Erin Brockovich, Groundwater Remediation Focus of Annual RemTech Conference

Glass of fresh waterThe Environmental Services Association of Alberta (SAA) hosted the first Remediation Technologies Symposium (RemTech) in 2002 — and the renowned conference gets bigger and more diversified every year. This year, it’s a three-day technical program from October 14 through 16 at Fairmount Banff Springs, consisting of presentations, workshops, a commercial exhibition area, and keynote speakers. According to CMD Group’s industry news source, one of the speakers sure to draw a crowd is Erin Brockovich, the environmental and human activist made famous by the blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts.

New groundwater remediation methods are always one of the focal points of the conference. Joe Chowaniec, ESAA director of program and event development, considers Brockovich’s inclusion the perfect fit considering her infamous case dealing directly with contaminated drinking water.

“Remediation of contaminated sites is a very big issue as the number of contaminated sites around the world continues to grow,” Chowaniec said. “Real efforts are being made by companies to address these sites, by employing new technologies and methods to deal with the contaminated soils and groundwater.”

Brockovich’s keynote presentation is entitled “Environmentalism, Erin’s Story and Legacy.”

The conference will also explore specific case studies, such as the Giant Mine Remediation Project. The mine closed after 50 years of operation in 2004 leaving behind some 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide. The director of the project, Craig Wells, will give a presentation on the ongoing cleanup efforts at the former goldmine just outside Yellowknife.

Other smaller projects being featured include the groundwater impact and revival of the area where a long-time dry cleaning shop stood, and another on using multiple remedial technologies during hydrocarbon cleanup.

When it started 14 years ago, RemTech hosted 150 delegates. It has since gradually grown, with this year’s symposium expecting as many as 700 environmental representatives. The official website states attendance is “highly recommended for all industry sectors that have a professional interest in the remediation of contaminated sites.”