Ridgeline provides Pre-Construction Services such as Pre-Disturbance Assessments (PDA), Enhanced Approval Process (EAP), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Surface Water Quality, Groundwater Services, Wetland Assessments and Ecological Assessments. Project components may include wildlife, vegetation, rare and endangered species, biodiversity, hydrology, hydrogeology, soil, archaeology, freshwater ecology and quality, fisheries, wetlands, air quality, land use, socio-economic and Aboriginal Traditional Ecological Knowledge assessments.
Pre-Disturbance Assessments and Conservation & Reclamation Plans (PDA/C&R)
PDA/C&R plans are required under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (AEPEA) Approval for Enhanced Recovery In-situ Oil Sands and Heavy Oil Processing Plant and Oil Production Sites. The PDA/C&R Plan provides site-specific information regarding construction, operation and reclamation of specific footprint components of a project. Ridgeline can provide expertise for compiling baseline biophysical information for proposed disturbance footprints and provide recommendations for construction, operation and reclamation to ensure that disturbed areas will be reclaimed to an equivalent land capability.
Enhanced Approval Process (EAP)
The EAP is a part of the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (AER) mandate to ensure sustainable resource development on public lands in Alberta. The EAP is the application process for the issuance of upstream oil and gas development related to surface land dispositions on public land by AER. The EAP provides consistent background information, standards, requirements, and guidelines for development planning. Aspects of the EAP include identifying landscape sensitivities, approval standards, mitigation plans and best management practices to reduce the environmental impact of your operation during the construction, operation and decommissioning phases of your well or infrastructure site.
Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)
Project cancellation, redesign, or relocation is costly. An EIA identifies issues and concerns before they occur so the effects can be minimized or prevented altogether. Ridgeline has experience conducting EIAs for oil and gas, mining, forestry, transportation and municipal projects. EIAs provide an evaluation of potential effects associated with construction, operation and reclamation of industrial and resource development projects. Ridgeline can facilitate permit approvals through completion of field work, stakeholder engagement and final report submission to the appropriate regulators. Ridgeline also provides EIA review services for Alberta Environment and Parks regarding projects awaiting approvals.
Surface Water Quality
Ridgeline provides sampling, monitoring and chemical characterization of Surface Water. Ridgeline can help you with application for surface water diversions and Water Act temporary diversion license. The temporary diversion license is now available on-line and once Ridgeline enrolls, the application and supporting documentation can be submitted to Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Ridgeline has strong experience with provincial and federal groundwater guidelines and regulations, and is able to provide various groundwater services for preliminary site investigations to satisfy corporate or regulatory requirements. These services include aquifer tests (short and long term), hydrogeological parameters calculations (conductivity, gradients, velocity, etc.), Conceptual Site Models (CSM), local and regional groundwater studies, bedrock groundwater and Domestic Use Aquifer (DUA) investigations, identification and investigation of potential sensitive receptors (DUA and Freshwater Aquatic Life receptors).
Ridgeline has extensive experience in scouting for, locating, sampling, and flow testing water wells, particularly in coal bed methane (CBM) operations. Ridgeline will provide environmental mapping and AER notification for well applications prior to CBM drilling operations in accordance with AER Directive 035, as well as final reporting as required by AER.
Ridgeline can provide baseline testing of water wells prior to drilling activities and, if required, post drilling testing to determine well status.
Ridgeline provides Ecological Assessments such as vegetation, rare plant and weed assessments, wildlife and soil surveys, and wetland assessments.
Vegetation & Rare Plant Surveys and Weed Assessments
Ridgeline has expertise in conducting vegetation and rare plant surveys, and weed assessments. Baseline vegetation and rare plant surveys are required as part of regulatory requirements for EIAs and PDA/C&R plans. Basic vegetation skills include characterizing ecological classes, native grassland, old growth forests, weed identification, and communities important for traditional food, medicinal and cultural uses.
Ridgeline has expertise in conducting soil surveys such as characterization of baseline soil conditions, mapping, soil and site descriptions, as well as sample collection and analysis. Baseline information is collected to provide an accurate inventory of soils so that appropriate soil can be salvaged and a reclamation plan provided for proposed disturbances.
Ridgeline has expertise in wildlife assessments including species-at-risk, breeding bird, small mammal, large mammal, semi-aquatic furbearer, amphibian, and reptile surveys. Wildlife surveys are required for baseline components of EIAs, surface dispositions, environmental monitoring, and to identify species-at-risk in project study areas. Wildlife habitat assessments are also conducted as a part of wildlife surveys and can be used to determine prime habitat areas for selected species using geographic information systems (GIS).
The Government of Alberta has released a new Alberta Wetland Policy. The guide provides information about requirements for conducting any type of an activity within a wetland. The new guideline applies to all wetlands within Alberta including bogs, fens, marshes, shallow open water, and swamps. Ridgeline has a Qualified Wetland Science Practitioner (QWSP) who has the experience to classify and assess wetlands and complete approvals under the Province of Alberta Water Act.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Ridgeline has expertise in conducting spatial analysis and mapping using GIS. This tool can quickly evaluate required set-backs for wetlands and species-at-risk. GIS can also be used for assessing prime wildlife habitats, environmental impacts, vegetation distributions and hydrological modelling. Mapping may include the use of aerial photographs or satellite imagery to reveal details of a study area.