August 2011

Message from the Executive Director

 

Hope everyone had a wonderful summer…apart from the rain and the mosquitoes!  As I said inour June issue, NCIA has been busy working with the multi-stakeholder groups set up by Alberta Environment throughout the summer on:

Our work continues in earnest to advance the sub-regional planning frameworks under the cumulative effects umbrella via the multi-stakeholder ad hoc advisory committee that Alberta Environment formed back in 2007. As a member of this committee, as well as the sub working committees within that deal with the air and water files specifically (Air Quality Management Framework and Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region), NCIA continues to actively participate in the completion and application of these plans.

We will continue to report on this progress and more detail within each file in future issues.

Cheers,

Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

History of Industry in the Region: Did you know?

In 1990, Dupont constructed a Hyrogen Peroxide facility in Sturgeon County that is now owned by Evonik Degussa.

 

 

NCIA Members supporting the community

 

Two of our member companies recently made substantial donations to the community that further showcases industry’s continual support and contributions to the local community.

In May, the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation received $500,000 from Sherritt International Corporation to help fund the purchase of the community’s first Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner. In recognition of Sherritt’s generous contribution, the Health Services Centre wing of the new hospital will be named the “Sherritt Health Services Center”.

Ian W. Delaney, Chairman and CEO, Sherritt International, said: “Having been an intergral part of the Fort Saskatchewan community for more than half a century, it is our pleasure to support the growth and enhancement of the capabilities of the Community Hospital for the benefit of all residents in the area.”

And on July 1, MEGlobal Canada pledged $200,000 in support of Fort Saskatchewan’s 1875 – 1885 North West Mounted Police (NWMP) Fort representation project. The announcement was part of the official public opening of the Fort and flag raising ceremony.

“As mayor and as chair of the Fort Fundraising Committee, I couldn’t be more impressed with the contribution that MEGlobal has made to the citizens of Fort Saskatchewan. While MEGlobal was already contributing to the economic stability of our city, now they have stepped up in a very big way to leave a heritage legacy that we can share with our community and the world,” Mayor Katchur remarked. 

MEGlobal’s Vice President of Manufacturing, Bob Brandt was on hand for the announcement. “We’re very excited to celebrate Fort Saskatchewan’s rich history through this project, and contribute to the City’s impressive list of attractions for the enjoyment of residents and visitors,” says Brandt. “Enhancing the communities where we operate is integral to MEGlobal, and we proudly make this contribution on behalf of our employees, who are your neighbours, friends and family.”

 

Shell and governments agree on funding model for Quest Carbon Capture project

On June 24, Shell announced it had signed agreements with the Governments of Alberta and Canada to secure $865 million in funding for its Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project. The Quest Project will capture and permanently store, deep underground, more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader.

Quest would be the first application of CCS technology for an oil sands upgrading operation.

“CCS is recognised as one of the most promising technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. To realise that potential, government support in this important demonstration phase is essential. We would like to thank both levels of government for their commitment to progress CCS technology by investing in Quest,” said Shell’s John Abbott, Executive Vice President of Heavy Oil.

“By continuing to move CCS technology forward, Alberta is demonstrating its ongoing leadership in realising the commercial-scale deployment of this technology and greening our energy production,” said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

“Canada is a world leader in carbon capture and storage and we are in an excellent position to use this technology on a wide scale,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovative clean energy technologies such as the Shell Quest Project which will help to bring high-quality jobs to Alberta while contributing to the responsible development of Canada’s energy resources.”

Regulatory applications for the Quest Project were submitted in November 2010. The signing of the funding agreements represents another important milestone prior to Shell taking a financial investment decision in 2012, subject to the outcome of the regulatory process and economic feasibility.

The Quest Project is being advanced on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, a joint venture among Shell Canada (60 per cent) Chevron Canada Limited (20 per cent) and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation (20 per cent).

 

Sherritt working towards a safer and more informed community

On the morning of Wednesday, August 31st, Sherritt International is hosting an emergency response training exercise involving other mutual aid partners from Northeast Region CAER. In addition to Sherritt, there will be response from Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department, RCMP, Agrium, Dow and Shell.

 

Simulation exercises are an excellent opportunity to test and improve both facility and mutual aid emergency response plans and procedures. Engaging multi-agencies in the response maximizes the training experience, and builds solid working relationships in advance of a true emergency.

To inform the community, letters will be delivered to nearby residents, a message will be posted to the UPDATEline, and road signs will be used at the exercise site.

Northeast Region CAER celebrates 20 years of partnership in 2011, and thanks Sherritt and all members for their ongoing participation and support of mutual aid in the region. Together, we are better prepared for any emergency.

 

Life in the Heartland 101: Monitoring Air Quality in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland

Air quality is an important aspect of environmental sustainability and is affected by both natural and human sources. This includes windblown dust and forest fires, as well as vehicles and businesses. In Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and other similar centres around the world, industrial emissions also impact air quality.

For over three decades, Canada has used an index to report air quality to the general public. Recent changes by Environment Canada to the air quality index is now designed to help the public understand what air quality means to health. Across the province, the revamped Alberta Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is reported in 22 communities. The Alberta AQHI incorporates the pollutants included in the federal AQHI as well as four additional pollutants because of our province's energy based economy.

Fort Air Partnership is the organization responsible for collecting and reporting ambient air quality data in the Heartland region. Fort Air Partnership maintains a network of eight continuous and 62 passive monitoring stations throughout Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and surrounding areas. The continuous stations collect one-minute data and provide hourly averages. Four of the eight continuous monitoring stations collect the data required to calculate the AQHI. These four monitoring stations are located at Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont, Bruderheim, and Elk Island National Park.

Once the data is collected and reported to Alberta Environment, the AQHI value is calculated using a formula combining the hourly readings of air pollutants. This value is reported on an hourly basis using a scale of 1 – 10+. Occasionally, if the amount of air pollution is abnormally high, the number may exceed 10, such as air quality associated with wild fire smoke.

Health risk categories within the AQHI scale were created to help easily and quickly identify levels of health risk associated with local air quality.

• 1 – 3 : Low health risk

• 4 – 6 : Moderate health risk

• 7 – 10 : High health risk

• 10+ : Very high health risk

To view the AQHI at any time for these locations and others across Alberta, visit www.airquality.alberta.ca. To view air quality data from the other locations monitored in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, visit www.fortair.org.

Brought to you by Life in the Heartland, a partnership aimed at improving access to information, resources, and contacts for residents in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. For more information, visit www.lifeintheheartland.com or email info@lifeintheheartland.com.