ELM Inc.’s team of highly experienced lead assessors can help with your Site-Specific Liability Assessments (SSLAs). Our assessors have completed 100+ SSLAs in the past two years alone. They are skilled in both facility operations and decommissioning and are experts at assessing liability related to the abandonment and reclamation of your gas plants, batteries, waste management facilities, compressor sites, etc.
SSLAs are required by AER Directive 001 for large facilities, potential problem sites and waste management facilities. An SSLA must be updated every five years for large facilities and waste management sites, and every three years for problems sites, unless otherwise required by AER.
For licensees with an LLR of less than 1.0, SSLAs are an effective method of reducing a licensee’s security deposits when the AER’s deemed liability is believed to be higher than expected costs to abandon and/or reclaim wells and/or facilities.
Through ELM’s Liability Advisory Services, we recently contributed to the completion of the negotiation of one of the largest Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) related to a mine and a First Nation in Ontario; it is the largest such agreement in Canada. Our technical expertise in the area of environmental impact issues allowed us to prepare the necessary detailed technical reviews for the site and evaluate the possible impact to the local and downstream environment. When IBAs are predicated on technical reviews, they can be used to determine financial compensation, form the basis for performance bonds, as well as justify clauses to connect financial payments to unexpected environmental disturbance stemming from the proposed activities. The successful completion of this IBA and technical review of the project has positioned ELM as a leader in environmental impact studies and has already led to additional contracts in this critical area. ELM staff have also assisted with the completion of IBAs for other First Nations pertaining to sectors including pipelines, contaminated sites, power corridors, and infrastructure upgrades among other topics.
Pigging the 10 inch gasoline line.
ELM Inc. is proud of successfully completing its part in the first phase of the decommissioning of pipelines at the Port of Churchill and Churchill Marine Tank Farm. Prior to its closure, the marine terminal had operated for over 50 years. Arctic Gateway Group purchased the railway, port and marine tank farm in Churchill this past September and is looking to revitalize both the port and the town of Churchill. The consortium includes Manitoba communities, First Nations, Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings and Saskatchewan-based grains company, AGT Food and Ingredients.
In mid-November, after careful planning due to the difficult logistics of getting personnel and equipment into this isolated community, ELM mobilized to Churchill and began work to recover diesel, gasoline and jet fuel that had been sitting for a number of years in the pipelines that carried product between the tank farm and the wharf, as well as recovering products from the above and below ground pipelines within the tank farm itself. Over 15 days, the pipelines were successfully pigged, resulting in the recovery of 96,000 litres of fuel. This represents the mitigation of a significant environmental risk related to the port and its facilities and one more step in the Port’s plans for renewal. ELM looks forward to its continued participation in the next phase of the project, in summer 2019, which will involve further decommissioning of the site.
Facilities included: pumpjack; 2000 BBL tanks, flare stacks, compressor building, separators, FWKO building; treater building, office/MCC building, tanks, storage shed, tubing; electrical panel, chemical tanks, barrels, UST, septic tanks, inlet building; injection building.
Licensed pipelines (25) were pigged clean as part of abandonment with all on-site portions removed and cut, plugged and tagged at the lease boundary.
The Burtch Corrections Facility, ON, involved the removal of a pond. The entire 2500+ metres of creek sediment was excavated and clean substrates were added to the creek.
View of storm water pond and dam creek prior to dredging.
View of the dredged to tree.
The Soil around the pipe was removed, the floor and walls of the excavation were sampled, confirming contaminated soil had been successfully removed.
Customer had an internal budget of $1.5M for Inactive Well Compliance Program ("IWCP") wells. The customer was having to communicate across four internal reporting departments and was dealing with multiple service providers costing him time and money. There was the need for a well file review, but the customer was being challenged with constant scope changes and a lack of innovation not to mention the absence of a firm “game plan” for moving forward.
Complete well file review was performed and wells were prioritized. ELM then developed a preliminary cost estimate, based on designing a program, which, in turn, was based on an analysis of ARO and LLR. Operational efficiencies were reviewed and a risk and cost mitigation plan were developed. A set of performance metrics were identified prior to the start of the program to ensure successful execution.
The client was offered cost assurance through ELM’s exclusive "Cost Cap" overrun protection solution. ELM became the single-source service provider for all aspects of the abandonment and decommissioning programs resulting in resource optimization, better communication, innovative solutions, as well as a program that was delivered on time, on budget and within scope. The client also came away with a full understanding of measurable impacts of financial, environmental and regulatory liabilities.
The client wanted to reclaim roughly 1000+ metres of shoreline along the St. Lawrence River in Ontario. The site was associated with a closed dairy and was previously used to stock-pile coal.
A focal soil excavation strategy focusing on coal, ash and hydrocarbon-stained soil was developed using field information collected through field samples of soil, groundwater, and evaluation of plant life.
Contaminated soil was excavated and replaced with clean fill. Non-native plants were removed and a park was created on the site using placement of rocks along the shoreline along with native plants. Results permitted the focal excavation of contaminated soils and buried debris. We were also able to improve drainage to the river where Species at Risk were evident, but not part of the original study.
ELM was contracted to help the client locate ‘lost’ oil wells from the 1800s era within the shoreline of Lake Huron in Ontario. The work had to be performed in close proximity to the sensitive lake shoreline where woodlands were known to be used by Species at Risk.
Once the oil wells were located, abandonment involved separating the soil into stock piles based on colour, odour, as well as proximity to the oil wells. Focal soil sample analyses were used to determine extent of excavation and remediation.
ELM was able to return 70% of the soil back to the excavation site with the remainder sent to a secure landfill. Imported top soil was brought in and mixed with local soils to improve reclamation efforts. ELM was also able to improve drainage to Lake Huron.
The client engaged the services of ELM to come in and clean up a creek and pond habitat that was marked as no longer capable of supporting fish or other aquatic life.
ELM established an innovative new protocol to separate asbestos that was in the soil and reduced the total amount of soil being sent to the landfill. We conducted a study that revealed new Species at Risk on the site and determined habitat improvement and measures to benefit these Species at Risk.
ELM carefully completed soil removals to achieve retention of a large number of mature trees across the site. We also planted species of trees that were native to the area but hadn’t been seen in the area since the 1800s.