NCIA Newsletter Issue #13 (January 2010)
Message from the Executive Director
LaurieHappy New Year! And welcome to the first NCIA newsletter issue of 2010. With the fresh start of each year, I'm always compelled to take a moment to reflect on the previous year, but in NCIA's case, one can't help but reflect on the last couple of years as there have been lots of changes.
While the anticipated industrial growth and investment for the Heartland region has not come to fruition in the time frame as originally projected, 2009 still was one of NCIA's busiest years. And while the economic forecasts call for 2010 to be the start of our economic recovery, I suspect that in reality, it may not be until 2011 that we see bottom lines and employment fully bounce back.
Based on this, I consider 2010 to be somewhat of a transition year for NCIA because the numerous environmental initiatives that we have been working diligently on with industry, government and the public, are set to reach key milestones this year. This means our member companies may know if and how they will need to change their operations to adapt to forthcoming new or amended policies.
In many respects, the change in economic landscape and therefore impact to the projected growth in our region was a mixed blessing. It gave industry, as well as government, the time we need to properly assess the environmental, infrastructure and socio-economic implications that growth will have on the region. The sense of urgency was removed and it gave us the opportunity to look at growth holistically and cumulatively.
I anticipate that 2010 will be another very busy year for us as we continue to work with the Government of Alberta on major environmental files including:
Our work doesn't stop here though as we have some of our own initiatives that we're leading including our Regional Groundwater Quality Study and our Regional Noise Management Plan.
We will continue to move along regional initiatives that NCIA, alongside our regional partnerships -
Alberta Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA), Fort Air Partnership (FAP), Land Trust Society and the Northeast Region Community Awareness and Emergency Response (NRCAER) - have been working on, namely the Life in the Heartland initiative - a program targeted at helping Heartland residents obtain the information and understand the issues that are of importance to them.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new readers. As a result of numerous requests to receive our member newsletter last year from several stakeholders, we have broadened the distribution of our newsletter, beginning with this issue, to include many of the partners that we work with.
This means the focus of our newsletter will change slightly, as we appreciate that much of our previous issues were rather technically-focused and sequential. For our members who rely on our newsletter to stay abreast of the technical updates, we will continue to do so through our members-only website.
In closing, here's to a great start for 2010.
NCIA and Industry working with Alberta Environment to implement the Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region
waterThe Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region, announced by Minister Rob Renner in December, 2007, was developed by a multi-stakeholder group including representatives from municipalities, industry, municipal waste treatment facilities, the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance and Alberta Environment, to manage water demands from the North Saskatchewan River and improve water quality. This Framework is a component of the Alberta Government's broad new course of actions to manage cumulative effects of human activity on the environment throughout the entire province, and fits within the Integrated Watershed Management Plan under development by the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance.
The vision of the Water Management Framework is to create a world-class integrated water management system within the North Saskatchewan River to sustainably support the environment, and social and economic development. The Water Management Framework will manage cumulative effects in the North Saskatchewan River, supporting the three goals of Alberta's Water for Life Strategy: safe, secure drinking water supply; healthy aquatic ecosystems; and reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy. The end result will be a system that protects the aquatic environment, provides incentives to improve environmental quality, and is flexible to the unique demands of the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region.
Implementation of the Water Management Framework is underway in accordance with the high level implementation phases outlined in the Water Management Framework report. Implementation is being led by a multi-stakeholder steering committee comprised of representatives from Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission, StrathconaCounty, SturgeonCounty, the City of Edmonton, industry, the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, Alberta Finance and Enterprise and Alberta Environment. Sub-committees of this steering committee are in place and focused on implementation activities related to baseline science, engineering studies, and governance and management of assets.
As a member of the Water Steering Committee, NCIA provides key input to the implementation of The Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region Report.  This has primarily taken the form of providing resources to the engineering team that is working on Phase I of the implementation, and the steering committee for the project.  By participating with the other stakeholders (government, NSWA and the municipalities) a much better understanding of options was developed for the engineering team to work on.

Current Status

  • The multi-stakeholder group leading the implementation of the Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region is well established and provides the multi-stakeholder representation and support to effectively implement the Framework. Stakeholders will need to continue to work together and provide the resources required to build the system that is envisioned.
  • Updating the baseline for industrial and municipal water demand, industrial wastewater discharged to the river, river water quality and quantity, and municipal effluent quality and quantity is underway.  Baseline and evaluative science is being developed to assure that the outcomes of the Framework are being met.  A water quality model has been developed to clearly understand the point source contaminant loading under various flow and development scenarios and to understand the local and basin scale water quality impacts.  A water quantity model has been developed to understand the natural flow variability, the region's impacts on supply, and the potential for wastewater reuse.
  • Using existing infrastructure locations for current development to minimize the footprint on the North Saskatchewan River is underway. For example, new approvals are not allowing new intakes and industry are being asked to share existing intakes.
  • Building on existing commitments to use reclaimed water is underway.
  • An engineering study to evaluate industrial water supply and wastewater treatment alternatives in the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region is underway. The study is expected to be complete by the fall of 2010. The scope of work of the engineering study includes the development and evaluation of technical concepts and scenarios to achieve an integrated regional industrial water supply, wastewater treatment and waste stream management system and improve the quality of the receiving water source. This requires maximizing the use of existing infrastructure, wastewater recycling and reuse of municipal wastewater as a potential new source of water to support regional requirements.
NCIA's Regional Groundwater Quality Project
NCIA's Regional Groundwater Quality Project is a major initiative that began in 2003, conducted in collaboration with Alberta Environment. It is designed to help industries, governments and the community to understand and maintain the quality of the region's groundwater.
Current Status (Phase III)
A Phase III report for the Regional Groundwater Quality Project  was drafted in 2009. It is currently under review and is expected to be finalized by March 2010.  The Phase I and Phase II reports are available on NCIA's website.
Phase I (completed)
The first phase of the project was the development of a hydrogeology and groundwater database and data management system to support the remaining phases and was completed in 2004.
Phase II (completed)
Information gaps were identified, and Phase II of the project was commissioned to obtain the data required to fulfil the goals of Phases III and IV of study.   Phase II began early in 2005 and was completed in 2006. It involved drilling 23 test holes in FortSaskatchewan, SturgeonCounty and StrathconaCounty to address gaps in the existing information. Thirteen of those test holes were converted to monitoring wells, to complement the existing well networks operated by both industry and Alberta Environment in the region.
Phase III (to be completed by March 2010)
Phase III began in 2007, and involved a continuing assessment of current groundwater quality, as well as the use of computer models. Utilization of numerical groundwater modeling was used in conjunction with a decision basis for establishing the locations and completion details for the groundwater monitoring wells that will form the collective NCIA regional groundwater monitoring well network. The modeling domain will encompass the NCIA study area and address long term monitoring strategies for the continued protection and management of groundwater resources in the region. The process will incorporate existing monitoring well assets into the regional groundwater monitoring network where appropriate.
Phase IV (to begin sometime in 2010)
The final phase of the project will be to develop the regional groundwater monitoring network and provide recommendations for the implementation of a sustainable groundwater management strategy for a long term regional monitoring program. 
For more information about NCIA's Regional Groundwater Quality Study, please contact us at or visit us online at
NCIA's Regional Noise Management Plan - The First of Its Kind in North America
NCIA's Regional Noise Management Plan (RNMP) is the first initiative of its kind in North America and adopts best practices in noise management. It addresses noise control expectations for new industry and offers a management system approach for existing industrial noise sources. While each member company is responsible for implementing the regional plan independently, annual reporting to the NCIA will be required to ensure overall regional compliance.

Current Status
In keeping with the provisions of the ERCB Noise Monitoring Directive D-38, NCIA is developing a RNMP. 
There are several elements to this plan:
  • Development of an RNMP Compliance Framework - completed
  • Acknowledgement by ERCB that the Compliance Framework is acceptable - completed
  • Development of a Noise Equipment Database Tool - completed
  • Regional Noise Model RFP and selection of vendor - completed
  • Development of Regional Noise Model - in process (completion in 2010)
  • Roll out of plan with orientation package for NCIA member companies - completed.
For more information about NCIA's Regional Noise Management Plan, please contact us at
About NCIA
pipesThe Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA) is a not-for-profit cooperative representing industry located in Alberta's Industrial Heartland which include the municipalities of StrathconaCounty, SturgeonCounty, the City of Fort Saskatchewan and Lamont County. NCIA member companies range from large integrated global chemical and petro-chemical industries, to industrial service companies. Members directly employ approximately 4,500 people (not including contract employees) and spend approximately $700 million to purchase goods and services in the region, not including utilities and feedstock for their plants. Current industrial investment in manufacturing plants and infrastructure in the region already exceeds $25 billion, and an additional $20 to 40 billion in investment is expected in the next 10-15 years.
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