Newsletter: Spring 2015

Fort Air Partnership AGM

Monday, May 25, 2015
Gibbons Legion Hall (5027-50 Street in Gibbons)
6:00 pm, presentation starts at 6:30 pm
Free food and refreshments

Plans are underway for a new air monitoring station in Gibbons. The AGM will include details about the station, the Air Quality Health Index and what it means to the community.

For catering purposes please RSVP on-line or call 1-800-718-0471.


Turnaround Season is Upon the Heartland

Spring marks the beginning of turnaround season in the Industrial Heartland. Regular maintenance is necessary on all sizes of industrial facilities and often cannot be performed while the plant is operational. Therefore, a turnaround is scheduled, in which production is suspended or decreased for a specific time period to perform maintenance activities.

Regular maintenance ensures the facilities are safe and efficient. This involves equipment inspections and, if necessary, repairs, replacements, and technology upgrades. The duration and magnitude of a turnaround varies with the size of each facility and extent of maintenance required. Some last only a few days while others may last a month or longer.

For local communities, turnaround season brings economic benefits through additional spending on goods and services, as well as the benefit of increased efficiency and environmental performance of nearby facilities.

Planning for a turnaround ensures the appropriate personnel, equipment, and processes are in place. It also involves community awareness, including utilizing the UPDATEline to keep the community informed about turnaround activities. If you are curious about anything you see, hear, or smell, call the UPDATEline at 1-866-653-9959 to access pre-recorded messages about industry activity 24 hours a day.

Planned 2015 Turnarounds

Spring
Mar/Apr/May
  • Agrium Redwater
  • Plains Midstream Canada
  • Shell Canada
  • Williams (Redwater)
Summer
Jun/Jul/mid-Aug
  • Agrium Redwater
  • Evonik
  • Keyera
  • Oerlikon Metco
  • Sherritt International
  • Umicore Canada
Fall
Late-Aug/Sep/Oct
  • Air Liquide
  • Aux Sable
  • Chemtrade
  • Williams (Redwater)
  • Shell Canada

There will also be construction activities at the North West Redwater Partnership site throughout 2015.

The impact of the above turnarounds/construction projects on the local community differs with each type of facility. Impacts in some cases may include increased flaring, additional noise, and increased traffic to the site. In other cases, there will be no noticeable impact. Questions about turnaround activities should be directed to each particular company.


FAP Involved in Provincial Air Monitoring System Development

Fort Air Partnership is currently working with eight other airsheds in the province, through the Alberta Airsheds Council, to recommend a provincial air monitoring framework to the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA).  The Alberta Airsheds Council has suggested the formation of working groups to look at identified key areas such as sustainable funding, clarification of roles and responsibilities, and development of an air monitoring system that covers the entire province.  These working groups will be established soon.

AEMERA is the provincial organization established to monitor, evaluate and report on key air, water, land and biodiversity indicators. One of AEMERA’s goals is to provide open and transparent access to scientific data and information on the condition of Alberta’s environment. There are already several well established multi-stakeholder groups in place across the province that do that regarding air quality monitoring and reporting.  Fort Air Partnership has been monitoring and reporting on air quality in and around the Industrial Heartland since 2003.

FAP strongly believes that its multi-stakeholder governance and operating structure is a good air monitoring and reporting model. It is working to ensure that key elements of this model are retained in any new system. Specifically:

  • It is place based and has representation from a cross-section of local stakeholders representing government, industry and the public. This means local ownership over monitoring and reporting.
  • A governance model that uses a collaborative, multi-stakeholder engagement and consensus based decision-making process.
  • A scientific advisory committee composed of highly skilled and knowledgeable people that oversee implementation of monitoring activities.
  • Continual investment in educating and building positive relationships with stakeholders.
  • Sustainable, committed funding.

Land Use Planning for Long Term Growth

With over 660 million square kilometres of hills, mountains, forests, rivers, and prairies, Alberta covers almost 7% of Canada’s land mass. Over 4 million people call Alberta home and use its land for many activities including agriculture, recreation, mining, housing, forestry, infrastructure, and industrial development.

Provincial Land-Use Framework

Balancing a variety of land uses on a finite amount of land requires planning. In 2008, the Government of Alberta created the Land-use Framework to help guide the planning process. It acts as a high level blueprint to manage our province’s land and natural resources. This is particularly important as growth and development pressures occur over time.

The Land-use Framework established seven regions across the province. The regions are distinct in topography, activities, population, and resources. Therefore, unique plans are being developed for each region. The North Saskatchewan Region is the third largest of the seven regions and includes Edmonton and Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The North Saskatchewan Regional Plan is currently in the development stage, having completed public consultation and a Terms of Reference. More details on the regional plan and its progress can be viewed at landuse.alberta.ca.

Approved Regional Plans will define a broad plan for land and natural resource use for public and private lands. This means that local municipalities are required to align their land use management processes to these Regional Plans.

Land Use Planning at a Local Level

Development within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland region is guided in part by a set of Complementary Area Structure Plans (CASP). The CASP was established in 2001. It coordinates land use zoning across the four original Heartland Association municipal partners and is a model for municipal cooperation. These plans:

  • Minimize land use conflicts by ensuring appropriate land is provided for various types of development
  • Utilize risk management assessments to ensure buffer or transition zones between heavy industrial and residential uses
  • Ensure effective land use planning is seamless across municipal boundaries
  • Provide long term guidance for overall development of the region

The Heartland CASP is an important part of the larger land use plans for the municipalities and Capital Region as a whole. Additionally, it will be incorporated into the provincial land use plan for Alberta.


Emergency Preparedness Week 2015: Staying Informed in Emergencies

It could be a wildfire, a weather event, an industrial or transportation incident, but emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere.  Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is critical to ensuring public safety, and residents are urged to do their part.

“For Emergency Preparedness Week this year, we’re highlighting ways to be informed about emergencies,” says Brenda Gheran, Executive Director of Northeast Region Community Awareness Emergency Response (NRCAER). “We want residents in our region to know they have access to effective tools, and that they need to do their part to be informed. Everyone shares responsibility for safety.”

Municipal Alert Systems

In 2014, a number of NRCAER municipal members launched public alerting systems. Residents must register to receive alerts and select the method most effective for them, including text, voice, email and social media. Visit www.nrcaer.com/notification to register today.

Alberta Emergency Alert

This province-wide tool has the ability to interrupt local radio and television broadcasts, uses electronic road signage, as well as social media to deliver emergency messages. Check out the Alberta Emergency Alert App at www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca.

UPDATEline 1-866-653-9959

Call for information updates including industry activity you may see, hear, smell or otherwise notice, as well as incident related information. Add to your contacts or speed dial list.

See NRCAER in the community!

  • April 24 – 26 Fort Saskatchewan Trade Show
  • April 26 – Get Prepared Strathcona
  • April 29 – Redwater Community Night
  • May 6 – Fort Saskatchewan ‘Life in the Heartland’ Information Evening
  • May 7 – Free BBQ Fort Saskatchewan Co-Op parking lot, 4 – 6 pm

Learn more at www.nrcaer.com.

Follow @NRCAER on Twitter.

Life in the Heartland

Community Information Evening

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Dow Centennial Centre, Fort Saskatchewan
Doors open at 5 pm, presentations begin at 6 pm

Come hear about current industrial projects, activities and plans within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and surrounding region from businesses, municipalities and industry-related organizations.

RSVP for refreshment and seating purposes: info@lifeintheheartland.com or 780.231.9802


Fort Saskatchewan Trade Fair

April 24 – 26, 2015
Dow Centennial Centre

Drop by our booth to learn about the Heartland, complete our survey, and enter our draw.