Environmental Assessment - Water, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

Water Quality, Ecotoxicology, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

We provide clients a highly experienced team with broad technical depth and practical expertise. Our focus is on studies involving aquatic biology, ecotoxicology, water quality, fisheries and fisheries resources.

Whether conducting baseline studies, obtaining permits to do work in a watercourse, designing an innovative study to identify causes of impacts in a receiver, providing strategic advice or review; if it’s related to water and aquatic resources, Ecoreg Solutions can help.

  • Fisheries and fish habitat assessments

  • Environmental baseline studies and operational compliance monitoring

  • Environmental Effect Monitoring (MDMER¹, PPER², WSER³)

  • Contaminated site investigations and assessments

  • Alternative field and/or lab-based effects assessments (caged bivalves, fish, benthic invertebrates, toxicity testing)

  • Specialized aquatic metal bioavailability and ecotoxicity studies

  • Agricultural, municipal wastewater and landfill leachate studies

  • Screening and ecological risk assessment

  • In situ data collections for site specific risk assessment

  • Development of site-specific water quality objectives

  • Benthic invertebrate studies

  • Sediment chemistry and toxicity surveys

¹MDMER – Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulation, ²PPER – Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulation, ³WSER –Wastewater System Effluent Regulation

Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology

To complement our aquatic resources expertise, Ecoreg Solutions conducts hydrological and water quality modeling work to characterize receiving environments and inform water management decision-making. We also study and map stream morphology, function, erosion and design. This work is completed as part of baseline characterization, during designing and planning, or operations and closure.

  • Receiving water assessments

  • Effluent dispersion and assimilative capacity modeling

  • Plume delineations

  • Effluent water quality modeling and management

  • Hydrological studies (flow, quantity, quality) and loadings investigations

  • Watershed and subwatershed studies, planning and development

  • Erosion and stream restoration studies

  • Channel inventories and geomorphological assessments

  • Meander belt assessment

Environmental Assessment - Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology
Environmental Assessments - Permitting and Compliance

Environmental Permitting and Regulatory Compliance

Project development activities conducted by our clients are subject to complicated, sometimes overlapping federal, provincial and local environmental permitting requirements. We work with you and regulatory agencies providing strategic advice to negotiate and obtain permits and approvals. Ecoreg also provides expert testimony at hearings.

  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Fisheries Act Authorizations and Offsetting Plans (i.e. stream diversions, water crossings, bridges, culverts)

  • Metal and Diamond Mining (MDMER) and Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER) Environmental Effects Monitoring, Schedule 2 Listings

  • Federal and Provincial Environmental Assessment Legislation

  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Acts, Licences and Approvals

  • Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Ontario Water Resources Act and Approvals (i.e. ECA)

  • Ontario Mining Act Requirements

  • Species at Risk Act (SARA) Permits

  • Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA) Approvals

  • Conservations Authorities Act Approvals

Environmental Assessment

The regulatory framework can be complex when navigating federal and provincial requirements, especially when developing a large-scale green or brownfield project. Our team has worked on small to large-scale environmental assessments across central and eastern Canada.

  • Critical issues identification, environmental gap analysis

  • High level environmental analysis at PEA, PFS, FS levels

  • Early regulatory support or regulatory roadmaps around project interactions with water and fisheries resources

  • Baseline studies (water quality, fisheries and aquatic resources)

  • Technical water and/or aquatic environmental assessment partner (EIA, EIS)

  • Toxicological assessments, delineation of historical impacts

  • Surface water supply and management

  • Experienced working with EA geochemists, hydrogeologists, geologists and mining engineers, human and ecological risk assessors

  • Stakeholder and agency engagement and meetings

Environmental Assessments
Environmental Assessments - Site Closure and Reclamation

Site Closure and Reclamation

Our experience in acid mine drainage and mine wastewater remediation and reclamation work spans almost three decades. Important at the commissioning and closure stages, this work has become increasingly important in assessing site water risk and long-term environmental objectives.

Ecoreg senior management has worked on many multi- year pre- and post-reclamation projects as part of large multidisciplinary teams. One long term project involved the first HDPE cover to be successfully used in Canada (1994-2011).

  • Conceptual closure strategy and reclamation planning

  • Contaminated site assessment

  • Development of remedial objectives and benchmarks

  • Progressive reclamation planning, implementation and management, working with engineers

  • Pre- and post-reclamation biomonitoring

  • Long term tailings and water management studies

  • Closure compliance monitoring

  • Participation in public outreach and Aboriginal engagement

Research and Development

Ecoreg Solutions believes strongly in innovation and supporting research that leads to better environmental decision making.  We can help you find ways to leverage existing work, available grants or funding sources and academic partners.

We have a proven track record for developing partnerships and using research and innovation to solve problems for industry. Ecoreg Solutions ongoing research includes:

  • Mine Wastewater Solutions: Application of Genomics Technologies to Understand Microbes and Improve Strategies to Manage Mine Wastewaters.  EcoReg Solutions is a partner in a five-year international research project led by Professor Lesley Warren, Chair in Mineral Engineering at University of Toronto. Research is funded by Genome Canada, Ontario Genomics and Ontario Research Fund. The outcome will be very useful to mining companies providing information for more passive mine wastewater treatment options both during operations and after closure.

  • Ontario Genomics research project with our industry partners in progress to develop DNA-based methods of identifying benthic invertebrates, which could provide an accurate and time efficient method for future biomonitoring. The research will help to develop appropriate standard methods.

  • Ecoreg Solutions co-authored a publication in Aquatic Toxicology (Sept. 2018) based on an NSERC CRD – Subcellular partitioning of metals and metalloids (As, Cd, Cu, Se and Zn) in liver and gonads of wild White Suckers (Catostomus commersonii) collected downstream from a mining operation. The research led to important insights into metal handling strategies in fish and causes of observed effects, as well as providing valuable data for risk assessment and environmental site management.

  • Arsenic Bioavailability, Bioaccumulation and Toxicity – EcoReg Solutions is involved in several innovative arsenic projects using biogeochemistry, bioavailability and alternative arsenic speciation techniques to assess arsenic species in biota and arsenic movement and risks at historically contaminated sites.

Environmental Assessments - Research and Development