Imperial is sharing information regarding management of landfill and lagoons at the Cold Lake Operation, following an inquiry made by Cold Lake First Nations (CLFN).
This information includes recent data samples that show increasing trends in chloride concentrations associated with our Nabiye lagoon. These levels do not exceed Alberta Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines and were detected in on-lease monitoring wells. Imperial has not observed any impacts to drinking water, fish, animals, or plants at this time. Additional groundwater testing is being planned and Imperial has proposed to work with CLFN on this additional testing.
These increasing trends in chloride concentrations are likely to continue. If concentrations exceed guidelines, Imperial will include the Nabiye lagoon under its contaminant management program – consistent with our regulatory requirements
We believe the cause of the increasing trend in chloride concentrations is a suspected leak in the Nabiye lagoon liner system. Imperial is working to control and manage the source of contamination. We continue to sample groundwater monthly and are expanding the groundwater monitoring network.
Imperial was preparing to notify CLFN on the Nabiye lagoon when we received a request for information regarding management practices related to the operation’s landfill and other lagoons. The company shared information detailing historic issues regarding Imperial’s landfill and lagoons at the Maskwa, Leming and Mahihkan plant sites (the Sites).
Imperial’s management plan for the Sites follows protocols consistent with the Government of Alberta’s Contaminated Sites Policy Framework. Historic issues at the Sites have been managed since the late 1990s. Mitigations in place include a network of groundwater monitoring wells at all sites, recovery trenches at the landfill and Mahihkan, and a clay barrier wall at the landfill to limit migration. Information and plans for the Sites was included in regulatory reporting to the Alberta Energy Regulator (2020-2022) as part of Imperial’s environmental and operating approval requirements, as well as in Imperial’s environmental approval renewal. Imperial has not observed any impacts to drinking water, fish, animals, or plants at this time. Additional groundwater testing is being planned and Imperial has proposed to work with CLFN on this additional testing.
We are working with CLFN to ensure the Nation has the information and data it needs to understand the issues and participate in site-specific risk assessments. This may include engagement with the CLFN community; briefings for technical committees and leadership; site tours; and participation of a CLFN representative in development of our site-specific risk assessments.
We are committed to strengthening communications and providing more information over the coming weeks and months.