The Remediation Technologies Symposium (RemTech) is an exciting annual conference hosted by the Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA), bringing together over 600 environmental professionals not only from Alberta, but also from all over Canada and around the world. Over the course of three days, the conference provides environmental professionals with the opportunity to share their experiences with and learn about exciting new and innovative technologies for the environmental remediation of soil and groundwater. As a bonus, the conference is held at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in stunningly beautiful Banff, Alberta. Naturally, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience this awesome event and take in some of the splendor of the Canadian Rocky Mountains!
Day 1: Exploring Banff
- After taking a plane from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Calgary, Alberta, we took a scenic ride through the Rocky Mountains to the breathtakingly beautiful town of Banff, Alberta. We checked into our hotel and headed straight back out to explore Banff. The trails were icy, but we braved the treacherous conditions and visited Bow Falls. The risk paid off because the falls are gorgeous!
- After our outdoor adventure we were chilled to the bone, luckily we stumbled upon a ramen restaurant, Chaya, and warmed ourselves up with some delicious noodly goodness! We then headed back to our hotel to turn in early and get ready for the conference.
Day 2: First Official Day of the Conference and Remtech Opening Reception
- We arrived at the amazing Fairmont Banff Springs hotel bright and early, ready for an awesome day at Remtech 2018!
FUN FACT: The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel opened in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, as one of their earliest Canada’s grand railway hotels. It is located at an altitude of 4,639 ft above sea level.
- The first item on our to-do list for the day were two fabulous workshops.
- First up was “Liability Management: Challenges and a Path Forward”, presented by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). This fascinating session focused on liability management challenges facing Alberta and the AER’s plan to address them.
- The second workshop was called “Alberta’s Revised Remediation Regulations”. This workshop, presented by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), outlined changes to regulations and provided a preview of new draft guidance documents designed to support brownfield redevelopment and effective management of contaminated sites
- After lunch, we attended a wide variety of excellent presentations from four categories of technical sessions: Project Management and Logistics, Data Management and Analysis, Legal Issues, and Groundwater.
- Finally, we had a blast at the Remtech Opening Reception and Casino Night which was Star Wars themed – “RemTech: A Star Wars Parody”. We quickly learned ESAA members take their costumes very, very seriously!
Day 3: More Fantastic Technical Sessions and Tail Gate Party Reception
- Excited, but still a little sleepy from the night before, we returned to the conference bright and early the next morning to take in more of the awesome technical sessions, topics included: In-Situ Remediation, Remediation Technology, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) and Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF) projects, British Columbia Environment Industry Association (BCEIA) Perspectives, and Why China’s Remediation Market Might Be for You.
- At lunch we were totally blown away by a fantastic keynote presentation called “Luminous Seas” by the world renowned, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. Brian inspired us through both his pictures and his words as he spoke about the natural beauty and diversity of our oceans and the importance of protecting one of earth’s most treasured resources. Feeling re-energized we spent the rest of the afternoon taking in more fabulous presentations!
- To cap off a wonderful Day 2 at Remtech, we attended the annual Tail Gate Party, which featured live music, great food, great drinks and great people!
Day 4: Even More Fantastic Technical Sessions on the Final Day of Remtech
- It was bittersweet to arrive at the conference on Friday morning for the fourth and final day of the conference. The day’s technical sessions were: Modelling and Assessment, Remote Locations, Spill Management, and Salty Talks.
- After taking in some fantastic presentations we attended the closing luncheon. During the luncheon we took a fascinating trip around the world guided by professional thrill-seeker and host of CNN’s “The Wonder List”, Bill Weir. His presentation, called ‘Secrets and Stories of the Happiest, Healthiest People on Earth”, explored the keys to living a long, happy healthy life from so-called “blue zones” around the world. The presentation was just what we needed to get ourselves feeling inspired and fired up for the long journey home!
All in all we have to give ESAA a massive shout out for the amazing time we had at Remtech, 2018 – Thanks ESAA, we can’t wait to be back in Banff next year!!