The Industrial Heartland (PDF, 408 KB), northeast of Edmonton, is the first Designated Industrial Zone in Alberta. Its industrial zoned land extends into 5 different municipalities, including:
- 533 km2 within the City of Fort Saskatchewan and the Counties of Lamont, Strathcona and Sturgeon
- 49 km2 in the City of Edmonton, which is the industrial area known as the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region has grown into Canada's largest hydrocarbon processing region and is home to world-scale oil and gas refineries, and chemical and petrochemical facilities.
The intent of regulatory streamlining is to:
- provide clear regulatory requirements for both new and existing facilities
- provide certainty to investors in the zone
- reduce approval processing times (the time it takes to renew Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approval in the zone will reduce from an average of 18 months to 6 months)
- align municipal permitting requirements across partnering municipalities
Environmental outcomes will be achieved through:
- clear expectations for operators
- improved understanding of environmental conditions
- management of cumulative effects.
If necessary, new environmental requirements may be adopted to ensure environmental outcomes are achieved in the zone.
- Air quality will be managed to achieve ambient air quality objectives.
- An operational policy for industrial emitters will provide regulatory certainty for existing facilities and new applicants.
- The local air quality monitoring organization, the Fort Air Partnership, is updating their monitoring plan to policy requirements for the zone.
- An innovative topsoil conservation guideline was developed to ensure flexibility and sustainability of topsoil management in the region.
- A zone-wide environmental and socio-economic assessment is being scoped to provide a common baseline of environmental information that will support decision making and streamline environmental assessment processes.
- Water quality will be managed to achieve the environmental objective of maintaining or improving water quality under the North Saskatchewan Region Surface Water Quality Management Framework.
- Innovative management approaches will increase flexibility and collaboration in industrial wastewater management.
- Municipalities are developing a Master Drainage Plan and wetlands assessment to streamline Water Act approvals, while ensuring that drainage issues are managed in the zone.
Industrial clusters create opportunities for facilities located in close proximity to share resources and infrastructure. This reduces costs and improves the economic and environmental performance of the cluster.
Cluster infrastructure initiatives focus on creating regional water supply infrastructure, shared wastewater treatment options and electricity solutions.
Combined with other government initiatives that support the petrochemical industry, such as the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program and ongoing red tape reduction efforts, the Designated Industrial Zone has the potential to help attract billions of dollars in capital investment and support thousands of direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
According to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, there is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s petrochemical sector (province-wide) by more than $30 billion in capital investment by 2030.
The Industrial Heartland Designated Industrial Zone is a collaboration of:
- Alberta Environment and Protected Areas
- Alberta Energy Regulator
- Alberta Energy and Minerals
- Alberta Jobs, Economy and Trade
- Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association
- Northeast Capital Industrial Association
- City of Fort Saskatchewan
- Lamont County
- Strathcona County
- Sturgeon County
- City of Edmonton
- Alberta Environmental Network
- Fort Air Partnership
- North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance
- Designated Industrial Zones in Alberta: Criteria for provincial designation of industrial zones
- Industrial heartland designated industrial zone framework
Air operational policies
- Air emissions requirement policy for the Industrial Heartland Designated Industrial Zone
- Non-methane Hydrocarbons as an additional indicator
- Supplementary guideline for the preparation of air quality modelling for regulatory applications and resolving model predicted exceedances of Alberta ambient air quality objectives and guidelines
- Guideline for industrial operators in the Heartland Designated Industrial Zone: For conservation, off-site storage and off-site use of topsoil
- Applicant Advisory Service
- Industrial heartland designated industrial zone directive: standard conditions
- Guide for Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act renewal applications
Water operational policies
- Designated industrial zone pilot project: Regional water systems feasibility study
- Guideline for industrial operators in the Heartland Designated Industrial Zone for conservation, off-site storage and off-site use of topsoil factsheet
- Regulatory process description for the authorization of new water intake works on the North Saskatchewan River
- Topsoil conservation and use plan checklist
To learn more about the Industrial Heartland Designated Industrial Zone, contact:
Email: [email protected]
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