directly, but the lease income may cause property taxes to be slightly higher when rates are re-assessed, but this is not yet certain as the income may end up being exempted from property tax, as it is in many U.S. jurisdictions. If the building is sold, the lease agreement can be transferred to the new owner. Alternatively if the building is to be taken down or otherwise modified such that the system cannot remain in place, the building owner has the option to buy out the system, and sell the solar panels and equipment to someone who can use them at another location.

Future outlook Perhaps the biggest question to wrestle with is whether the FIT program represents the best possible opportunity for rooftop solar, or whether a better incentive will be announced in future. If this were the case, early adopters might rue their decision to tie up their roofs for 20 years starting today. Experience in other jurisdictions, however, generally shows most incentives for solar power being reduced over time as costs are reduced and uptake by building owners becomes more widespread. That is why solar developers and an increasing number of building owners are convinced that now is the time to “take to the roofs.”

David Oxtoby is CEO of CarbonFree Technology, a solar power project developer based in Toronto, Ontario. Contact David at SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 21



PIPELINE PHYSICALS over half of this figure. This cost is calcu calculated on replacing entire systems based on an estimated useful life rather than the actual condition of the asset. As a result of this massive infrastructure upgrade figure, a growing number of municipalities are turning to the Pressure Pipe Inspection Company (PPIC) to help diagnose the condition of their pipelines and to extend the life of their buried assets.

PPIC PPIC was established by Dr. Brian Mergelas after he received his Ph.D. in Physics at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. During his time at the University, he studied under Professor David Atherton, who worked closely with, and mentored, Dr. Mergelas. Professor Atherton is recognized as a global expert in pipeline inspection technology and is A Sahara leak detection crew concredited with the development of Remote ducts an inspection in Dallas, Texas. Field Transformer Coupling (RFTC) technology. This technology was a true breakthrough as it was able to provide t’s common knowledge that an annual medical exam accurate information about the location, distribution and can help extend your life expectancy through early number of wire breaks in pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe detection of health problems. Government guidelines (a common pipe material for large diameter water transmisrecommend that healthy adults begin examinations at sion mains). the age of 40. With the RFTC technology as a base, Dr. Mergelas What’s not as commonly known is that in Canada, like founded PPIC in 1997 to help utilities assess the condition many other regions of the world, a large percentage of of their pipelines, to help optimize infrastructure investwater pipelines have a much older average age. Based on a ments, stop water loss due to leaks, reduce risk of rupture number of reasons — from inadequate design to improper and ensure environmental compliance. installation to years of service — pipes are failing and the Just like a medical exam would start with the major problem will only increase over time. organs of a human body, Dr. Mergelas believes that muniIn the United States alone, it’s estimated that a $1 trillion cipalities should take the same approach and focus more investment is required over the attention on establishing the condition of large mains, rannext 20 years to replace aging ging in diameter from 12 to over 250 inches. Large diameter water and wastewater inframains are vital to local economies, can cause millions of structure; pipelines represent just dollars of damage and liability in the event of a rupture, and have the potential of losing massive volumes of water via undetected leaks. The bottom line is that there is a much “For every one greater ROI to regularly examine these large diameter mains per cent reduction versus small diameter network lines within residential areas.


by Michael Stadnyckyj 22   SPRING 2010

in NRW level, Maynilad recovers around 23 million litres of water a day.”

The technology Today, PPIC is capable of inspecting a variety of pipeline materials, including concrete, plastic, iron and steel using two core technologies, RFTC and Sahara® leak detection. RFTC technology has come a long way since it was first wheeled through a pipe on a red wooden wagon in

CLEAN TECH CANADA Texas. The technology can best be described as an MRI for pipelines as it identifies areas of distress within the pipe structure. It functions much in the same way as a radio transmitter and receiver. The “transmitter” produces an electromagnetic field. The pre-stressing wires in the pipe amplify the signal that’s recorded by the “receiver.” If there are broken wires, the signal is distorted. A measurement of the distortion quantifies the number of broken wires and the “health” of the pipe. Because of the accuracy of this technology, the client base quickly expanded throughout the Southern United States and Middle East. As a direct result of federal support through the National Research Council’s Industry Research Assistance Program and through PRECARN and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the RFTC technology has been further evolved and a new, free swimming RFTC inspection tool called PipeDiver™ was developed. PipeDiver™ represents a significant step forward as it reduces the cost of inspection by allowing the utility to perform the inspection at any point in time without shutting down the pipeline. PPIC is also a global leader in the application of leak detection technologies for largediameter water mains. Identifying leaks is critical for municipalities to con-trol water loss, ensure integrity of pipe bedding and to optimize production costs; there is no reason to expand a water plant if a large volume of water is being lost via distribution mains, not to mention the cost of treatment chemicals or energy to move the water over long distances. Sahara™ technology uses a tethered acoustic device at the end of a cable which can be deployed up to 1,800 meters into an operating pipeline. The technology is used by major cities around the world including London, Sao Paulo, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Toronto. Sahara™ technology has identified over 300 mega liters per day of water leaks to date and has recognized very high rates of return for these major cities. The majority of the company’s business comes from either regions of the world that require the transport of large volumes of water over great distances or from large cities where the age of pipelines is becoming a significant infrastructure factor due to ruptures. Mayors, city councils, public works departments and citizens need to remember that water main breaks don’t need to be a fact of life. Advanced condition assessment technologies such as PipeDiver™ and Sahara™ are proven to reduce ruptures and extend the life of pipeline infrastructure. This helps to make the trillion dollar investment more manageable by not wasting money replacing assets that are in good condition, while extending the time period under which critical investments must be made from 20 to 30 or even 40 years. All of this is possible through a simple annual “pipeline physical.”

Project examples The City of El Paso is the fifth largest in Texas with a population of approximately 700,000. To meet the water needs of the residents, the utility operates over 3,500 kilometers of water transmission mains. The utility was concerned about the condition of a 24 inch water main which experienced a rupture and was situated near a natural gas pipeline. Prior to simply replacing the water main, PPIC was called in to conduct an RFTC inspection of the main and found it to be in good condition. As a result of the inspection, the utility had confidence that the asset was in good condition and was able to avoid replacing the line with an estimated cost savings over $3 million.

Above: PPIC technicians prepare the new, free swimming PipeDiver tool for inspection into a water pipeline. Above left: Construction crew attaching PipeDiver insertion sleeves to a large diameter pipeline. One of the biggest challenges with the new RFTC technology was overcoming insertion and removal in live pipelines.

In the Philippines, PPIC recently signed a long term Sahara™ leak detection contract with Maynilad Water Services. The Water Utility is committed to modernizing its infrastructure and reducing non revenue water (NRW) loss. Since 2007, Maynilad has brought down its water loss level from 66 per cent to 59 per cent through an aggressive NRW management program. For every one per cent reduction in NRW level, Maynilad recovers around 23 million litres of water a day that it allocates to areas that need additional supply. This project is expected to have short-term ROI and build on the success of Sahara™ operations in other major global cities such as London, England. Thames Water has found over 960 main leaks representing 130-200 mega liters per day of water during a multi-year deployment of Sahara™ technology.

Michael Stadnyckyj is Director of Communications for The Pressure Pipe Inspection Company in Mississauga, Ontario. Contact Michael at SPRING 2010 23




Ostara’s process operating at Clean Water Services’ Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tigard, Oregon; the first commercial facility to launch in the US.


mongst all the challenges to environmental sustainability, there is one that few people today have even heard of, but which within a generation could likely become the most pressing concern for humanity globally. The issue has already prompted various national governments to take action, and is now just beginning to receive attention in mainstream scientific media. A Canadian company based in Vancouver, BC has already found the solution, and it originates from almost every household in the country. When most Canadians flush the toilet they don’t give much thought to what happens next. In most cases the sewage flows to a municipal treatment plant to be cleaned before the water is discharged back into the environment. The cleaning process needs to remove various contaminants from the sewage to prevent them from polluting our waterways, and as our society has developed, the quality of this treatment has improved, driven by federal and provincial regula-

by Phillip Abrary

24   SPRING 2010

tion. Much of the focus for this improvement now focuses on nutrients — nitrogen and phosphorus — which an increasing number of wastewater treatment plants facing more stringent regulations on nutrient disposal must deal with. Phosphorus originates from phosphate rock, which is mined from a relatively limited number of deposits and converted into fertilizer for applications such as growing agricultural crops. The element is required by every form of life on earth, including humans, and the food we eat. The vast majority of the phosphorus we consume ends up in our waste, however; hence the need for wastewater treatment plants to remove it. Until recently, removing it was the end of the story, but now a Canadian company — Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. — has developed a process that enables the phosphorus to be recycled back into a high-purity fertilizer product. Estimates of global phosphate rock reserves vary, but some put it at as little as forty years. Further, being an element, it cannot be substituted (unlike, say, the renewable energy used to replace our dependence on fossil fuels). That’s why closing the loop by recycling this material is so important. Ostara’s technology, branded the PEARL™ Process, was developed at the University of British Columbia, and was then commercialized in May 2005 when the company was founded. Headquartered in downtown Vancouver, BC, Ostara is backed by VantagePoint, a venture capital firm that has appointed Robert F. Kennedy to Ostara’s board. Since 2005, Ostara has successfully scaled up the technology from the lab to a commercial level and constructed two full scale facilities, the first of their kind in the world. The first of these (in Edmonton, Alberta) became operational in May 2007, and the second (in Portland, Oregon) in May 2009. Another two facilities are currently under construction in the Suffolk, VA and York, PA.

The technology The technology is based on the precipitation of phosphorus, together with magnesium and nitrogen (in the form of ammonia), in a fluidized bed reactor. The material that’s precipitated is a mineral deposit called Struvite (MgNH4PO4.6H2O), and the “magic” of the PEARL Process is the way the Struvite is formed into small, hard pellets, which are ready for use as a fertilizer without any further processing. Struvite deposits often form accidentally in wastewater treatment plants, where they occur as a concrete like scale, causing pipes to block and equipment such as pumps and valves to fail. By forming Struvite under controlled condi-

Ostara’s PEARL™ Nutrient Recovery Process.

tions, Ostara’s process prevents this accidental scaling, saving treatment plant owners significant operating costs. Further, by removing phosphorus and nitrogen and converting these nutrients into fertilizer, the job of the treatment plant in ensuring these potential contaminants are not discharged into the environment is made easier, which again saves money, and also helps to secure regulatory compliance. The conventional treatment alternative to the PEARL Process is the dosing of chemicals which bind to the phosphorus; not only is this costly — it prevents the valuable element from being recovered. In contrast, Ostara’s process produces a premium fertilizer branded Crystal Green®. The company takes responsibility for marketing this fertilizer and commits to share the sales revenue generated back with the treatment plant owner. All of these financial benefits result in very attractive payback periods, typically from three to five years.

In summary, Ostara’s technology: • Promotes environmental sustainability by recovering polluting nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, from sewage sludge liquids that would otherwise be released into the environment; • Helps wastewater treatment plants reduce chemical demand and other operating costs and increase throughput capacity; • Converts the recovered nutrients into a high value slowrelease fertilizer product that is being sold in the turf and nursery industries; • Displaces greenhouse gas-intensive phosphate fertilizer production methods.

Phillip Abrary is President and CEO of Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. in Vancouver, BC. Contact Phillip at


Knowledge is power. Ontario’s new power procurement program is already making a significant impact on the province’s production and consumption of electricity. Many businesses will now face a challenging period of adjustment as they gain an understanding of how the feed-in tariff program will work and what it all means for them going forward. Our National CleanTech Group has the expertise to help make sense of the new landscape being shaped by the introduction of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. We can advise on all its aspects, including: •

the new feed-in tariff program and its provincial content requirements

renewable energy approvals and other required permits

financing for renewable energy projects and joint venture structures

project divestitures and acquisitions

For more information, contact: Aaron Atcheson Leader, National CleanTech Group 519.931.3526 or 416.595.2996

SPRING 2010 25





n a time when communities are being required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and relieve burdened landfills, conversion technologies have the potential to shape a sustainable future for waste management. Attitudes are shifting to view garbage as a resource, inspiring many companies to design systems that can process waste efficiently while reducing negative impacts on the environment. Plasco Energy Group Inc. (Plasco) is a waste conversion and energy generation company based in Ottawa, Canada. Plasco’s patented technology advances traditional plasma gasification in the treatment of municipal solid waste. The company finances, builds, and operates facilities that convert

by Rod Bryden 26   SPRING 2010

“The company has also signed a contract for a commercial facility in Red Deer, Alberta.”

municipal solid waste into green power and other valuable products. The company’s conversion system is the result of over thirty years of research and development by Resorption Canada Limited and RCL Plasma Inc., the predecessor companies from which Plasco was formed in April, 2005. Plasco (RCL) was founded in 1974 for the purpose of applying plasma technology for materials testing. In the early 1980s the focus was changed to apply plasma gasification to remediate all types of waste. Decades of testing and design have been invested to develop breakthrough performance both economically and environmentally.

The technology Plasco’s non-incineration process is fundamentally different than any competing thermal technology. Rather than using plasma torches directly on garbage, Plasco uses plasma only to refine the gases released from the gasification of the waste in an oxygen-starved conversion chamber. With the torches interacting only with the gas, there is limited electricity demand. In the process, garbage is converted into a synthetic gas (syngas) that’s then used to run internal combustion engines. The Plasco process results in net energy production while converting 98 per cent of waste to clean, valuable products. Because the garbage is gasified and not burned, the


Plasco Energy Group Inc. (Plasco) is a waste conversion and energy generation company based in Ottawa, Canada.

multiple and capital-intensive pollution abatement systems required by incinerators can be replaced with single string units that yield class-leading environmental performance. The result is ultra-low emission engine exhaust that will meet or beat the world’s toughest environmental standards. Any remaining solids are melted with plasma torches into a liquid slag. Once cooled, it returns to a solid, inert material and becomes a clean aggregate suitable to make concrete or be mixed with asphalt. Leachability tests have been conducted on the slag and have confirmed that it does not leach and is non-toxic. Along with construction aggregate, agricultural sulphur, commercial salt and recycled metals, Plasco’s process also recovers and treats water for release into the environment. The entire process is continuously monitored by a proprietary control system that ensures syngas stability to fuel internal combustion engines regardless of variations in energy content of the waste.

Benefits and facility With Plasco, over 98 per cent of residual waste is diverted from landfill, eliminating methane emissions, leachate escape and soil contamination. Power from a Plasco facility also displaces other power sources that have higher greenhouse gas intensity such as coal. By distributing facilities across a city, Plasco is able to

minimize truck traffic and road congestion. Distributed facilities also mean that the power produced can be transmitted and consumed over the local network. This eliminates transmission line losses and reduces the likelihood of widespread power outages. Plasco entered into a partnership with the City of Ottawa in April, 2006 for the construction of a commercialscale demonstration facility across from the City’s Trail Road Landfill. Plasco’s Trail Road Facility is the only operating commercial-scale plant in the world that successfully converts waste into syngas that can run reciprocating gas engines to generate electricity. After its rigorous evaluation and screening of the technology, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a federal not-for-profit foundation that supports clean technologies, committed $9.5 million for the Trail Road Facility. SDTC’s commitment in 2005 was the catalyst for more than $120 million of equity capital from private investors. In October 2009, Plasco reached a major milestone as SDTC celebrated the completion of The Plasco Project, demonstrating the commercial viability of the technology. Plasco is in the final stages of negotiations with the City of Ottawa for a commercial plant that will divert as much as two-thirds of the city’s non-recyclable, residential garbage from landfill. The company has also signed a contract for a commercial facility in Red Deer, Alberta. As society continues to generate increasing amounts of SPRING 2010 27


The Kanata, Ontario Plasco facility.

waste, new technologies are needed to replace outdated and inefficient methods. Plasco’s technology is a sustainable solution that will help communities tap into the value of waste and turn garbage into an asset.

Cleantech Funding Available If you have an innovative clean soil technology, we want to hear from you.

The SD Tech Fund is open for Statements of Interest from February 24 to April 21, 2010

Created by the Government of Canada, SDTC supports the development and demonstration of clean technologies by Canadian companies. 28   SPRING 2010

Rod Bryden is President and Chief Executive Officer of Plasco Energy Group in Kanata, Ontario. Contact Rod at





n a world filled with abbreviations and acronyms, do you recognize GHG, NRTEE, PCT, or WCI? Chances are you do, and your customers will soon also (if not already). Faced with a global environmental crisis, many governments and lobbyists are pushing for real environmental change. Change is happening on the greenhouse gas emissions front (albeit at a slow pace) largely in the form of legislative initiatives such as the carbon tax implemented by British Columbia and Quebec, and programs in other jurisdictions that will pave the way for “cap-and-trade” systems there. These developments present opportunities for industry.

“The market value for carbon offsets has yet to be established, but BC is currently paying PCT $25 per tonne of CO2 emissions.” by Tony Crossman (with Charles Bois, Sarah Hansen & Keoni Norgren)

BC initiatives On July 1, 2008, British Columbia introduced a carbon tax through its Climate Action Plan. Almost immediately, Sustainable Prosperity, a think tank out of the University of Ottawa, ranked BC’s carbon tax as the most effective climate change policy in Canada. The tax is meant be phased in over a five-year period, with an initial price of $10 per tonne of carbon, increasing to $30 per tonne by 2012. To the average consumer, this will mean an initial increase in the price of gasoline of 2.41 cents per litre, followed by a subsequent increase to 7.24 cents by 2012. The thinking behind the tax is that “when you tax something, you normally get less of it.” A carbon tax should decrease carbon emissions. (The tax is meant to be “neutral” in that the revenue it generates will be returned to tax payers through reductions in personal income and business taxes.) It remains to be seen whether or not a carbon tax will impact consumer behaviour, or simply drive up the cost of certain items. The real question is whether the average consumer is willing to give up the luxury and convenience of car travel and take public transit. The tax is not without its sceptics, but one must remember that the tax is only one component of a larger emissions reduction plan. BC also became the first Canadian province to join the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) — a group of 21 states and three provinces. The WCI focuses on and is developing a regional cap-and-trade system to reduce GHG emissions. In BC this initiative is supported by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act. By 2010 BC will require public sector organizations to become carbon neutral, in part through SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 29


“GHG emissions are a global problem, not a regional issue.” the operation of carbon credits administered by the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT). In anticipating a region-wide cap-andtrade system, the government set limits on GHG emissions through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act. However, GHG emissions are a global problem, not a regional issue. As such, the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) has recommended a national cap-and-trade system, one that would maximize the efforts of Canada as a whole. At the federal level, it appears Ottawa shares this sentiment, but progress has been slowed due to Ottawa’s close monitoring of Washington. Ottawa has indicated that Canada’s cap-and-trade system must be similar to the system adopted by the US; that perspective is about keeping Canada’s economy competitive with that of the US and avoiding “needlessly” hindering economic growth.

Reporting mechanisms A requirement of any cap-and-trade system is a reporting mechanism. Alberta was the first Canadian province to implement such a system, but it’s focussed on reducing emissions intensity rather than total emissions. Ontario has also followed suit with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulation, but it exempts small emitters (between 10,000 and 25,000 tonnes) from the reporting requirement. As a result, Ontario is currently out of step with emerging North American trends. (It has announced that it will encourage voluntary reporting by these emitters.) BC’s reporting regulation requires emitters of greater that 10,000 tonnes/year to report. The reporting obligation applies to a wide range of activities including such things as base metal production, cement production, coal mining, wastewater processing, petrochemical production and refining, and many others. Several key definitions under the BC’s new reporting regulations will determine whether and what the facilities will be required to report. For example, the regulation doesn’t apply to emissions from landfills managed under the Landfill Gas Management Regulation. In addition, the regulation only requires facilities to report direct emissions; there’s no requirement to include and report indirect emissions from suppliers of materials or services to the reporting facility. Companies that fail to comply with the require30   SPRING 2010

ments may be penalized with fines of up to $1 million plus possible jail terms (of up to six months) for any director, officer or agent of the company who knew about, authorized or acquiesced in the offence. The mandate of the PCT is to purchase quality GHG offsets originating in BC from businesses to offset the provincial government’s emissions of one million tonnes per year. The PCT may also purchase and sell offsets and fund new technologies to reduce emissions. The theory behind the PCT is that market forces will generate the most efficient way to reduce emissions and the PCT can assist by providing investment to emissions reducers. The companies that can reduce emissions cheaply will do so and sell their emission credits to others who cannot, or to the PCT. Companies that cannot meet their GHG emission standards will buy carbon credits. (A carbon offset is generated when changes are made by a company to reduce or sequester GHGs such as carbon dioxide. Typically these changes include the generation of renewable energy such as: run-of-river projects; switching to efficient fuels; and, emission storage or sinks.) The market value for carbon offsets has yet to be established, but BC is currently paying PCT $25 per tonne of CO2 emissions. Of course, PCT is acquiring those tonnes through open tender calls that ensure it receives competitive prices. Over time, the price will reflect more of a true market for offsets. These activities are expected to trigger investment in more green technologies and so-called “green collar” jobs. If all goes well, the provincial and federal governments’ attempts to deal with rising GHG emissions will result in reduced GHG emissions and long-term benefits from new eco-efficient technologies and sustainable energy sources.

Tony Crossman ( is National Leader of the Environment Group of Miller Thomson in Vancouver, BC. This article was prepared with contributions from: Charles Bois (, Sarah Hansen ( and Keoni Norgren (

BROWNFIELDS Published by HazMat Management magazine PU BLI SHE D





The Canadian Real Estate Association

Green Municipal Fund Fonds municipal vert

W I TH :


Canadian Brownfields Network


SOIL WASHING Dutch strategy for sustainable soil treatment — page 37


B Y :




A MATTER OF VALUE Site restoration in British Columbia


he world of brownfield redevelopment in British Columbia is unique in many ways. The province has Canada’s highest real estate values, with residential properties averaging over $495,000 compared to the national average of just over $337,000. (In Vancouver the average is an astonishing $627,500, according to CREA data from December 2009.) There has been no shortage of financial rewards for cleaning a contaminated industrial site in the urban centres. For this reason many of these sites in Vancouver have already been cleaned or are well underway. Some of the recently remediated sites were cleaned up for the 2010 Winter Olympic facilities. Where then do BC’s challenges lie? One answer is found by following the salmon up the Fraser River. Canada’s lumber industry faces economic hurdles — Canada’s lumber production is down 13.7 per cent from November 2008-2009 according to StatsCan. Immigration Canada anticipates population growth in BC, reporting that it’s the destination of choice for over 17 per cent of all new immigrants to the country. This will cause the use of certain lands to change, in some cases dramatically. Former sawmill sites can be perfect places for residential development, with their riverfront locations and highway access. But first they must be cleaned. The provincial government has been working on many pro-active initiatives to promote brownfield remediation. Activities include the following: February 2008: the BC government announced the BC Brownfield Renewal Strategy, a partnership of five provincial ministries led by the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands in-

by Jamie Ross 32   SPRING 2010

“Former sawmill sites can be perfect places for residential development, with their riverfront locations and highway access. But first they must be cleaned.”

tended to increase brownfield redevelopment across private and provincially owned brownfields. Fall 2008: Questionnaire administered to all 186 local governments in the province asking key questions to help guide the development and implementation of the BC Brownfield Renewal Strategy (with a 21.5 per cent response rate). In this same time period, changes were made to Crown land tenures to better protect the Crown from contamination on leases. A Brownfield Information Line was created that provides direct access to provincial government brownfield staff to assist on technical, regulatory, planning, finance and other brownfield questions. Fall 2008/Winter 2009: Delivery of four “Brownfield 101” workshops to 19 local governments and several speaking engagements across the province. Winter 2009: Post-secondary Brownfield Program launched through the University of British Columbia and the BC Institute of Technology, providing brownfield practitioners with knowledge, skills and networking opportunities. The Brownfield Renewal website was launched, www. April 2009: A $10 million funding program was launched for investigations on private lands to encourage redevelopment of brownfield sites by assisting landowners with the cost of investigations. August 2009-September 2009: First $1.6 million awarded to 17 successful applicants under the BC Brownfield Renewal Funding Program. October 2009: The province won the Brownie Award for Best Legislation, Policy and Program Initiatives. November 2009: Hosted a webinar for local governments to showcase the Gas Station framework from Ontario and begin a dialogue about the applicability of such a tool in BC. Lastly, here at Business Information Group, our own ERIS (Environmental Risk Information Services) has developed a new report specifically tailored for British Columbia. Launched in November 2009, the B.C. Standard Report Plus joins the BC Site Registry Report in our stable of regionally tailored reports. For more information go to

Jamie Ross is Account Manager for the Brownfields Marketplace and HazMat Management magazine. Contact Jamie at

KICK-START YOUR BROWNFIELD PROJECT WITH A GMF LOAN We beat the bank! GMF offers loans for brownfield remediation projects at rates far lower than any municipal government can get on the market. Our rates for municipalities are 1.5% lower than the Government of Canada bond rate and even further below market rates. GMF also offers loans to private-sector companies or corporations wholly owned by a municipal government for brownfield site remediation at competitive rates, if they are partners in eligible municipal projects.

“ The remediation of this site is a turning point for our town. In these times of very tight municipal budgets, the assistance of the Green Municipal Fund is very useful.” —Mayor Céline Tremblay, Municipality of Saint-Damien, Québec







riving along the 407 in Toronto, I recently noticed two decaled black trucks leading a large tanker truck advertising “site specific chemical oxidation services.” You couldn’t miss the ad, and being curious because I hadn’t heard much about chemical oxidation, I wrote down the phone number and decided to find out more about the company with the travelling billboard, Oxy Teknologies Inc. After doing some research on the internet, I learned that chemical oxidation was initially developed by Dr. Henry Fenton in the 1890s. I had to question why, if this technology has been available for so long, it isn’t used more frequently. To clarify matters in my own mind, I contacted Dennis Owens, a chemist and microbiologist with Oxy Teknologies Inc. During my interview with Owens, I was interested to learn there a series of misconceptions about the technology. The most logical explanation appears to be a general widespread lack of knowledge. It was interesting to learn that OxyTek’s process has taken Modified Fenton’s Chemistry to the next level, which differentiates the company’s technology from others. 1. Chemical oxidation is safe. It would appear that the major difference between OxyTek’s process and its competitors is OxyTek’s ability to formulate site specific chemical oxidation programs, which

by Christina Caldwell 34   SPRING 2010

“All tunneling work was halted while a series of injection wells were installed along the service station property boundary.”

OxyTek tanker.

makes its products reportedly safer to use. OxyTek formulates its chemical oxidation products to a site’s specific requirements, taking into consideration the nature and age of the contaminants, soil conditions and the depth to the water table (to mention but a few issues). When applied and formulated correctly, issues relating to heating and off-gassing do not exist. In fact, the chemical oxidation process doesn’t destroy biological activity; it stimulates the endemic biological bloom which polishes and degrades chemical byproducts. The end products of chemical oxidations are carbon dioxide, water, simple acids and alcohols and chloride ions, all of which are relatively harmless. 2. Chemical oxidation is 40 to 60 per cent less expensive than conventional “dig and dump.” The remediation industry has gone through many pricing cycles with disposal costs ranging between $40 and $120 per tonne plus hauling fees and clean backfill costs. With chemical oxidation, the remediation is handled either in situ or ex situ and, in either case, is less expensive because the remediation is performed on-site. Because the technology works quickly, additional savings are realized due to the reduced project times. The chemical oxidation process remediates the soils and groundwater; it isn’t simply moving the contamination to another location without fixing the problem.



Mississauga roadway service project.

3. Chemical oxidation is effective in hard to reach places. The technology can be used indoors and below buildings, in basements, bedrock and bedrock fractures associated with furnace oil spills, and along service trenches where excavation is not a viable option. Unlike other remediation technologies, the process can be used to “clean” rock faces, removing hydrocarbon staining and discoloration. Chemical oxidation is also effective for active retail petroleum sites, in tank nests and pipeline trenches as the remediation can proceed while the site continues to operate, representing no lost revenue to site operators. 4. Chemical oxidation is effective in cold weather conditions. Chemical oxidation can be effectively be used in subzero weather conditions by revising the product formulation to work at lower temperatures. 5. Chemical oxidation is fast. After filing a ten-day notification with the environment ministry to initiate a project, work commences either in situ or ex situ. Under normal circumstances, soil and groundwater samples can be taken for confirmatory testing 96 hours after the last application. Following testing, any hot spots missed during the initial treatment are then re-treated, and additional verification soil and groundwater samples are taken. Since this technology is faster than dig-and-dump technology, additional cost savings are realized. 6. Chemical oxidation can be used to treat a variety of contaminants. OxyTek offers a range of chemical oxidation products to remediate soils and groundwater from petroleum hydrocarbons, VOCs, chlorinated solvents, herbicides/pesticides, dioxins and PCBs. One myth that could not be dispelled was that chemical oxidation is all encompassing. Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) are required for all remediation technologies. However, in the case of chemical oxidation, it’s more important as only those areas which are delineated can and will be treated.

Mississauga roadway service trench OxyTek was hired by a remediation contractor to formulate OxyTek-L™ (its hydrogen peroxide-based product) to remove hydrocarbons and dissipate hydrocarbon vapours during the boring of a new service tunnel. The utility trench measured approximately 6 ft in diameter, was located approximately 30 ft bgl and extended between two major intersections. As the tunnel advanced, gasoline was observed dripping in. It was suspected that the odours were related to a nearby older service station and that the underground storage tanks were leaking or had leaked in the past. All tunneling work was halted while a series of injection wells were installed along the service station property boundary. Due to the depth of the tunnel, a de-watering program was implemented. OxyTek-L™ was injected into the injection wells to remove the free phase product and dissipate the hydrocarbon vapours. Approximately 10 weeks after the remediation program commenced, the tunneling work was able to resume, and approximately three months after project start up, Table 2 Regulations were achieved for hydrocarbon levels.

Military camp, South Korea Working in conjunction with a local remediation contractor, Oxy Teknologies provided the oxidants to remediate the diesel fuelling area being decommissioned at a military training camp in Pohang, in the Republic of South Korea. Soil conditions consisted of a combination clay, silt, sand and gravel, and the depth to the water table was 2.0 m below grade level. Due to the close proximity of the building, conventional dig-and-dump technology was not feasible. Injection wells were advanced to 4.0 m bgl, and based on an existing ESA, the soils were fractured in the areas SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 35


The Korean and Canadian work crew.


Military verifying successful site closure.

most heavily contaminated. This fracturing allowed OxyTek-LTM to be injected into the zones of impairment. Initial F2 fractions ranged up to 17,216 ppm, and after two treatments, South Korean regulatory criteria was achieved. The results of this remediation resulted in the first certificate of site remediation compliance being issued by the Korean government. Chemical oxidation is not a silver bullet for remediation rather it is another very valuable tool to work with. This

Chemical oxidation is an effective remedial tool in sub-zero temperatures.

technology, when correctly formulated, can be used as a stand-alone remediation technology or in conjunction with pump and treat systems and vapour recovery to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency.

Christina Caldwell is a freelance writer in Guelph, Ontario. Contact Christina at

© 2010, GAC

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n Canada a lot of former industrial sites are scheduled to be redeveloped as residential and community areas: most brownfield sites are located in densely populated areas. How to deal with contaminated soils is often a challenge. The relation of densely populated areas and contaminated land creates a need for sustainable redevelopment of these sites, including the use of large volumes of sand for backfilling and grading purposes.

by Bastiaan Lammers

“The goal of applying soil washing techniques is to have a closed mass balance.”

There is a need for an affordable and sustainable technique for cleaning these sites. Techniques like biological treatment (attenuation), “pump and treat” and soil washing are alternative ways for sustainable redevelopment of these sites. Treatment of the soils in a soil washing plant and reusing the processed material is one option. Soil washing has different benefits for brownfield development projects.

Soil washing technique Soil washing facilities are designed for a water-based volume reduction process, using particle size and density separation. The cleaning technique is based on the principle that contamination most affects the fine (organic) particles in the soil. A traditional soil washing process has three major stages: Coarse material separation (more than 2 mm), sand separation (2 mm-63 µm) and dewatering of the fines (less than 63 µm). After sampling and physical and/or chemical analysis, the SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 37


coarse material and the sand is potentially ready for use at the location. The separated fines are, in principle, contaminated. The mechanically dewatered fines can be additionally treated by adding solidification material as an additional process step to the soil washing plant. By stabilizing this material the contamination gets fixed into the sediments. After this treatment the stabilized filter cake is ready for beneficial use.

Maximizing reuse on-site For the redevelopment of brownfield areas, large quantities of sand are often necessary for backfilling, grading or landscaping. The goal of applying soil washing techniques is to have a closed mass balance. Excavated soils are treated in a soil washing plant constructed at the brownfield development area. This plant separates particles based on particle size and density as described above. After processing, the output material can be reused on the site, resulting in tremendous project cost savings (i.e., by avoiding off-site disposal). Previously, the installation of a soil washing plant on a remediation site was a rather expensive exercise due to the way the equipment and process parts were constructed. Another limiting factor in deciding on a remediation approach was the production capacity of the available plants. Often the production of the plant was lower than the capabilities/needs for excavation, resulting in downtime of the excavation equipment. These days, soil wash technology has become much more sophisticated. Contractors and equipment vendors have had the opportunity to gain a lot of experience in European countries (for example The Netherlands), resulting in sophisticated plants. The throughput of the plant has increased to 100-150 tonnes of soil per hour, meeting or even out producing excavation capabilities. Modern plants


have a high level of automation resulting in an optimum process efficiency and minimum use of (chemical) additives like, for example, polymer used for the mechanical dewatering of the fines. Also, the flexibility of the equipment has improved. Modern equipment is built on standardized container frames. Once on site, all the individual plant parts (containers) are stacked together and connected, resulting in a quick (and cheaper) mobilization. Due to this plant design the process is flexible as well. Additional plant parts can be added easy or unnecessary plant parts can be left uninstalled. A modern plant has a footprint of about 2,000 m2, making it a financially attractive option for brownfield development.

Regional soil washing centres If it’s not feasible to install a mobile soil washing plant on a development site due to (for example) local legislation, space limitations or a limited quantity of contaminated

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material, it’s also possible to transport the contaminated material to a regional soil management centre. Usually the operator of the centre is paid by the generator of the contaminated soil. The operator is, in turn, responsible for the treatment, beneficial reuse and/or disposal of the material. After the financial transaction between the generator and the operator, the operator becomes the “owner” of the contaminated soil. This option might be more feasible in situations where there are more, relatively small, contaminated (brownfield) sites within a relatively short distance of one another. In The Netherlands, soil washing centres have operated for years and hauling contaminated soils to these locations has become a common operation. In these centres the treatment and the disposal of the material can be optimized due to the fact that the plant is fixed; and agreements with disposal sites can be made for relatively large quantities of potentially disposable material. Soil washing centres may sometimes even be located at landfills, resulting in minimal transportation needs. Looking at the overall mass balance of a soil washing centre, these centres are accepting contaminated material and are producing clean reusable aggregates (gravel, sand). This reusable material can be transported back to the original site for reuse. Or the reusable material can be an aggregate with a variety of applications.

Bastiaan Lammers is Business Development Manager for Stuyvesant Environmental Contracting Inc, the North American affiliate of Dutch based Boskalis Dolman. Contact Bastiaan at


1:12 PM

Page 1

Breakfast Series 2010 Learn Learn the the latest latest updates updates on on Brownfield Brownfield remediation remediation in in your your region. region. Network Network with with practitioners practitioners and and peers peers over over breakfast. breakfast. Vancouver Vancouver March March 25, 25, 2010 2010 Toronto Toronto April April 21, 21, 2010 2010 Ottawa Ottawa May May 27, 27, 2010 2010 Halifax Halifax June June 2, 2, 2010 2010 Edmonton Edmonton June June 24, 24, 2010 2010 REGISTER AT, or 1-888-702-1111 ext 1 SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 39




THE NETHERLANDS SOIL PARTNERSHIP Harbour of the City of Kingston. The black and white picture is from 1924.


hat is the benefit of a Canadian Dutch cooperation in the field of soil and groundwater quality man­ agement? In 2008 a Canadian delegation of around 30 people from BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec visited the Nether­ lands This mission was a first step in the exchange of know­ ledge and experience that is leading to further outcomes. In the Netherlands, brownfields public policy has emerged from the legacies of contaminated properties such as Lekkerkerk — a Dutch equivalent to Quebec’s Ville LaSalle Landfill or Ontario’s Port Hope. Policy is shifting toward a proactive and progressive attitude of national remediation targets and encouraging more in situ and ex situ soil and groundwater remediation techniques from the private sector as a measure of sustainability. “By 2030, everywhere in the Netherlands, all soil should be fit for the land use pre­ scribed,” writes the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM). Canadians have been learn­

by Hans van Duijne 40   SPRING 2010

“The shortage of soil and the limited options for landfilling make soil a valuable resource to Dutch society.”

ing from the remediation innovations of densely popu popu­ lated nations like the Netherlands for a while now, where integrated remedial, area based, and risk­based approaches have been verified to reap economic, social and environ­ mental benefits. The Netherlands is a densely populated country that has no choice other than to deal with the contamination issue. The shortage of soil and the limited options for landfilling make soil a valuable resource to Dutch society. Since the mission in 2008, cooperation has been ex­ tended. The Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of The Netherlands (VROM), which comprised the issue of soil and groundwater quality. Cooperation covers the fields of government to govern­ ment (G2G), business to business (B2B) and R&D to R&D. In all these fields progress has been made, especially in Ontario. Such a chain of government­business­innovation can bring both jurisdictions further together. Implementing policy and technologies feeds back into legislation, poten­ tially speeding up the fast learning cycle and stimulating further actions.

Initiatives A number of initiatives have started. In September 2009, representatives from the City of Kingston visited the City of Zwolle in The Netherlands to get acquainted with that city’s vision and strategy on subsurface and groundwater management. Representatives

BROWNFIELDS from Zwolle presented their vision and strategy also during the FCM conference in Ottawa, February of this year. Kingston is eager to turn its waterfront into a healthy and safe residential area adjacent to an engineered wetland and a clean inner harbor. The vision recognizes the city’s cultural and industrial heritage, and wishes to incorporate that into a new future. A workshop was held February 16 and 17, 2010 that gave input for a demonstration project that can be launched this year with Kingston and the Royal Military College. Issues addressed include soil bank management, soil washing technology, wetland engineering and environmental dredging, as well as risk- and area-based management, plus the participatory approach. Another initiative is a combined Netherlands-Ontario research program on Vapour Intrusion. Subsurface Vapour Intrusion to Indoor Air (Vapour Intrusion or VI) is a pathway of potential exposure to contaminants via inhalation for occupants of buildings overlying soil and/or groundwater contaminated with volatile or semivolatile compounds. The research program aims to develop new approaches to improve current best practices, and helping both parties improve their efficiency and competitiveness in the marketplaces of Europe and North America. The program is supported by the environment ministries in both The Netherlands and Ontario. Executing parties in Ontario are Geosyntec, plus the

MARKETPLACE Universities of Waterloo and Western Ontario. Parties on The Netherlands side are Deltares, TNO, the University of Wageningen and RIVM.

Energy-water technology A technology known as Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) is taking off in the Netherlands and other European countries. ATES systems are proven to be cost effective and sustainable. Fully 25 per cent of new buildings in the Netherlands will be equipped with ATES by 2020 as part of the country’s goal of reducing total nationwide CO2 emissions by about four per cent. By increasing groundwater temperature by about 10ºC, microbiology predicts an acceleration of contaminant degradation processes by a factor of two. This makes redevelopment times for brownfield spatial planning better coincide with the remediation perspective. By combining ATES with soil remediation, production of sustainable energy and improvement of soil remediation at urban brownfields go hand in hand. This development can be combined with initiatives in Canada.

Hans van Duijne is with the Netherlands Soil Partnership, and is a Project Manager at Deltares, in The Netherlands. Contact Hans at

Sustainable Soi lutions

Proven Technologies Stuyvesant Environmental Contracting undertakes soil washing, sludge dewatering, river bed remediation brownfield development and beneficial re-use of aggregates. Modern separation and dewatering plants can be a valuable technique applied in your project. Early involvement of Stuyvesant Environmental Contracting in remediation projects can result in a financially attractive material balance with low investment and project costs. Stuyvesant Environmental Contracting is the North American affiliate of Dutch based Boskalis Dolman.

Stuyvesant Environmental Contracting Inc 3525 N. Causeway Blvd, Suite 612 | Metairie, LA 70002 | USA | Telephone Office: (504) 831 - 0880 SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 41


... continues from page 16

size, high efficiency and no particular health hazards. • Polymers. There are many man-made polymers used for a broad range of applications in society. Some of these have been specifically developed for spill response, containment and solidification. Application of the polymeric substance to oil, water, corrosive or other specific liquid, results in the creation of a solid or gelatinous material that will not allow the molecules of the recovered material to escape. There are polymers available that are oleophilic, that will stabilize biologics, that will handle acids and bases, so the list goes on. In general terms, polymers are expensive in comparison to other efficient removal systems such as perlite. Universal absorbent

• Perlite. Also a commonly occurring mineral, perlite, while similar in use and application to clay, offers many advantages including: high sorbency ratios, small particle

tharris_half_pg.pdf 1 44   SPRING 2010

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS When handling corrosives, sorbents must be properly evaluated for use and application. Some sorbents, for example clay, may react violently when exposed to certain acids and even perlite-based products will not handle

2/16/07 9:24:30 AM


Enviro-Dri granules

high concentrations of hydrofluoric acid (for example). Oleophilic sorbents will not absorb corrosives as they are aqueous in nature and many organic products will be liable to spontaneous combustion if they’re used to handle oxidizing corrosives. There are a variety of “neutralizers” available that will render a corrosive non-harmful. Such materials have limitations; they are often pH specific, generate fumes during use, and are relatively expensive when compared to an efficient stabilizer like perlite. When sorbents are used to handle flammable liquids a prudent user should bear in mind that they will not render a flammable liquid non-flammable. However, some (especially perlite based products) will certainly reduce the rate of vapourization, and therefore significantly reduce the flammable zone surrounding a release.

be indiscriminately placed in a waste stream. All contaminated sorbents and recovered materials should be properly evaluated and handled in an approved manner for waste disposal. This is especially so in light of the increasing regulatory restrictions that require recharacterization before land disposal of wastes. HMM

John Hosty, CHMM Master Mariner, is Director, Training and Environmental Preparedness for Environmental As a final comment, no sorbent, neutralizer of polymer Solutions Remediation Services in Burlington, Ontario. will create a truly stable, non-leachable material that can Contact John at WASTE MANAGEMENT

2010 RPIC

Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop May 10-13, 2010 • Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel • Montreal, Quebec The 2010 RPIC Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop is the leading professional development event for environmental specialists involved in the management and remediation of federal contaminated sites.

The 2010 program will feature: • Over 65 technical presentations

• RPIC Award of Excellence in the Field of Contaminated Sites – Submission deadline is March 15, 2010.

• Industry keynote presentations by Dr. Terry Mudder, Managing Director, TIMES Limited and Dr. John Cherry, School of Engineering, University of Guelph

• RPIC Scholarship in Environmental Studies – Two scholarships, valued at $2,000 each. Application deadline is March 15, 2010.

• Industry site tours that will give participants a behind-the-scenes look at 5 local facilities and sites.

• RPIC Student Poster Competition – One scholarship valued at $2,000. Abstract submission deadline is March 15, 2010. Posters will be evaluated at the Workshop.

• Professional Development Training Sessions

• Poster displays – Abstracts still being accepted! • 48 booth tradeshow – Limited space available.

Thanks to the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan and supporting departments for their technical expertise and contributions to the Workshop.


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SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 45


Coming Clean The business case for voluntary disclosure


John Nicholson

“The requirement and need for environmental disclosure has grown beyond mere compliance with the law.”

ate last year, US-based Verizon Wireless voluntary disclosed environmental violations to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company audited its 25,000 facilities nationwide and discovered it violated federal environmental regulations at 655 facilities in 42 states. Why voluntarily disclose? The primary advantage of primary disclosure is that the fines are less severe. In the case of Verizon, the US$468,000 the company paid for violations of clean water, clean air, and emergency planning and preparedness regulations pale in comparison to the millions in fines and legal fees the company would have faced had the EPA discovered the violations. From a business perspective, self-auditing and voluntary disclosure of environmental offences pays off in the long run. There are some skeptics who remain unconvinced that demonstrating good environmental behavior creates shareholder value and increased profits, but it’s clear that being a bad environmental actor can seriously damage a company reputation, lower share price, and cause a drop in revenue. In a paper presented at the Canadian Academic Accounting Association Annual Conference in 2009, Vanessa Magness, a professor at Ryerson University’s Business School, examined the market reaction to an environmental accident at a Placer Dome mine. The share price drop was moderated by prior disclosure of a high-level company commitment to environmental management. Professor Magness noted that her findings were consistent with similar studies. Studies have shown a relationship between the size and structure of a company and its willingness to voluntarily disclose environmental infractions. Two researchers from the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom examined voluntary environmental disclosure by large companies in the United Kingdom (Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, August 2006) and found that larger, less indebted companies with dispersed ownership characteristics were significantly more likely to make voluntary environmental disclosures. Also, the quality of disclosures was positively associated with the size of the firm and its environmental impact. Besides the reduced fines of voluntary disclosure, there is also the good will generated from being seen as a good corporate citizen. In today’s age of intense media scrutiny on companies that break the law, potential front page news of environmental charges can turn into company press releases and third-page news of

46   SPRING 2010

voluntary disclosure, acknowledging one’s mistakes, and accepting the consequences. A 2008 study on the relationship between environmental performance and environmental disclosure (Accounting, Organizations and Society, May-July 2008) — a collaboration of academic researchers from several business schools (including the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University) — examined 191 companies from the five most polluting industries in the United States. They found a positive association between environmental performance and the level of discretionary environmental disclosures. In more simple terms, the researchers found companies that focused greater attention on environmental performance were more forthcoming in discretionary disclosure. The pressure for companies to disclose environmental information is coming from all directions including regulators, standards organizations (i.e., the International Organization for Standardization), nongovernment organizations, shareholders, lenders, customers, and the public. A company focused solely on the minimum environmental disclosure requirements stipulated under the law is arguably not keeping up to the new reality that exists today.

THE EVOLUTION OF REPORTING It appears that the days of hiding environmental liabilities are fading fast. Witness to this fact is the incredible number of companies that publish annual environmental reports. The original intent of the reports was to show shareholders, ENGOs, and the public that the company was a good corporate citizen, obeying the environmental laws. Over the last fifteen years, the focus of annual environmental reports has moved from demonstrating compliance — since that is now considered table stakes — to showing that the company is at aware of its carbon emissions, water use, and renewable energy consumption. In some cases, social issues (i.e., labour practices) have also been included in sustainability reports. The requirement and need for environmental disclosure has grown beyond mere compliance with the law. There are new, higher standards that need to be met by companies. Third-party verification of environmental reports and statements and the integration of environmental practices into the across all business functions of a company will are likely to be the next evolutionary steps in environmental reporting. HMM

John Nicholson, M.Sc., P.Eng. is based in Toronto, Ontario. Contact John at


Allegro storage cases Allegro Industries manufactures a comprehensive line of storage units, including cabinets and wall cases for respirator or general storage. Allegro also carries a defibrillator bag that’s perfect for transport and storage of any size defibrillator. The bag features double zipper for easy access, shoulder strap and padded divider to adjust the size of cargo area. Seven defibrillator wall cases come in plastic or metal and are all white with prominent defibrillator graphics. The metal cases are constructed with corrosion-resistant steel and feature a door-front window and latch handle. Available in a large or small size, the metal cases are equipped with a battery operated audio alarm and a water-proof strobe feature is available on the small model. The ABS plastic models come with three optional slide-in shelves and are available with an alarm or an alarm and water-proof strobe. Visit

Eriez® lift magnet refurbishment

Eriez® 5-Star Service™ now offers a Lift Magnet Certification and Refurbishment Program. “If you need new magnets, need to have your current magnets repaired, certified or completely rebuilt, Eriez has a solution for you,” says Dave Hansen, Eriez’ Customer Service Manager. Hansen explains, “Eriez’ lift magnets are built in compliance with ASME B30.20 standards. Through our Inspection Program, we check your magnets to ensure they remain in compliance.” Eriez’ procedure includes: inspection of lift magnet surface and resurfacing of poles (if needed), inspection

of all other parts, replacement of any missing parts, repair/ replacement of all damaged parts, replacement of warning labels and capacity markings and load testing and certification. Every magnet repaired by Eriez is returned with a “Certificate of Compliance” guaranteeing the repairs and the load test of the serviced magnet comply with ASME B30.20. Eriez Certified repairs come with a one year “As New” Warranty. Plus, customers can receive 20 percent off their first certification. Visit SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 47


Software for HazMat compliance Terralink  Systems,  Inc.,  a  developer  and  distributor  of  management  software  that  streamlines  and  optimizes  the  shipment  and  storage  process  of  hazardous  materials,  has  announced  updates  to  its  premier product, Terralink Data eXchange (TDX(tm)). TDX is designed to  smooth the process of hazardous materials disposal by helping waste  generators,  transporters,  brokers  and  storage  facilities  plan  and  track  shipments,  track  expiration  and  reconciliation  dates,  and easily search databases. Update highlights include  an  Alarm  Manager  tool,  Save  and  Restore  capabilities for Select(tm) search, and a new ‘Bill to’ dropdown menu on the Profile Form to improve profile  billing accuracy.  “The hazardous waste transportation and storage  process  contains  many  moving  parts  and  requires  multiple  forms  of  paperwork  to  ensure  regulatory  compliance,”  says  Joel  Ferris,  Client  Services  Engineer,  Terralink.  “The  updates  we’ve  made  to  our  cornerstone  product,  TDX, help users streamline this process even further, saving time and  reducing  the  possibility  of  error.  We  added  this  functionality  based  on feedback from our customers, so we know it meets their specific  needs.” Additional capabilities include new Save and Restore settings for  Select, the TDX search application, which allows users to save and  reuse search criteria when used in state, federal, and custom reports 

databases,  and  a  “bill  to”  feature  that  allows  ultimate  flexibility  for  brokers and Treatment Storage and/or Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) to  assign billing information for waste facility profiles. TDX  Alarm  Manager  allows  users  to  track  profile  expiration  dates,  manifest  reconciliation,  and  inventory  accumulation  dates  for permitted storage. When the TDX software is used to  create waste profiles for hazardous waste facilities, TDX  can  automatically  remind  users  on  an  annual  basis  to  renew  and  update  profiles,  making  federal  and  state  regulation  compliance  easier  to  maintain.  Additionally,  TDX  will  also  create  an  alarm  to  track  generators’  receipt  of  the  Federal  Uniform  Hazardous Waste Manifest from hazardous waste  facilities  and  ensure  compliance  with  US  regulations.  The updates to Terralink Data eXchange add to existing information management capabilities including easy creation of hazardous/ non-hazardous  manifests  and  bills  of  lading,  waste  labels,  and  facility-specific profiles. TDX also includes references for Emergency  Response  Guidebook  pages,  facility  land  ban  forms,  and  EPA  and  state reports. The updated version of TDX is currently being used by  select  customers,  and  is  available  throughout  the  US  and  Canada  immediately.  Visit

Environmentally safe hydraulic fluid Clayton  Hadley,  Fleet  manager  of  General  Waste  Management,  is  proud  to  announce  the  launch  of  “Environmentally  Safe  Whitehorse”  campaign  by  General Waste Management Ltd. The trucks that collect  waste  in  the  city  of  Whitehorse  will  now  be  environmentally safe in the event of a hydraulic system failure. “A  split  hose  or  leaky  seal  can  spray  a  hundred  litres of hydraulic fluid across a street, in a playground  or  a  company  parking  lot  a  few  seconds,”  notes  the  manager of the largest waste management company in  the Yukon Territories. “Our first waste collection truck is  on its route performing well with the first Environmental  Technology  Verified  hydraulic  fluid  on  the  market.  We  plan  to  convert  our  whole  fleet  of  9999999  units  as  well  as  our  other  hydraulic  powered  machines  in  this  program.” The  hydraulic  fluid  is  manufactured  from  a  canola  oil  base  and  is  entirely  biodegradable.  It  has  been  established  that  a  measure  of  biodegradability  is  no  trace of the element in the soil remains after 289 days.  Sensitive  environments  that  demand  safe  applications  have  employed  many  of  the  items  in  the  long  list  of  Greenplus  compounds,  greases  and  fluids  manufactured in the province of Alberta. “We  are  a  clean  company  keeping  White horse  clean,” enthused Clayton. 48   SPRING 2010


Detector provides 5-year guarantee The ChemPro™100i is the latest “improved” version of the ChemPro family of handheld detectors for the field detection and classification of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs). Compared to the previous ChemPro, the ChemPro 100i has six additional sensors to increase the number of chemicals detected, improve on its industry leading sensitivity and decrease the potential for false alarms. The ChemPro 100i can detect many more chemicals than any preceding ChemPro product. Its new “TIC-ID” library can identify common TICs such as Ammonia and Chlorine. Its new ITF25 library provides protection from some of the biggest military gas/vapor TIC threats. In the North American market, the ChemPro 100i will only ship with a 5-year “Guaranteed Cost of Ownership” plan. This extended warranty will cover normal repairs and maintenance over the first five years of original customer ownership by non-military customers. No other manufacturer of this type of detection equipment offers this degree of comprehensive customer support. Like the previous ChemPro, the ChemPro 100i can be stored indefinitely because it doesn’t need to be run once a month to maintain operability. Its non-threatening design won’t alarm civilians and it is very easy to use. If one can use a cell phone they can use the ChemPro 100i. Visit

New Pig absorbent mat New Pig Corporation introduces tough PIG® RHINO™ Absorbent Mat designed to stand up to heavy foot traffic while soaking up liquid and minimizing slips. The mat features a thermally bonded, spunbond polypropylene top layer with zig-zag stitching to enhance strength and resist wear and tear. Eight layers of highly absorbent fine-fiber polypropylene form the mat’s base. Its exclusive dimple pattern speeds wicking of liquids

throughout the mat. Ideal for covering large areas like entranceways, and also for soaking up nuisance leaks and overspray in high-traffic areas, PIG RHINO Absorbent Mat is available with or without poly backing to prevent absorbed liquids from reaching floors. In addition it can be wrung out to reclaim process liquids, and incinerated after use to better manage waste streams. Visit

Square drive reaction torque transducers To verify the amount of rotational torque applied by heavy power tools, for example, these stationary (non-rotating) transducers permit accurate confirmation of static and dynamic torque. The RTM 2208 and 2209 transducers can be used while the device under test may be rotating, such as calibrating torque wrenches used in make-up and breakout of drill strings in oilfield applications. They carry capacities from 300,000 to 3,000,000 lbf-in, and offer a compact mechanical package and cost-effective alternative to rotating torque transducers, which have a

much higher cost and greater complexity of installation. In applications such as determining the torque required to open/close large valves, these square drive reaction torque transducers are characterized by high torsional stiffness, very high overload and high extraneous load capacity. Their low weight and compact size simplify installation and handling. All models are calibrated CW and CCW to rated load in our NVLAP accredited laboratory, (NVLAP Lab Code 200487-0). Visit SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 49


TSCA The battle for US toxic chemical policy reform


he battle is heating up between the chemical industry and public health organizations over how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will be updated for the first time since its original adoption in 1976. Currently there are 80,000 chemicals used in everyday products, and only 200 of these are required to be tested for safety. Meanwhile autism, cancer, reproductive disorders, asthma and other health problems linked to chemicals are on the rise. The US House and the Senate are holding hearings on this issue with a bill expected to be introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL). On March 4 the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals (PBTs), which include many of the most dangerous substances on the planet including dioxin, mercury, lead and cadmium. This was followed by a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on March 9 during which business leaders were invited to testify about how a transition away from toxic chemicals would affect their industry.


Says Andy Igrejas, National Campaign Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families — a coalition of 150 public health and environmental organizations working for toxic chemical policy reform, “With each new scientific report linking toxic chemical exposure to a serious health problem, it becomes more obvious that the law intended to keep harmful chemicals in check is not working.” PBTs are uniquely dangerous because they pose a triple threat. They persist in the environment for long periods of time and can be transported long distances; they accumulate in living organisms and increase in concentration as they move up the food chain; and, they are highly toxic, often at very low levels of exposure. Mercury, lead, PCBs, and flame retardants are examples of PBTs. Because they exhibit all three of these hazardous properties, PBTs are inherently unsafe. And because releases of even small amounts of PBTs will eventually lead them to build up to very high levels and in locations often far removed from their point of use or release, traditional risk assessment methods are not adequate regulatory action on PBTs, critics say. While the chemical industry is advocating risk assessments, environmentalists argue this would only delay urgently-needed action on a class of chemicals for which 50   SPRING 2010

there is already broad scientific agreement regarding the serious threat they pose to human health and the environment. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families advocates for PBTs to be phased out of commerce on an expeditious but reasonable timeline, with exceptions allowed only for critical uses that lack viable alternatives; and that new PBTs should not be approved for use in commerce under a reformed TSCA.


In the absence of federal government action to ensure the safety of chemicals, product formulators, manufacturers, retailers and consumers are trying to do their own research to determine which chemicals have low toxicity and degrade into innocuous substances in the environment. But due to the lack of publicly available information, they are often unable to determine what chemicals are even in their products, what hazards they may pose, and whether safer alternatives exist. “Kaiser Permanente strives to use products with ingredients that won’t harm human health or the environment,” says Kathy Gerwig, vice president and environmental stewardship officer for Kaiser Permanente, who will be speaking at the March 9 hearing. “That goal is not easily met today. We’d like to see mechanisms in place to support us in procuring the safest materials for our health care needs.” Businesses interested in transitioning to safer chemicals are demanding that TSCA Reform: 1) Require chemical manufacturers to develop and submit hazard, use and exposure data on chemicals in commerce, and require the EPA to make such data readily available to the public; 2) Take immediate action to reduce the use of PBT chemicals and other chemicals of very high concern (such as formaldehyde); 3) Clearly identify chemicals of high and low concern to human and environmental health, based on robust information; and 4) Require greater disclosure of chemicals of high concern in products. “In rebuilding and strengthening the U.S. economy, we need a new chemicals policy that limits the use of toxic chemicals and prioritizes green chemistry,” said Igrejas. “As consumers increasingly demand safer products, the competitiveness of U.S. companies will depend on their capacity to deliver products with lower toxic HMM impacts.”


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its regulations to ensure that shipping hazardous waste between countries for recovery is done in an environmentally sound manner. This final rule makes EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste transboundary shipment regulations more consistent with those of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Specifically, this rule revises: • the existing RCRA regulation regarding the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes for recovery among countries belonging to the OECD to conform to legally required revisions made by the OECD; • the RCRA regulations for spent lead-acid batteries (SLABs) to add export notification and consent requirements; • the hazardous waste import-related requirements for U.S. hazardous waste management facilities; and • the address to which export exception reports are to be sent. Administrator Jackson has signed the final

rule and the rule was published in the Federal Register in January.

THE TRUCK STOP ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT and support the Truck Stop Electrification Project which reduces tailpipe emissions from freight trucks that transport consumer goods across North America. Long-haul truck drivers idle their trucks to heat or cool their cab and to power on-board appliances during the federally mandated 10 hour rest period for every 11 hours on the road. Engine idling creates poor resting conditions for the driver and fosters unhealthy conditions since a large number of trucks idle in close proximity. Idling also consumes fuel while moving no product, reduces engine life, and requires more frequent engine maintenance. With this project, drivers can shut off their engines and utilize advanced truck stop electrification technology. This system consists of an in-cab service module connected via a flexible hose to an efficient HMMsept08gm1307 external unit that heats, cools, and powers

the interior of the truck, and lets the driver run the radio and check email without forcing the engine to burn diesel while saving about a gallon of diesel per hour. The energy efficiency systems are currently located in states such as Arkansas, California, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, with expansions planned to other jurisdictions. The carbon offsets follow the standard of the American Carbon Registry / Environmental Resources Trust’s Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Protocol. Verification is conducted by the Environmental Resources Trust. Visit


The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA)’s upcoming Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE) will take place in Calgary, Alberta. The 103rd ACE will run from June 22 to 25, 2010. “Located in the heart of Canada’s energy sector, Calgary provides4:27 the perfect loca- 1 Kilmer.qxd 9/12/08 PM Page tion for ACE 2010 which is built around

Kilmer Brownfield Equity Fund L.P. Canada’s leading fund dedicated to the redevelopment of brownfields

Putting Private Equity to Work The Kilmer Brownfield Equity Fund is dedicated to creating value for stakeholders through the clean-up and revitalization of brownfield properties in Canada. If you have a property for sale, please contact Pamela Kraft, Development Manager at 416-814-3437

LW S Full transfer station facilities c/w processing solid & liquid – hazardous & non hazardous waste, drum storage – approx. 200,000 gallon tank farm, shredders, full lab c/w registered chemist. May receive from anywhere in Canada or USA. Transport to & from Ontario and Quebec. Vacuum trucks, vans, or tank trucks and trailers available. 5555 Power Road Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3N4 Tel: 613-822-2700 1-800-263-5048 Fax 613-822-6183 Email:

SPRING 2010 HazMat Management 51

news the theme ‘Energy and Environment,’” says Mike Kelly, A&WMA executive director. ACE 2010 will feature a technical program with more 500 speakers. New for 2010, the Mega Poster Session will include more than 100 posters, with hundreds of exhibitors displaying the latest products and services, social tours and networking events, professional development courses and a student program. The Keynote Program’s sessions will address the priorities and challenges to energy policy; the environmental implications; and the changes that need to occur to create a sustainable energy system for North America within the next 20 years. Invited speakers are high-level members of government and industry, such as Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA; Ed Stelmach, Alberta premier; and Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice. The conference will also feature the 40th annual Critical Review, titled “Multipollutant Air Quality Management: Prospects for the Future.” Visit

twelve times before losing effectiveness. The discovery was published in the January 18, 2010 issue of Highlights in Chemical Science. According to the article, immobilized or supported iron oxide nanoparticles have been used as catalysts before but their direct use without modification as magnetically recoverable catalysts for organic reactions is very rare. Li and his team demonstrated the nanoparticles’ effectiveness in the synthesis of important medicinal chemistry intermediates, propargylamines. The nanoparticles stuck onto the magnetic stirring bar and were easily separated before being washed and used again. The team expects that the new catalyst could even be used in other chemical reactions beyond pharmaceutical research.


McGill University chemists have come up with a new nanotech catalyst that could help green the chemical manufacturing industry. Catalysts are substances that drive chemical reactions. Traditional chemical catalysts can be expensive and environmentally damaging. Until recently, chemists have tried to reuse catalyst materials but it has been tricky to separate the catalyzing chemicals from the finished product. McGill chemists Chao-Jun Li and Audrey Moores have developed a new technology called nanomagnetics that could reduce this economic and environmental impact. Nanomagnetics involves nanoparticles of a simple iron magnet. The new catalyst can be recycled up to


This past year, CleanFARMS collected over 126,000 kgs of obsolete, outdated, de-registered or otherwise unusable agricultural pesticides for safe disposal from both Ontario and British Columbia. CleanFARMS™ runs obsolete pesticide collection programs about every four years

OHE is a multidisciplinary firm that specializes in providing high quality services in the field of environmental and health and safety consulting. We are a Canadian company with our head office located in Mississauga, Ontario and a network of associate companies strategically located in major centres across Canada.

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in each province as part of its national stewardship program. In 2009, the collection programs were completed throughout Ontario and in the Peace River region of British Columbia. These obsolete pesticide collection programs are a “team effort” and owe their success to the voluntary support of agricultural dealers, local governments, manufacturers and distributors. The program costs are paid by federal/provincial government and from CleanFARMS members — the manufacturers of the products themselves. In Ontario the program was undertaken throughout the province from October 21-23 at 16 ag-retail collection sites. About 123,500 kgs of obsolete pesticides were returned by farmers. This year marked the first time, as a pilot basis, that animal health products, including needles and sharps were also collected as part of the industry-led stewardship program. Almost 2,000 kgs of these products were collected. The program was funded by industry and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and was supported by AGCare, Ontario Agri-Business Association, Ontario Farm Animal Council, Canadian Animal Health Institute and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. Over 395,000 kgs of product has been collected in the three provincial sweeps in Ontario since the program began. In BC’s Peace Region was the focus of a regional obsolete pesticide collection running from August 24-28 where 3,305 kgs of product was collected from local farmers at two ag-retail collection sites. More than 182,000 kgs of obsolete pesticides have been collected in two provincial sweeps since the program began. The program was funded by industry and the Agriculture Environmental Partnership Initiative. For more information, contact Russel Hurst at

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Environmental Engineers and Scientists

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Toxics Reduction

Ontario’s new rules should cause generators to think carefully by Dianne Saxe, D.Jur.


“The only defining feature of a ‘process’ seems to be that it creates, destroys, or transforms a toxic substance somewhere along the way.”

n 1989, Massachusetts adopted the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), to encourage companies to reduce their use and release of certain toxic substances. Massachusetts claims that it reduced the generation of hazardous waste by 50 per cent in less than 10 years. In 2005, the total amount of toxics reported used was 887 million pounds, 90 per cent by the 2000 Core Group. Adjusting for the Group’s 15 per cent decrease in production since 2000, they had: • Reduced toxics use by nine per cent; • Reduced toxic byproducts by 21 per cent; • Increased toxics shipped in product by two per cent; and • Reduced on-site releases of toxics to the environment by 29 per cent. In 15 years, the original 1990 Core Group increased production nine per cent, while reducing toxics use by 40 per cent, and on-site releases of toxics to the environment by 91 per cent. Ontario is now hoping to achieve a similar result. The Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 (TRA) requires regulated facilities to track and quantify the toxic substances that they use and create, to develop plans to reduce the use and creation of these substances, and to make summaries of their plans available to the public. They are not obliged to implement the plans; the environment ministry hopes that they will choose to do so, to save money. Ontario companies are collecting data for their first annual TRA report. The report is not due until June 1, 2011, but it must present data on the “use” or “creation” in 2010 of the first 47 “toxic” substances/groups. Their first reduction plan will be due December 31, 2011. The ministry has promised more guidance, but meanwhile several key issues remain unclear: 1. What is “used”? How can an organization apply the new rules to unintended and undisclosed contaminants of its raw materials? 2. What is “created”? Processes like combustion will “create” short-lived intermediates that never escape the furnace, and which cannot be measured. In practice, they will have to be ignored. 3. What if your intended product is “toxic”? Nickel companies, for example, are surely not expected to reduce the amount of nickel that they produce. All they can reasonably do is minimize how much of it escapes into the environment. It’s no accident that the greatest reductions reported in Massachusetts are in such releases. 4. What if you can’t switch? Because of federal New Substance rules, US companies have three times as many

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alternative chemicals at their disposal as we do in Canada. 5. What is “approximately equal”? Organizations will be required to redo their mass balance accounting until their toxic substance inputs are “approximately equal to” their outputs, in the hope of identifying all significant material flows. The costs may vary dramatically if this means 80 per cent versus 90 per cent, 95 per cent, or 99.99 per cent. 6. What is a “process”? To meet federal NPRI requirements, most organizations regulated by TRA already know the quantities of toxic substances that enter and leave their plants. The ministry wants organizations to generate the same information at every step of their internal operations, divided into numerous, finely grained “processes” — perhaps for each piece of equipment. However, the law may not actually require this. The Act and Regulation 455/09 require each regulated organization to quantify its substances at each step of a “process”, which is not defined. Section 12 of the Regulation states: in determining how many processes a stage of the manufacturing operation should be divided into... the owner and the operator of the facility shall ensure that a sufficient number of processes are identified for that stage to enable the owner and the operator to meet the requirements set out in section 9 of the Act... But section 9 of the Act sheds no light on the question: The owner and the operator of a facility... shall ensure that, for each process at the facility that uses or creates the substance, the substance is tracked and quantified, in accordance with the regulations, to show how the substance enters the process, whether it is created, destroyed or transformed during the process, how it leaves the process and what happens to it after it leaves the process. The only defining feature of a “process” seems to be that it creates, destroys, or transforms a toxic substance somewhere along the way. Ontario’s hard-pressed manufacturers and mineral processing operations must therefore make an important choice when they define their “processes’” for the first annual report. They will never be able to redefine them, and the number and detail of “processes” will have a major impact upon their cost of compliance. They must therefore think carefully, and think ahead, about which details are likely to give them useful information about potentially cost-effective changes to their operations. HMM

Dianne Saxe, Ph.D. in Law, is one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers with her own practice in Toronto. Contact Dianne at

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Hazardous Materials Management Spring 2010