Environmental DNA (eDNA) technology is poised to revolutionize the way ecological and environmental assessments are conducted, enabling higher rates of detection for rare species without the need for directly observing or capturing the study organism. eDNA refers to the genetic material released by an organism to its environment as dead cells, scales, hair, feces, body fluids, gametes, etc. This material can be collected from the environment through water sampling and tested to determine recent presence of the target species. This webinar will provide an introduction to eDNA technology, review field and laboratory methods and describe applications through case studies involving environmental assessments conducted for residential/commercial development projects, mining and conservation biology.
Aron Weir, M.Sc., R.P.Bio.Access
Sustainable Remediation Policy – Where have we come from? Where should we be heading?keyboard_arrow_downThis week we will be presenting a recording of a talk given by Guy Patrick and Reidar Zapf-Gilje at our 'Risk Solutions for Contaminated Sites - Sustainable Remediation' workshop this past May.The presentation explores sustainable remediation principles, the importance of alignment between these principles and regulatory policy, and how risk assessment fits in.
Perspectives on Emerging Contaminants: Technology Advances and Field Applications in Remediation of Emerging Contaminantskeyboard_arrow_down
Emerging contaminants are a challenge for contaminated sites as they add uncertainty and cost to strategies for characterization and remediation. Advancing these strategies requires a substantial investment in research and development, as the chemical properties of emerging contaminants are often not well understood. In the early 2000s, multiple emerging contaminants were identified, including MTBE and oxygenates, 1,4-dioxane, NDMA, perchlorate, select pharmaceuticals, PFOS and others. Roll forward to 2019 and we can see that systematic and effective approaches to address some of these contaminants (i.e., MTBE) have been developed, while some contaminants continue to pose challenges (perchlorate, 1,4-dioxane) all while other emerging contaminants continue to be identified. Emerging contaminants such as TBA, 1,4-dioxane, perchlorate, pharmaceuticals, perfluorylalkyl substances (PFAS), selenium, microplastics and sulfolane are an on-going concern at many sites. With the development of new chemicals for various commercial, pharmaceutical, industrial and military purposes, we can expect that we will continue to face new emerging contaminants in the future. This presentation will discuss the history of emerging contaminants of concern at contaminated sites. It will then provide a focused discussion on several current emerging contaminants, including PFAS, 1,4-dioxane, selenium and sulfolane. This will include the use history and key characteristics that challenge remediation practitioners in developing investigation and remedial strategies. Finally, recent advances in remediation tools for these compounds will be discussed including both ex situ and in situ options. Case study results for promising technologies that can provide treatment of each of these constituents will be provided.
Now EC is seeing increasing use in another world entirely – the treatment of contaminated water including groundwater, landfill leachate, industrial wastewater, oily bilge water, greywater and blackwater from ships, municipal sewage, and household domestic greywater for reuse. Recently, Golder has started to apply this technology in the mining, solid waste and transportation sectors. Recent research has shown the ability of EC to be modified to remove specific contaminants in the water – anodes made with magnesium, for example, have been shown to be successful in removing ammonia nitrogen during an EC-assisted struvite (a molecule made of equimolar concentration of orthophosphate, ammonium and magnesium) formation process. Also, major improvements have been made in recent years in anode and cathode cleaning methods in order to displace contaminants and debris from the anode and cathode surfaces, so that they retain their abilities to release cations, hydroxyl and hydrogen bubbles. EC can remove contaminants that are soluble as well as in suspension, and it works with a wide range of contaminants. That includes many contaminants that are difficult to remove by other methods, including cyanide, fluoride, sulfur and phenols. This makes EC a good solution particularly when there is a waste stream with many different contaminants, and where there is a need to treat the water with a single process.
Environmental Assessment and Permitting Requirements for Construction De-wateringkeyboard_arrow_down
The planning and environmental permitting for construction of a deep underground electrical distribution line presented unique environmental challenges with respect to groundwater management. Recent changes to the Water Sustainability Act and constraints in sewer capacity have made the planning & permitting process and water management during construction significantly more complex. This presentation presents one such project of a recently constructed underground distribution line in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, BC. The presentation will cover the regulatory framework, the permitting process, groundwater assessment, options for groundwater management and how groundwater was ultimately managed with close involvement of the local First Nation during construction. The presentation will focus on key challenges that project proponents face in light of the recent changes in the Water Sustainability Act, how the challenges were overcome, and what the future holds for these types of project moving forward.