Papers, Presentations and Publications

A Breath of Fresh Air: Protecting the Public from Air Quality Concerns Associated with Remediation at Rock Bay
June 9, 2016
Yukon River Chinook Salmon eDNA Project: Presentation at Yukon College
November 20, 2015
Scott Weston Presents at Genome BC’s Genomics Forum
May 14, 2015
Sustainable Groundwater Management Strategies: Remediation Metal Contamination Using Permeable Reactive Barriers
April 25, 2014
Presentation by Eric Pringle at Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference
November 18, 2013
CSR Management Tool - Adding Value to Projects by Listening
February 19, 2013
Remediation Considerations for Brownfield Redevelopment Sites: A Series of Practical Considerations
February 8, 2013
An Update on the Status of Red Bats in British Columbia
December 10, 2012
Lower Mainland Sandhill Crane: South Fraser Perimeter Road
June 25, 2012
Definition of critical summer and fall habitat for bowhead whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic
April 12, 2012

Hemmera’s project team implemented a Neighbourhood Air Quality Monitoring Program to address air quality concerns associated with the remediation activities at the Rock Bay site in Victoria, BC. This program has proven to be instrumental in demonstrating that air quality was safeguarded during remediation.

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Hemmera's Michael Muller and Kristina Beckmann delivered a presentation highlighting our involvement with the Yukon River Chinook Salmon eDNA project. Hosted at Yukon College, Michael and Kristina shared how this exciting technology could be of value to both renewable resource managers and resource developers.

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Scott Weston, Director of Development, was invited to speak at Genome BC’s annual Genomics Forum, a one-day scientific event that brought together researchers and collaborators from all of BC's life sciences sectors. Scott’s presentation focused on genomics in the resource and energy industries. He discussed the use of Environmental DNA (eDNA) and Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) as genomic tools.

Tremendously flexible, permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) are a sustainable biological and chemical treatment approach in which subsurface “walls” are installed to intercept and passively treat contaminants in groundwater, thereby reducing risks to the receiving environment and downstream receptors. Thanks to their flexible attributes and adaptation to site-specific conditions, PRBs are designed to treat a variety of inorganic and organic contaminants in groundwater through their destruction or adsorption. For instance, PRBs have been successfully applied to mitigate groundwater impacts from metal leaching and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD) in numerous sites across the US and Canada where groundwater has been adversely impacted by mining-related operations.

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On October 23, Eric Pringle travelled to Toronto to attend and present at the 2013 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference, which included a full-day Brownfield Bootcamp. Eric co-chaired the session, Make or Break: A developer’s considerations in brownfield redevelopment, with David Harper of Kilmer Brownfield Equity Fund. Eric’s presentation, Walk in the Developer’s Shoes (or at least beside them), focused on the many brownfield success stories Hemmera has helped script over the years. Eric showcased Hemmera’s many SAR projects, including the Davie Community Garden and SOLEfood Farms with the City of Vancouver. He also discussed smaller-scale brownfields, such as the service station sites that Hemmera has helped remediate in Vancouver and Calgary, as well as other brownfield sites in Vancouver, Richmond, North Vancouver, and income properties in Calgary.  Eric then focused on large-scale brownfield projects, showcasing the work Hemmera has done with the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC) to successfully remediate approximately 60 acres of upland and 40 acres of water lots following decades of heavy industrial use.  Eric’s presentation also focused on liability transfer issues, design charettes in Nanaimo, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Mackenzie, and Smithers, and the progress made in BC in the treatment and redevelopment of brownfield sites.

In addition to sharing his and Hemmera’s experience in brownfield remediation, Eric provided insight into the key ingredients for successful redevelopment of brownfield sites. The municipality is the key beneficiary, Eric pointed out in his presentation, and successful projects like SODC require consideration of all stakeholders, especially developers, while ensuring redevelopment plans include environmental and social benefits. Because contemporary brownfield projects are now integrating remediation with redevelopment, Eric advised municipal managers to let provincial and federal regulators set the requirements for remediation and clean-up, while focusing on the greater vision for the brownfield properties being redeveloped. Environmental remediation is no longer viewed as the major barrier in most cases, Eric reported, and provincial and municipal governments must share both opportunities and potential liability with private-sector redevelopment partners throughout the remediation process and lifecycle. Eric also encouraged municipal managers to be flexible in considering potential redevelopments of brownfield sites, such as mixed-use and higher-density proposal, which ultimately result in more taxes and revenue for municipalities. Providing incentives is key to project success, Eric explained, citing examples such as revitalizing tax incentives, waiving development cost charges, providing off-site sewer and water upgrades that can be recovered later through increased taxes, and more intensive land use on properties with development potential.

Later on in the conference, Eric also presented the Canadian Urban Institute’s Brownie Award for best overall project to CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Am Athlete’s Village and the Canary District from Toronto, a project that supported public policies while exemplifying superior performance and excellence in high quality urban design and public space.  Eric also took the opportunity to announce Hemmera’s move into eastern Canada and the plan to open a corporate office in Toronto.

Hemmera was excited to participate in the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) Roundup 2013 Conference (January 28-31, 2013). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an increasingly integral component in sustainable mineral exploration, which was reflected in this year’s Roundup 2013 theme: “Resources for Life: Digging Deeper”. Over the past year, Mike Choi (of Hemmera) and Vesta Filipchuk (of Teck Resources) worked diligently to co-chair the CSR Technical Session, where they assembled an astute panel of experts to share ideas.

In the CSR Technical Session, seven panelists and two facilitators spoke in two panels. The first panel reviewed the underlying fundamentals of CSR, and the importance of integrating sustainable practices into mineral exploration. The second panel delved deeper, providing meaningful illustrations of the successful CSR implementation, and examining what it has meant to the businesses, communities and institutions involved. As part of the second panel, Michael Muller, Director of Northern Projects for Hemmera, presented a Yukon perspective and provided examples from his personal experience. Michael discussed the linkage between CSR and a Social License to Operate, and the importance of “Listening to Understand”.

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Brownfields present a unique opportunity relative to contaminated lands. In a presentation given at the insight "Contaminated Sites in BC" conference, Hemmera's Greg Quandt and Peter Reid investigated some of the differences and unique aspects of the two. They presented a range of remedial examples on actual sites undergoing redevelopment to showcase the different aspects of remediation, contaminant risk, and liability with mitigation and control measures. Greg and Peter also touched on some of the tools and approaches used in BC for promoting and encouraging brownfield redevelopment. 

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Many had believed that the Western Red Bat (Lasiurus blossevillii) was the only species of red bat that occured in British Columbia. Subsequent genetic studies demonstrated that the eastern and western North American populations were distinct species: L. borealis and L. blossevillii. Two recent fatalities of L. borealis at a wind energy facility in northeastern British Columbia prompted expert David W. Nagorsen and Hemmera's Brian Paterson to review the status of red bats in the province.

The results of their investigation have been published in the Winter 2012 edition of Northwestern Naturalist.

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Charlie Palmer, Hemmera's senior ecologist, presents to the Canadian Wildlife Services group on the South Fraser Perimeter Road Project with a focus on the Mitigation Monitoring Program, it's findings and results of the Sandhill Cranes. For a copy of the presentation, email

Hemmera's marine and fisheries group has released a paper outlining collected data on Eastern Arctic bowhead whales and their habitat. The study provides resource managers with a timely tool for population recovery, conservation, and protection. The abstract to the article is below:

ABSTRACT: Bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus critical habitat was identified as a key information gap by the Eastern Arctic Bowhead Whale Recovery Team. To fill this gap, data on eastern Canadian Arctic (ECA) bowhead whales and their habitat were collected and analyzed. We selected governmental, private, and historical whaling bowhead location datasets which differed in temporal and spatial extent, sample size, and quality. Sufficient data were available only for the ‘reduced-ice’ period (June to October) and pooled by month. Data for 6 ecogeographical variables (EGVs) were integrated into a geographical information system (GIS): sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, ice, depth, slope, and distance to shore. A monthly ecological niche factor analysis was performed for each whale and EGV dataset to determine habitat suitability in the ECA. Eleven habitat suitability models were produced, and a composite map of predicted high suitability habitat, for all 5 months, was developed. Twenty-one areas within the ECA were identified as highly suitable habitat and ranked according to analytical confidence. Six critical habitats were identified and are supported by recent scientific evidence and Inuit knowledge. Recently, the population estimate, conservation status, and management of the Eastern Canada−West Greenland bowhead population have changed dramatically (bowhead whales of this population also inhabit the ECA). In parallel, evidence of ecological change from climate warming has increased and associated loss of sea ice is anticipated to increase interactions between bowheads and anthropogenic activity. As envisioned by the recovery team, this study provides resource managers with a timely tool for population recovery, conservation, and protection.

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