June 13-20, 2005

EnviroVista recognizes higher level of compliance by industrial facilities

Ten environmentally responsible Alberta industrial facilities, each with at least a five-year history of surpassing the requirements of their approvals, will be the first to be recognized through Alberta's new EnviroVista program.

The program officially recognizes facilities that have a minimum record of five years of exemplary emissions performance, a comprehensive, publicly-accessible, third-party audited environmental management system and five years without any prosecutions under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).

"Showcasing the good work of leaders is a great way to inspire others to improve," said Environment Minister Guy Boutilier. "These facilities have all gone above and beyond the minimum. It's the right thing to do and they've challenged themselves to constantly improve."

The ten facilities recognized as 2005 EnviroVista Leaders are:

*Dow Chemical Canada's chemical manufacturing operation in Fort Saskatchewan;

*Nova Chemicals' chemical manufacturing plant in Joffre;

*Epcor Generation's Clover Bar thermal electric power generating station in Edmonton;

*Epcor Water Services' waterworks system in Edmonton;

*Shell Canada Products' oil refinery in Scotford;

*Weyerhaeuser Canada's pulp and wood plant in Grande Prairie;

*Daishowa-Marubeni's pulp manufacturing plant, water treatment and landfill in Peace River;

*Millar Western Forest Products' wood processing plant in Whitecourt;

*Erco Worldwide's chemical manufacturing plant in Grande Prairie; and

*Hinton Pulp's pulp and paper mill in Hinton.

Any facility with a licensed approval under EPEA is eligible for the program. Alberta Environment staff will review approval and operations information from facilities across the province, adding new ones to the program when appropriate. Existing program participants will be required to maintain or improve their performance levels in order to renew their status.

The government launched the EnviroVista program during the Emerald Awards ceremony, an event which annually recognizes the outstanding achievements of not-for-profit groups, communities, and other environmentally-focused organizations.

More information on the EnviroVista program is available on the Alberta Environment Web site, www.gov.ab.ca/env, in the "What's New" section.

In other activities, Alberta Environment has introduced its new State of the Environment Web site. The new site replaces the annual printed State of the Environment (SOE) report.

Over the past decade, SOE reports have focused on specific topics such as waste, aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems, air quality, and wildlife. The new Web site takes a broader view, reporting on important trends in environmental conditions, pressures on the environment, and actions being taken by government and other organizations.

For 2005, key indicators on the site show improvements in the condition of Alberta's environment on a number of fronts. Of 43 environmental indicators accessible on-line, 19 currently show an overall improvement, 17 show stable, mixed or no clear trends, and seven show some deterioration.

Key improvements over the past few years include decreased levels of carbon monoxide and benzene in the air, a decline in pulp mill emissions, and an increase in the amount of material being diverted from landfills. Those indicators showing deterioration, demonstrate that the environment continues to face pressure from population growth and economic development.

The site may be accessed at www.gov.ab.ca/env/soe/, or through the "What's New" section of the departmental site noted above.

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