Land Conservation and Reclamation

Our land holdings in Central Alberta total five sections (3,300 acres or 1335.5 hectares). Joffre Site manufacturing facilities are housed within about 900 acres (360 hectares). The remaining land is in agricultural production and provides a 'buffer zone' between industrial facilities and neighbors.
Land management is an important issue in this agricultural community. Under our Land Conservation and Reclamation Program we work toward maintaining an equivalent land capability. When we impact land, we want to return it in 'as good' or 'better' condition than it was before. Here in Central Alberta, reclaimed areas have to be more than simply productive, they must be reconstructed to the favorable growing conditions the land was capable of before the disturbance.

Elements of our Land Conservation Practices

  • Consideration of soil classification
  • Minimizing the size of the disturbance
  • Mitigating the effects of the development on the land
  • Salvaging all soils for reuse
  • Controlling wind and water erosion

Land Reclamation Practices

  • Soil handling techniques to ensure reconstructed soils maintain their equivalent soil capability
  • Land contouring to ensure stability, surface drainage and protection from erosion
  • Re-vegetation and subsequent-use management
Conservation and reclamation requirements for the Joffre Site are outlined in our Approval from Alberta Environment. Requirements for other facilities, like product pipelines, are included in separate approvals.
Local authorities like our municipality, Lacombe County, also have conservation and reclamation mandates. Obligations to conserve and reclaim lands may also be referenced in various development agreements and permits issued by these local agencies.
Alberta's Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act (AEPEA) protects Alberta's land resource base by ensuring that land used for industrial activities is developed and subsequently reclaimed in an environmentally sound manner. Section 122 of the AEPEA and the Conservation and Reclamation Regulation (Alta. Reg. 115/93) requires NOVA Chemicals to employ effective conservation and reclamation measures to meet the goal of equivalent land capability. Reclamation certificates are issued to operators when their sites have been successfully reclaimed.

Land Conservation and Reclamation

In 2000, a three-phase reclamation of the borrow area south of the Joffre Site was completed, fulfilling our commitment to return the agricultural land to 'as good' or 'better' condition. The borrow area was needed to provide good quality engineering fill for further development on our site.
In 2001, we partnered with Lacombe County on a Gravel Recovery Program for the recovery and use of gravel located on Joffre Site construction temporary use areas. The multi-year program provides a valuable source of gravel for the County's needs and contributes to the reclamation of land, another non-renewable resource. As the gravel is recovered, the land is seeded and returned to agricultural use.