Cap and Trade, Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) and other Regulation Changes that Impact Your Business

The new Cap and Trade is designed to help fight climate change and  reward businesses that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. There are also new regulation changes to the Environmental Activities and Sector Registry (EASR).  New regulations and legislative changes like this will help to improve our environment, but require some changes for how your business operates and reports environmental compliance to the Ministry.

Cambium’s mission is to provide exceptional service guiding decisions for a better future. With regulation changes, we strive to engage in new learning opportunities and participate in continued education in order to provide our clients with practical and innovative solutions.  Our Air and Noise Professionals are members of the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA) and will meet with air practitioners across Ontario next week to discuss the new EASR regulation (O.Reg. 1/17) requirements which include air, noise, and odour updates, in addition to other items such as modelling updates and licensing obligations.

Our team will be sharing information from these sessions through future blog posts to help you better understand these changes and how it may impact your operations. Some of this information will include:

  • EASR Regulation Registration Process Updates and Associated Professional Engineers Obligations;
  • General Environmental Compliance Approval Updates and Future Plans; and
  • Cap and Trade Requirements.

Our Air and Noise Specialists have worked with many manufactures and industrial companies throughout Peterborough, Barrie, Kingston, and central Ontario. Give Sadie Bachynski a call if you have any questions, need advice or would like a quote for our services.

Stellar Line-Up for Reframe Festival

Cambium is a proud sponsor of this year’s Reframe Film Festival taking place in late January in Peterborough. We are sponsoring When Two Worlds Collide scheduled to screen on Sunday, January 29th at 2:30 PM at The Venue. http://reframefilmfestival.ca/film/when-two-worlds-collide/

This highly credited film received Best Documentary special mention at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Reframe Film Festival passes can be purchased in-person at the GreenUP store (Peterborough), or Happenstance Books and Yarn (Lakefield), or online at http://reframefilmfestival.ca/buy-tickets/.

Cambium supports a number of charities, events, and groups in the communities we work. We believe strongly in giving back by supporting initiatives that support a healthy natural environment, charitable initiatives, and events.

Design Choices to Make a Community Walking and Cycling Friendly

Robert Voigt, an Ontario Professional Planner, and Cambium’s Senior  Project Manager of Community Development Services worked with the Town of Gravenhurst to develop an Age Friendly Active Transportation Plan.  The goal was to craft an action plan that would identify opportunities to make the community more walking and cycling friendly.

Rob developed a series of videos as a creative component of the community engagement process that highlight some components of an active transportation plan that can make any community more walking and cycling friendly.

Active Transportation Plans

Active Transportation plans are not just about networks and building infrastructure. It is about working with what you have and the capacity of the citizens and the municipality.  The video series  looks at:

  • Sidewalks – addressing connections and links to ensure the safety of pedestrians
  • Connections – connecting sidewalks and recreational trails to support active lifestyle and support people who want to get around on their own.
  • Street and Trees – street trees can make an environment more walking and cycling friendly.
  • Parklets and Pocket Parks – a great ways to enhance a business environment and make it more walking and cycling friendly.
  • Curb Extensions –health and safety of pedestrians and drivers.
  • Traffic Signals – important aspects of traffic signals to support accessibility.
  • Links to Roads and Sidewalks – connections between sidewalks and roads are a high priority to make it easier for people to navigate around the community.
  • Parking Areas and Connections – simple design choices to make parking areas and connections between developments active transportation and all ages friendly.
  • Bike Lanes – dedicates environments to safely ride bikes and support cyclists.
  • Community Design – landscaping, seating, and blank building walls should be considered at the community design stage to make environments more comfortable to walk.
  • Complete streets – consider all modes of transportation when designing and redeveloping streets to make it safer for everyone.

Rob Voigt is a Registered Professional Planner with over 17 years of experience in Canada and the US. His specialization lies in placemaking, citizen engagement, healthy community design, and active transportation. If you are looking at your community needs and have questions about active transportation  plans and healthy community design, connect with Rob and he can help navigate the process.

Tips to Prolong a Septic System Lifespan

Your septic (on-site wastewater treatment) system and some easy tips to prolong its lifespan and preserve your water quality.

On-site wastewater treatment systems, commonly referred to as septic systems, can be found at just about every rural residence or cottage.  An on-site wastewater treatment system is just that, a system that treats wastewater and is located on the same property as the building it services.  As many studies have concluded, ineffective septic systems directly affect water quality of lakes and rivers by adding nutrients to the system.

What Is An On-Site Wastewater Treatment System?

Most commonly, an on-site wastewater treatment system consists of a septic tank followed by a leaching bed; both sized accordingly based on the type of building it services.  A septic tank is ordinarily made of concrete or polyethylene and is buried near the building it services.  The role of the septic tank is to provide primary treatment by separating heavy solids (sludge) and lighter materials (oils and grease) from the sewage.  If a wastewater treatment system has been installed or upgraded since 2007, then the septic tank will also have an effluent filter on the outlet of the septic tank.  The effluent filter provides additional filtration of fine particles and further prevents scum from flowing into the leaching bed, prolonging the life of the bed.  Generally, the effluent then flows by gravity from the septic tank to a leaching bed that is developed based on the property area, soil characteristics, depth to groundwater, and distances to buildings, lakes, streams, property lines, and wells.  The leaching bed is typically made up of several equally spaced lengths of perforated PVC pipes which are laid in gravel overlying the native soil or imported sand.  The underlying soil dynamics are an important part of a septic system; the sewage effluent is treated by biological, chemical, and physical processes as it trickles from the leaching bed through the soil.  A wastewater treatment system designed in this fashion and in good working order has been demonstrated to provide excellent treatment of sewage protecting nearby lakes and rivers.

on-site wastewater treatment system

Cambium’s On-Site wastewater treatment system for a camp resort

on-site wastewater system Upgrades and Maintenance

Many wastewater treatment systems in Ontario are several decades old; however, this does not mean that the treatment system is no longer effective. Wastewater systems used only seasonally tend to last much longer than a wastewater system used year-round.  The lifespan of a wastewater treatment system initially set by the appropriateness of the design, technology, location, and construction of the system but proper maintenance and operation are equally important.

Since a wastewater treatment system is the responsibility of the property owner, it is up to you to ensure your wastewater treatment system is functioning properly in order to protect human health and the environment on and around your property, as well as prolong the life of your investment. For property owners that live near lakes or streams, this is especially important as malfunctioning septic systems can pollute both your drinking water and the lake or stream. Effluent is what the sewage treated by your septic system is called. Sewage is primarily composed of organic nutrients such as ammonia, nitrates, carbon, and phosphorus. Effluent that has been ineffectively treated by a malfunctioning septic system, disposes nutrient laden water into the ground and nearby water bodies. The nutrients act as a fertilizer increasing the rate of growth of water plants and algae, resulting the eutrophication (using up the oxygen) of lakes, which can be fatal to aquatic life like fish.

The following are some tips and minor upgrades that, if completed, will not only extend the life of your wastewater treatment system, but will make your system easier to service when needed:

  • Learn the components of your wastewater treatment systems and where they are;
  • Only have licenced contractors install, service, or repair your system and ask for proof of certification;
  • Have a licenced contractor add watertight sealed access risers to your septic tank lids;
  • Keep all records of service performed on your wastewater system;
  • Test your well water for bacteria regularly (consult your local health department for more information);
  • Have a licenced contractor inspect your septic tank every 3-5 years, and pump the septic tank if your scum and sludge is more than 1/3 of the volume of the tank;
  • Have a licenced contractor install an effluent filter;
  • Conserve water use and spread heavy water use appliances over the day;
  • Avoid pouring oils and grease down the drain;
  • Do not flush pharmaceuticals, chemicals, sanitary products, or paint;
  • Do not use a garburator;
  • Do not use special additives promising improved septic performance;
  • Do not encroach on the wastewater system with trees, buildings, vehicles, driveways, etc.; and,
  • Do not connect any rainwater downspouts, sump pumps, or water softeners to the wastewater treatment system.
  • Although not prominently visible, your on-site wastewater treatment system is a critical component of your home or cottage and must be maintained and cared for in order to prolong its lifespan, protect the lakes and rivers we enjoy, and protect your health. If renovating or building new, it is suggested that you contact a professional at the start of your project design to ensure your septic needs.

Septic on-site wastewater treatment system

Cambium’s new spectic system – onsite waterwater system.


 

Cambium’s professionals are experts in water and wastewater engineering. We have extensive experience with onsite wastewater treatment and water treatment programs. Our team has worked with a wide range of clients including school boards, campgrounds, resorts, commercial businesses, property developers, industrial users, municipalities and individual land owners throughout Peterborough, Barrie, Kingston, and central Ontario. Give us a call or email Kevin Warner or Stewart Dolstra, (our team page) if you have any questions, need advice or would like a quote for our services.

 

 

Environmental Site Assessments

Are you looking to purchase or develop commercial property? There are some things you should know before you buy. Having an Environmental Site Assessment is a necessary part of making a large property investment.

If you are working with a financial institution, real estate, or funding bodies, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is almost always required so all parties involved are aware of the potential risks. Knowing the environmental state of a property prior to completing a real estate transaction can help you save a significant amount of time and money. You wouldn’t buy a used car without knowing its history; similarly it would be unwise to take the risk with your property investments. A Phase I ESA, conducted by a qualified person, is a historical document review and on-site visual inspection that provides details on whether there is a risk of contamination at the site. When Cambium conducts a Phase I Site Assessment (http://www.cambium-inc.com/environmental-site-assessments.php), we look at the historical activity and use of the site. While completing the site inspection we examine all areas and surrounding properties to identify environmental concerns such as underground and above ground storage tanks. A final report will outline our findings and note if there is a concern for potential contamination – in which case the recommendation is to follow-up with a Phase II ESA.

If you reach the point where a Phase II ESA is recommended – this is where intrusive investigation takes place. In short, we go below the surface to take groundwater and soil samples. It’s one thing to know about the potential of contamination and another to confirm the contamination and its extent. During a Phase II, our team would drill for soil samples and install monitoring wells to collect groundwater samples – all of which are forwarded to a certified testing lab to confirm the results. The final results of a Phase II ESA will define the nature and extent of any contamination and/or hazardous materials present at the site. Cambium’s team provides a thorough report which includes projected expenses on the remediation of the site. This report also provides a cost outline for how the remediation will affect your property value

Looking to learn more about Environmental Site Assessments?

ESAs are one of Cambium’s primary areas of expertise. We have worked with many financial institutions, commercial realtors, and private businesses throughout Peterborough, Barrie, Kingston, and central Ontario completing Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) and Records of Site Condition (RSC). Give us a call  or email Brad Sawdon, Bernie Taylor or David Mably on our teamif you have any questions, need advice or would like a quote for our services.

Cambium Environmental Site Assessment and Records of Site Condition Services

Environmental Site Assessments at Manufacturing Sites
An Environmental Site Assessment conducted at a manufacturing will identify any risk of environmental contamination

Strong Towns and Place-Based Economic Development

Creating Stronger and Resilient Towns

A year ago Cambium and Peterborough Economic Development presented a Strong Town’s Curbside Chat with Chuck Marohn. The goal was to inspire, provide insight, and hopefully spark communities to take a different approach with regard to the growth and development of our towns. With a new model of development, we can allow cities, towns and neighbourhoods to grow financially strong and resilient.

The evening commenced with a presentation by Rob Voigt, Registered Professional Planner and Senior Project Manager of Cambium’s Community Development services. As a recognized leader and expert in Place Based Economic Development and Community Planning, Rob provided an introduction and foundation to healthy community designs. The overall message of the evening was sustainable development is good planning for a healthy future!

Cambium and Peterborough Economic Development Present A Strong Towns Curbside Chart with Chuck Marohn
Cambium and Peterborough Economic Development Present A Strong Towns Curbside Chart with Chuck Marohn

Watch the Curbside Chat Peterborough video and check out www.StrongTowns.org for more information. If you are interested in learning more about Cambium’s Community Development services, visit our website at http://www.cambium-inc.com/community-development.php or contact Rob Voigt at 866-217-7900 or email rob.voigt@cambium-inc.com

You can also read the Peterborough Examiner’s coverage of the event at http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2015/09/30/change-growth-patterns-strong-towns-president

City of Ottawa Takes Lead in Noise and Land Use Compatibility

The City of Ottawa’s 2016 update to their Environmental Noise Control Guidelines  has established the City as a leader among Ontario municipalities in addressing a major side effect of high density development and urban intensification – land use compatibility disputes between neighbours as it relates their noise sensitivities and noise production.

While improved noise guidelines for land use planning were developed and published by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) in their 2013 publication Environmental Noise Guideline – Stationary and Transportation Source – Approval and Planning (NPC-300) , the MOECC has no authority under the Planning Act; as such, adoption and enforcement of the guidelines is at the discretion of the local planning authority.  The MOECC however does enforce the NPC-300 criteria on noise emitting industries under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA); but without equal enforcement of noise guidelines by the municipality during the land use planning process, cases of existing industries that were previously compliant with the EPA forced to install costly noise controls to remain compliant as a result of their new, noise sensitive neighbours, has become all too common, with negative impacts on both the industry and noise sensitive occupants.

The City of Ottawa’s updated guideline takes a major step toward avoiding these land use compatibility issues in their municipality, most significantly through comprehensive criteria for triggering the requirement for noise studies for both noise sensitive and noise generating developments. Additionally, clear guidance is provided for varying levels of noise studies:

  • A Phase 1 Noise Control Feasibility Study, to establish whether or not noise will be an issue;
  • A Phase 2 Noise Control Detailed Study, to provide a detailed assessment of noise impacts and mitigation requirements.

A crucial requirement for the Phase 2 study, is that mitigation measures must be included as specific designs in the Site Plan, not simply as recommendations that a certain criteria be met. By including specific designs as part of the Site Plan Control the City is ensuring that the required mitigation measures will actually be implemented.  This benefits both industry and residential developments by ensuring that all developments consider existing and potential future noise impacts on others, as well as on themselves.

The City of Ottawa’s previous guidelines were already a step ahead in protecting both noise sensitive developments and existing industries, and this update has raised the bar once again.

http://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/documents.ottawa.ca/files/documents/enviro_noise_guide_en.pdf

http://www.cambium-inc.com/publication-npc-300.php

http://www.cambium-inc.com/acoustic-vibration-control.php

 

Cambium Opens Kingston Office

Cambium's Kingston Office at 710 Arlington Park Place
Cambium’s Kingston Office at 710 Arlington Park Place

Cambium is proud to announce the opening of its newest office in Kingston, Ontario. With the opening of the Kingston office, we now have 5 locations across central Ontario to service our growing client base. Our decision to establish a permanent presence in Kingston was an easy one to make. The main factor for opening the new office was due to the increase in service requests from clients in the region coupled with opportunities to collaborate with the existing team of local professionals.

The office officially opened its doors in June, but Cambium is no stranger to the City having already worked in the community and with neighbouring municipalities for many years. At the onset of its phenomenal growth three-years ago, Cambium established regional offices in Oshawa and Barrie. “We are responding to the needs of our clients combined with the eagerness of our team to offer our services to a broader audience,” shares President/CEO, John Desbiens, P.Eng.

Kingston is a strong, vibrant community offering exciting opportunity for businesses and economic growth. We look forward to being a part of the community for many years to come.

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2016/07/07/peterborough-engineering-consulting-firm-cambium-expanding-to-kingston