- The environmental impacts of our work and small research team is low. Increased human activity in the area will increase ambient noise levels in the immediate area, which may disturb wildlife. These activities will be highly localized and the impact is expected to be very small.
- Helicopter and airplane transportation will also create noise that may affect wildlife. This will be very short term as we only will conduct short day trips using the helicopter for collecting purposes.
- Care will be taken to ensure that all non-biodegradable waste (garbage) will be carried out. Garbage will be minimal, as most of our food will be packaged in re-usable containers.
- All solid human waste will be buried. Toilet paper will be burned.
- We will be making collections of lichen and plant species, but these will not impact local plant populations as we will only collect plants from populations with many individuals.
- Water usage will be very low, as we will only be using water for domestic purposes (cooking, cleaning, and drinking).
- Grey water from cooking (this will be minimal) - will be buried at least 100 m from all water sources.
- White gas (naphtha) for cooking - This is our only hazardous material. It will be stored in orifginal containers, and in fuel bottles for camp stoves. The project leader and camp manager will monitor fuel storage daily to check for leaks and other damage to the fuel containers. If a leak or spilled were to occur we follow these procedures:
A. Procedures for initial actions
• Ensure safety of all personnel.
• Assess spill hazards and risks.
• Remove all sources of ignition.
• Stop the spill if safely possible e.g. shut of pump, replace cap, tip drum upward, patch leaking hole.
• No matter what the volume is, notify camp manager immediately.
• Contain the spill – use contents of spill kits to place sorbent materials on the spill, or use shovel to dig dike to contain spill. Methods will vary depending on the nature of the spill. See Section C for more details.
B. Spill reporting procedures
Report spill to project leader and/or camp manager. They will determine if the spill is to be reported to the spill report line.
Fill out a copy of the NWT Spill Report Form (see Appendix 2 for the form). Submit the completed form to the staff at the 24 Hour spill line ASAP.
Nunavut / NWT 24-hour Spill Report Line:
Phone: (867) 920 – 8130
Fax (867) 873 – 6924
Report spill to AAND Manager of Field Operations at 867-975-4289 (phone) and/or 867-975-6445 (fax).
Report spill in an annual report.
C. Procedures for containing and controlling the spill on land
• Initiate spill containment by first determining what will be affected by the spill.
• Assess speed and direction of spill and cause of movement (water, wind and slope).
• Determine best location for containing spill, avoiding any water bodies.
• Have a contingency plan ready in case spill worsens beyond control or if the weather or topography impedes containment.
Specific spill containment methods for land, water, ice and snow are outlined below.
1) Containment of Spills on Land
Spills on land include spills on rock, gravel, soil and/or vegetation. Soil is a natural sorbent, thus spills on soil are generally less serious than spills on water, as contaminated soil can be more easily recovered. Generally spills on land occur during the late spring, summer or fall when snow cover is at a minimum. It is important that all measures be undertaken to avoid spills reaching open water bodies.
Dykes can be created using soil surrounding a spill on land. These dykes are constructed around the perimeter or down slope of the spilled fuel. A dyke needs to be built up to a size that will ensure containment of the maximum quantity of fuel that may reach it. A plastic tarp can be placed on and at the base of the dyke such that fuel can pool up and subsequently be removed with sorbent materials or by pump into barrels or bags. If the spill is migrating very slowly a dyke may not be necessary and sorbents can be used to soak up fuels before they migrate away from the source of the spill.
Trenches can be dug out to contain spills as long as the top layer of soil is thawed. Shovels, pick axes or plant collecting knives/diggers, etc. can be used, depending on the size of trench required. It is recommended that the trench be dug to the bedrock or permafrost, which will then provide containment layer for the spilled fuel. Fuel can then be recovered using a pump or sorbent materials.
2) Containment of Spills on Water
Spills on water such as rivers, streams or lakes are the most serious types of spills as they can negatively impact water quality and aquatic life. All measures need to be undertaken to contain spills on open water.
Weirs can be used to contain spills in streams and to prevent further migration downstream. Plywood or other materials found on site can be placed into and across the width of the stream, such that water can still flow under the weir. Spilled fuel will float on the water surface and be contained at the foot of the weir. It can then be removed using sorbents, booms or pumps and placed into barrels or plastic bags.
In some situations barriers made of netting or fence material can be installed across a stream, and sorbent materials placed at the base to absorb spilled fuel. Sorbents will need to be replaced as soon as they are saturated. Water will be allowed to flow through. This is very similar to the weir option discussed above. Note that in some cases, it may be appropriate to burn fuel or to let volatile fuels such as gasoline evaporate after containment on the water surface. This should only be undertaken in consultation with, and after approval from the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) or lead agency Inspector.
D. Procedures for transferring, storing, and managing spill related wastes
In most cases, spill clean-ups are initiated at the far end of the spill and contained moving toward the centre of the spill. Sorbent socks and pads are generally used for small spill clean-up. Hand tools – whatever is available in the field camp (pots and pans, plant diggers, etc.) – can be effective for small spills.
Used sorbent materials are to be placed in plastic bags for future disposal. All materials mentioned in this section are available in the spill kits located at the research camp. Following clean up, any tools or equipment used will be properly washed and decontaminated, or replaced if this is not possible. For most of the containment procedures outlined in Section C, spilled petroleum products and materials used for containment will be placed into empty waste fuel containers and sealed for proper disposal at an approved disposal facility.
E. Procedures for restoring affected areas
Once a spill of reportable size has been contained, the Museum research team will consult with the AANDC or lead agency Inspector assigned to the file to determine the level of clean-up required. The Inspector may require a site specific study to ensure appropriate clean up levels are met. Criteria that may be considered include natural biodegradation of oil, replacement of soil and re-vegetation
||1 L/ day
||We will limit the amount of Grey water produced as much as possible.
||Buried at least 100 m from all water sources.
|Sewage (human waste)
||At least 100 m from all water sources.