Project Summary

Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) is a non-profit organization that conserves, protects, and enhances ecological habitats for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. A land donation from a ranching family led to ACA and its partners having the opportunity to assume 1,350 acres of valuable grassland, aspen forest, and lake shoreline in the Beaver Hills UNESCO Biosphere Reserve east of Edmonton, Alberta. Golden Ranches provides important habitat for upland birds, waterfowl, white-tailed deer, and moose.

Our Role

Matrix conducted Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental site assessments (ESAs) and soil remediation to support ACA in acquiring lands to augment the Golden Ranches Conservation Site.

Challenges

Before ACA could purchase the land, they required an ESA to identify potential liabilities. A parcel of land that had previously been used to support Golden Ranches’ agricultural activities was found to have underground storage tanks (USTs) used for gasoline and diesel fuel. Matrix determined that fuel losses over the decades had impacted the subsurface; however, the soil was amenable to onsite remediation. The land transfer was bounded by certain time and financial constraints that required an expedient, cost-effective solution.

Outcome

Following the Phase 1 and Phase 2 ESAs, Matrix worked with a local earthmoving company to excavate and bioremediate a total of 6,235 m³ of impacted soil near the former USTs. As soil was treated, it was tested and used to backfill the excavation. Following the remediation program, indoor air in the nearest building and groundwater quality around the excavated area were also tested to ensure that risks to people, plants, and animals had been lowered to acceptable levels. This work led to successful transfer of the land, which became a valued part of the Golden Ranches Conservation Site.

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