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Athabasca County No. 12 AB
Canada

A priority ranking of air emissions in the oil sands region


Year: 2003

Abstract:
The Trace Air Contaminants Working Group under the Cumulative Environmental Management Association commissioned this study as the first phase in assessing potential risks posed by air contaminants to human health and ecosystems under existing environmental management systems in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). This study consisted of three parts: I) compiling a list of airborne contaminants that are emitted in a study area within the RMWB; 2) ranking the contaminants; and 3) selecting key air contaminants for the following phases of the trace air contaminant program: evaluation of ambient concentrations and potential risk to human and ecological health. In the first part of this study a detailed inventory of anthropogenic emissions of common air contaminants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and reduced sulphur compounds (RSCs) was completed for the northern and southern regions of the study area. The effective reference year for the inventory is 2000 and includes all existing and approved developments, and one applied for development. The one applied-for development in the inventory is the OPTI Long Lake project. Carbon dioxide emissions were specifically excluded from the inventory since they are only of concern as a greenhouse gas and not as an air toxic. In the second part of this study, groups of contaminants for the northern and southern regions were ranked following three screening exercises: toxic potential to humans (based on emission rates and toxicity weighting factors), odour potential (based on emission rates and odour thresholds), and the potential to bioaccumulate in biological organisms (based on emission rates and octanol-water partition coefficients). For the third part of this study, air contaminant rankings were created by combining the results of the three screening exercises. The degree of certainty in the air contaminant selection process is highest for the toxic potential screening and lowest for the bioaccumulative potential screening. Four key conclusions were made: Over 1400 unique air contaminants are emitted to the atmosphere by anthropogenic sources in the oilsands study area. However, the majority of the total mass of emissions is made up of only a few compounds (i .e. the top 15 compounds, mostly common air contaminants, contribute over 98 percent of the total emissions). The oilsands industry is the dominant source of virtually all emissions in the northern region due to its size and the general lack of other types of activities in the area. In the southern region there are a number of significant contributors including agriculture, forest products, conventional oil and gas, oilsands, and urban centres. Much better delineation of VOC and RSC emissions is available for the northern region than the southern region due to the availability of very detailed measurements conducted by the oilsands sector. Priority pollutants represent a small fraction of the list of air contaminants in the emission inventory. These pollutants comprise 99.9% of the toxic potential, odour potential and bioaccumulation potential of the entire emissions inventory. Based on emissions rates and toxicity weighting factors alone, it is not possible to determine whether some substances may exceed health benchmarks now or in the future. To do this, air dispersion models would be required to predict ambient concentrations in regional communities. Air dispersion modelling was not part of the scope of the current project. In addition, even if air dispersion modelling was done, only a few air quality guidelines are available to which to compare predicted concentrations (i.e. acid gases and particulate matter). Human health risk assessments would be required to evaluate the potential risks associated with other airborne substances. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are presented: The emission estimates of the priority pollutants identified herein should be refined to better support future efforts that may focus on these critical substances. Atmospheric dispersion modeling should be undertaken for selected compounds from the priority pollutant lists to determine the concentrations of these substances in air within regional communities and in recreational areas that are frequented by people. Human health risk assessments should be conducted based on the results of atmospheric dispersion modeling to determine the degree of potential risk posed to residents of regional communities and recreational users. Further research into the fate, transport, bioavailability and metabolism of compounds with high octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow) values should be undertaken to determine whether these substances will actually bioaccumulate in the environment.

Acute lethality of mine depressurization water to trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) and rainbow trout (Salmo Gaidneri). Volume I.


Author(s): Lake, W., & Rogers W.

Year: 1979

Abstract:
Mine depressurization water obtained from five wells on Lease 17 held by Syncrude Canada Limited, was examined for chemical composition and acute toxicity to two species of fish. In the first series of experiments, mine depressurization water was diluted with various proportions of water obtained from the Athabasca River, and trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) were exposed to these mixtures for up to 10 days. These experiments were performed in a mobile laboratory located in Fort McMurray. The 96-hour lethal concentrations (LC50's) ranged from 20% by volume (Well No.5) to 48% by volume (Well No.1). The 96-hour LCso's for the composite samples ranged from 35% by volume to 45% by volume. Similar studies were undertaken in the second series of experiments in Edmonton, using rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) with Edmonton City water as the diluent. Four of the five wells previously tested were studied, with resulting 96 hour LC50's of between 20% and 40% by volume for Well No.2, and 60% and 80% by volume for the other three wells. In addition, a study was performed on a composite of these four wells to determine the effect of storage time on toxicity. It was observed that toxicity decreased after 10 days storage (96-hour LC50's of between 40% and 60% volume to between 60% and 80% by volume) but then increased (96-hour LC50 of 15.2% by volume) after 20 days storage. Considerable variations in toxicity were found between wells and even water from a single well varied in toxicity depending on the time the sample was obtained and how long it had been stored. Variations in the chemical composition of the mine depressurization water were observed for such components as zinc, nickel, and iron between sample periods, as well as for concentrations of sodium, chloride, and other components from well to well.

Acute lethality of mine depressurization water to trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) and rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri): Volume I


Author(s): Lake, W., & Rogers W.

Year: 1979

Abstract:
Mine depressurization water obtained from five wells on Lease 17 held by Syncrude Canada Limited, was examined for chemical composition and acute toxicity to two species of fish. In the first series of experiments, mine depressurization water was diluted with various proportions of water obtained from the Athabasca River, and trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) were exposed to these mixtures for up to 10 days. These experiments were performed in a mobile laboratory located in Fort McMurray. The 96-hour lethal concentrations (LC50's) ranged from 20% by volume (Well No.5) to 48% by volume (Well No.1). The 96-hour LCso's for the composite samples ranged from 35% by volume to 45% by volume. Similar studies were undertaken in the second series of experiments in Edmonton, using rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) with Edmonton City water as the diluent. Four of the five wells previously tested were studied, with resulting 96 hour LC50's of between 20% and 40% by volume for Well No.2, and 60% and 80% by volume for the other three wells. In addition, a study was performed on a composite of these four wells to determine the effect of storage time on toxicity. It was observed that toxicity decreased after 10 days storage (96-hour LC50's of between 40% and 60% volume to between 60% and 80% by volume) but then increased (96-hour LC50 of 15.2% by volume) after 20 days storage. Considerable variations in toxicity were found between wells and even water from a single well varied in toxicity depending on the time the sample was obtained and how long it had been stored. Variations in the chemical composition of the mine depressurization water were observed for such components as zinc, nickel, and iron between sample periods, as well as for concentrations of sodium, chloride, and other components from well to well.

An assessment of hydro-ecological changes at two closed-drainage basins in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Alberta, Canada


Author(s): Sinnatamby, R. N.

Year: 2006

Abstract:
Diatom analyses were carried out on sediment cores collected from two low-lying, closed-drainage basins (PAD 9 - 58°46.46' N, 111°19.48' W; PAD 12 - 58°57.29' , 111°19.74' ) in the Peace sector of the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD), Alberta, Canada, to provide >1000 year long records of hydro-ecological change. Results from diatom analyses were compared with macrofossil and stable isotope records from the same cores and assessed within the framework of an Athabasca River headwater climate record inferred from isotope dendroclimate data. Results from PAD 9 and PAD 12 sediment cores indicated closed-drainage conditions during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the post-Little Ice Age and high water conditions during the Little Ice Age (LIA). High water levels at PAD 9 and PAD 12 reflected high water conditions on Lake Athabasca and the Rivière des Rochers or possibly the Peace River during the LIA (∼AD 1600-1900). High water conditions were also observed at low-lying sites in the central and southern regions of the PAD (PAD 31 and PAD 37), and corresponded with evidence of high streamflows on the North Saskatchewan River. In contrast, desiccation evident at PAD 5, a site largely isolated from river influence, reflected atmospherically dry conditions during the LIA. Consistent with changes observed at PAD 5, sediment records at PAD 15, an oxbow lake off the Revillion Coupé, demonstrated low flood frequency during the early to mid-1700s. Increased water levels evident at low-lying sites located in proximity to the central open-drainage network of lakes and rivers were likely due to higher flows on the Athabasca River and potentially on the Peace River. High flows on rivers of the PAD may be attributed to snowmelt-dominated runoff during the LIA relative to the rainfall-dominated runoff during MWP (prior to ∼AD 1600) and the post-LIA period (∼AD 1900 to present).

Application for approval. Environmental impact assessment supplemental information to Alberta Environment and Energy and Utilities Board. volume 3: Terrestrial resources and remaining EIA sections; Traditional land use


Year: 2003

Abstract:
This section of the Environmental Impact Assessment of the OPTI Canada Inc. Long Lake Project provides information on existing and historic traditional land use as required by the Long Lake Project Terms of Reference (AENV 2000a). This Traditional Land Use section is divided into five main sections: Scope of Assessment, Baseline Setting, Impact Assessment, Cumulative Effects Assessment and Conclusions. Groups that have identified themselves as having used the area near the Long Lake Project for traditional activities, either currently or historically, include Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, Willow Lake Métis Local #344, Wood Buffalo First Nation, Registered Fur Management Area Agreement holders (trappers) and other Aboriginal groups. The regional study area for Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation TLU is based on information collected for the Long Lake Project TLUS (Appendix XVI) as well as several previous studies (AXYS 1999, 2000a, 2000b and Desjarlais 1993). These studies have documented the traditional land use and occupancy of the Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation. A traditional land use map for Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation was produced based on information collected in the TLUS (Volume 7, Appendix XVI). This traditional land use map is also used to define the regional study area boundary for the traditional land use impact assessment. The Local Study Area for the traditional land use impact assessment was based on the area surrounding the Long Lake Project boundary. The LSA is defined as the Aquatic Resources LSA for activities such as fishing and as the Terrestrial Resources LSA for activities such as hunting, trapping, gathering plants and cultural activities. Specific traditional land use activities and features potentially affected by the Long Lake Project were documented within the LSA. OPTI is currently consulting with the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation on their traditional land use within the OPTI Long Lake Project area. OPTI will review traditional land use concerns with the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation and other Aboriginal groups and conduct additional traditional land use studies as appropriate. The impact to traditional land users is evaluated through an understanding of how they have used and continue to use the resources of the area. The Long Lake Project is located within the traditional use area of several Aboriginal groups including: Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, status and non-status First Nation members and Métis people. There are also several Registered Fur Management Areas that are used by registered trappers. A detailed Traditional Land Use Study of the Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation was prepared as basis for understanding traditional land use by this community in the vicinity of the Long Lake Project. The TLUS is presented in Volume 7, Appendix XVI.

As long as the rivers flow: Athabasca River knowledge, use and change


Author(s): Candler, C., Olson R., & Deroy S.

Year: 2010

Abstract:
"The Study confirms that, for members of both ACFN and MCFN, the Athabasca River continues to be central to their lives, their ability to access their territories, and their conception of themselves as aboriginal peoples, despite historical change. Use of the river by the participants is still strong and diverse, and while use has generally declined, it has declined in some areas more than others. Use for drinking water, trapping and teaching have declined more than use for hunting, transportation, and cultural/spiritual and wellness practices. The Study suggests that reduced quantity and quality of water in the Athabasca is having adverse effects on the ability of ACFN and MCFN members to access territories, and to practice their aboriginal and Treaty rights, including hunting, trapping, fishing and related activities.

Association of postfire peat accumulation and microtopography in boreal bogs


Year: 2005

Abstract:
Peatlands accumulate organic matter as peat because of disproportionate rates of production and decomposition. However, peat accumulation heterogeneity has not been well studied along the microtopographic gradient (hummocks vs. hollows), particularly with respect to fire. Fire affects peatland species composition by differentially removing vegetation and resetting succession, resulting in peat accumulation changes. We examined peat accumulation and microtopography in two historically burned bogs in Alberta, Canada. Measurements of current and historic microtopography were made, and cores were collected along the gradient to identify depth of peat accumulated since fire, as well as to assess properties of the accumulated peat. Current microtopography is significant and correlated with the immediate postfire surface relief. However, differences in the magnitude of variability between sites suggests that differential rates of growth between features are exacerbated between sites and reflected in bog microtopography. Rates of organic matter accumulation, ranging from 156 to 257 g.m^sup -2^.year^sup -1^, were elevated but comparable to published rates of recent accumulation. Organic matter content and accumulation rate were greater for hummocks than hollows at Athabasca bog, but the difference between features diminished at Sinkhole Lake, suggesting that the pattern and properties of peat accumulation and microtopography postfire may be attributable to differences in site conditions.

Athabasca Tribal Council, possible contaminants in fish species of the Wood Buffalo Region, Alberta, Canada: First Nations environmental contaminants program. Final report


Year: 2003

Abstract:
First Nation people traditionally obtain their food by hunting and fishing. In highly developed areas, these traditional activities may put First Nations at risk due to potential exposure to industrial pollution. The Athabasca Tribal Council (ATC) First Nation communities in the Wood Buffalo Region are at particular risk due to the scale of industrial development in the region. First Nations are very concerned about pollution in the region and the effects it may be having on fish and wildlife, and their health as they continue to consume these traditional foods. The contamination of local fish and fishing lakes is of particular concern, as fishing continues to be an important cultural practice and food source in the region. Community consultations with the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation indicated concerns and reluctance to consume traditional fish species. This will be a preliminary study to determine if there are potential contaminates in local fish populations. The study will focus on levels of trace metals as these are of particular concern to the community. The Mikisew Cree First Nation and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation indicated fish species of concern including pickerel (walleye), lake trout, whitefish (Lake Whitefish) and jackfish (northern pike). As community members consume these fish, it was important to determine if any potential contaminates were present in the fish. It was proposed to collect fish from First Nation fishermen and analyze these fish for specific parameters, including heavy metals, PCB's and organo-chlorines. Mercury was of particular concern because its tendency to bio-accumulate in fish. There are also current fish consumption advisories for fish from the Athabasca River (Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, 2003). Organo-chlorines were of concern due to their persistent and bio-accumulative nature, and toxicity to aquatic species. Although there were no anticipated local sources of organo-chlorines, they were of concern due to long transport and subsequent deposition in northern ecosystems. This was designed as a preliminary study to determine if there were potential contaminates in local fish populations. Specific study objectives include: to address ongoing community concerns concerning contamination of local fish and consumption safety; to involve local community members in the sampling program and promote capacity building; to compare metal residues in fish flesh against safety guidelines; and to provide baseline information for future monitoring programs.

Athabasca: A river changes; Fort Chipewyan's elders recall when water was pure


Author(s): Brooymans, H.

Year: 2010

Abstract:
[...] it affected flows in the Peace River. ***** The Journal's Hanneke Brooymans and Ryan Jackson went to Fort Chipewyan to learn more about water concerns in the shadow of industrial development. A 2009 Alberta Cancer Board report showed there are 30 per cent more cancers than expected in the community, but said the small population cast doubt on the statistical significance of the numbers.

Channel adjustment in a proglacial stream, Sunwapta River, Alberta


Author(s): Chew, L. C.

Year: 1995

Abstract:
Channel morphology was measured along a 3.6km reach of the proglacial Sunwapta River, Alberta, with constant discharge and significant downstream fining. The decrease in sediment load relative to discharge as the result of the formation of a proglacial lake, in addition to modifications to the reach by highway construction, prompted various forms of channel adjustment over the previous 55 years. The disequilibrium in stream capacity caused a decline in slope upstream resulting in the currently rectilinear form of the long profile. Consequently, the reduction in the braiding index and degradation of the channel bed in the upper reach contributed to aggradation and an increase in braiding in the lower reach. The downstream decline of the present-day grain size distribution is also significant in causing a downstream increase in channel width and braiding, as predicted by rationally-derived hydraulic geometry equations.

Environmental Assessment - Nexen OPTI Canada Inc. Long Lake Phase 2 SAGD Project


Year: 2005

Abstract:
Environmental assessment registry documents pertaining to the proposed Nexen OPTI Canada Inc. Long Lake Phase 2 SAGD Project. The proposal is for bitumen production capacity of approximately 140,000 barrels per day using steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology. The location of the project is approximately 11 km south of the existing Long Lake project and approximately 16 km south of Anzac within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The EIA was deemed complete in 2014. For more information on the environmental assessment process visit ea.alberta.ca.

Environmental Assessment - Nexen OPTI Canada Inc. Long Lake Phase 2 SAGD Project - EIA Report and application for approval


Year: 2006

Abstract:
Environmental Impact Assessment and associated applications pertaining to the proposed Nexen OPTI Canada Inc. Long Lake Phase 2 SAGD Project. The proposal is for bitumen production capacity of approximately 140,000 barrels per day using steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology. The location of the project is approximately 11 km south of the existing Long Lake project and approximately 16 km south of Anzac within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The EIA was deemed complete in 2014. For more information on the environmental assessment process visit ea.alberta.ca.

Environmental contaminants in fish: Spatial and temporal trends of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans Peace Athabasca and Slave River basins 1992 to 1994


Year: 1997

Abstract:
As part of the work to examine the impact of development on ecosystem health and integrity on the Peace and Athabasca river basins in Alberta, the Northern River Basin Study (NRBS) was required to determine “the contents and nature of the contaminants entering the system ... particular reference to water, sediments and biota" and to determine “... the current concentration of contaminants in water and edible fish tissue and how are these levels changing through time and by location". The Reach Specific Study (RSS) was designed to measure spatial and temporal trends of contaminants including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in sediment, water and and biota (fish and invertebrate) samples collected at six locations on the upper Athabasca River downstream of Hinton (AB) in spring 1992, fall 1992 and spring 1993. The General Fish Collection (spring 1992), the Long nose sucker and Northern pike liver study (fall 1994) and the Special Burbot Collection (fall 1992 and 1994), and the Ft. Chipewyan winter fishery study (1994/95) were also conducted to examine levels in fish tissues within the Athabasca, Peace and Slave River basins. The purpose of this report is to summarize the levels of PCDDs and PCDFs in fish from these various studies and to assess temporal trends of 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF by comparison with previously published data. A second objective was to reexamine pathways of accumulation of 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF from water and suspended sediment to fish, first measured in the upper Athabasca River in 1992 (Pastershank and Muir 1995). The major PCDD/F congeners in muscle (skinless fillet) of mountain whitefish and northern pike samples collected in the upper Athabasca River downstream of Hinton in fall 1992 and spring 1993 were 2,3,7,8-TCDD and -TCDF. Mean concentrations of 2,3,7,8-TCDD in mountain whitefish ranged 0.6 to 7.7 pg-g'1wet wt and from 1.7 to 9.8 pg-g"1for 2,3,7,8-TCDF. Concentrations of other 2,3,7,8- substituted penta- to octachloro- PCDD/F congeners were generally much lower or non-detectable in both species. Two lower chlorinated congeners, 2,7/2,8-dichlorodibenzodioxin and 2,3,8- trichlorodibenzofuran were detected in most samples ofmountain whitefish from fall 1992 at low pg-g'1 concentrations. TCDF was the most frequently detected PCDD/F congener in longnose sucker and northern pike livers collected from the Wapiti/Smoky and Peace Rivers in fall 1994. TCDF concentrations in liver were in the low pg-g'1range similar to levels in muscle of these species. Highest concentrations of TCDF in livers of longnose sucker (9.2 ± 17.8 pg-g"1) were found at a site on the Smoky River (SRI) downstream of the pulp mill effluent near Grande Prairie. Temporal trends in 2,3,7,8-TCDD and -TCDF in mountain whitefish were examined over a four year period by combining the three sampling times in the upper Athabasca River with data from previous studies (DFO National Dioxin Program 1989). There was a definite decline in 2,3,7,8-TCDD and - TCDF concentrations in mountain whitefish downstream of the Hinton but most of the decrease took place in the period 1989 to 1992. The extent of the decline depends to a large extent on which results for spring 1993 are used. If samples from the near-field sites of Weldwood and Obed (mean concentrations of 1.1 and 2.6 pg-g"1wet, for TCDD and TCDF respectively) are used the decline is about five-fold for both TCDD and TCDF over four years. But if the fish from Emerson Lake (48 km downstream) are included (mean concentrations are 3.6 and 7.1 pg-g"1wet, for TCDD and TCDF, respectively) the decline is about 3-fold. In general, concentrations of PCDD/Fs were higher in burbot liver than in muscle or liver of mountain whitefish or northern pike and a greater number of congeners were detected. TCDF was detected i (mean concentrations, 0.30 to 65 pg-g'1) in 86% o f all 203 burbot liver samples analysed, while 2,3,7,8- TCDD was detected in 35% of samples (mean concentrations, <0.3 to 8.5 pg-g'1). Two other 2,3,7,8- substituted- PCDD/F congeners, 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD and the heptachlorodioxin, 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD were detected in 37% o f burbot liver samples. OCDD was also detected relatively frequently (17%) while OCDF was found in only 3 of 203 samples. Di and trichloro-CDDs and CDFs were detected infrequently in burbot liver and at low levels relative to tetra- to octachloro congeners. Significantly higher levels (ANCOVA; Tukey’s or least squares means test) of TCDD and TCDF were found in burbot liver downstream of the Hinton BKM than at all other sites. Levels of 2,3,7,8-TCDD and -TCDF in burbot liver were lower in the. fall 1994 collection than in fall 1992 at four sites; downstream of the Grande Prairie pulp mill outlet, PR2 on the Peace River near the mouth ofthe Notikewin River (674 km from confluence ofthe Peace/Slave), and PR3 upstream ofFort Vermillion (396 km). Comparison of concentrations in burbot liver near the BKM at Grande Prairie was problematic because sampling sites were not in the same locations each year. Nevertheless, the results show a decline of 4 to 17-times in the case of 2,3,7,8-TCDF at three sites. No significant decline of TCDD or TCDF concentrations was found in burbot livers from PR2. The burbot liver results, expressed as TCDD TEQ’s, also agreed well with those of Swansonet ak (1995) who found a 5-fold decline in TEQs downstream of the Grande Prairie BKM between summer 1991 and spring 1994. Concentrations of all 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD/F congeners in composite samples of fish muscle from the Ft. Chipewyan domestic winter fishery in the Peace-Athabasca delta were at or near detection limits (<0.1 to <0.8 pg-g'1). Only 2,3,7,8-TCDF was detectable in most samples (<0.1 to 0.5 pg-g'1). Burbot liver samples from the three sites in the Peace-Athabasca delta had higher levels o f 2,3,7,8-TCDF than burbot muscle (1.7 to 2.9 pg-g'1). These levels were similar to those at other far-field and reference sites located far from BKMs. The bioavailability of TCDD and TCDF to mountain whitefish and northern pike was assessed using biota-sediment (or suspended sediment) accumulation factors (BSAF/BSSAFs). BSAFs for 2,3,7,8- TCDD ranged from 1.1 to 2.0 and for TCDF from 0.19 to 1.63 in mountain whitefish in spring 1992. A similar range of BSAFs was found in 1993. BSSAFs for both 2,3,7,8-TCDD and TCDF were generally lower and showed greater consistency than BSAFs with distance from the BKM. The results suggest that TCDD/TCDF levels in fish can be estimated with an average, site specific, BSAF or BSSAF using concentrations of TCDD/F in bed sediment or suspended sediments. Application of the Thomann and Connolly food chain model (steady-state version) to predict levels of TCDF in the food web downstream of Hinton showed that good agreement between predicted and observed results could be obtained for benthic feeding organisms (and longnose suckers and pike) which were close to equilibrium with sediments or biofilm. The model overpredicted concentrations in filter-feeding invertebrates and mountain whitefish; these organisms are not in equilibrium with TCDF in the water and suspended solids in the river due to the dynamic nature ofthe system. All mean concentrations of TCDD TEQs in fish muscle or liver were below the limit of 20 pg-g'1(wet wt) set by Health Canada for commercial sale and export of fish. A few individual samples, mainly burbot liver from the Athabasca River downstream of Hinton, exceeded the 20 pg-g'1guideline. Assuming TCDD TEQs of 8.3 pg-g'1in mountain whitefish downstream of Hinton a 60 kg individual would have to consume 72 g of mountain whitefish muscle per day to exceed the Health Canada

First Nation wants environmental test results from Nexen


Author(s): Narine, S.

Year: 2015

Abstract:
The article reports the move by the Fort McMurray First Nation as of August 2015 to request the raw data collected from the oil spill at Nexen Energy's Long Lake oilsands project in Alberta. According to first nation councillor Byron Bates, the Alberta Emergency Management Agency notified them five to six hours after the spill. Also cited are comments from Nexen Energy officials Ron Bailey and Diane Kossman about the spill.

First Nation water security and collaborative governance: Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nations, Ontario, Canada


Author(s): Longboat, S. A.

Year: 2013

Abstract:
This research investigates the interrelationships between First Nations and Western approaches to water, and the opportunities and barriers to collaboration in water governance, with the goal of enhancing First Nations water security. Four main objectives guided this research: 1) to identify the critical concerns for water in First Nations communities and the challenges for First Nations water security; 2) to investigate First Nations knowledge systems and management institutions for how they may support enhanced community-level water security; 3) to conduct a targeted in-depth examination of the challenges to enhancing water security with respect to federal, provincial and First Nations water institutions and arrangements; and 4) to develop strategies based on best practices for more effective water collaboration through integration of the key concepts, empirical evidence and new research findings. The Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework guided the research inquiry, and conceptual underpinnings drew from water security, water governance, integrated water resource management, Indigenous approaches, institutional theory, and collaboration literatures. During 2010 and 2011, a single case study was conducted with the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation (KSPFN), located in southwestern Ontario. The case study included two embedded units of analysis: the First Nation community and the wider water governance context. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with First Nations Elders, and First Nations, federal, provincial, and municipal water actors. Nearly 100 documents were gathered, interviews were coded using QSR NVivo 9, and data triangulation among these sources aided the identification of common trends, themes and patterns from which the discussion and conclusions were generated. This research offers several empirical and conceptual contributions. Interview results and data analysis of the KSPFN concerns and challenges identified eight areas of critical water security concerns: surface and groundwater quality, monitoring and environmental enforcement, invasive species and aquatic ecology, human health and uncertainty, lake levels and withdrawals, water and wastewater system, Stony Point water, and aboriginal rights and involvement. Challenges to KSPFN water security were found to relate to water governance on First Nations reserves, including: actor interaction, governance structure, financial arrangements, laws and regulations, and community factors. A second group of challenges was found that relate more specifically to broader water governance in Canada. These include rights and jurisdiction, water collaboration, legislation and regulations, and social-economic factors. The research also revealed that the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point have a long history within their traditional territory along the southern shore of Lake Huron. As Anishinabek people, traditional culture involved a livelihood and land-based economy that was dependent on a sacred and harmonious relationship with water. Codes of behaviour for appropriate relationships with all of nature were transmitted through a combination of informal institutions (e.g., ceremonies, stories) and social-political structures (e.g., clan governance). Although the influence of Western institutions has altered the traditional relationship with water for many Anishinabek people, traditional approaches can support current water security in key areas: value of water, guiding principles, collaborative governance, informal institutions, integration and systems understanding, and sustainability practices. Overall, First Nations water security was found to involve a range of traditional and contemporary views about water use and protection. This research widens the conceptual lens for examining First Nations water security and asserts that it involves three interdependent and embedded dimensions or conceptual units of analysis: ecological, social-political, and technical. Each dimension emphasizes a critical component of First Nations water security and the scope of governance actions to begin addressing First Nations water concerns and challenges. The research also highlights the utility of the IAD framework for examining the role institutions play in First Nations water security within the multi-level, fragmented and overlapping water jurisdictions characteristic of water governance in Canada. Lastly, the results yielded an adapted IAD framework that illustrates the influence federal, provincial and municipal water institutions have on water security actions available to First Nations water actors. The research provides key insights and pathways to water security and overall recommendations for water security actors. The analysis presents seven suggested pathways to water security that require constitutional, collective-choice and operational level actions. The pathways include a collaborative relationship among actors committed to water security, equitable and legitimate involvement of First Nations in water governance, First Nations rights in formal water institutions (e.g., recognition of First Nations values in water laws), a regulatory framework for drinking water to fill the regulatory gap supported by appropriate funding arrangements, new collaborative approaches for policy making, greater local control over community land and resource management, and expanded informal collaboration among First Nations and a variety of actors and organizations (e.g., municipal, academic). (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Fort McKay First Nation’s involvement in reclamation of Alberta’s oil sands development


Year: 2012

Abstract:
Fort McKay is a Cree, Dene and Métis community situated in the epicentre of Alberta’s oil sands developments and the people of Fort McKay believe that this development is limiting their ability to carry out cultural activities within their Traditional Lands and that this has significant adverse effects on the maintenance of their cultural heritage. The Community has existed on their Traditional Lands for generations and places great value on the land and all that the land supports. Fort McKay has major concerns associated with both the “loss of land” and the condition of this land following mine closure and reclamation. The existing approved and proposed mine developments will ultimately occupy hundreds of thousand hectares of land and will not be fully reclaimed until the latter half of this century, with the likelihood that a further 10 to 20 years will be needed before the land can be certified as reclaimed. This means that the land occupied by these mines will be alienated from two to three generations of Fort McKay people. Fort McKay and the group of specialist consultants employed to work on behalf of the Community have worked closely with the Alberta government and oil sands developers to express the Community’s concerns and to push both industry and government to work towards meeting the immediate and long term objectives. Although Fort McKay cannot take credit for the recent improvements in mine closure regulation and performance, Fort McKay has certainly had a strong voice which has helped lead to a number of changes in approval conditions. Changes which we have seen over recent years include improved regulations for salvage and replacement of topsoil, recent changes to the management of fluid fine tailings and the requirement to initiate large scale trials of techniques to reclaim land to peat accumulating wetlands (fens and bogs). In the future, Fort McKay will continue to strive for faster reclamation that will restore the land to premining conditions, will seek the complete elimination of fluid fine tailings especially those which will be stored under a water cap in an end pit lake, will seek to ensure that acceptable water quality will be achieved within a reasonable timeframe following closure and will seek to ensure that the reclaimed landscape will support the full range of traditional uses including medicinal plants, berries, hunting, fishing and trapping.

Growth and reservoir development in Waulsortian mounds: Pekisko Formation, west central Alberta and Lake Valley Formation New Mexico


Author(s): Kirkby, K. C.

Year: 1994

Abstract:
Waulsortian mounds form an integral part of many Lower Carboniferous reservoirs, yet much of their character and growth remain enigmatic. Study of exposed Lake Valley mounds and subsurface Pekisko mounds shows that the mounds grew episodically. Long periods of hiatus and erosion separated intervals of mound growth. These intervening hiatus periods distinguish the mounds' growth phases from other reef subdivisions that form depositional continuums. Each growth phase represents a separate colonization of the buildup's topography and has a distinct geometry and facies composition. Both mound suites grew in significant depositional energy along the toe-of-slope of carbonate ramps that rimmed sediment-starved basins. Mounds were drowned by continued deepening and prograding wedges of fine-grained basin strata. The greater geographic scale of the Pekisko study resolved lateral differences in stacking patterns of the ramp and basin strata that are difficult to interpret at the outcrop scale. Pekisko mounds contain anomalously porous and permeable reservoirs that are a combination of preserved primary porosity, fractures, and fabric-selective dissolution. Dissolution selectively removed micrite and certain skeletal components, particularly bryozoans. Secondary porosity occurs in ramp and mound carbonates in a broad belt that parallels the strata's updip erosional truncation. Although dissolution was associated with a major unconformity, it may have resulted from burial fluid migration beneath the unconformity, rather than from meteoric processes. Recognition of the mounds' episodic growth has implications for mound, basin, and reservoir studies. (1) Growth phases provide a finer temporal framework for the mounds' study than biostratigraphy. (2) Cumulative growth patterns in the mounds form a record of the basin's physical evolution that is not available in the starved intermound section. (3) The growth phases' stratal patterns and depositional facies can influence reservoir development and partitioning. Mound growth patterns may reflect relative sea-level change, or basin anoxia. Regional bioturbation patterns in both basins record episodic anoxia, and fluctuations in the anoxic levels of stratified basins may have curtailed mound growth. Global ocean anoxia occurred during the Upper Devonian/Lower Carboniferous transition. This study suggests that a tendency towards anoxia continued through the Tournasian.

Historical resources post-impact assessment, ATCO Electric, Ruth Lake-MacKay 240-kV transmission project and Crow and Gregoire 144 kV transmission projects, permit 2002-029


Year: 2002

Abstract:
The objectives of this post-impact assessment were to inventory historical resource sites within the development zone; evaluate the significance of the individual sites identified; assess the nature and magnitude of site specific impacts; and to design and implement an acceptable site specific mitigation program which would significantly eliminate potential future impacts to identified sites. Record review was conducted to identify previously recorded sites which could be affected by the development project, and to determine the nature of the database in the area. Ground reconnaissance was done to relocate, previously recorded historical resource sites as well as to identify and record any new sites within the development zone. Site discovery and post-impact assessment and included the visual examination of post-clearing surfaces within the right-of-way and inspection of adjacent exposures. Shovel testing was conducted in areas of identified cultural material or potential site areas lacking suitable exposures. The nature of the existing resource database, the quantity and quality of observable remains (e.g. site condition, content, uniqueness, and complexity) and the potential of the site to contribute to public enjoyment and education was evaluated. The areas targeted for this Historical Resources Post-Impact Assessment were portions of the Ruth Lake MacKay 240 kV Transmission Project and of the Crow and Gregoire 144 kV Transmission Projects, located in north-eastern Alberta. The Ruth Lake - MacKay Transmission Project is approximately 39 kilometres long, extending between the existing Ruth Lake Substation 848S (N1/2 16-92-10-W4M) and the new MacKay Substation (NW 5-93-12-W4M). The Crow Transmission Project is approximately 35 km long, extending between the new Crow Substation 860S and the existing Mariana Substation 833S. The Gregoire Transmission Project extends between the new Gregoire Substation 883S and an existing transmission line 7L36, with a total length of 15 km.

Historical resources study, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation proposed land swap areas, phase 2 study: Athabasca Delta and south shore of Lake Athabasca


Year: 2004

Abstract:
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation commissioned a Historical Resources Impact Assessment of the Old Fort area for the purpose of creating an inventory of historical resources sites, as well as devising a plan for the long term management of historical resources in the area. The Nation had the intention of moving from their current location to the Old Fort area. This report deal exclusively with the historical resources side of the side (a land use study was also done), but provides a great deal of information on geologic, and pre-contact history of the area in addition to the archaeological assessment done.

How one First Nations group in Alberta reaps a windfall from oilsands development


Year: 2015

Abstract:
In 1983 Dorothy MacDonald, chief of the small Fort McKay First Nation, which sits in the middle of the world's richest oilsands deposits, decided to take on the trucks roaring through her community night and day loaded with lumber for construction sites. She mobilized a roadblock that lasted eight days and eventually pushed the Alberta government to intervene. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]

In Conflict


Author(s): Cryderman, K.

Year: 2013

Abstract:
"Any time that we have differences with somebody like [Jim Boucher], it's a cause for concern," he said. "I think he's been a very balanced First Nation leader with respect to the oil sands industry," Mr. [David Collyer] said. "What I would encourage is for all the parties concerned to try to find a constructive way through it."

Citation:

Investigations of poly-chlorinated biphenyls in bottom sediments of the Bear-Wapiti-Smoky-Peace and Upper Athabasca River systems, 1989-2000


Author(s): Hazewinkel, R., & Noton L.

Year: 2004

Abstract:
Studies of contaminant distributions by the Northern River Basins Study (NRBS) revealed high levels of PCBs in fish in the upper Athabasca and in the Wapiti-Smoky rivers, relative to other areas in the basins. In response to recommendations of the NRBS, the purpose of this work was to investigate the source and reasons for the PCB contamination. In co-ordination with other projects under the Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative (NREI) on fish, water, and benthos, this project investigated PCBs in river bottom sediments to see if there were spatial or temporal patterns that might identify the source(s) of contamination.