You can’t predict an emergency, but the Government of Alberta is prepared for them.
ESRD oversees all aspects of an environmental incident – from initial emergency response, cleanup and containment, to long-term monitoring and remediation activities.
Whenever there is a release of a substance that may cause an adverse effect on the environment, Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act requires it to be reported. This can be done through the 24-hour Environmental Hotline (1-800-222-6514), which fields nearly 12,000 calls from the public and industry every year.
All calls are followed up, and when there’s an environmental emergency, ASERT is on the job.
The Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Support and Emergency Response Team – ASERT for short – is a group of highly trained individuals that lead ESRD’s environmental response during an emergency event. They train all year and are ready to be deployed to the scene 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With the help of the mobile command centre, they can be operational onsite anywhere in the province.
- They assess the environmental risk;
- Coordinate the containment and clean up efforts;
- Ensure air and water quality monitoring is done when required; and
- Collaborate with municipalities, health authorities and other emergency responders.
Public safety is always the first priority.
Once the emergency phase is over, ASERT transitions the incident to regional compliance staff who ensure the responsible party completes all appropriate actions outlined in the approved environmental mitigation and remediation plans.
Affected sites must meet all environmental standards before they’re declared remediated. Failure to comply could result in the government issuing an Environmental Protection Order or other compliance assurance actions.
If you spot an environmental emergency, please report it to the 24 hour hotline at 1-800-222-6514.