Yukon River Foreshore Remediation

Stop fuel contamination from entering the Yukon River.

Environmental Consulting, Contractor Supervision, Regulatory Liaison

The Task:

Prevent free-phase petroleum hydrocarbons from entering the Yukon River. In the late 1990s, sheen in the Yukon River was traced back to a former refinery, which is now a bulk fuel distribution facility.

The Client: 

North 60° Petro Ltd. specializes in the marketing and distribution of bulk and drummed petroleum products to mining, construction, aviation, transportation and forestry trades throughout the Yukon Territory and northern British Columbia. Their bulk terminal is situated on the southwest bank of the Yukon River. (www.petromarineservices.com/north60)

The Stakeholders: 

The current owner (North 60), the immediate past owner, Environment Yukon, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the City of Whitehorse, a former tenant (Imperial Oil), the Yukon Territorial Government (as owner of an offsite affected area),the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB), the Yukon Water Board, Environment Canada and Transport Canada.

The Challenge:

Extensive contamination from a variety of petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel were present over several hectares on the river foreshore, and were leaching into the water. The remediation task was complicated by having to satisfy 11 stakeholders, driven by regulatory considerations (both Federal and Territorial), as well as dealing with a complicated excavation in a fast-moving river with a very short fisheries window.

The Solution:

PGL undertook a Detailed Site Assessment that involved advancing test pits and installing more than 100 groundwater-monitoring wells. Based on the results, we completed a Risk Assessment Problem Formulation relating to human health and aquatic/terrestrial ecological risk that included toxicity testing and field screening. A Remedial Alternatives Evaluation culminated in the submission of a Plan of Restoration to Environment Yukon and the YESAB.

The Result:

PGL supervised a successful trial foreshore excavation from May to June 2013, including the installation of a hanging waterloo barrier roughly 250m along the Yukon River, and construction of essential project infrastructure (a land treatment facility and water treatment system to treat contaminated soil and groundwater, respectively). In 2014, we supervised the full remediation and restoration of the foreshore in sheet-piled excavation areas.

In 2015 and 2016, construction and installation of a non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) collection system will ensure no further contamination enters the river. During the length of the project, we did, and continue to work with the environmental contractor to find cost efficiencies throughout the project and ensure regulatory requirements for each client are met.