Project update

October 14, 2020

The Ministerial Order from March 12, 2019 outlines requirements for Cherokee Canada Inc., 1510837 Alberta Ltd. and Domtar Inc., related to the former Domtar site.

The companies must submit work plans and complete remedial work within the communities and on the former property within specified periods to protect environmental and human health and ensure effective remediation.

The timelines in the Ministerial Order have been extended to allow thorough review by the government. The companies have also been given additional time to provide supplemental information.

The Office of the Chief Scientist is completing an independent, external scientific review of the information to be considered in the department’s remediation criteria under the Ministerial Order. It’s expected the criteria will be established in fall 2020, allowing remediation and risk management plans, as well as long-term monitoring plans, to be submitted by the companies before the end of the year.

Long-term monitoring plans used to determine allowable future development activities on the former site will also be reviewed by technical experts as well as through the Office of the Chief Scientist. Again, the government will ensure that all approved plans and activities on the site meet the provincial standards for the protection of human and environmental health.

After the department receives the remediation and risk management plans, staff will work with the companies and potentially impacted residents in both the Overlanders and Homesteader communities to ensure that any identified affected properties are remediated to provincial standards in the interest of protecting human and environmental health.

The Ministerial Order, based on recommendations from the Environmental Appeals Board, refocused the department’s management of the former Domtar wood preserving facility (in Edmonton, Alberta, at 44th Street and 127th Avenue), and issues in neighbouring communities. Above all, the concerns for the health and welfare of local residents remains paramount for government. The order – and accompanying environmental protection orders – clearly stated the need to protect human and environmental health.

The order also directed the companies to provide activity updates directly to residents on a bi-monthly basis. Once reports are accepted in final format by the Department, summaries of reports and access to reports will be made available by the companies through their community websites. Information from Cherokee Canada can be obtained through their website Homesteader Responds. Information from Domtar can be obtained through their website Overlanders Community Update.

For Albertans seeking specific information on the Ministerial Order and accompanying environmental protection orders, this information can be found on the Environmental Appeals Board’s website (PDF, 12.6 MB).

In our commitment to keep residents updated on progress, we will be maintaining an action item timeline below as milestones (as set by the orders) are reached.

Action items from Ministerial Order:

Action Item Cherokee Status Domtar
Short term dust control plan Received; no approval required Received; no approval required
Long-term dust control program Approved Approved
Delineation plan Approved Approved
Site Delineation Received – Pending Criteria Determination Approved
Conceptual Site Modelling Received – Pending Criteria Determination Approved
Site Specific Risk Assessment Approved Approved
Human Health Risk Assessment Approved Approved
Overlanders Remediation Plan Not Applicable Pending Criteria Determination
Parcel C Remediation Plan Pending Criteria Determination Not Applicable
Risk Management Plan Pending Criteria Determination Received – Review Proceeding,
Pending Criteria Determination
Long Term Monitoring Plan Pending Criteria Determination Received – Review Proceeding,
Pending Criteria Determination
Reclamation and Remediation Plan Pending Criteria Determination Pending Criteria Determination

As announced in March 2019, Alberta Health continues to work with federal experts to conduct a field epidemiology investigation.