Agrium was required to conduct a Soil Monitoring Program (SMP) at their central Alberta fertilizer plant. Soil monitoring at industrial sites across Alberta are required every five years in order to meet the terms and conditions of their operating approval as specified in the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).
Matrix Solutions worked with Agrium to complete their soil monitoring program. In order to extract soil samples, we drilled 28 boreholes using a solid-stem auger rig to a maximum depth of 3.0 m below ground surface across the site. Samples were analyzed for the various contaminants of potential concern (COPCs) expected to be present at site. Analytical results were compared to those from previous SMPs to determine any changes in soil quality over time. Results were also compared with groundwater chemistry trends, and the findings were summarized in a comprehensive regulatory report.
The fertilizer plant is one of the largest in North America, which presented many safety-related challenges pertaining to site access, security, ground disturbance, permitting, and congestion. The safe execution of this project required a close working relationship with Agrium, and the submission of a technically-sound work plan with a clearly defined scope-of-work was developed.
The regulator accepted Agrium’s soil monitoring program which was delivered on time and on budget, while exceeding expectations.