Topic: Unpacking environmental aspirations, technology and jobs in the age of populism.
Keynote Speaker: Nikita James Nanos, Chief Data Scientist and Founder, NANOS RESEARCH

Nik Nanos
Chief Data Scientist and Founder, Nanos Research Corporation
Research Professor, State University of New York (Buffalo)
Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington, DC)
Chair, Board of Governors, Carleton University, Canada

Nik Nanos leads Nanos Research, one of Canada’s most distinguished research companies.  
He is the Chief Data Scientist and Founder of Nanos Research, a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, and a research associate professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He is also the current Chair of Carleton University in Ottawa which has 30 thousand students and a budget of over $500M.

Nik leads the team behind the weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, considered a must-have resource for senior executives and is also featured in a weekly segment on CTV’s News Channel, Nanos on the Numbers, which focuses on the latest political, business and social trends.

He is the pollster for CTV News, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, the Globe & Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, Bloomberg News in Canada.

His book, The Age of Voter Rage: Trump, Trudeau, Farage, Corbyn & Macron – The tyranny of small numbers, explores how the marginalized and the margins are rewiring democracy through populist style politics, small swings in voter sentiment and computational propaganda. 

Twitter: @niknanos

Topic: Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Keynote Speaker: Natalia Shuman, Executive Vice President CIP North America, Bureau Veritas

Natalia Shuman
From serving as the part-time receptionist at a small recruitment startup in St. Petersburg, Russia to being the first woman at the helm of a $1B+ North American operation, Natalia’s journey exemplifies the possibilities for women in leadership.

Natalia is CEO of North America for Bureau Veritas, a global leader in the testing, inspection, and certification industry. She is also the first woman to join the 200-year-old company’s Executive Committee.

North America is one of the largest strategic markets for Bureau Veritas, which provides leading-edge laboratory testing, digital inspection, and certification services to more than 5,000 clients in oil & gas, food & agriculture, power & utilities, building & infrastructure, and more. Natalia is accountable for roughly $1 billion in revenue and 7,000 full-time employees.

Prior to joining Bureau Veritas, Natalia served as an executive officer at Kelly Services, Inc., a Fortune 500 global staffing and HR outsourcing company. Natalia’s responsibilities at Kelly included leading growth and expansion across 17 countries in Europe and 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Her earlier career at Kelly included one of her first key leadership roles, requiring her to move to New York City for the first time.

Natalia graduated from St. Petersburg University with degrees in Economics and Finance and received her dual MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School.

Natalia is a truly global business leader with vast experience across diverse cultures and business environments. Having grown up in Uzbekistan, she has lived and worked in Moscow, London, Shanghai, Singapore, and New York. She is known for building high-performing teams, for encouraging the growth of women in leadership, and for scaling up business operations while focusing on innovation and service excellence.

Topic: PFAS: A Review “Where we were, where we are and where we’re going…”
Speaker: Terry Obal, Ph.D., C.Chem., Chief Science Advisor, Bureau Veritas Laboratories

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and related per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are recognized by environmental practitioners and regulatory bodies around the world as compounds of environmental concern.  These persistent chemicals are found widely in the environment.  The ubiquity of these compounds in a wide range of environmental and biological matrices, compounded with their chemical properties and studies suggesting human toxicity have resulted in increased public concern.

Over the past ten years, there has been an extraordinary amount of attention focused on this class of compounds, particularly with respect to their characterization, delineation, management and regulation in the environment.  Environmental stakeholders are continually developing a better understanding of: occurrence, exposure and toxicity; proper sampling and analysis protocols; and remedial options. 

“What’s next?”   New science surrounding this group of compounds has led to a dynamic and rapidly evolving regulatory landscape.  Replacement compounds, such as GenX, ADONA and F53B are gaining attention as potentially toxic and more mobile PFAS.  New analytical technologies are being evaluated to allow for more comprehensive yet economically viable environmental measurements.  Significant effort and resources are being invested in finding effective and efficient treatment and remedial options.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the science around PFAS including:

  • PFAS as contaminants of emerging environmental concern
  • Exposure and toxicity
  • Sampling and analysis considerations – Soil, water, tissue and air
  • Treatment and remediation – What are our options?
  • The future of PFAS in the environmental marketplace

Topic: Parameters on a large-scale Site With Multiple PFAS-Sources and Complete Exposure Pathways
Speaker: Kathryn Matheson

In recent years, various federal and provincial bodies (Health Canada,  Environment and Climate Change Canada, CCME, British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy) have released draft and finalized environmental criteria for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), highlighting the growing need for robust assessment of these parameters in Canada.   Completing site characterization and risk assessment of PFAS-sites poses unique challenges due to the mobility and persistence of PFAS in the environment resulting in numerous potential exposure pathways and due to the potential for contributions from multiple point and non-point sources. The purpose of this presentation is to showcase a Canadian PFAS case study, where PFAS investigations are underway.  The release of PFAS from multiple sources, combined with the mobility and persistence of these chemicals, has contributed to the detection of PFAS in surface water, groundwater, sediment and soil throughout the site.   Due to the size and complexity of the site, a Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Problem Formulation has been prepared to inform next steps and to aid the client in the identification of areas of focus for future environmental activities.   The HHERA Problem Formulation assessed potential exposures to on-site personnel and wildlife as well as residents and terrestrial and aquatic (freshwater and marine) wildlife on surrounding lands.  Works completed in support of the preparation of the HHERA Problem Formulation have included both on- and off-site sampling programs, including surface water, crop tissue and drinking water sampling.

The presentation will discuss the results of the HHERA Problem Formulation, including the bioaccumulation assessment and the approach for assessing PFAS parameters where established toxicity reference values are lacking. Next steps, including planned risk assessment activities and lessons learned as the science and regulatory environment for PFAS evolves, will also be discussed.

Kathryn Matheson is a Risk Assessor at SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. with over 10 years of experience in Risk Assessment and Contaminated sites. Ms. Matheson is a QPRA in Ontario and has completed risk assessments under guidance from the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), Health Canada and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) as well as various provincial and territorial bodies (ON, BC, AB, SK, MB, YK). Kathryn is a Professional Geoscientist and holds a Bachelor of Science, Earth Surface Science from the University of Guelph and a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Toronto. Kathryn has specialized training in human health toxicology from the American College of Toxicology at the University of Cincinnati and human and eco-toxicology from the University of Guelph. 

Topic: Uncertainties in Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments for PFAS Compounds
Speakers: Steven M. Jones, Ph.D, and Ian J. Collins, M.Eng., P.Eng. QPRA [presenter], GHD

PFAS compounds have received a great detail of attention in recent years. Whereas strides have been made in analytical chemistry, advances in our knowledge of toxicity, particularly to ecological receptors, have lagged behind. Because PFAS compounds are known to bioaccumulate and biomagnify in aquatic food webs, regulatory agencies at the federal, provincial, and state levels are requiring ecological risk assessments (ERAs) to evaluate potential risks to aquatic life and upper trophic level ecological receptors that forage on aquatic prey. Due to absence of a robust database on the ecotoxicity of PFAS, there is a high degree of uncertainty in evaluating risk to ecological receptors, and subsequently, identifying risk management measures. For example, few studies have identified toxicity reference values (TRVs) for avian receptors, with values differing by orders of magnitude among taxonomic groups and feeding guilds. This presentation will discuss the variability in ecological screening guidelines for freshwater and marine water, sediment, soil, and biological tissue from jurisdictions in Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and other countries. Variability in bioaccumulation factors (BAFs), biota sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) and TRVs for avian and mammalian wildlife will also be presented. Measures to reduce uncertainties in ERAs will be discussed.

Ian Collins has 15 years of experience in human health and ecological risk assessments and 7 years of experience in surface water quality assessment and geochemical modeling. Ian has undertaken numerous federal and provincial human health and ecological risk assessments on brownfields, mine sites, and other contaminated lands using CCME, CSA N288.6-12, FCSAP, Health Canada, and similar methodologies. He has also developed site specific computer models for the derivation of geochemical source terms and water quality predictions for a variety of nuclear and mining industry sites. Ian has presented at conferences on applications of risk assessment to managing Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) in the environment and to closure planning for mines and mineral processing facilities.

Topic: Best Practices for the Management and Disposal of Contaminated Sites Derived PFAS-Impacted Waste Materials
Speaker: Ms. Krista Barfoot, Ph.D., C.Chem. – Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Guidance documents have been created by Stantec for federal clients to assist with decision-making in the responsible management of contaminated sites derived PFAS-impacted wastes or to provide soil and groundwater management strategies in support of infrastructure projects. The key objectives of the guidance documents as drafted included:  

  1. A description of applicable legislation/policies and regulatory requirements as they relate to management of PFAS wastes from federal operations in Canada;
  2. Waste management options for solid and liquid PFAS waste, including information on landfills and incinerators in Canada; and
  3. Development of a best-practices framework that can be used to guide decision-making regarding the management of soil and groundwater during construction projects where PFAS contamination is known to be present and in the general management of PFAS wastes related to the remediation/risk management of contaminated sites.

The guidance documents provide users with a consistent due diligence approach for managing PFAS wastes from federal operations. The waste materials considered include soils, water, sediments and other solid or liquid materials (i.e., granular activated carbon [GAC] filters, bulk aqueous film-forming foam [AFFF]), as well as soil cuttings, purge water from groundwater sampling, and fluid from decontamination of drilling equipment. While international criteria and guidance are referenced, the best practices framework discussed is specific to federal facilities and/or operations in Canada, with the understanding that there are no provincial or municipal guidelines or PFAS related standards for assets under their jurisdiction (i.e. landfills, wastewater treatment plants, etc.). 

The presentation will introduce:  

  1. Relevant waste management and disposal practices used internationally, and applicable legislation or policies related to waste classification, waste practices and methodologies.
  2. Considerations for adequate liaison with landfill disposal facilities to determine the suitability of PFAS contaminated soils/liquids for offsite disposal and confirm that suitable controls are established for the acceptance of PFAS impacted material.
  3. Appropriate waste testing or classifications methodologies for PFAS wastes.
  4. Cost-benefit principles to be considered in the decision to dispose of PFAS waste.
  5. Options for hazardous waste facilities in Canada that can destroy PFAS impacted wastes and include the estimated cost (in 2018 CAD) of disposal for solids and liquids.

Topic: Survey of PFAS Compounds in Edible Fish Species in Canada
Speaker: Heather Lord

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) are ubiquitous, persistent, anthropogenic chemicals that bioaccumulate in both humans and biota. An understanding of the toxicity of this class of compounds has been late to develop, largely because their mode of action doesn’t follow the routes typical of other persistent organic pollutants. It is now becoming clearer that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and several of their shorter carbon-chain analogues do elicit toxic consequences in humans and biota, and modes of transport in the environment are now better understood. The primary transport mechanism is water transport of either dissolved or particle bound PFAS and bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems can result in many fish species having significant body burdens of PFAS. Ingestion of water or exposed fish is understood to be the primary route of human exposure.

Numerous studies have appeared over the past two years describing the levels of PFAS present in various fish species typically consumed by humans. A particularly enlightening study* by Fair et al. published in January 2019 reports on PFAS burdens in edible fish species from South Carolina, in relation to the Michigan Fish Consumption Advisory Program for PFOS (2016), which advises unrestricted fish consumption for only fish containing less than 9 ppb total PFAS. The most stringent jurisdiction in the US is New Jersey with an unrestricted consumption limit of 0.56 ppb. Most fillets tested exceeded the Michigan limit while all exceeded the New Jersey limit. 

To date no studies have appeared on the levels of PFAS in edible fish in Canada. Bureau Veritas Laboratories collected fresh fish sourced across Canada in the summer of 2019 and tested fillets from these at our Mississauga, ON laboratory. 

This presentation will describe:

  • The methods used to analyse PFAS in tissue samples relative to other solids,
  • Types and amounts of PFAS found grouped by species, habitat preference and source location, and
  • Potential consumption advisories for different groups according to developing guidance. 

*Fair, P.A. Environ. Res. 2019, 171, 266

Topic: Redeveloping Brownfields in a Challenging Urban Context
Speakers: Joel van Popta, Monisha Nandi

Brownfield remediation typically involves the implementation of integrated approaches to remediate and manage environmental impacts to soil and groundwater. Increasingly, remediation of brownfields in advance of residential development brings together novel partnerships to move seamlessly from demolition and remediation to site development to bring new residential units to market.

This case study will outline the challenges and triumphs in remediating and managing a former hospital and unlicensed fill area to convert the property to a large multi-phase residential development. Unique aspects to the project included: utilizing two regulatory approaches (generic site condition standards and risk assessment [RA]), management of multiple stakeholders including neighbouring property owners, Conservation Authority and City, integrated and responsible excess soil management with site development teams, integrating non-standard contaminants into a RA process, and development of risk management measures (RMMs) that respected existing mature vegetation.

The property was first developed in 1953 with construction of the hospital, which was serviced with multiple underground and above ground storage tanks, providing fuel for various furnaces and boilers. The historical fill area, which was part of the former hospital property, was active in the 1950s and 1960s. Identified material in the fill area appeared to be construction-related debris, wood, brick, concrete, plastic. In addition to fill-related contaminants (PAHs, inorganics) and an isolated instance of liquid bunker oil, installed vapour probes indicated the production of methane at locations within the fill area.

For the ‘generic’ parcel, excavation and off-site disposal of impacted soil was completed in concert with demolition activities. Through integrated site design, attempts were made to minimize the excess soil generated by the site, however ultimately, the cut/fill analysis indicated that the property was in a significant surplus. Additional soil characterization was completed to support movement of the excess soil to an approved receiving site, diverting soil from landfill and from unauthorized fill sites, consistent with best management practices and proposed excess soil legislation.

Conveyance of multiple easements to the local municipality required additional efforts to navigate strict policy on conveyance conditions. An innovative approach was employed to demonstrate that EC/SAR impacts to soil were associated with deicing activities at existing and former municipal roadways and therefore exempt under the conveyance policy.

A conveyance through private lands to connect a new watermain presented several obstacles due in large part to a third-party owner with limited expertise on environmental matters. Concerted efforts on the part of the development and consulting team were required to facilitate this part of the development. The introduction of an independent third-party peer review was instrumental in breaking the impasse to finalize the terms of an access agreement.

The RA recommended appropriate RMMs to address identified human and ecological risks. Consideration of methane generation in the RA imposed implementation of non-standard risk management. Various fill caps and other measures were proposed to address identified risks while attempting to minimize disturbance to existing mature vegetation.

Ultimately, an integrated consulting and development team was instrumental to navigating the many challenges to the development of this brownfield property.

Monisha Nandi, MASc, PEng, PMP
Monisha is the Environmental Director at Kilmer Brownfield Management Limited. Kilmer Brownfield Management Limited (Kilmer Brownfield) is an investment capital group with expertise that is dedicated to the re-development of former industrial and commercial properties in Ontario and throughout Canada. The focus of the investment strategy is urban re-development projects that are a planning priority for many communities as urban intensification is a fundamental principle of the smart growth strategy. Monisha provides strategic direction on environmental assessment, remediation and risk management activities for Kilmer Brownfield's portfolio of real estate developments and potential acquisitions. With more than a decade of experience in the brownfield management and development industry, Monisha's experience has spanned across many industries including real estate development, oil and gas, manufacturing, and environmental consulting. Monisha holds a Masters Degree in Applied Sciences in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a Board Member and Committee Chair for the Canadian Brownfield Network.

Joel van Popta, MSc, PGeo
Joel is a consultant with Stantec Consulting Ltd., and has been practicing in Environmental Site Assessment and Remediation since 2004. He holds a M.Sc. degree in Contaminant Hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo, and a B.Sc. degree in Earth Science from McMaster University. Joel has designed and implemented numerous contaminated site assessment and remediation programs for a range of contaminants, including petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals. Also, he has experience with insurance claim and litigation support related to contaminant releases and trespass. He also has capability in spills response and management, contaminant nature and origin assessment, and contaminant fate and transport assessment.

Topic: Excess Soil Management in Ontario: A QPs Vision for 2020
Speakers: Dave Harper, TBA, Grant Walsom

With the continued evolution of the proposed regulation for excess soil management in Ontario and the industry waiting for a final decision, this presentation will touch upon details of the newest proposed Regulatory package (April/May 2019) and how it may change the landscape in Ontario.  The presentation will also touch upon some anecdotal case study information and where issues may occur as the construction and development industry works towards ensuring compliance with the Regulation once passed.  If new information about the proposed Regulation is released by the presentation, it will also be presented and discussed.

Mr. D. Grant Walsom is a senior remediation engineer with over 25 years of experience since graduating from the University of Waterloo. He is a Partner at XCG Consulting Limited. Mr. Walsom is a Professional Engineer registered in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Alberta, and a registered Consulting Engineer in Ontario. In addition, Mr. Walsom is a Qualified Person as defined by O. Reg. 153/04.

Since 2011, Mr. Walsom has been on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Environment Industry Association (current Past-Chair) and is the co-Chair for the Excess Soils Working Group. He has recently participated in the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s Excess Soils Engagement Group.

Since 2013, Mr. Walsom has served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Brownfield Network (past-President).   He was proudly named the CUI 2015 “Brownfielder of the Year.”

Grant enjoys speaking at conferences and technical workshops on site remediation, brownfields and excess soil management.

Topic: From Where, When and How Does Environmental Liability Arise & Just How Bad Can It Get?
Speaker: Marc McAree

Environmental liability comes in two flavors: regulatory liability and civil liability. Knowing the legal distinction between regulatory and civil liability is critical to understanding from where, when and how environmental liability arises, and how best to mitigate risk.  Environmental consultants and contractors and their clients can and do unknowingly attract environmental liability and they often pay the consequences. This Willms and Shier Environmental Lawyers session will provide a primer on environmental liability with focus on recent Court decisions.  And, the audience will have a chance to pose their toughest legal questions to the lawyers!

Topic: Commercial Environmental DNA (eDNA) Assays: Sampling, Analysis and Data Interpretation
Speaker: Aron Weir

Reliable detection of target species using environmental DNA (eDNA) is a significant and valuable scientific tool based on the premise that animals shed their DNA into their environment.  Key advantages of using eDNA compared with conventional detection methods include: enhanced sensitivity and accuracy; lower sampling effort and cost; an expanded time-frame for sample collection; and reduced invasiveness to the habitat and organism.  eDNA samples may also be archived for future testing for additional species of interest without the need to return to the field site to collect additional samples, provided that samples are properly preserved and stored.

Regulatory acceptance of eDNA requires that results are reliable and defensible.  This is achieved by following best practices in the field and laboratory, including proper survey design, field sampling, sample handling and laboratory assay protocols.  It is important that the quality of eDNA samples be assessed prior to analysis to control for false negatives (type II errors).  eDNA samples that are too degraded or that contain assay inhibitors, found naturally occurring in the environment, may not generate a positive signal during analysis and could be falsely interpreted as a “non-detect” for the target species, when in fact the sample quality is unsuitable for analysis.  This applies both to newly-collected samples and historical samples that are retrieved from archive for testing.

Bureau Veritas Laboratories is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada for eDNA testing to ISO 17025 standards.  This presentation will highlight best practices for eDNA sample collection and preservation along with eDNA assay validation and analytical testing to ISO 17025 through a collaborative case study and inter-laboratory comparison.

1 Bureau Veritas Laboratories, 8577 Commerce Court, Burnaby, British Columbia
2 University of Victoria, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, British Columbia
3 J Hobbs Ecological Consulting Ltd., 9809 Spalding Rd., Pender Island, British Columbia
4 Hemmera, 303-1221 Broad Street, Victoria, British Columbia
5 Bureau Veritas Laboratories, 335 Laird Road, Guelph, Ontario

Aron Weir1, Caren C. Helbing2, Jared Hobbs3, Doug Bright4, Wayne Murray5, Michael J. Allison2, Jessica M. Round2, Ali Mirabzadeh5, Heather Allen5, Lauren C. Bergman2, Erin McCormick5

Aron Weir is a Manager of Special Projects based in Vancouver, BC whose mandate is to develop Bureau Veritas’ Environmental DNA (eDNA) services.  During his career, Aron has worked alongside colleagues in the Animal DNA Laboratory to deliver analytical solutions for livestock genetic testing, eDNA and practical quality control using DNA testing.

Prior to joining Bureau Veritas in 2006, Aron worked as a wildlife biologist in California and as a Research Associate for an agriculture seed company where he applied DNA technologies for the investigation of germplasm diversity and genetic mapping of markers associated with desirable traits in major crop species.

Aron obtained his B.Sc. in Environmental Biology from Queen’s University and a M.Sc. in Plant Genetics from the University of Guelph.  He has over 18 years’ experience in applied DNA testing to the agriculture and environmental industries.

Topic: See what you are missing - Elemental analysis by Neutron Activation
Speakers: Kurt Headrick, Steven Simpson, Robert Allen, Blake Barber

A recent international conference presentation on certification of Reference Materials, where Neutron Activation results were 24% higher than the consensus of all other methods of elemental analysis, is a timely reminder of the advantages of elemental analysis by Neutron Activation.  This talk gives an overview of neutron activation, why it is more accurate than other elemental analysis techniques, pros and cons, applications, and examples highlighting in what circumstances it should be the technique of choice for elemental analysis.

Topic: Analytical Tools in support of Environmental Forensics: New Perspectives
Speaker: Virgil Guran, M.A.Sc., C.Chem. – Consulting Scientist, Site Assessment & Remediation

Analytical forensics services as applied to environmental assessment of contaminated sites have become a frequent request of qualified persons and professionals. Although environmental forensics is often synonymous with petroleum hydrocarbon forensics, the topic is much wider. In this talk, Bureau Veritas Laboratories will present on different analytical tools, taking into account both organic and inorganic perspectives of environmental forensics. This talk will highlight analytical tools applicable to the following scenarios: 

(1) The interference of biogenic or naturally occurring compounds with routine hydrocarbon analysis can lead to unnecessary remedial costs where no actual anthropogenic impact is present. Common alternatives to confirm and characterizing these situations have limitations, such as reliable differentiation, not being fully quantitative and not being to assess the situation within the context of regulatory compliance. Bureau Veritas Laboratories developed a novel analytical approach of separating and quantifying biogenic and petrogenic hydrocarbons from soil or water samples, using the prescribed CCME protocol. This data allows for accurate identification of true exceedances of applicable standards, as well as an accurate interpretation of qualitative results. 

(2) Toluene is a volatile hydrocarbon often identified as a contaminant to environmental media and related to petroleum sources. However, anthropogenic sources of toluene are not the only contributors. Many studies have shown toluene to be naturally found in pristine environments, such as oxygen deficient regions of surface water bodies and soils with high organic content. Bureau Veritas Laboratories has developed a staged approach of analytical forensics tests used to differentiate between biogenic and anthropogenic toluene.

(3) The use of rock salt or halite for de-icing road surfaces can cause issues with soil and water quality, due to the excess concentration of sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl-). Consequently, the electrical conductivity (EC) and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) properties of environmental media can exceed standards. Bureau Veritas laboratories has developed an analytical forensics package, including a recently developed test, for the forensics characterization and differentiation between genuine road salt impacts and naturally occurring salts. 

Topic: Road Salt Forensics: A Case Study
Speaker: Jason Slidders

My name is Jason Slidders, I’m currently a Senior Project Manager with EXP Services Inc. and have been with EXP for almost 20 years.  I’ve been asked to talk about one of my RSC Sites in downtown Toronto where the main issue was Salt, specifically Chloride in Groundwater.  Our Site was historically used for coal storage and fuel storage in the 30’s to 50’s but later was converted into a parking lot.   Our Client’s intent was to change the land-use of the Site from Commercial to Residential and construct a 30 storey high-rise condo building with three levels of underground parking.   As such, an RSC for the Site would be  an important requirement prior to development.  So immediately EXP was well aware that the Site was to be excavated boundary to boundary and eventually into the bedrock.  As the entire Site was historically a parking lot, the entire site was deemed an Area of Potential Environmental Concern (or APEC) and so we analyzed the soil and groundwater for inorganics including Electrical Conductivity, Sodium Adsorption Ratio in Soil and Sodium and Chloride in groundwater.  As expected, all of the soil samples submitted for EC and SAR were above the Table 3 SCS for residential land use down to the rock and the overburden groundwater also was above the Table 3 Standards for Sodium and Chloride.  In our minds, as this was a corner lot in downtown Toronto, we felt that the groundwater impacts were likely the result of off-Site salting activities but you really can’t deny the EC and SAR hits in the soil and that the owner was likely salting the heck out of the parking lot to avoid any liability lawsuits.  There were other impacts in the soil including PAHs, metals and PHCs, however the only issue in groundwater was the sodium and chloride.  As the soil was proposed to be excavated boundary to boundary down to the bedrock, EXP was just left with the overburden groundwater.  As such, EXP moved forward with the completion of a Modified Generic Risk Assessment (or MGRA) to handle this aspect as the Client was in a hurry to get the RSC and the MGRA modeling lends itself to dealing with Sites with only salt impacts.  Prior to the completion of the MGRA, Exp was well aware that we would need to attempt to vertically delineate the groundwater impacts.  As such, EXP installed deep telescopic wells into the bedrock to vertically delineate the groundwater impacts near overburden groundwater wells with the highest concentrations of sodium and chloride.  To our dismay, the concentrations of Chloride were actually higher in the bedrock groundwater compared to the overburden concentrations.  So we presented the data to the Ministry suggesting that we could not achieve vertical delineation, however based on the proposed development, the increase in concentration would not affect the modeling process during the completion of the MGRA.  The Ministry did not buy into this thinking, however they did suggest looking into the bedrock concentrations further to see if the increased concentrations were the result of naturally occurring chloride in the bedrock.  The concentrations of Chloride in the overburden vs. the bedrock were fairly similar so we felt this was a wasted exercise, but we presented the problem to Maxxam (Now BV labs) to see if they could come up with a solution for our problem. 

Topic: Forensic Source Identification at a Spill Site with Mixed Plumes
Speakers: Francine Kelly-Hooper, PhD; Environmental Contaminant Scientist; Stantec Consulting
Zoe Hole, MSc; Environmental Contaminant Scientist; Stantec Consulting

This presentation provides a case study and lessons learned from using forensic petroleum hydrocarbon source identification at a diesel spill location with preexisting impacts. Results of the environmental investigations and remediation activities indicated that there may be different sources other than spilled diesel for the petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) impacts identified at the site. Preliminary PHC source identification was completed using Gas Chromatography/Flame Ionization Detector (GC/FID) analysis, parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) analysis, and interpretation of PAH diagnostic ratios. Based on these lines of evidence, thirty-three (33) soil samples at thirteen (13) locations were characterized as non-diesel related impacts. Differentiating the diesel spill plume from an existing plume on site led to a significant reduction in scope for the Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) and this scope reduction translates to substantial cost savings for the client. We will review the methods used to differentiate PHC source materials as well as discuss lessons learned. These lessons learned can help consultants be prepared with the correct data available for forensics investigations on future projects.


Francine Kelly-Hooper, PhD
Dr. Francine Kelly Hooper is an Environmental Contaminant Scientist with 24 years of experience in water and soil/sediment contamination evaluations. Francine’s PhD research developed the Biogenic Interference Calculation (BIC Scale) for identifying false PHC detections due to the presence of natural organic soil matter.  This approach has been accepted by Alberta Environment and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) on a Tier 2 basis. Francine has extensive experience with PHC forensics source studies and beneficial reuse evaluations for brownfield soils and stormwater management (SWM) pond sediments. 

Zoe Hole, MSc
Zoe Hole is a Project Manager with a Master of Science in Environmental Practice with experience conducting all aspects of site investigations in commercial, industrial, upstream and downstream oil and gas sectors across Canada. Zoe has focused primarily on data management for major spill releases in the past five years, especially identifying data gaps and solutions for efficient management. Zoe has fulfilled numerous roles both onsite and offsite on emergency management projects within Canada and the United States including within the Incident Command System (ICS) and Natural Resource Damages Assessments (NRDA).

Topic: “Case Study: When In-Situ Techniques Fail”
Speaker: Bruce Tunnicliffe

In-situ remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon compounds (PHCs) is commonly applied across Canada. So why is it that some projects are successful while other fail? How is a practitioner to know what products to use, when is the right time to start remediation, and how to select and how apply an appropriate remediation technique? How does one know how much data to collect beforehand, during and after remediation, and what data is the most important to remediation success?

It seems that rarely do people highlight their remediation failures, yet much can be learned from studying what does not work.

The purpose of this talk is to present a case study of a Site where two different in-situ techniques were used to treat PHCs, and they both failed. Within this presentation, the Site background and subsurface data will be reviewed, the remediation approach will be presented, and possible reasons for the failed remediation efforts will be put forth. The talk will conclude by showcasing what additional Site data was collected and how a different in-situ remediation approach was selected and applied. This decision-making process resulted in a delayed but ultimately successful remediation project.

The Site is a former fueling station located at the corner of a busy intersection. There was significant on-site contamination, yet Risk Management Measures were used so remediation of the source area was not required. However, it was essential that migration of the PHC plume had to be controlled to prevent its continued off-site migration. This talk will highlight how a Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) for PHCs was unsuccessfully then successfully injected along a busy down-gradient property boundary. Throughout the presentation recommendations and insights will be offered into how to avoid failure and how to maximize success for in-situ remediation.

Bruce Tunnicliffe, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. 
Mr. Tunnicliffe is President of Vertex Environmental Inc., is an Environmental Engineer, and has over 20 years of experience designing and implementing remediation of chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons. Mr. Tunnicliffe holds a Master’s degree from the University of Waterloo where he studied oxidation in fractured bedrock.

Topic: Phytoremediation Technologies for Restoring Salt and Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil
Speaker and Author: Elizabeth W. Murray
Co-Authors: Kent Cryer, Ben Poltorak, Bruce Greenberg, Adam Dunn, Jess Spies, Perry Gerwing, Earthmaster Environmental Strategies Inc. 

Earthmaster has successfully developed and marketed commercial Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) - Enhanced Phytoremediation Systems (PEPSystems™) for cost effective removal of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) and salt from soils. PEPSystems utilizes soil bacteria coated onto the surface of seeds to enhance the production of abundant root biomass in impacted soils. This significantly augments growth of rhizobacteria which enables effective degradation of PHCs, partitioning of contaminants out of the soil, and sequestration of salt into plant foliage. PEPSystems has been successfully deployed on many contaminated sites across Canada and have proven to be very cost effective, compared to other technologies including landfill disposal, in remediating soil in remote or northern areas where harsh conditions and permafrost exist, as well as in dryland settings where precipitation and soil moisture can be limiting.

Several examples of successful PEPSystems applications will be discussed. 1) PEPSystems was deployed at a remote fly-in site in northern Canada in 2008 to treat historical oil and gas related impacts. Between 2008 and 2010, the surface soil across the site (~2,100 m³), which contained elevated salt levels, was successfully phytoremediated. Between 2011 and 2017, multiple layers of PHC contaminated soil excavated from on-site pits and sumps (~5,375 m³) was placed onto a treatment area and successfully phytoremediated. Backfilling the excavations and re-contouring the site using the treated soil was completed in 2018 and re-vegetation of the site has been initiated. 2) PEPSystems was deployed at three sites in northern Alberta to successfully treat multiple layers of soil (~9,250 m³) containing PHC contaminants. In March 2017, remediation was complete, the treatment facilities were decommissioned and the sites were re-contoured. 3) PEPSystems was deployed at a former gas plant site located in an agricultural setting in southern Alberta to treat soil contaminated with PHC. Approximately 8,000 m³ of PHC contaminated soil was successfully treated over four growing seasons. 4) PEPSystems was deployed at a large salt contaminated site in southern Saskatchewan with the objective of revegetating the mostly barren and non-productive land to at least 70% of background agricultural area plant growth levels and to reduce soil salt levels over time. After three growing seasons, the project objectives were achieved. 

The treatment strategies utilized at the different sites and cost benefits realized using phytoremediation will be discussed for each of the projects. Kinetic modeling of PEPSystems performance will also be presented as the basis for predicting the length of time required to remediate PHC contaminated sites. The results from ongoing research activities will be outlined (e.g. phytoreclamation of marginal and poor quality soils).

Elizabeth W. Murray, Ph.D., P.Biol., R.P.Bio. – Elizabeth Murray is a senior scientist with Earthmaster Environmental Strategies in Calgary, Alberta. Her background is in human genetics and environmental sciences. She has worked for more than 20 years in medical related research and in plant based biotechnology, developing biologics as treatments for human diseases. With over 7 years of experience in phytoremediation research and development, she also plays an important role in commercial phytoremediation applications.

Topic: Remediation of the Site of a Former EDC-VCM Plant Using an Innovative Technology
Speakers: Jean Carpentier, P.Eng.., Petromont Inc.
Jean Paquin, P.Eng.., Sanexen Environmental Services inc.
Myriam Cadotte, P.Eng.., Sanexen Environmental Services inc.

Petromont owns lands at Varennes where petrochemicals plants were operated, including a former vinyl chloride monomer plant (EDC-VCM sector) dating prior to the creation of Petromont.

Within the context of its commitment to sustainable development and Responsible Care®, Petromont first characterized the site of this plant that was operated by a former owner during the 60s and the 70s. This work concluded that about 315,000 m.t. of soils were contaminated by organochlorinated compounds, including 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) and vinyl chloride (VC).

The native soils are sediments from the former Champlain Sea, a plastic and cohesive clay, which makes handling and extraction of the contaminants difficult. 
In the context of this situation and its commitments, Petromont conducted a technology watch and pilot tests were also carried out to help determine the most appropriate treatment technologies. Petromont proceeded then with a Request for Proposals for the full scale remediation of the site. The turnkey project was awarded to Sanexen.
The technology developed by Sanexen allowed to modify and improve the geochemical structure of the clay to vaporize the contaminants and capture them on regenerable filtration media. The regeneration allows to recover the contaminants for thermal destruction. 

The full-scale treatment of the soil and groundwater and the remediation of the site were conducted between 2015 and 2019.

The soils were first dewatered and excavated to a depth up to 8 m and were directed to the treatment facility erected alongside the contaminated area. Two large mobile shelters operating under negative pressure were used to carry out the two steps of the soil treatment process. These shelters were moved above the soil piles to effect soil processing while confining and withdrawing the VOCs.

Treatment consisted first in eliminating the plasticity of the clay by creating bonds between the aluminosilicate platelets of the clay, and then in shredding the soil after a curing period to obtain the desired pneumatic conductivity. The VOCs were displaced with a circulation of air that was treated in adsorption and chemical oxidation units. The elaborate air treatment system also allowed to meet the very stringent ambient air criteria for 1,2-DCA, 1,1,2-TCA and VC.

The adsorption filters used to treat the air and the water were periodically regenerated to extract and condense the contaminants using superheated steam and a cooling system.

Innovative technologies were developed, optimized and used at the large scale in the context of this project, making this project an international first.

Many challenges pertaining to environment, health and safety were met given the volatility and the toxicity of the contaminants, which led to the selection of this project as a finalist in the ‘’Grand Prize - Health and Safety at Work’’ of the CNESST, Quebec’s Worker Compensation Board.

Topic: Risk Assessment Case Study Involving Pinchin’s RA and HAZ Groups Who Were Involved in Remediation
Speaker: Theresa Phillips

The Site consists of a multi-story office tower where, as a result of a fire, heavy smoke infiltrated all levels of the building. Pinchin was retained to execute post-fire remediation of the building, which included sampling for suspected contaminants of concern in dust/ soot that accumulated on surfaces following the incident. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were among the potential contaminants tested during preliminary wipe sampling. A literature search was undertaken to determine background PAH concentrations in urban settings. A number of publications exist, providing PAH concentrations in household dust, with comparisons between homes closer to, or father away from, heavily travelled roadways, in addition to considering the presence of other PAH sources such as the presence of woodstoves and other heat sources, cooking appliances and habits, cigarette smoking, etc. Of the studies reviewed, only one was based on a Canadian city. In the study, total carcinogenic PAH concentrations (the sum of seven carcinogenic PAHs reported) ranged from 0.656 to 219 µg/g (ppm), with an arithmetic mean of 18.7 ppm. The total PAH concentrations measured in preliminary samples from the Site Building were as high as 93,467 ppm (using a presumed mass of 100 µg dust/cm2 wiped), which exceed levels that may be considered background, based on the available literature. Certain PAHs are among the most carcinogenic substances identified by the World Health Organization and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thus, Pinchin recommended deriving risk-based remedial targets for particulate-bound PAHs that settled to surfaces inside the building, for use during Site cleanup. While health-based standards are available for combined soil and dust dermal contact and inhalation, there were no known (published or unpublished) criteria exclusively for PAHs in settled dust within a building. Pinchin derived both settled and bulk dust criteria reflective of the sampling methodologies employed for dust collection, i.e. wipe sampling or bulk dust collection. The derivation method took into consideration the model outlined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA; 2003) when setting health-based benchmarks for dust exposure that arose from the World Trade Center collapse in 2001. Those benchmarks, for settled dust and bulk dust, were specific dermal contact and incidental ingestion pathways in a residential scenario. Pinchin adjusted the methodology to address a commercial scenario, and incorporated risk assessment guidance from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. The health-based screening values for settled dust provided remedial criteria protective of the health of indoor workers when dust samples were collected via wipe methodologies and the PAH data reported are dependent on the size of surface area sampled. The health-based screening values for bulk dust provided criteria protective of the health of indoor workers in cases where a bulk sample of dust was possible and a concentration reported that was independent of surface area. 

Topic: Treatment Technologies: Phytoremediation (Rhizodegradation)
Speakers: Melissa Bacon, Engineer, Contaminated Sites

Mélissa Bacon holds a diploma in bioresources engineering from McGill University and joined Golder in January 2011. Since joining Golder, Ms. Bacon has worked as a member of the contaminated soil and groundwater rehabilitation team. Her responsibilities include evaluating rehabilitation technology options, carrying out laboratory and pilot testing, designing, operating and monitoring rehabilitation systems based on a range of technologies and methods, both in situ and ex situ.  Ms. Bacon’s expertise includes multiphase extraction and air injection, in-situ chemical oxidation, bioventilation, soil heating by steam injection, sparging, biosparging, phytoremediation, bioremediation, pump and treat systems, excavation, and ex-situ treatments such as biopiles.

Her current responsibilities as Project and Technical Manager with the rehabilitation at Golder include reviewing historical data, preparing work programs, managing project teams and field work, designing in-situ and ex-situ treatment systems, tracking budgets and schedules, compiling data and writing reports.  Mélissa Bacon has been a member of the Order of Engineers of Quebec since 2013. 

Topic: Are All Zero Valent Iron (ZVI) Media the Same?  New soil & groundwater treatment capabilities using high surface high reactivity ZVI media.
Speakers: Hyunshik Chang, Alexander Korff, Carolyn, Somerville, Madan Tandukar
Höganäs Environment Solutions, Cary, NC, 27513, U.S.A.
Jean Paré, P. Eng.

Ever since researchers at the University of Waterloo observed degradation of halocarbons in cast iron wells, zero valent iron (ZVI) media have been extensively researched and applied in soil/groundwater remediation projects. Typical application of ZVI includes dehalogenation of chlorinated volatile organic carbon (c-VOC), heavy metal removal/stabilization such as hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], arsenic (As), selenium (Se), nitrate and nitro-aromatic compound reduction, and uranium (U) reduction and removal. However, there have been several limitations in using conventional ZVI media, including impurities, surface passivation, pH change of groundwater, iron (Fe) leaching, low reactivity of media (caused by low surface area and aging), and low selectivity due to the presence of competing ions. Those issues are largely associated with the intrinsic property and manufacturing processes of the ZVI media. 

There are 5 main types of ZVI with key differences and due to variations in manufacturing processes. Most of the early applications of ZVI employed recycled granular cast iron for permeable reactive barrier (PRB). This type of iron is known as “regrind” iron, which is produced from scrap iron. Some regrind iron may have trace amount of impurities such as grease and cutting oil, but more recently many regrind suppliers have installed washing process to minimize the amount of undesirable organic contents. Another common type of ZVI is atomized ZVI, which is also typically made from scrap iron, but undergoes a melting and slag separation process to reduce impurities and control size and shape. As a result, atomized ZVI has a higher Fe content (97 – 98%) and has emerged as a cost effective alternative to regrind ZVI. The third type of ZVI is sponge ZVI, which is manufactured from iron ore and generally contains even higher Fe content (98 – 99%) than atomized ZVI. The name of “sponge” comes from the surface morphology of the media. Sponge iron has a porous surface structure, which results in higher surface area compared to other types of ZVI. The manufacturing process of sponge ZVI requires a large capital investment and demands high production volume to maintain quality and costs. The fourth type of ZVI is electrolytic iron, which is manufactured by chemical dissolution of iron and an electrowinning process. Cost of the production is high, but the method produces the highest purity iron product (99.9%). The fifth type of ZVI is a Carbonyl iron for nano-scale ZVI, which is known for its high reactivity and small particle size, but also has the highest price. There has been some application of nano-scale ZVI but it has not gained widespread acceptance and use due to the cost and difficulty in handling. 
The ZVI media manufactured from various methods have different characteristics. Testing has been conducted to compare those specific characteristics in more practical application of soil and groundwater remediation, such as iron content, reactivity, longevity, hydraulic conductivity, etc.

The use of a high surface area high reactivity ZVI allow to deal with specific metals & contaminant in a more diverse and more efficient reactions rate.
A batch kinetic study, using Cleanit® sponge ZVI media, was conducted with an initial selenium concentration of 10 mg/L (a mix of selenate, selenite, selenosulfate, and selenocyanate) and a loading rate of 0.1 mg Se/g media. Within 24 hours, all four selenium species were removed to below the detection limit (1 µg Se/L). The pseudo first order reaction constants for each selenium species mentioned above were 25.0, 23.7, 11.1, and 1.0 h-1, respectively. The maximum removal capacities for the four species were 2.70 ± 0.12, 4.90 ± 0.03, 4.74 ± 0.22, 5.00 ± 0.00 mg Se/g media, respectively. Since selenate is the most challenging selenium species to be removed by ZVI, column tests were conducted using three different grades of Cleanit® media: Cleanit®-SR.1S, Cleanit®-SR.2S and Cleanit®-SR.3S with site soil and the impacted site groundwater. The initial selenium concentration was 2,200 µg/L. With an average retention time of 4.4 hour at a flowrate of 0.5 mL/min, all three Cleanit® media demonstrated selenate removal efficiencies between 97 and 98%. Among the three Cleanit® media tested, Cleanit®-SR.1S showed the highest selenium removal capacity and low pressure build-up in the column. In summary, Cleanit® media demonstrated a significant potential for organic and inorganic selenium removal for groundwater remediation.  Other data for PCE, TCE, chrome and arsenic will also be covered showing cost reduction capability for large scale project implementation.
Speaker Bio.     Dr. Hyunshik Chang is currently employed at Höganäs Environment Solutions, LLC as a Manager for Product Development. He earned his PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington, and working in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory before joining the Höganäs in 2014. His main focus area is soil and groundwater remediation for chlorinated volatile organic carbon, radioactive waste, and heavy metal removal using ZVI based physicochemical treatment method as well as development of new media for industrial wastewater treatment. Dr. Chang has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters, technical reports, and conference presentations. He is an author of a patent in Höganäs. He was a member of American Chemical Society, Soil Science Society of America, and American Water Work Association.

Jean Pare, P.Eng., has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Laval University. He has been involved for the last 25 years in the evaluation, development, design, and promotion of both conventional and innovative environmental technologies. As Vice President with Chemco Inc., his responsibilities include the remediation design, technico-economical analysis and technology supply for chemical oxidation and reduction, soil washing, and enhanced bioremediation. Last year, he worked with over 400 sites applying his expertise to various types of organic and inorganic contaminants in soil and groundwater. He is also involved with many environmental organizations such as CLRA, CBN, ESAA, BCEIA and Reseau-Environnement where he is an active technical committee member and regular technical speaker.

Topic: ECA required Stack Sampling
Speaker: Kirk Easto, RWDI

This talk will outline the basic requirements of fulfilling the stack testing condition listed in you Ontario Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). Items covered with include; key deadlines listed in the ECA; what is a pre-test plan?; sampling ports requirements; sampling equipment requirements; process conditions; and reporting expectations. The talk will also cover reasonable time lines for scheduling work, lab analysis and final report submission. 

Topic: Basics of Ambient Sampling
Speaker: Kirk Easto, RWDI

This talk will introduce the audience to various types of ambient sampling. Topics will include both short term grab samples and long term ambient monitoring.  Sampling methods, techniques and equipment will be presented and discussed. 

Topic: Noise - The Other "Pollutant"

Topic: Evaluating & Remediating Odour Sources

Topic: WildFire IEQ – Get ready!
Speaker: Stephen Booth 


Present a proactive and adaptive approach to managing IEQ in buildings during severe wildfire events.  Wildfire smoke has a significant impact on health, and properly preparing for these events results in well informed and satisfied building occupants.


Large wildfires have become common part of the North American summer.  Global climate change is contributing to environmental conditions favorable to more frequent and larger events.  Smoke-related particulate (PM2.5) is present local to the fires and travel enormous distances through atmospheric transport impacting IAQ across the continent.  The toolkit for managing wildfire smoke, is not complicated, but having all the required resources available for rapid deployment can be challenging.  HVAC settings and supplementary filtration equipment can very effectively manage particulate and odours.  

Key Take Aways:

  • Understand why wildfires will become more prevalent in the coming years.
  • Learn how smoke typically enters commercial buildings.
  • When and how to deploy smoke mitigation techniques.
  • Plan and head, and be prepared for each coming fire season.

Topic: PCBs in Buildings; Are we Doing Enough?
Speaker: Michael Harret

Polychlorinated Biphenyls have been regulated in Canada since 1977, with intent of protecting the health of Canadians, and protecting the environment by regulating the storage and disposal, and preventing release of PCBs. The focus of the regulations have been on electrical equipment, specifically oils, ballasts and capacitors. Building materials known to contain PCBs at regulated concentrations exist, but not being clearly discussed in regulations, are frequently overlooked. 

Demolition and renovation present a potential for worker exposure and environmental contamination, and some scientific papers are indicating that off-gassing of PCBs in buildings may be impacting indoor environmental air quality.

The session will discuss: 

  • The potential issues of limited regulations for non-liquid PCB applications; including identify potential sources, the potential worker exposures, and environmental contamination. 
  • The 2025 End-of-Use deadline for equipment identified in the PCB Regulations (SOR/2008-273).
  • Various regulator documents supporting the concerns, and potential increased regulation and enforcement.

Topic: Asbestos – We Put that Sh!t in Everything?
Speaker: Michael Harrett

This is not be your typical asbestos awareness class, but rather a reflection on where we have come from, looking at historical uses of asbestos (household goods and other miscellaneous applications) that will make most cringe, to a look at some lesser known asbestos-containing building materials which may still be among us.

Michael Harrett is the Regional Practice Leader for Ontario Hazardous Materials Group at Pinchin Ltd.  A graduate of Fanshawe College’s Architectural Technology, and a Certified Engineering Technologist with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT). After 5 years of architectural industry experience, Michael has almost 15 years of experience with Pinchin Ltd. He has been responsible for scope development, assessments, development of remedial projects, and abatement oversight for hazardous materials, mould and indoor environmental quality projects. Michael has completed various speaking engagements relating to hazardous materials, and provides training sessions from basic awareness to Type 3 asbestos worker and supervisor training.

Topic: New Construction and IAQ – Build it right… the first time!
Speaker: Stephen Booth
Objective: Share lessons learned from new construction projects gone wrong.  The phasing, sourcing and protection of building materials can have a significant impact on final occupancy conditions in a building.  When executed poorly these issues can result in scheduling delays, rework and concerned occupants.
Description: Construction of a new building is an opportunity to start fresh, install new and efficient building technologies, and provide the best possible occupant experience.  The sustainable building industry has brought focus on occupant experience, what could possibly go wrong?  Even with the best intentions, simple risk items are overlooked.

Mould-susceptible building materials frequently get wet during construction.  Construction dust is not managed effectively resulting in cross-contamination.  Materials arrive on site, or are brought in by trades that can have a negative impact on the occupied IAQ of the building.  It takes a keen eye looking around a construction site to spot these issues, but once you know how, success is a sure thing!
Key Take Aways:

  • Supply chain management and how to inspect building materials before they arrive on site.
  • Proper construction phasing and protection of mould-susceptible materials.
  • Construction dust management strategies.
  • Responding to construction problems, and getting back on track.

Stephen Booth, CET, LEED AP, RESET AP, is the Director of the GTA Indoor Environmental Quality and Occupational Health and Safety Groups at Pinchin Ltd. Stephen has more than 20 years of hazardous building materials and indoor air quality consulting experience and a diploma in Architectural

Topic: Demonstration of New Methods for Evaluating Soil Vapour Intrusion
Speaker: Todd McAlary

Geosyntec Consultants will provide a seminar, interactive demonstration, real-time data analysis and case study compilation of vapour intrusion monitoring and mitigation design using High Volume Sampling, Pneumatic Testing, Tracer Testing and Mathematical Analysis.  These emerging methods were developed during a five-year research program funded by the United States Department of Defense through their Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP).  additional summaries of Building Pressure Cycling and Passive Sampling will also be provided.

Subslab, soil vapour and indoor air sampling provide the most common lines of evidence for assessing human health risks associated with vapour intrusion into buildings.

Conventional collection methods may generate data that show spatial and temporal variability that often make site interpretation difficult.  As an alternative, Geosyntec will discuss and demonstrate high volume sampling (HVS), which is based on the concept of integrating the sample over a large volume of soil gas extracted from beneath the floor slab of a building to provide a spatially averaged subslab concentration.

The demonstration will include:

  • High Volume Sampling equipment setup
  • Flow measurement
  • Measurement of static vacuum at wellhead and static probes
  • Transient vacuum monitoring
  • Tracer tests
  • Sample collection (HVS and conventional using canisters)
  • Presentation of field data collected during demonstration 


Todd McAlary is a Practice Leader for Vapour Intrusion Services at Geosyntec with 30 years of experience.  Todd performed pure research in vapour diffusion for his Master’s degree and on passive vapour sampling for his Doctoral degree, and has performed applied research on High Volume Sampling, Building Pressure Cycling, Mathematical Modeling, Tracer Testing, Pneumatic Testing and Forensic analysis.  He has also authored or co-authored dozens of vapour intrusion guidance Documents, peer-reviewed journal articles and presented on the topic at over 100 conferences.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto.    
David Bertrand is a principal hydrogeologist with 20 years of experience in environmental consulting.  David has specific experience in the oversight and management of large vapour intrusion investigations, community relations, and the design and installation of many sub-slab depressurization systems at industrial, commercial and residential properties. David conducted his first vapour intrusion investigation in 2001 and since then, one of his primary focuses has been on vapour intrusion assessments and the development of legally defensible sample collection methods.  
Hester Groenevelt is a senior chemist with over 25 years of experience.  She has worked at many large vapour intrusion and DNAPL sites across Canada, the US and the UK, both with Geosyntec and as a research associate at the University of Waterloo.  She has specific experience in data acquisition, data quality and data interpretation, and in collection of data via passive sampling methods. 

Darius Mali is a professional engineer with 5 years of vapour intrusion experience and is C-NRPP certified for radon measurement and mitigation. Darius specializes in vapour intrusion site characterization and mitigation system design. Darius has worked on projects ranging from traditional residential sampling to DOD facilities with buildings of over 1 million square feet. Darius’ research includes the development of methods and metrics for VI assessment and VOC treatment technologies.

Peter Dollar is a senior hydrogeologist with over 30 years consulting experience.  Peter has been actively involved in vapour intrusion studies for over twenty years at industrial, waste disposal, commercial and residential sites in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom.  Peter served as Project Director for a large vapour intrusion study in the UK that included extensive vadose zone, indoor and outdoor air quality characterization, mathematical modeling, risk characterization, community relations and remediation.