Real News...Real Results

ELM is setting the industry standard for Environmental Liability Management.

The Latest



September 30, 2021, marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides us with an opportunity to search our soles to remember and honour the children that were lost and the survivors of residential schools, their families, and the impact these events had on their communities.

This is a special day, where we can begin or continue to take personal account of the tragic and painful history and the ongoing suffering of hundreds of indigenous people.

On behalf of all of us at ELM, I wanted to ask all Canadians to take some time to reflect and open your hearts and minds to the process of healing. This is more than just a day, its a collective journey that requires each of us to remember the past.

At ELM, we hold a deep respect for the land we work on each day as we build on the promise of a brighter tomorrow for future generations. On September 30th, please take a moment to reflect.

ELM saves clients more than 50% on their abandonment projects.

Our team has more than 30 years in the liability management business and continues to drive down customer costs for abandonments while enhancing the delivery of their ESG mandates.

Assessing and understanding all the costs surrounding your abandonment programs is vital when spending your capital. ELM applies its experience, equipment, and resources to ensure that our clients are well positioned to minimize program costs when retiring their liabilities.

We have developed detailed programs that consider geology, quality of information, required services, site conditions, historical data and correlations enabling our clients to make critical decisions when it comes to reducing liabilities.

Our experience delivers…

Put ELM to the test and see what our team can do for your
company to reduce liability costs call us at 587-392-4001.

How are you ensuring the delivery of your ESG mandate?

ELM Inc. provides a comprehensive suite of services to help companies deliver on their Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) goals. Good governance starts by identifying and prioritizing environmental challenges with the support of independent technical experts. ELM’s expertise and technical execution will help clients deliver on their ESG goals while meeting and exceeding regulatory standards.

ELM Inc. has over thirty (30+) years of direct experience managing environmental liabilities in the energy and resource industries. ELM continues to develop innovative solutions while meeting client’s goals and making a positive impact on the environment.

As an independent advisor, ELM Inc. provides benefits to individuals, communities, and society as a whole, while supporting corporate governance. In addition, ELM’s advisory services provide financial institutions and Corporate Board of Directors with the ability to prioritize risk control measures to address existing uninsured risks.

To find out how ELM can work with your team to achieve your ESG mandates as well as other environmental liability management issues call (587) 392-4001.

Time to remember a lifetime to heal.

On behalf of all of us at ELM I wanted to take this time to recognize today as a new beginning. Reconciliation is a spiritual process which requires more than just a day to remember. We need to come together and understand that our collective relationship requires each of us to open our hearts and minds to the process of healing.

Healing is not an easy journey and recalls the words of Murray Sinclair. “The road we travel is equal in importance to the destination we seek. There are no shortcuts. When it comes to truth and reconciliation, we are forced to go the distance.”

At ELM, we hold a deep respect for the land we work on each day. Please take a moment to reflect and begin your individual journey of healing.

ELM Unlocks Over $200 Million in ARO Reduction for Its Client - SEPTEMBER 1st, 2020

ELM Inc. recently conducted a very successful complete asset assessment and environmental liability review of a large multinational oil and gas company’s Canadian portfolio. Through a collaborative effort with our client, ELM delivered a full liability management assessment and ARO reduction plan leading to the following successes:

  • Immediate reduction of recognized ARO more than $200 million
  • Optimized ARO reduction plan for future closure work
  • Identification of significant operational cost reduction opportunities
  • Supported annual stewardship for Directors regarding ARO Management and ESG requirements
  • Mitigation of future environmental risk

ELM Inc. offers comprehensive environmental liability management services in the areas of ARO and liability assessment and planning, well abandonment, facility & pipeline decommissioning, SSLA’s, reclamation, remediation, and water and waste management solutions.

We can help you drive down your ARO through optimized closure planning and completing thorough, detailed analysis of your recognized ARO. ELM Inc. works with management teams to prescribe and implement a liability management program with a goal of reducing recognized and real liability and eliminating operational costs, security deposits and future risk.

For further information regarding how ELM can help you assess your environmental liability, reduce your ARO and achieve successes in your environmental liability management programs please call 587-392-4001 or go like to for more information.

ELM Aligns with First Nations to Manage Environmental Liabilities across Alberta - July 30th, 2020

ELM Inc. will be enhancing delivery of its abandonment, decommissioning and reclamation programs with qualified Indigenous companies such as Backwoods Energy Services. Backwoods is an Indigenous Community owned company, with strong leadership, that has made a positive impact creating economic opportunities across Alberta for First Nation communities and Albertans. Together, ELM and Backwoods can deliver end-to-end, cost-effective environmental solutions to the industry.

ELM is committed to promoting a business culture that is inclusive and respects diversity among First Nations. ELM supports Indigenous organizations and initiatives that contribute to sustainable development through a collaborative framework. ELM’s team has a long successful track record of working with First Nations groups across Canada. This new arrangement supports our collective commitment and is also aligned with the Alberta government’s provincial mandate of encouraging businesses to support indigenous group involvement, through partnering, as part of ensuring an inclusive Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program (“ASRP”).

With the recent announcements of the ASRP, rolling out Phase 3 and previewing Phase 4, ELM and Backwoods can together create a new standard for environmental liability management service delivery as a provider for ASRP projects. We are offering a complete, turnkey solution that provides licensees the assurance that project execution is not only led by two expert companies working together, but that also ensures future environmental impacts are considered and mitigated by our groups’ expertise.

For further information regarding ELM’s expertise in completing closure activities both inside and outside of the ASRP framework, please call 587-392-4001.

ELM Inc. Announces Completion of Record-Breaking Winter Season

CALGARY, Alberta (March 31st, 2020) - ELM Inc. ("ELM") is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed a record-breaking winter operating season, managing over $16 million in project costs, and supporting our clients in their efforts to reduce their environmental liabilities.

“We are proud of the coordinated, systematic execution delivered by our expert team, many of whom have been working together for more than 20 years. They welcomed the challenge of achieving such an ambitious undertaking in such a short timeframe,” said Steve Konopelky, President and CEO.

Over the past several months, in addition to completing more traditional environmental liability management assignments, ELM has executed on several large area-based closure (“ABC”) projects as the prime contractor, completing work throughout Alberta. As a result of this effort, ELM, who works extensively with local subcontractors in each area, brought significant job counts and stimulus to the local Alberta economy. Working with our valued subcontractor partners, we completed over 480 well abandonments, 140 pipeline abandonments and 290 wellsite decommissioning projects, while safely delivering cost efficiencies to our clients utilizing our unique approach to execution within the ABC model.

About ELM

ELM Inc. is an industry-leading Canadian service company, offering single-source environmental liability management services in the areas of well abandonment, surface equipment & pipeline decommissioning, remediation, reclamation, Site Specific Liability Assessments, liability advisory and water and waste management. ELM is backed by a highly technical team, with seasoned leadership, who have been safely delivering tailored liability solutions to clients for over 30 years.

ELM Inc. is a Canadian controlled private company.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Konopelky
President & CEO
(587) 392-4000



Site-Specific Liability Assessments

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.

Impact Benefit Agreement Work Gains National Recognition

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.

Decommissioning at the Port of Churchill

The Port of Churchill - Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill Marine Tank Farm

Launching pig in 10 inch gasoline line from transition.

Churchill Marine Tank Farm

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.

Tallgrass Energy Battery Decommissioning

Tallgrass site before

Tallgrass After

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.

Reclamation of Burtch Corrections Facility

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.

Prior to reclamation

View of storm water pond and dam creek prior to dredging.


View of dredging of the creek.


View of the dredged to tree.

Reclamation & soil excavation

This excavation was also designed to protect the roots of mature trees.

soil stock piles at Burtch

This soil was stockpiled sampled to confirm the chemistry was acceptable for re-use on-site.

Focal excavation along a former pipe

The Soil around the pipe was removed, the floor and walls of the excavation were sampled, confirming contaminated soil had been successfully removed.


Case Studies

Inactive Well Compliance Program

Client Environment

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.

ELM’s Solution

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.

Program Deliverables

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.


Direct program savings in excess of 25%.

Brownfield Site Reclamation

Client Environment

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.

ELM’s Solution

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.

Program Deliverables

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.


The project was completed six months earlier than expected due to the strategy used by ELM, saving the client $100,000.

Remote Oil Well Abandonment Along Lake Huron

Client Environment

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.

ELM’s Solution

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.

Program Deliverables

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 was able to save well over $100,000 in landfill fees because of ELM’s soil stock-piling strategy. In addition, the client was able to save more than $50,000 in fees for the delivery of clean fill to the remote site as a result of reusing clean soil secured at site.

Government Facility Reclamation

Client Environment

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’s Solution

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.

Program Deliverables

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.


ELM was able to save the client more than $250,000 in project costs as a result of the innovative protocol we established.