GeoPro Talks – End of an Era: Investigation, Remediation & Site Closure of a Detonator Cord Manufacturing Facility

May 24th, 2022 by

Set in the picturesque countryside of Tappen BC, a detonator cord manufacturing facility has been operating since the 1960s. Orica Canada has been operating the facility since the late 1990s. Business decisions have led to the recent closure of the facility. Associated had the opportunity to complete the environmental investigations required to facilitate that decommissioning and prepare for future redevelopment of the lands. The findings of those investigations demonstrated Orica’s diligence in the management and operation of the facility, with negligible contamination encountered on the Site, which was easily remediated. Unlike most longstanding industrial facilities, the site meets conservative agricultural standards, allowing for the broadest uses in the future.

Associated has worked with Orica over the last two years through the processes for site closure and decommissioning. In this case study we will present some of the intricacies and challenges of this unique project. To start things off, we had to don our Sherlock Holmes caps to identify the applicable contaminants of concern on site. Research was required of the facility’s processes and products to figure out what to look for and where to look. Other challenges presented included explosives hazards, unusual laboratory analyses, uncommon demolition options to be evaluated, and naturally occurring substances in the soils. This case study is an overview of the many steps required to close such a facility and a demonstration of diligence and responsibility on the part of the client.

Speaker Bio

Marion Houlbrook, AScT
Marion Houlbrook is an environmental professional with almost 30 years of experience. She is an Applied Science Technologist with an environmental sciences diploma from NAIT. Her work history has included positions as an oil refinery process operator, lab technician, industrial emission monitor, consultant, and a short stint with Greenpeace. For the last 25 years, she has focused her career in contaminated sites consulting, and leads a team at Associated Environmental Consultants Inc. At Associated, Marion manages the Contamination Sites/Environmental Management Group, based in their Vernon office. She is also a mother of two adult children. Outside of work, much of her spare time is spent enjoying the Okanagan trails and lakes with her dog and her horse.