October 2010

Message from the Executive Director


Hello.  It has been a very busy fall season for NCIA again this year.  We remain active and engaged with the province on the cumulative effects files (air, water and land).  There is a lot of activity taking place now on these files, and communications will begin soon on the key elements of that activity.

In this issue you will read about NCIA's invitation and input to the Premier's Council on Economic Strategy; Life In The Heartland's resident poll; and an educational article on Water use and allocation.




NCIA shares its viewpoints at the Premier’s Council on Economic Strategy

NCIA attended an exclusive session with the Premier’s Council on Economic Strategy on October 4 in Calgary. Our Chair, Peter St. George was accompanied by John Corriveau of Sherritt and Wouter Raemdonck of Total E&P Canada, to participate in a roundtable discussion led by the Council. The discussion centered around the following six questions:

 To read what NCIA’s position was on these questions, please click here.


Life in the Heartland gaining awareness with residents in the region

Safety and emergency response received the highest level of satisfaction in a recent survey of residents in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The survey conducted by the initiative provides residents an opportunity to share their opinions on topics pertaining to the Heartland and industrial development.


“Our outreach activities are being validated, as 49% of respondents have heard of,” commented Laurie Danielson, Chair of and Executive Director of the Northeast Capital Industrial Association. “One of our main goals since the initiative began just over a year ago is to build recognition. For to be a valued information hub for communities in the Heartland region, that awareness is critical.”


The 287 surveys collected at community events in Fort Saskatchewan and the counties of Lamont and Sturgeon showed residents are most satisfied with the management of safety, emergency response, noise, and light. Land use planning and transportation had the lowest level of satisfaction among

residents, though these two topics still received a score above 3 on a 5 point scale.


While Life in the Heartland plans to focus on each area in their communication with residents, the survey results provide insight about resident information needs and determine what topics are priorities.


Survey results and more information are available at www.lifeintheheartland.com or email info@lifeintheheartland.com.


The Ins and Outs of Water Allocation

The river is constantly flowing. It is not a contained entity. So, how does water allocation work, you wonder?


To begin, it’s important to know that water shortages are not an issue for the North Saskatchewan River. The North Saskatchewan River has the capacity to handle today’s water demands. Presently, 29 per cent of the annual average flow of the North Saskatchewan River is allocated for all use along the entire river, of which approximately one per cent is specifically allocated to NCIA industries in the Heartland.


Allocation does not equal actual amount consumed. Of this total allocation, 2.7 per cent of the annual average flow is currently consumed (not returned to the river), of which NCIA industries in the Heartland consume approximately 0.3 per cent of the annual average flow from the North Saskatchewan River.


The task of how our water source is allocated for usage is a regulated scientific process that involves calculations of many factors such as what’s taken out, what’s put back in, and affects from the weather (humidity, evaporation, etc.).


As our region moves forward, through the Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region, the priority focus is on enhancing industry’s existing application of water reuse as one means to manage the demand on water for future urban and industrial growth.


Water reuse is not a new concept in Alberta. Historically, reuse has focused on irrigation. But today, the concept of reuse is gaining ground with a recent shift to aquifer recharge and industrial reuse as a way to reduce the demand on our water supply. Industry, government, municipalities and environmental groups are working together to look for innovative ways to encourage reuse.


While the regulatory landscape around water reuse is still forming, as part of industry’s continuous improvement philosophy, water reuse is increasingly becoming a standard part of industrial water plans.


Examples of industrial water reuse including the following:


To learn more how you can conserve water at home, please visit Environment Canada.


Meet Michelle Poherliak from Sherritt

Michelle Poherliak is known and respected as a bright young professional in her role as an Environmental Advisor at Sherritt, and as a member of the NCIA Groundwater Technical Working Group.

Michelle dates her motivation for becoming an Environmental Engineer back to her high school years when she first became fascinated with the subjects of chemistry and physics. Following high school, Michelle transferred that fascination to her studies at the University of Alberta where, in 2004, she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Civil -Environmental Engineering.  In 2010, Michelle became a Professional Engineer with APEGGA.

Over the last four years while working for Sherritt in Fort Saskatchewan, Michelle has taken on a variety of responsibilities including stewardship of soil and groundwater initiatives and coordination of stack testing and quality assurance activities for Continuous Emission Monitors. Michelle is also responsible for National Pollution Release Inventory reporting and site air emissions reporting.


As a member of the Groundwater Technical Working Group, Michelle has also had the opportunity to work with the NCIA on such dynamic projects as the Regional Groundwater Quality Study of the Beverly Channel.  Michelle particularly enjoyed working on this project because it allowed her to put her education and experience to use for something she is passionate about.


Michelle’s admiration for the variety of opportunities offered by her profession is clear. “I love that every day is different, and that I am always learning something new,” she said.

Michelle is a newlywed and spends her spare time renovating her first home, camping, golfing, scuba diving and cuddling with her dog, Molly and her cat, Casey.  She also enjoys photography, and makes time to go out and take pictures as often as she can.

Working in the Heartland has proved to be a great experience for Michelle, who loves the community culture that comes with a small town.  “Although I do not live in Fort Saskatchewan, my husband and I both work here, so we tend to spend a lot of time running around out here. We really enjoy the friendliness of the people that live here,” she noted.