TransAlta Corporation has introduced its Clean Energy Investment Plan, which includes converting its existing Alberta coal assets to natural gas and advancing its leadership position in renewable energy. The total cost of the plan is expected to be approximately $2 billion which includes approximately $800 million of renewable energy projects already under construction.
NEB to be replaced, project review system to change under proposed new rules
The federal government is proposing new rules for the review of major projects, and a replacement of the National Energy Board with a new Energy Regulator to review energy-related projects.
According to the announcement, better rules will protect the environment, fish and waterways, rebuild public trust, and create new jobs and economic opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
"We heard from a wide range of Canadians that previous reforms to environmental laws put our environment, fish and waterways at risk and eroded public trust. We listened and took action to fix this. With better rules for major projects, our environment will be cleaner and our economy stronger. Making decisions based on robust science, evidence and Indigenous traditional knowledge, respecting Indigenous rights, and ensuring more timely and predictable project reviews will attract investment and development that creates good, middle-class jobs for Canadians," said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Previous reforms to environmental laws and regulations eroded public trust and put the environment and communities at risk, according to a government statement. In response, the government put in place interim principles for project reviews in January 2016, then launched a comprehensive process to review existing laws and seek Canadians' input on how to improve our environmental and regulatory system.
These better rules reflect input from Indigenous Peoples, companies, provinces and territories, environmental groups, and the public over the course of 14 months. Under the updated rules, decisions on projects would be guided by science, evidence and Indigenous traditional knowledge. Reviews would happen in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, as well as with provinces and territories, and communities will have their voices heard from the start. Companies would have more clarity about what is required of them, and review timelines would be more predictable. Project reviews would be both more rigorous and more efficient, with reduced legislated timelines and clearer requirements from the start.
"A new wave of resource development is coming with more than $500 billion in projects planned over the next 10 years. We are building a better Canada, where investors, companies and all Canadians can have confidence that good projects will be approved in a timely manner and held to the highest standard. With these better rules, we will demonstrate how we can grow the economy and get our resources to market while advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and protecting the environment for future generations," said Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources.The proposed changes include:
- Restoring public trust: Increased public participation in project reviews, including a new early engagement phase. From the outset, recognition of Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
- Transparent, science-based decisions: Decisions are based on robust science and Indigenous traditional knowledge, and make easy-to-understand summaries of decisions publicly available.
- More comprehensive impact assessments: Replacing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, with the Impact Assessment Act, and expanding the types of impacts studied to understand how a proposed project could affect not just the environment, but also health, social and economic impacts, as well as impacts on Indigenous Peoples, over the long-term. Reviews will include gender-based analysis.
- One project, one review: Reduced duplication and red tape by establishing the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (currently the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) to lead all federal reviews of major projects, working with other bodies like the new Canadian Energy Regulator (currently the National Energy Board), the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Offshore Boards, and in cooperation with provinces and territories and Indigenous jurisdictions.
- Making decisions timely: Project reviews would benefit from reduced timelines compared to the current system, and will be rigorously managed to ensure they are more timely, with fewer stops of the legislated clock.
- Revising the project list: The government will seek Canadians' feedback on a more robust project list, identifying types of projects within federal jurisdiction that could pose major risks to the environment and would therefore require review.
- Protecting water, fish and navigation: Restoring lost protections for all fish and fish habitats - not just those that could be affected by major projects - by amending the Fisheries Act. Further, protections under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (currently the Navigation Protection Act) will be expanded to better protect the right to travel on all navigable waters in Canada, covering countless rivers, lakes and other waterways. This includes extra protections for those waterways most important to Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.
- Increased funding: The government will invest up to $1.01 billion over five years to support the proposed new impact assessment regime and Canadian Energy Regulator; increased scientific capacity in federal departments and agencies; changes required to protect water, fish and navigation; and increased Indigenous and public participation.
The new rules proposed today must still be passed by Parliament. Until the new rules come into effect, existing laws and interim principles for project reviews will continue to apply to projects under review. The government will seek input from Canadians on regulations and policy changes required to accompany the legislation. Once the new rules come into effect, the government will not be revisiting project decisions made under previous legislation.
With hundreds of major resource projects - worth over $500 billion in investment - planned across Canada over the next 10 years, these better rules are essential to protect our environment and communities while making sure good projects can get built to create jobs for the middle class. Under these new rules, proposed projects would be held to a high standard - because that's what Canadians expect and deserve.
"Canadians have been clear that they expect us to safeguard our environment while strengthening our economy. The legislation is an important step in creating a transparent and fair environmental review process that protects our natural resources. As Minister of Fisheries, I am pleased to be delivering on our government's promise to restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards into the Fisheries Act. Our proposed changes to the Fisheries Act, together with the legislation introduced today, demonstrate our government's commitment to protecting our environment now and for future generations," stated Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
More from Environmental
A strong economy depends on a healthy environment. The Government of Canada is enshrining in law better rules for major projects that protect the environment and communities, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ensure good projects can go forward, creating good jobs and economic opportunities for middle-class Canadians.
In the contentious and often polarized debate around energy issues, Canadians now have a new online tool to get the facts about liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel that is set to become the second leading energy source worldwide by 2040.
Canada's transition to low-emission energy sources is underway but it remains one of the most emission-intensive nations in the world, according to a new report released by the National Energy Board.
British Columbia's Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG) has announced approval in principle for an agreement where FortisBC will purchase landfill gas from the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill to purify and inject the gas into its natural gas distribution system as Renewable Natural Gas (RNG).
MGX Minerals Inc. and engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions are pleased to report a second deployment of an advanced wastewater treatment system is near completion and commissioning is expected shortly. The system is capable of processing up to 10 cubic metres per hour. The system will significantly reduce greenhouse gases through energy savings on steam generation. The technology provides superior treatment outcomes when compared to conventional technology which requires offsite trucking and high cost (due to toxicity) disposal.
BossTek has updated its family of self-powered dust suppression equipment with Tier IV Final-compliant generators, ensuring compliance in all 50 states and Canada. BossTek made the announcement with the debut of the new DustBoss DB-60 Fusion, a field-proven suppression system driven by a high-reliability 25 HP electric motor and paired with a gen set powered by a heavy-duty 4-cycle indirect injection diesel engine. Designed, engineered and assembled in the USA, the generator features a dual-containment fuel cell, heavy gauge lockable enclosure and oversized brushless alternator for easy starting.
As Canada transitions to a low-carbon future, investments in clean technology will support jobs for the middle class and improve clean air by reducing pollution.
The Joint Review Panel established to review the proposed Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project (the Project) and conduct an assessment of the environmental effects of the Project has determined that the proponent, Teck Resources Limited (Teck), has provided sufficient information for the Panel to hold a public hearing for the Project.
Cleansorb, a leading provider of chemical well treatments that enhance hydrocarbon production for the international oil and gas industry, is helping a major operator to enhance recovery from a maturing field offshore U.K.
Cutting back on Canada's biggest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will pose significant challenges for its oil and gas sector but is essential to making good on the country's commitment to fight climate change, the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources said in a new report.
Canadians understand that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. The Government of Canada is committed to growing the economy; creating good middle-class jobs; and taking action that ensures a safe climate, healthy environment, and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) has commenced a federal environmental assessment for the proposed Newfoundland Orphan Basin Exploration Drilling Project, located 350 kilometres east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic Ocean.
Newalta Corporation and Tervita Corporation, a private Alberta-based energy-focused waste and environmental services company, are pleased to announce that they have entered into an arrangement agreement to combine their businesses and create a leading publicly traded energy-focused environmental solutions provider in Canada providing waste processing, treating, recycling and disposal services to customers in the oil and gas, mining and industrial sectors. The transaction, which will result in the merger of Newalta and Tervita under the name Tervita Corporation, is expected to provide significant scale, resources and future growth opportunities.
The government of B.C. is seeking input from British Columbians on its next steps to protect the province's land, coast and waters from oil spills.
Vertex Resource Group Ltd. has acquired the business of Sonic Oilfield Services Ltd., an environmental services company that provides pressure trucks, fluid hauling, chemical and KCL products in Saskatchewan. Sonic's well maintained fleet is used to serve the drilling, completions, production and facility needs of clients operating within Kindersley and Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
There are many challenges to managing landfill gas well field operation. QED Environmental Systems, a manufacturer of landfill liquid pumps and LFG control products, conducted a survey of landfill gas well field operators, asking them to report the most significant challenges they have encountered in the field. The most commonly reported challenges were odor control and maintaining compliance with landfill gas surface emission regulations. These issues were followed by a host of others, including avoiding NSPS exceedances for pressure, temperature, and oxygen, maximizing landfill gas (LFG) energy content, maintaining a steady vacuum across all wells, managing liquids to avoid accumulation in wells and system piping, and controlling air leaks at the wellhead, rubber couplings, and flex hoses. The challenges faced by LFG well field operators are numerous and diverse. However, LFG operators agree that all of the common challenges listed above can be summarized into one objective: to maximize gas collection efficiency while maintaining regulatory compliance, all at the lowest possible cost. With this singular objective in mind, let us review some LFG well field technologies and limitations.
Inventys, the developer of the VeloxoTherm Process, a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture system, is receiving $2.6M from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) through its Energy Innovation Program to support the development of a 30-tonne per day (TPD) CO2-capture pilot plant at Husky Energy's Pikes Peak South Lloyd thermal project.
Suncor has taken its first steps in the regulatory process to replace coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant as a part of its plan to remain globally cost and carbon competitive. In addition to providing the facility with steam needed for its operations, the cogeneration units are expected to export approximately 700 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the provincial grid, equivalent to roughly seven per cent of Alberta's current electricity demand.
As Canada transitions to a low-carbon future, investments in clean technology are building a stronger economy, creating new middle-class jobs and driving sustainable prosperity.
Cenovus Energy Inc. has been recognized once again for its corporate responsibility performance. The company has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the eighth consecutive year. Cenovus is one of only two Canadian oil and gas producers to make the index this year. Areas where the company scored well include stakeholder engagement, environmental reporting, water management, social reporting, risk and crisis management, biodiversity, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, climate strategy and corporate governance.
TransCanada Corporation's 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report provides a comprehensive update on the company's performance on environmental, social and governance topics that matter most to the communities, Indigenous groups and stakeholders involved with or affected by our business across North America.
Carbon pricing will help Canada reduce emissions but the reductions will fall short of the government's goal of a 30 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, according to a joint report by The Conference Board of Canada and The Canadian Academy of Engineering. Trillions of dollars in investment spending on clean energy infrastructure and significant changes to the way Canadians consume energy will be needed to achieve deep emission reductions.
According to the World Resources Institute, Bahrain is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world and will continue to be through at least 2040. To save as much water as possible in the production of oil and eliminate the need to deliver water via tanker truck, the Bahrain Petroleum Company B.S.C. (Bapco) is using GE's advanced mobile water technology to convert seawater into usable, highly pure source water at the Awali refinery.
Shell has launched a methane detector pilot at one of its shale gas sites near Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada. The pilot test is part of a wider multi-stakeholder initiative called the Methane Detectors Challenge, a partnership between Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), oil and gas companies, US government agencies and technology developers to test next generation methane detection technologies. The initiative aims to enable better early detection and repair of methane leaks, and ultimately reduce emissions. While detection technologies and processes are already in place across the oil and gas industry, more technical innovation is desired.
ProSep, a technology and service provider for integrated process solutions, has announced a major milestone achievement for one of its proprietary produced water treatments, Osorb Media, a revolutionary, re-generable, modified organo-silica used for polishing oilfield water and gas streams. ProSep has secured a multi-million dollar order for this water treatment system, which is a momentous breakthrough for this technology that has been in a developmental phase for the past seven years.
A recent offshore exercise, conducted by Oil Spill Response Ltd. (OSRL), was designed to understand how remote sensing technologies can help detect oil spills at sea more effectively. Utilizing the latest in satellite, airborne and in-water surveillance and communications equipment, the highly successful event demonstrated the value of the state-of-the-art technology in identifying and monitoring spills and was conducted with full approval of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) following a rigorous planning and stakeholder consultation process.
A new methane industry report by Blue Green Canada shows Alberta is far better off putting in place its own stronger provincial methane emissions regulations and adopting them right away rather than waiting until 2023 for the Federal government's draft methane regulations to come into effect.
Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL), Trendsetter Engineering and Halliburton have announced the companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for integrated subsea well-capping response solutions. With the MOU, the companies will create a strategic alliance for oil and gas exploration and production companies globally, covering integrated solutions for preparedness and response associated with subsea well control activities.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) welcomed Environment and Climate Change Canada's proposed commitment to reduce further methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the oil and natural gas sector, but disagrees with the federal government's assessment Canada needs to "catch up" with environmental policies in the United States.
Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, has announced regulations to reduce methane emissions and air pollution from Canada's oil and gas sector. In doing so, Canada is moving to catch up on the action already taken by states such as California, Colorado, and North Dakota. These regulations are part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025.
When used for primary or secondary containment, traditional coatings have been too inflexible and not sufficiently elastic to accommodate ground, concrete or metal substrate movement. This deficiency can lead to cracks or holes developing in both the substrate and the coatings, which can compromise containment.
The Alberta government has introduced legislation that would allow it to lend the Orphan Well Association (OWA) $235 million to speed up proper abandonment and reclamation of a growing number of oil and gas well sites that no longer have a responsible owner. It's estimated this loan would lead to up to 1,650 new jobs in reclamation work over the next three years, reducing the liability facing the OWA by approximately one-third.
Federated Co-Operatives Limited’s Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina, Saskatchewan, was named Industrial Water Project of the Year at the annual Global Water Awards. The award recognizes the project, commissioned in 2016, that represents the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the field of industrial water.
Governments, investors and businesses must seize the opportunity to halve global carbon emissions by 2040 while ensuring economic development and energy access for all, but they must act now to accelerate clean electrification, decarbonization beyond power and energy productivity improvement, says the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC).
Energy plays an important role in the daily lives of Canadians. It powers our homes, keeps us connected and takes us where we want to go.
Ship & Shore Environmental Inc. has introduced Hydroflare, a first-to-market technology developed in partnership with Hydrozonix,a leading water quality management company. The companies have joined forces in response to recent demand for a viable, efficient and long-term solution for managing water sourcing and wastewater treatment in hydraulic fracturing. This new technology evaporates and treats the "produced water" that oil and gas companies generate in the fracking process.
The Joint Review Panel assessing the proposed Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project is seeking public comments on the responses to the information request issued by the Panel. The responses were submitted by the proponent, Teck Resources Ltd.