Domtar

Update – December 10, 2018: Final sampling draft results under review

The Alberta government is currently reviewing draft results from the final sampling that was conducted in the area, including:

  • Greenbelt and CN right-of-way areas
  • Homesteader community
  • Overlanders community
  • Verte Homesteader community

We expect to have the final draft reports within the coming weeks.

Former Domtar Wood Treatment Facility (Edmonton)

Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) has been conducting an investigation on properties associated with a historical Wood Treatment Plant. As a result of this investigation, a number of orders have been issued; nearby residents were notified of these actions by way of letters on March 16. The areas referenced in the orders are:

  • Southwestern quadrant of Overlanders community (referred to as Greenbelt)
  • Southeastern quadrant of Homesteader community (referred to as Parcel X)
  • Brownfield site of former Domtar operation (referred to as Parcel Y)
  • Berm at the south of the brownfield site (referred to as Parcel Y Berm)
  • Verte /Homesteader (referred to as Parcel C)

To view the Orders, see:

The Ministry recently received results of a sampling and delineation program conducted as a part of the ongoing Environment and Parks investigation; the sampling and delineation program was conducted by an independent third party consultant on behalf of AEP. Some samples from this testing show the presence of chemicals known to be harmful to people in large amounts or over long periods of time. To review the reports (NOTE: Large file size), see:

Contaminants and Remediation

Contaminants from a historical wood treatment processing plant continue to exist on property formerly occupied by the Edmonton Domtar Wood Treatment Plant in Edmonton; this contamination, which originated prior to 1987, consists of:

  • benzene
  • dioxins and furans
  • free hydrocarbons
  • naphthalene
  • polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons mixtures
  • pyrene

The health and safety of Albertans is always our utmost concern. AEP has issued a new series of three Enforcement Orders and an amendment to an existing Enforcement Order to ensure the responsible parties implement appropriate remedial measures and mitigate the potential risks that have been identified.

The orders require that the source of the contamination be controlled and remedial measures be implemented in the areas referred to as Parcel X, Parcel Y and the Greenbelt.

For full maps of the areas under the orders, see:

In 2013, a remediation certificate was issued for a portion of the site historically used for storing treated products. A new residential area – Verte Homesteader community (referred to as Parcel C) – has since been developed in this portion of the property. The orders issued today relate to adjacent properties and not this redeveloped property.

In July 2018, the Government of Alberta undertook further regulatory actions based on the results of recent soil testing done by the responsible parties and in the absence of plans from those parties.

Site Testing and Health Concerns

Out of caution, Alberta Environment and Parks is making sure that additional testing and analysis is done in nearby residential communities to make sure Albertans are not being exposed to harmful chemicals. The government will take more steps if necessary. If unsafe chemical levels are found in residential communities the Government of Alberta will take steps necessary to protect the health of impacted residents.

Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services were also consulted on the results. Their assessment of the data indicates that contaminants on lands referred to as parcels X, Y and the Greenbelt site pose a potential risk of harm to the health of people who may have accessed these areas.

Alberta Health Services has not been made aware of any immediate health concerns that may be related to exposure to chemicals in the soil or groundwater. Alberta Health Services’ first priority is ensuring the safety of residents and anyone who may have accessed those specific areas.

AHS has issued four Executive Officer’s Orders that require the owners to take immediate action to secure the site and restrict access, and put in place any measures such as fencing and signage to minimize any potential health risks to members of the public in the immediate surrounding areas.

In May 2018, an environmental contractor engaged by Alberta Environment and Parks completed surface soil sampling in the Verte Homesteader community. For full details, see:

In June 2018, soil test results from northeast Edmonton’s Verte Homesteader neighbourhood found no health concerns in the surface soil of homeowner properties.

There are four specific areas outside of residents’ properties in the southeast corner of the neighbourhood where results show levels of some chemicals above public health protection guidelines. The Alberta government is immediately installing additional fencing to limit public access to these areas.

Additional surface soil sampling was done for several areas in the former Domtar site early in the week starting Monday, August 13th. For details, see:

Related Information

For additional information, see

Contact Information

If you still have questions, please call the appropriate authority at the numbers below:

Questions about the Order, Reports or Contamination

  • Alberta Environment and Parks Information Centre
    Tel: Call Toll Free 310-3773 or 1 877 944-0313
    Email: AEP.Info-Centre@gov.ab.ca

Questions about Human Health

  • Alberta Health Services - Alberta Health Link
    Tel: Call Toll Free 811 or 1-866-408-5465
    Website: MyHealth.Alberta.ca

Questions about Development Approvals in the Area

  • City of Edmonton Contact Centre
    Tel (Local): 311
    Outside Edmonton call: 780 442-5311
    TTY call: 780 944-5555
    Email: 311@edmonton.ca

 

Page Information

Updated: Dec 10, 2018