What mining, oil and gas industries can learn from Sudbury, the city that went from major polluter to thriving environment – by Nadia Mykytczuk (The Conversation – August 25, 2021)

https://theconversation.com/

Nadia Mykytczuk is the Interim CEO/President of MIRARCO, Laurentian University.

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in Montréal two years ago, he promised to plant two billion trees by 2030 to help Canada meet its net-zero emissions goal.

Planting trees, however, is hard work. It takes money and planning. But a re-greening roadmap exists.

Sudbury, the largest city in Northern Ontario, transformed itself after decades of environmental devastation, brought on by the mining industry. Other communities and industries, like oil and gas, can replicate the city’s efforts to aid in global efforts to fight climate change.

A devastated landscape

For almost 100 years, Sudbury’s community and environment were blanketed in sulfur dioxide and metals released from the smelting of nickel ore.

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Other Voices: Biden infrastructure plan targets state’s coal communities – by Deb Haaland (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – August 1, 2021)

https://www.post-gazette.com/

Deb Haaland is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

As I travel throughout America, I am filled with hope as I see businesses open and communities recovering. Thanks to President Joe Biden’s leadership in passing the American Rescue Plan and making progress in defeating COVID-19, economic growth is up and unemployment is down.

The nation’s ongoing economic recovery is opening opportunities to help stabilize and empower workers who have been facing economic instability since before the pandemic.

During my trip to Schuylkill County earlier this month, I saw firsthand how hardworking coal communities here in Pennsylvania helped power our country, but are now facing significant challenges in restoring their community environments and retooling toward developing a robust and sustainable clean energy future.

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Enviro programs should be added, not cut – by David Farrow (Sudbury Star – June 10, 2021)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

David Farrow is the Ontario Liberal Party candidate for Sudbury in next year’s provincial election.

During my first trip to Sudbury in 1985, I remember the area looking barren with little to no vegetation. It was a shock to someone who was a first-time visitor to the city.

Thankfully, local leaders have taken steps since then to restore the landscape and beautify our community, producing world-class results, in no small part due to the excellent environmental research and teaching at Laurentian University. It made the business hub of Northern Ontario a better place to live.

Shockingly, Laurentian’s School of the Environment and environmental programming, so important to the fabric of our city, have been gutted by the recent Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings, alongside other vital areas of study. This is a mistake, one that will have consequences in the years to come.

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Coal industry scientists say community involvement is key to making mines safe – by Bob Weber (Globe and Mail/Canadian Press – May 23, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Coal mines can be environmentally safe and can become useful, enjoyable landscapes when the seam runs out, say scientists working with industry.

But they admit that there are risks and costs, and urge communities and miners to work together from the start to understand and minimize them.

“There’s a lot of mitigative measures you can take when you’re designing a mine,” said Guy Gilron, a biologist and toxicologist who has worked on many mine projects, including some proposed for Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

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Accent: Living with Lake remains a symbol of hope for Sudbury – by Elizabeth Bamberger (Sudbury Star – May 15, 2021)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Accent: Environmental excellence on the shore of Lake Ramsey must be preserved during Laurentian University’s restructuring process

There are landmarks in our city that show how the imagination and vision of small groups of individuals can take root and grow. Science North is a prominent example.

Another is Canada’s first school of architecture in 45 years that opened its doors to Laurentian students in 2013, seeding excitement, renewal and hope in the downtown core.

The iconic Vale Living With Lakes Centre on the shores of Lake Ramsey is a third, and its story needs to be told, especially in this turbulent time.

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Laurentian losing three key ‘Sudbury Model’ researchers – by Hugh Kruzel (Sudbury Star – May 13, 2021)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

They are a loss to regreening and land and water restoration efforts here and around the world

A university is not buildings; it is the sum of all the activities that go on in and around the campus; and much further. It is ultimately the interaction of learners and those who offer learning opportunities. It is the research and even the conversations between and amongst seemingly disparate parts that lead to surprises, discoveries, solutions, and understandings.

The removal of professors, staff, and the impact of cuts and closing, are beyond evaluation and reach well outside our geographic region. In ecology and environmental sciences, the closing of programs ends decades of awareness, sharing, and success in land, soil, and water research and restoration.

Laurentian, of course, is insolvent. To balance its books, it has cut almost 200 faculty and staff, and 69 programs. Graeme Spiers taught in a range of departments.

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Cleanup efforts of mining-polluted streams prove effective over time – study – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – May 9, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

A new study based on long-term monitoring data shows that cleanup efforts can allow streams affected by acidic runoff drainage from abandoned mines to recover to near-natural conditions within 10 to 15 years after the start of abatement work.

In detail, the authors of the paper analyzed monitoring information over periods of 20 years or more for four mining-impacted watersheds—located in mountain mining regions of California, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana.

The sites were all designated as Superfund sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which helps fund the cleanup of toxic-waste sites in the United States.

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Cleaning up abandoned mines can help environment, create jobs in Appalachia – by Joseph Pizarchik (Kentucky.com – April 29, 2021)

https://www.kentucky.com/

Thousands of miles of streams across the country are running orange, contaminated by highly acidic water draining from abandoned coal mines.

Rather than supporting local economies, these abandoned sites and their pollution render water supplies and more than 850,000 acres of land unusable, while posing a risk of flooding and mudslides that could devastate entire towns.

All told, abandoned mine lands are an American infrastructure crisis. But, like many infrastructure problems, we can turn these liabilities into job-creating opportunities with investment at the scale of the problem.

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Restructuring overlooks important environmental legacy: critics – by Hugh Kruzel (Sudbury Star – April 30, 2021)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Laurentian is cutting environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology programs as it works to balance its books

Sudbury has garnered a reputation around the world as a community that knows how to recover an environment degraded by mining and smelting operations. Most of that know-how was developed by Laurentian University researchers — expertise that will be lost as the university restructures, critics warn.

Laurentian is cutting environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology programs – among many others – as part of a process to balance its books.

The university is insolvent, can’t pay its bills and has filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act as it restructures. So far, it has cut almost 200 jobs and 69 programs. Many, however, say cuts are a severe blow to the reputation of Sudbury as a leader in landscape revitalization.

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Laurentian University cuts world-renowned programs – by Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde (Sudbury Star – April 28, 2021)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Sudbury is known as the city of lakes and for its famous regreening programs, yet university is slashing expertise in those areas as it restructures

Among the programs closed in Laurentian University’s “restructuring” were environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology.

In a city of lakes, where Sophie Mathur has galvanized global youth around the climate crisis, where the regreening of the region has reached near mythological status, an undergraduate student cannot enter into an environmental or ecology program at Laurentian University.

Think about that. Why were Laurentian’s environmental and ecology programs closed?

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Canada’s once largest copper mine devastated Howe Sound, here’s how it was fixed – by Mia Gordon (Yahoo News – April 21, 2021)

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/

It is one of the most dramatic landscapes in Canada. The waters change from deep blue to turquoise depending on the glacier melt. From the edge of the shore the coastal mountains tower overhead, and flowing between these steep volcanic rocks is the world’s most southern fjord.

This is an image of Howe Sound: A triangular shaped inlet that joins several fjords in southwestern British Columbia. Its starting point is just northwest of Vancouver, and then its waterways open up towards the Sunshine Coast to meet at its head in Squamish.

Aside from creating a stunning landscape, the waters from the Sound also provide critical ecosystem services valued at $7.5 billion annually. It’s home to a large array of marine life including endangered species like orcas and glass sponge reefs.

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NEWS RELEASE: Winners of the 2020 Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Industry Award and $5,000 Student Bursary Announced (Ontario Mining Association – January 12, 2021)

The Canadian Land Reclamation Association – Ontario Chapter has announced the winners of the 2020 Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Industry Award and Student Bursary. The annual awards were established in 2007 to encourage the pursuit of excellence in mine reclamation and to recognize and promote, to the mining industry and environmental community at large, outstanding achievement in the practice of mine reclamation in Ontario.

This year’s industry prize went to Kirkland Lake Gold’s Detour Lake Mine for their project entitled The Detour Lake Mine Research and Progressive Reclamation Program. With a projected life of mine to 2040 (or longer), the Detour Lake Mine initiated, in 2012, a progressive reclamation effort, supported by a long-term multidisciplinary research program.

The extensive efforts of this program continue to address several aspects critical to successful mine reclamation, including ecosystem restoration with native species and the management of metal leaching and acid rock drainage from mine waste materials.

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Resolution Copper completes $75 million restoration of historic mining land – by Paul Moore (International Mining – January 11, 2021)

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Resolution Copper says it has completed a $75 million restoration and reclamation project of 475 acres of land impacted by close to a century of historic impacts from the Magma Copper Mine near the Town of Superior, Arizona.

Resolution Copper voluntarily committed to accelerate the reclamation work to demonstrate its commitment to cleaning up the historic mining impacts well in advance of any new mine development activities.

Resolution Copper Project Director Andrew Lye said: “We’re proud to deliver this significant piece of environmental remediation work decades earlier than required, to make our community a cleaner and safer place to live and work.

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Global mine reclamation expert to be given honorary doctorate by Laurentian University – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 28, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ecological engineer Margarete Kalin-Seidenfaden worked in Northern Ontario mine tailings projects

A pioneer in applying the principles of ecological engineering to tackle contaminated mine waste sites will be recognized by Laurentian University at its fall convocation ceremony.

Margarete Kalin-Seidenfaden will be presented with an honorary doctor of science on Oct.31.

Her career as an environmental consultant includes co-founding Boojum Research in 1982, a Toronto R & D firm specializing in ecologically-based treatment systems.

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Sudbury regreening program nearing 10 million trees planted: Restoration story serves as model for global push toward land reclamation – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 29, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

This autumn was supposed to herald a noteworthy milestone for the Sudbury regreening project: the planting of its 10 millionth tree.

But with the arrival of the novel coronavirus last March came a scaled-down 2020 planting season, and instead that marker will be celebrated in 2021.

Still, as year 42 of the one-of-a-kind land restoration initiative comes to a close, the organization leading the project believes that some areas of the city are nearing the point when human intervention will no longer be necessary and nature can start taking over.

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