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, risk assessments and long-term monitoring plans, used to determine allowable future 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. 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.
After the acceptance of the risk assessments and site specific remediation criteria determination, Alberta Environment and Parks 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 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 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|
|Site Delineation||Received – Pending Criteria Determination||Approved|
|Conceptual Site Modelling||Received – Pending Criteria Determination||Approved|
|Site Specific Risk Assessment||Received – Review Proceeding||Received – Review Proceeding|
|Human Health Risk Assessment||Received – Review Proceeding||Received – Review Proceeding|
|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|
|Long Term Monitoring Plan||Pending Criteria Determination||Received – Review Proceeding|
|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.