Pine Point Railbed ESA
Principal Investigator: Nearing, Michelle (1)
Licence Number: 16883
Organization: BluMetric Environmental
Licensed Year(s): 2021
Issued: Aug 20, 2021
Project Team: Michelle Nearing, Kristina Hutchinson, Stephen Anderson, Claire Bursa, Reuben Makohoniuk, Conner Mcclelland

Objective(s): To determine environmental conditions (in particular metal concentrations) and to compare existing conditions on and near the Rail Bed to background.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.5047.

The objective of the study is to determine environmental conditions (in particular metal concentrations) and to compare existing conditions on and near the Rail Bed to background. The proposed field program will focus on collecting information that is considered critical for completing a human health and ecological risk assessment and evaluating remedial/risk management options for contaminated areas along the rail bed. The field program will be developed with the review of currently available data to determine the gaps to be addressed in the field program, which may include: Atmospheric components such as air quality (e.g. dust); Aquatic components such as freshwater surface water and goundwater quality, sediment quality, and benthic taxonomy/population; Terrestrial components such as soil type and quality, vegetation type and quality, ecosystem mapping; and, Wildlife components such as migratory birds (e.g. grouse, goose, ptarmigan) and small mammals (e.g. rabbit) - desktop/observations of presence/absence only, no sampling or collection of wildlife

The BluMetric field program will be developed and implemented to meet and/or exceed the requirements of the The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Guidance Manual on Sampling, Analysis, and Data Management for Contaminated Sites (December 1993), CCME Guidance Manual for Environmental Site Characterization in Support of Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment, Volume 3, Standard Operating Procedures (2016), and Environment Canada’s Technical Assistance Bulletins on Contaminated Sites (1992). The Study area will be the length of the Rail Bed and 30m on either side and 1km on each end. Work will be planned for the 2021 field season and may continue in 2022 depending on the results and findings. It is estimated up to cumulative three weeks will be needed to complete the proposed field program. Local individuals will be employed as field assistants and wildlife monitors.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is finalizing an Engagement Plan for the Pine Point Rail Bed Project. This plan outlines the communication with the various stakeholders around the project area. As this research is conducted and finalized the different stakeholders will be updated by CIRNAC either by one on one communication or by project update meetings.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 20, 2021 to September 20, 2021.