Reclamation

Overview

The Reclamation team at InnoTech Alberta provides leadership on the development of applied, innovative, practical and holistic land reclamation and remediation procedures and technologies for landscapes disturbed by industrial activities for the benefit of our partners, clients and all Albertans.

Reclamation refers to the process of returning disturbed land to its former or an otherwise productive state. Reclamation goals include restoring function in terms of biodiversity, habitat, adaptability to climate change, cultural and traditional land use, or agricultural production.  To do this, industry and government actively seek innovative, practical, environmentally responsible and cost-effective ways to ensure that these goals can be met, supporting responsible resource development activities.

Through applied research and development, the Reclamation team offers scientific and technical services to industry, government, organizations, stakeholders, and the public, focusing on solutions that can be implemented at an operational scale.  Given the breadth of its customer base, the Reclamation team is able to structure working agreements that respect client confidentiality when necessary. Our goal is to work across sectors, applying and transferring knowledge from various fields of study as a touchpoint for both industry and government regarding innovative and fit-for-purpose environmental technologies and practices.

Science-based methods and best management practices are required to support the expectations of regulators and stakeholders. Dating back to the early 1970s, the Reclamation team, has developed strong relationships with industry, municipalities, academia and government in Alberta, and will continue to be customer-driven, team-oriented, and produce quality results from data based on sound science.  Key program elements are described below:

Services

The Reclamation Team researches and develops strategies and technologies in the following focus areas:

Native Plants

The Native Plants Program applies innovative techniques to help government and industry return functioning ecosystems through the use of native plant materials.  It provides the foundational elements necessary to facilitate and ensure the continued production, distribution, direct application, and long-term success of native species across the province. The key focus areas include:

  • Wild seed collection;
  • Breeder seed development;
  • Monitoring;
  • Reclamation and remediation research & development (R&D); and,
  • Education and knowledge transfer.

The NPP promotes collaboration and aims to be directly linked with existing organizations, academia, practitioners and seed banks that specialize in and work with native species, so as to not duplicate efforts but to fill in gaps and provide support.

Waste to Use

This program consists of evaluation of organic and inorganic industrial waste by-products for a variety of uses. Environmental risks associated with alternative applications, products or use as soil amendments are assessed and validated to enable industry with the weight-of-evidence to build a case for land-use application and best management practices, ensuring no harmful environmental impacts.

Closure, Certification Validation and Risk Assessment

The Reclamation Team conducts a range of tests (from bench-scale to field-scale) to  evaluate environmental risk associated with new products and technologies; develop scientifically proven and appropriate guidelines and best management practices; and conduct standard testing, product development and technology validation.

Remediation and Risk Mitigation

The Reclamation team recently initiated research and development in the area of remediation and risk mitigation.  Initial priorities include the development of programs around:

  • Optimization and evaluation of remediation procedures and technologies for the development and commercialization of novel remediation technologies
  • Improving on spill response processes and efficiencies through stakeholder engagement, risk assessment initiatives, and research

Monitoring

InnoTech has equipment and know-how to deliver a wide range of sampling, sensor installation and monitoring services to support the development of improved monitoring and evaluation plans, strategies and technologies to measure the impact of disturbances and success of reclamation and remediation. Previous projects have focused on the assessment of ecological trends post reclamation and remediation, including the use of chemical, physical and biological parameters to create long-term data sets to inform policy and support decision-making.

We use both proven and state-of-the-art equipment and methods for measuring and broad range of environmental parameters in the field, laboratory and greenhouse.