Category Archives: Uncategorized

17:00 – 17:40 – Aquatic Monitoring – Where do We Go from Here?

Author / Presenter: Session Co-Chairs

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17:00 – 17:40
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

It has been almost three decades since Canada’s first federally regulated EEM program was developed and implemented for the pulp and paper (1992) and mining (2002) sectors. Similar requirements exist in the territories through Aquatic Effects Monitoring Programs (AEMP) and, more regulatory EEM programs are being developed for coal and diamond mines, wastewater facilities etc.  The aquatic monitoring endpoints and the tools used to monitor those endpoints have remained virtually unchanged. The federal EEM programs also require Investigation of Cause (IOC) studies into confirmed statistical differences between reference and exposure communities. While routine monitoring is very prescriptive and supported by ample technical guidance, there are no specific requirements for how to conduct IOC studies and very limited guidance.

This discussion will focus on these extremes, and a third overarching question – how to interpret the results nationally.

IOC – Where do we go from here?

Aquatic monitoring has continued to evolve since these regulations came into effect, and many new tools have emerged. Some techniques include but are not limited to caging studies, subcellular partitioning, genomics, novel lab based toxicity testing approaches, speciation modeling, enzyme assays and other bioindicators, sediment biogeochemistry, synchotron analysis, laser ablation, histology and gene regulation. Many metal mines and pulp and paper mills have conducted at least one IOC study, and practitioners have amassed considerable knowledge about IOC. What has worked? What hasn’t worked? What can we learn from these experiences? Have we gotten any better at resolving difficult confounding influences like historical contamination? Is better technical guidance desirable, and if so, how can this accumulated knowledge and wisdom be incorporated into that guidance?

Routine EEMs

Are the prescriptive methods and endpoints we use now appropriate? What happened to using critical effects sizes in decision making? Are we adequately mining the existing data? What are key limitations of routine monitoring studies?

The Great Debate – How to Assess Results Across Multiple Sites?

An important objective of aquatic monitoring is to understand what is happening in the environment at the site-specific level. Federal EEM programs have additional objectives to understand what is happening at the national level, and to use that information to assess the adequacy of the regulations. To inform this, Environment and Climate Change Canada prepares national assessment reports. Comparing results across multiple sites is a challenge, and there has been much debate about the “right” way to do it. How do the different methods stack up? Do they tell us what we need to know? What is the best way to assess results across sites with different site-specific environments and conditions?

16:20 – 16:40 – Vanengen, Ryan – Integrating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and Caribou Collaring Data into Screening Level Risk Assessment at the Agnico Eagle Meadowbank

Author / Presenter: Ryan Vanengen
Affiliation: Agnico Eagle
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:20 – 16:40
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Currently, analysis of contaminant concentrations in soil and vegetation is conducted every three years at the Agnico Eagle Meadowbank Mine, located 70km north of Baker Lake, Nunavut, in order to verify initial impact predictions. Caribou were, and continue to be, a particular focus of this Wildlife Screening Level Risk Assessment (SRLA) program, since they are frequently identified as an important species to Inuit stakeholders.  The SLRA analysis includes a calculation of hazard quotients (HQs) for minesite and reference areas, using updated exposure data and toxicity reference values (TRVs), as available. Agnico’s partnership with the GN to support caribou collaring provides a means to verify assumptions about the amount of time animals spend in the Meadowbank area, reducing some uncertainty in the exposure assessment, and highlighting the potential for indirect value in this type of multi-agency collaboration. Under both baseline (2006) and operational conditions (2011, 2014), HQ values have been <1 (negligible risk) for all COPC/ROC combinations except chromium and beryllium for Lapland Longspur. These results demonstrate the relatively high concentrations of naturally occurring chromium in area soils, and utility of robust baseline monitoring in interpreting the results of assessments conducted under operational conditions.

11:30 – 11:50 – Holeton, Claire – Analytical Tools in Ontario’s Algal Bloom Response Protocol

Author / Presenter: Claire Holeton
Affiliation: Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Student: No

Session: Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Biota of the Great Lakes
Date: Wednesday 04 October 2017
Time: 11:30 – 11:50
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Algal blooms have received increased attention in recent years due to increased public awareness after a number of high profile events and concern over the effects of a changing climate and landscape. The Ontario government has a protocol in place to respond rapidly to reports of suspected blooms. The protocol provides clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the government agencies involved, ensuring that bloom incidents are managed effectively. This presentation will describe the analytical tools that that support the protocol and how the information is used, focusing in particular on the role of algal identification. Using information collected by the algal identification services within the protocol, the presentation will also describe some of the recent trends in bloom occurrence and distribution.