Remediation and Reclamation Policy Issues and Knowledge Gaps

2021 Public Policy Issue Associated Knowledge Gap(s)

Regulatory, Guidelines, Directives, Policies, & Criteria

The degree of conservatism current in some regulatory guidelines can be linked to some unnecessary remedial efforts throughout the petroleum industry. The development of accepted risk and science based studies to protect the environment and reduce remediation costs.

Organics (PHC)

  • Fate and transport mechanisms (e.g., GW based soil guidelines).
  • Understand appropriate protection of various exposure pathways.
  • Clarity on AB Guideline assumptions (e.g., continuous source).

Inorganics (salinity, metals)

  • Fate and transport mechanisms (e.g., GW-based soil guidelines).
  • Understanding background concentrations (including regional variations) of metals and salts.
  • Understand appropriate protection of various exposure pathways.
  • Clarity on Soil Contamination Assessment and Remediation Guidelines (SCARG) criteria (e.g., EC, SAR).
  • Outcome-based soil quality guidelines for inorganics (surface/subsoil).


  • Understand Phase I ESA calculations for Drilling Waste (link to soil/GW guidelines).
  • Outcome-based reclamation criteria (e.g., appropriate cut/fill reclamation).
  • Understand the appropriateness of using of regional/multi-site assessments and develop a set of expectations/requirements for use.
  • Develop expectations/requirement for the use of software tools/numerical modelling.
Risk Assessment

Identify areas for broad application of risk assessment strategies that protect the environment and reduce the required management/remediation efforts.

  • Understanding risk assessment of receptors.
  • Standardized approach of risk assessment based on residual mass vs numerical endpoints (i.e., Tier 2C).
  • Software tools to aid in the standardized application of Tier 2 guidelines using appropriate site-specific data.

Reclamation and remediation technology advancement

Technology improvements and finding new applications of existing and new technologies to reduce reclamation and remediation costs.

  • Petroleum hydrocarbon in fractured bedrock – effective remedial methods, associated risks, assessment effectiveness and relevance to environmental risk.
  • Practical remedial options for petroleum hydrocarbons, salinity, and metals impacts in wetland environments.
  • Effective in-situ/ex-situ groundwater treatment system(s) for petroleum hydrocarbon and salinity impacted sites.
  • Technologies that address specific issues: small volumes, longer remediation timeframes (e.g., 10+ years), modified endpoints.