The Ministerial Order from March 12, 2019, based on recommendations from the Environmental Appeals Board, refocused the department’s management of the former Domtar site and issues in neighbouring communities. Above all, the concerns for the health and welfare of local residents remains paramount for the government. The order – and accompanying environmental protection orders – clearly stated the need to protect human and environmental health.
The companies must submit work plans and complete remedial work within the communities and on the former property within specified periods. These dates ensure that companies are accountable for comprehensive and effective remediation activities, which will be approved by the government.
In the interest of protecting human and environmental health, activity plans – including continuing development activities on the former site – will be reviewed by technical experts as well as through Alberta Environment and Parks’ Office of the Chief Scientist. Documents such as the human health risk assessments and other technical documents will be shared with health experts for input and approval. Again, the Alberta government will ensure that all approved plans and activities on the site meet the provincial standards for the protection of human and environmental health.
Alberta Environment and Parks staff are working with the companies and impacted residents in both the Overlanders and Homesteader communities to ensure that affected properties are remediated to provincial standards in the interest of protecting human and environmental health.
The order also directed the companies to provide activity updates directly to residents on a bi-monthly basis. These reports will be posted by the companies to a community website and emailed to residents of the Verte Homesteader and Overlanders communities. Information from Cherokee Canada can be obtained through their website: http://homesteaderresponds.ca/land-preparation/. Information from Domtar can be obtained through their website: http://www.overlandersgreenbelt.ca.
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.
In our commitment to keep residents updated on progress, we will be maintaining an action item timeline as milestones (as set by the orders) are reached.
Action items from Ministerial Order:
|Action Item||Due Date||Status|
|Short term dust control plan||March 19, 2019||Received; no approval required|
|Long-term dust control program||May 11, 2019||Received|
As announced in March 2019, Alberta Health will be working with federal experts to conduct a field epidemiology investigation. Click on the link for more information on the preliminary health assessment and field epidemiology investigation.