Soil and Groundwater Protection
The Joffre Site has a significant amount of above-ground equipment and various underground systems like pipelines. Product spills from equipment, tank car loading, work activities or underground systems can contaminate soil. Our primary goal with our site programs is to eliminate leaks to remove the possibility of soil and groundwater contamination.
Our Soil and Groundwater Management Program includes use of the best available technology in new facilities, operation and maintenance of facilities to prevent spills and releases and effective spill response. We also conduct timely, thorough monitoring and assessment to:
- determine any changes in local groundwater quality
- identify conditions that could indicate potential risks to human health or the environment
- ensure appropriate actions are taken to address areas of concern.
Some of the Elements of our Soil Program
- conducting site-wide soil studies every five years (a requirement of our Approval from Alberta Environment). The fourth study (studies were done in 1994 and 1999) will be completed in 2004.
- conducting ad-hoc soil studies as required.
In Alberta, two soil quality standards are utilized as guidelines for industrial facilities:
- Alberta Tier 1 criteria developed to protect against adverse effects regardless of land use
- Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Canadian Environmental Quality Criteria for Industrial Sites developed specifically for application at industrial sites.
Elements of our Groundwater program
- sampling and chemical analyses of groundwater from a site-wide network of 50 compliance wells (a requirement of our Approval from Alberta Environment) and 200 supplementary wells (additional wells used to monitor conditions in and around operating areas).
- comparing groundwater analytical data to historical results, background values and published criteria to identify potential areas of impact.
Soil and Groundwater Success
During the Joffre 2000 construction, projects design enhancements were made to further reduce the potential for spills to impact the soil or groundwater. These included installation of above ground lines, secondary containment for above ground storage tanks and the use of double layer synthetic liners with monitoring capability between the lined layers in the new process ponds.