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Oil Sands Environmental Management Bibliography

The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA)partnered with the Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN) to create the new Oil Sands Environmental Management Bibliography, which includes documents relevant to the environmental management of oil sands development in Alberta. The majority of the documents focus on the mineable oil sands in the Athabasca deposit, though some documents relate to in-situ developments. This bibliography was last updated in November 2014.

A study of human adjustment in Fort McMurray - Interim Report II

Authors Gartrell, J. W.
Year of Publication: 1979

Abstract:
This is the second interim report for the AOSERP Longitudinal Study of Human Adjustment in the Fort McMurray Area (HS 30.5). The overall objectives of this project are to identify and analyse various dimensions and aspects of the social and personal adjustment to current and past conditions of life in the study area. This report covers all activities under HS 30.5.1. The general objectives of this sub-project are to develop a research design and instrumentation. More specifically, this sub-project was to: 1. develop a set of hypotheses; 2. identify variables that should be included; 3. develop instruments to gather indicators relevant to the measurement of these variables; 4. develop sampling frames and a sampling design to select respondents for the study; 5. develop plans for analysis and interpretation of the data; 6. consider the broad areas of social concern identified by the Preliminary Conceptual Model (HS 30.3) for their possible inclusion by instruments developed for this study; 7. incorporate comments from a peer review of the First Interim Report; 8. conduct a pilot study in the Fort McMurray area to test instrumentation; 9. modify the instruments as indicated by the pilot study; 10. include methodological procedures for a longitudinal design.

A study of human adjustment in Fort McMurray - Technical manual

Authors Gartrell, J. W.
Year of Publication: 1979

Abstract:
The following technical manual is intended to document the computer file which contains the results of the A.O.S.E.R.P. Study of Human Adjustment in Fort McMurray. This manual contains several sections which refer either to the accompanying computer output from that file, or to the technical aspects of creating scales and indices to be used in the draft final report. The data file contains coded responses for 430 interviews conducted by the Population Research Laboratory, University of Alberta. The data was collected during May and June of 1979, and will be more fully described in the final report for this project. The computer readable file has been edited for record completeness, out-of-bounds codes and consistency of response. This, however, constitutes only a preliminary edit. Appropriate caution should be exercised in using the data. From an initial 433 interviews, three were totally eliminated because of their incompleteness (two cases where respondents quit partway through the interview), or because an inappropriate interview was conducted (one case). The training manual is an unrevised reproduction of the actual form distributed to interviewers. It was later used as a basic part of the interviewer training. The interview is again a reproduction (unedited} of the form used in the interviewing. The same is true of the codebook which directly references the interview questions. This codebook is to be used to read the raw data. Information on scales and indices, recoding, and reliabilities is included to allow for the replication of the analysis to be reported in the final report. The information contained in this technical manual will not be repeated in the final report for A.O.S.E.R.P. It should be completely adequate to document the data file created.

A study of human adjustment in Fort McMurray - Volume I: Field study and results

Year of Publication: 1980

Abstract:
Industrial growth associated with exploitation of the Athabasca Oil Sands has altered the region's economic and demographic structure and the local conditions of life. Between 1961 and 1979, there was an abrupt transition from the economy reliant on traditional activities such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and transportation to an industrial economy based on the oil sands extraction. The population of the region has grown from approximately 2600 in 1961 to over 27 000 in 1979. The most spectacular growth has occurred in Fort McMurray, which from a community of 1200 in 1961 has grown into a regional urban centre of 26 000 inhabitants by 1979. Further growth in the region is expected to take place as a result of the proposed Alsands project, which probably will involve the building of a new to\'m 90 km north of Fort McMurray. In view of the need to plan for the in-migration of people associated with future oil sands developments, it v1as important that the Human System of AOSERP obtain as much information as possible about social impacts of commercial development of the oil sands to date. Consequently, this research project was designed to identify and analyze the various specific dimensions and aspects of the social and personal adjustment of people to the current and past conditions of life in the Fort McMurray area.

A study of sulphur dioxide deposition velocities to snow in northern Canada

Year of Publication: 1978

Abstract:
In March 1976, a sulphur deposition study was conducted by sampling snow at about 55 sites around an isolated oil sand extraction plant in north-eastern Alberta, Canada. It was concluded from sulphur budget considerations that 0.14% of the sulphur emitted by the source was deposited within a radius of 25km. An SO2 deposition velocity to snow of 0.25 ± 0.20 cm s−1 was determined by simultaneously measuring sulphur deposition and ambient concentration during a pollution episode. Deposition velocities were also obtained by dividing the measured sulphur deposition rate at each site by the average ground level concentration of sulphur dioxide, computed using the Climatological Dispersion Model A set of 40 log normally distributed deposition velocities resulted with a geometric mean of 0.3–0.4cm s−1 depending on what value of background deposition was chosen. Confidence limits for the geometric mean were 0.2–0.7 cm s−1 (68% confidence) or 0.1–1.3 cm s−1 (95% confidence).

A study of the chemical and physical properties of Syncrude's tailings pond, Mildred Lake 1980

Year of Publication: 1981

Abstract:
Syncrude Canada Ltd. is producing synthetic crude oil from a surface mine in the Athabasca Tar Sands area of north-eastern Alberta. This report describes the chemical and physical properties in the tailings pond at the Mildred Lake site of Syncrude Canada Ltd. during the ice-free period of 1980. Syncrude's Environmental Research Monographs are published verbatim from the final reports of professional environmental consultants. Only proprietary technical or budget-related information is withheld. Because we do not necessarily base our decisions on just one consultant's opinion, recommendations found in the text should not be construed as committments to action by Syncrude.

A study of the impact of construction camps on the people of northeast Alberta

Year of Publication: 1980

Abstract:
This report deals with the impact on the construction workers living in camp and their families and the impact of the camp, camp organization, and camp occupants on the surrounding area. After outlining the methodology and terms of reference, the regional contexts, historical background, and regulatory environment are briefly reviewed. The design, organization, and functioning of camps are described, followed by a descriptive profile of camp personnel. An analysis follows of the way in which the functioning of the camp and the camp personnel impact the local communities. The way in which camp employment, camp organization, and camp location relate to the impact on the construction worker and his family is discussed and finally some observations and conclusions are presented with regard to future camps as well as some suggestions for future research.

A study on electrokinetic dewatering of oil sands tailings

Authors Guo, Y., & Shang J. Q.
Year of Publication: 2013

Abstract:
Oil sands tailings (mature fine tailing (MFT)) are the final product of oil sands processing and are in the form of slurry with a very low solid content. After sedimentation, due to a low hydraulic conductivity of the tailings, dewatering and consolidating the tailings is difficult. Since electrokinetics (EK) has been successfully applied on dewatering and consolidation of low permeability soils, this study is carried out to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of EK dewatering of MFT, a man-made geomaterial. Two series of tests were conducted in this study. In the first series, four EK cell tests were performed on oil sands tailings to measure the electroosmotic permeability, ke, which is the key parameter for assessment of the EK treatment. In the second series, the model tests were designed and carried out to investigate the feasibility of EK dewatering on oil sands tailings. The performance of the EK dewatering was compared under two conditions — under a surcharge load of 5 kPa for consolidation, followed by EK dewatering and under simultaneous treatment of a surcharge load of 5 kPa and EK treatment. The final water content, undrained shear strength and plasticity of MFT were measured after all tests. It was observed that the EK dewatering model tests resulted in significant overall increases in the undrained shear strength and reductions in the water content of tailings samples, along with significant changes of the tailings plasticity.

A study to evaluate the performance of reclamation soil covers placed over an oil sands fluid coke deposit

Authors Fenske, D.
Year of Publication: 2012

Abstract:
Coke, a by-product of petroleum extraction from oil sands, is considered a potential energy source and must be stored within the reclaimed landscape in a manner that allows it to be recovered in the future. Syncrude Canada constructed two instrumented watersheds at the Mildred Lake Settling Basin (tailings management facility) to study the effects of coke in the environment. The watersheds consisted of a “shallow” and a “deep” cover system with nominal thicknesses of 35cm and 100cm, overlying an approximate 5 m thick coke deposit. The two reclamation soil covers were constructed using peat-mineral mix placed over secondary (glacial till). The global objective of this research program was to evaluate the preliminary performance for each of the soil covers with respect to the available water holding capacity (AWHC). The specific objectives were to: a) install additional instrumentation to supplement the existing instrumented watersheds; b) characterize the properties of the covers on each watershed; and c) develop a preliminary, one-dimensional water balance for each watershed. Existing instrumentation on each cover (installed by others) included: a meteorological station; automated soil stations to monitor suction, water content and temperature; and, lysimeters to collect net percolation. Additional instrumentation was installed during this research program to track vertical and horizontal variations in soil conditions and included: access tubes for monitoring water content; temperature sensors; gas sampling points; and, standpipe piezometers to determine depth to the water table. The instrumentation generally performed well, with the exception of the lysimeters which did not appear to measure net percolation accurately. Through the measurement of soil parameters, interpretation of field monitoring data and laboratory testing, the covers were characterized for their relative ability to store water for plant growth. A water balance was determined for each watershed. Evaluation of the covers indicated that neither the deep nor the shallow covers were successful at storing sufficient water necessary for plant growth under dry conditions. However, the deep cover performed better than the shallow cover based on the overall cover performance, likely due to its higher AWHC.

A survey of baseline levels of contaminants in aquatic biota of the AOSERP study area

Authors Lutz, A., & Hendzel M.
Year of Publication: 1977

Abstract:
Analyses are given for up to 12 metals and 4 pesticides with PCBs, of aquatic environment from 15 study sites along or near the Athabasca River from Fort McMurray north to the confluence of the Peace and Slave Rivers. There were 560 fish (8 species), 15 water, 14 sediment and a few phyto-plankton and invertebrate samples. Methods of analysis (by AAS and GLC) are outlined, and standard deviations and detection limits given. In a few cases, where suspected, elevated concentrations of metals and pesticides are discussed. In fish, most As, Cr, Ni, V, Pb and Cd concentrations were close to detection limits (0.01, 0.1, 0.1, 0.04, 0.05, 0.01, respectively). Cu, Hg, Se and Zn were not unusually high (means of 0.94, 0.15, 0.37, and 16.9 µg/g respectively); metal concentrations did not correlate well with body weight. Pesticides were mostly below detection limits, although yellow walleye and longnose sucker showed a few µg/g of methoxychlor, chlordane and dieldrin. In water, As, Cr and Cd were mostly

A survey of birds: Wapiti, Peace and Athabasca Rivers June and July 1992

Authors Wayland, M., & Arnold T.
Year of Publication: 1993

Abstract:
Report documenting the distribution and abundance of birds on the Peace and Athabasca River systems in northern Alberta from a survey carried out June 30 and July 8, 1992. This information is essential for the selection of appropriate sentinel species for monitoring levels and effects of contaminants in wildlife on three river systems.

A sustainable fiscal rule to manage non-renewable resource revenues: Oil sands as a second chance for Alberta

Authors Kendall, L. M.
Year of Publication: 2008

Abstract:
In this thesis, I examine an optimal fiscal policy for how a government, which has access to non-renewable resource revenues, is able to satisfy issues of intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability. The optimal fiscal rule restricts the choices available to the government by requiring that it contribute to an oil fund. Within this fiscal rule, the government must follow an appropriate set of behaviours with respect to borrowing, saving and financial liability retirement; behaviours which vary over time as exploitation of the non-renewable resources move through three phases of development. I, then, apply this fiscal policy rule to the Alberta government, taking into account its current fiscal stance and the nature of the oil industry, which is a mix of light crude and the oil sands. I suggest that the Alberta government apply this optimal fiscal policy to manage the non-renewable resource revenues to achieve fiscal sustainability, while at the same time having a richer public sector.

A synopsis of information relating to aquatic ecosystems toxicology within the Alberta oil sands area

Authors Jantzie, T. D.
Year of Publication: 1977

Abstract:
“A Synopsis of the Physical and Biological Limnology and Fishery Programs within the Alberta Oil Sands Area\" forms a background reference document on the limnology of the AOSER Program study area in northeastern Alberta. Within the report, the following items are discussed and summarized: data on regional water quality, hydrology, physical and chemical limnology, and fisheries resources of the lakes and streams within the Program area. An extensive bibliography of the pertinent literature for the area is included.

A synthesis of information on effluent characteristics for municipal and non-pulp mill industrial sources in the Peace, Athabasca, and Slave River basins

Authors
Year of Publication: 1996

Abstract:
The objective of this report is to compile and synthesise existing information from government and industry sources on the nature of liquid effluents from municipalities and non-pulp mill industries in northern Alberta River basins. Information was obtained from 16 continuously discharging municipal sewage treatment plants, 77 periodically discharging sewage plants, and 62 licensed industrial discharges such as oil sands plants, coal mines, cement plants, and wood products operations. Information presented includes: description of wastewater treatment methods used; releases of treated sanitary wastewater; quantity and quantity of sewage treatment plant data; characteristics (chemical, nutrient, microbial, toxicological) of sanitary wastewater discharges; industrial effluent characteristics; and impacts on the aquatic environment. Gaps in the data are also identified

A test method for the evaluation of soil microbial health in a petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated boreal forest soil

Authors Rahn, J. H.
Year of Publication: 2012

Abstract:
A standardized method to examine soil microbial health incorporating biomass, activity, and diversity measurements is currently lacking, limiting the use of this ecologically relevant endpoint in ecological risk assessments. The soil microbial health of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated boreal forest soil, relative to a reference soil, was examined using a suite of tests. Microbial health impacts in the contaminated soil were observed using nitrification, organic matter decomposition, bait lamina, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, community level physiological profiling, and most enzyme assays. Results of heterotrophic plate count and respiration tests indicated higher culturable numbers and activity in the contaminated soil. A data integration technique was developed to incorporate the results from individual tests into an overall conclusion, indicating that soil contamination at the site moderately to severely impacted microbial health. The research presented lays the foundation for the development of a soil microbial health standardized method.

A Tier 1 risk assessment of the PACS in the base/neutral extract from mature oil sands fine tailings porewater

Year of Publication: 1998

Abstract:
Mature oil sands fine tailings (MFTs) pose a large environmental problem in northern Alberta. GC-MS analyses of the base/neutral (B/N) extract of MFTs PW showed the presence of PACa, such as naphthalene, phenanthrene, dibenzothiophene, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, and their alkylated derivatives. Concentrations of individual PACs did not exceed 500 ng/L, with a total concentration of 2.6 $\mu$g/L. A calculated benzo (a) pyrene equivalent quotient (BEQ) of the B/N extracts mutagenic potential was equivalent to 0.14 $\mu$g of B (a) P/L. A negative mutagenic response was indicated in strain TA98 and TA100 in the presence of metabolic activation. Ames testing of the concentrated BM extracts in TA98 and TA100 resulted in no detectable positive mutagenic response to detection limits of 0.99 $\mu$g of B (a) P/L (TA98) and 6.3 $\mu$g of B (a) P/L (TA100). A Tier 1 risk assessment, under a worst case scenario, showed no evidence of risk to the wet landscape strategy from the MFTs PW.

A toxicity assessment of sludge fluids associated with tar sands tailings

Authors Warith, M. A.
Year of Publication: 1983

Abstract:
This study was conducted in an effort to assess the toxicity of fluid emanating from potential sludges produced as a result of the “hot water extraction process”; employed in extracting oil from tar sand deposits in Alberta. A further attempt was made to identify specific components and/or properties which might be responsible for any toxicity observed in the emanating sludge fluid. Fluids emanating from 14 different potential sludges resulting from various proposed treatment processes were considered. All emanating fluids were observed to be highly toxic to the green algae, Selenastrum capricornutum, with an average lethal concentration (LC‐50) of 25.8% (by volume).

A transient model of vadose zone reaction rates using oxygen isotopes and carbon dioxide

Year of Publication: 2007

Abstract:
The importance of identifying and quantifying subsurface geochemical reaction rates and processes by monitoring and modeling CO2 and O2 concentrations is well established. These parameters, however, are typically studied independently under presumed steady-state conditions. Here we present models of seasonally variable vadose zone CO2 and O2 concentrations that use δ18O of O2 as a constraint to create a dynamic link between these three parameters under transient conditions. The gas transport modeling was used to quantify the controls of biogeochemical processes and parameters (i.e., temperature and moisture content) on vadose zone distributions of CO2 and O2 gas concentrations. The investigation was conducted on a 3-m-thick, unvegetated, fine-sand vadose zone located in northern Alberta, Canada (56°40′N, 111°07′W). Using the modeled molar ratio of surface fluxes for O2 and CO2, the change in reaction rate for a temperature change of 10°C (Q 10), moisture content at maximum reaction rates, and biogeochemical discrimination against consumption of 18O16O (α k ), we determined that organic C oxidation by microbial respiration was the predominant mechanism consuming O2 and producing CO2 The mean α k was determined to be 0.973, suggesting that subsurface respiration was via the alternative oxidase pathway, which may be common in cold climates. Modeling revealed that the moisture content of a moist, surficial clayey sand layer (0.1–0.3 m thick) had a dramatic effect on pore-gas CO2 and O2 concentrations and on δ18OO2 The vadose zone in this study was at an unvegetated site to simplify the model application; however, it can be modified to include root respiration and applied to natural vadose zones to help quantify the role of subsurface respiration in global O2 and C budgets.