What’s Happening in the Heartland?
Interested in the status of industrial projects in the Heartland? Visit this project status page for up-to-date information including location, timing and project details.
Regional Noise Management Plan Approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator
The Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA) has received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to implement a unique noise management plan. First-of-its-kind in North America, the Regional Noise Management Plan (RNMP) applies industry best practices to environmental noise management.
While industry is not the only source of noise, NCIA collaborated with the AER to design a regional approach and solution for NCIA member companies that complies with the AER’s Noise Control Directive 038.
The RNMP is designed to help minimize the impact of noise levels from NCIA member companies’ industrial facilities. Through the plan, member companies adopt best practice principles for noise management. They will implement the plan on the basis of what is achievable and practical to address normal operating conditions, routine planned event strategies and new facility standards.
“Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) recognizes the significant work that has been put forward on the RNMP. This initiative is a good example of collaboration and aligning efforts for the purpose of dealing with complex challenges to ensure regulatory requirements are met or exceeded.” wrote Robin King in his approval letter. King is Executive Manager of the Field Surveillance and Operations Branch of the AER.
“Managing noise on a regional basis fits in very well with what we do with respect to managing air quality, groundwater quality and surface water quality,” commented Laurie Danielson, NCIA’s Executive Director. He went on to say that “Our collaboration with the Energy Resources Conservation Board on this file has been a positive experience that has resulted in a good process and model for managing noise in the region. We are pleased with this milestone on the RNMP.”
Large Crowd Attends Information Night
Updates about industrial projects, planned turnarounds, and community involvement programs were shared with over 150 members of the community, industry, and local government at Life in the Heartland’s May 6 information evening at Josephburg’s Moyer Recreation Centre.
“We’ve been holding these information evenings for three years, providing opportunities for residents to hear about industrial operations and development in the Heartland,” says Ryerson Christie, Chair of Life in the Heartland. “A number of companies and the local municipality provided updates, giving residents an overall picture of what’s happening in their community, and related economic, environmental, and social aspects.”
More than a dozen organizations had displays and representatives on hand to speak with local residents and nine organizations presented information updates. The next event is set for Wednesday, November 13 at Pembina Place in Redwater. More details will be provided this fall.
Fort Air Partnership Elects New Chair
Fort Saskatchewan resident Joy Wesley was elected Fort Air Partnership’s (FAP) new chair at its Annual General Meeting on May 27. She replaces Keith Purves, who stepped down after 13 years in the position. FAP has eight public, five industry and two government members.
As part of her graduate degree (M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering), Wesley wrote a thesis on acid rain dry deposition, which led to her interest in the role of airsheds in Alberta. This interest led her to join FAP as a public member in 2009. She has been Vice-chair for the past four years.
“I feel strongly about the importance of air quality and FAP is an excellent way for me to contribute locally to help monitor and provide information about what’s going on,” she said. A resident of Fort Saskatchewan for the past 20 years, Wesley is also a member of FAP’s Technical Working Group. This scientific advisory body oversees the operation of the regional monitoring network, assesses data, and reports on ambient air quality.
Purves is continuing his support of the FAP Board as Vice-chair. A public member since 1999, his many contributions have included helping to establish FAP as a society and as an Alberta airshed, securing funds to develop numerous communication materials, including a junior high school curriculum education kit, recruiting many valuable public members and beginning the transition to a regional air monitoring network, all while consistently being able to meet internal and external challenges.
“Keith always communicates the importance of FAP’s values in everything that he does. He has respect for people and the health of our community and our environment. He does things with honesty and integrity, and through open dialogue, transparency and credibility,” remarked Nadine Blaney, FAP’s Executive Director.
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association Celebrates 15 Years
The power of municipal collaboration has been a unique part of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland for fifteen years. The economic prosperity, vibrant innovation and community commitment evolved from the combined efforts of municipal partners and the region’s various stakeholders.
The Heartland region rapidly expanded from a single company in the 1950s to an industry cluster attracting world attention in the 1990s. A need for a coordinated approach to ensure planning, infrastructure, policies and marketing were aligned led to the 1998 creation of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA).
As inaugural municipal partners, the City of Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont County, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County recognized that collaboration would enhance business attraction, improve planning and ensure complementary use of resources. In 2010, the City of Edmonton joined and in 2011, the towns of Bruderheim, Gibbons and Redwater were recognized as Associate Members.
Collaboration has helped the region evolve into Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing centre and triple in capital investment from $10 billion in 1998 to over $30 billion in 2013. In addition, the Heartland boasts world leading innovation in environmental and manufacturing technologies like carbon capture and storage, bitumen refining and petrochemical processing.
AIHA remains committed to promoting coordinated, safe, and environmentally sound development. What was a new and evolving concept of industrial development 15 years ago has become a valuable mechanism of cooperation to balance the interests of community, industry and government. Pursuing opportunities in value adding, oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical and agriculture sectors will further enhance the Heartland and its significant role in Alberta’s and Canada’s future.
Helping the Community be Ready for an Emergency
In case of an emergency, are you and your family prepared for 72 hours? Do you know how to obtain information in an emergency? If you were asked to Shelter in Place, would you know what to do?
These are questions that local mutual aid emergency response organization Northeast Region CAER was asking residents of the region during their 2013 Emergency Preparedness Week activities.
“Our overarching goal is to have safe, informed and prepared communities,” says Brenda Gheran with Northeast Region CAER. “We took the opportunity to capitalize on national Emergency Preparedness Week to bring awareness to our community and had fun doing it.”
In addition to advertising in local papers and on radio, Northeast Region CAER promoted emergency preparedness with local schools, business and community groups, handed out emergency preparedness kits at events in Fort Saskatchewan, Strathcona County and Redwater, and promoted their new video series on YouTube.
The videos educate about Shelter in Place safety, community and emergency notification, and mutual aid in the community. “Once residents learn about what industry and the local communities are doing to prepare for emergencies and how they’ve been working together for over two decades, they are impressed,” Gheran says.
Residents and the public also have a role in safety and emergency preparedness, which includes being aware of potential risks in the area, knowing the appropriate safety measures to take, and where to get information, such as the Alberta Emergency Alert, the 1-866-653-9959 UPDATE line, municipal websites and registering for the regional notification system.