Reclamation of the Balzac gas plant is estimated to take approximately 10 to 15 years.
Reclaiming the Balzac Gas Plant
Site remediation and reclamation will be the final phase of the process. Nexen is working to understand the available reclamation options, a complex process given the dynamic state of development and growth in the vicinity of the Balzac gas plant.
Remediation and reclamation includes detailed site assessments to characterize known waste streams and to develop an efficient waste strategy.
Until further studies can be conducted, a definitive timeline for the reclamation process has not been developed. However, Nexen’s experience with other large facilities suggests this process will take approximately 10 to 15 years.
When reclamation is complete, the land will be suitable for a final end use. The end land use for the plant site will follow the industrial trend of development in the neighborhood.
Individual Environmental wellsite assessments will be conducted to determine if there are any impacts to the land. Phase 1 of the assessment includes a desktop review of historical data and a field visit to understand risk and the current state of individual sites. In Phase 2 of the investigation, soil and groundwater samples are collected via boreholes and groundwater monitoring wells. Samples are analyzed by third party laboratories and data is compiled and interpreted in a report. Activity associated with these investigations is expected to create some noise and moderate traffic to the site. Investigations may take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the site.
Remediation is the process of removing pollutants or contaminants from soil, sediment, groundwater, or surface water for the general protection of human health and the environment. Each Balzac wellsite will be remediated according to Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) guidelines.
Reclamation is the process of returning soil and vegetation on disturbed lands to a state of equivalent land capacity by re-contouring the subsoil to blend into the surrounding landscape, replacing topsoil, and establishing vegetation to match the surrounding land use. Nexen’s goal in reclamation is for the wellsite to blend into the surrounding area and support land use in a way that is functionally equivalent to what it was before development took place.
We also must satisfy requirements on surface reclamation established by AER. We will monitor reclaimed sites and conduct assessments to ensure requirements are met. A detailed site assessment, required by AER, evaluates a variety of soil conditions, topsoil depth, landscape conditions and vegetation growth. Once a wellsite passes all the requirements set out in the reclamation criteria, Nexen can apply to AER for a reclamation certificate. This certifies the land has been successfully reclaimed, and Nexen can return it to the landowner, ending the surface lease agreement.