Keystone Environmental Ltd’s History
Keystone Environmental’s history has roots that stretch back nearly 100 years, and follow the long chain of byproducts from steel manufacturing in the Eastern United States, making Keystone Environmental perhaps North America’s oldest Environmental Consultancy group. Our goals, culture, and methodology has continuously evolved and improved since then, and we’re proud to be a forward thinking and goal-oriented consultancy with deep roots.
Learn more about Keystone Environmental history:
Keystone Environmental is named on of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers!
Keystone Environmental Ltd. has been selected for The Career Directory, the guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates.
Raminder Grewal awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal – a commemorative medal created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.
Keystone Environmental wins the 2016 Environmental Managers Association (EMA) Award for Remediation and Restoration for the Lawson Foreshore Enhancement Project.
Keystone Environmental’s CEO Bill Donald awarded a Fellowship from Engineers Canada. The fellowship honours individuals who have given noteworthy service to the engineering profession through their work with either Engineers Canada or its provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies.
Completion of several Environmental Assessments for Small Craft Harbours facilitating the upgrade of wharves along the BC coast. Completion of the marine habitat assessment of 16 foreshore and back shore locations around the William Head Institution in Metchosin, BC. Developed a site-specific Environmental Management Plan for implementation during construction.
Raminder Grewal named in Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40.
Raminder Grewal named President of Keystone Environmental Ltd.
Biological services team continued to grow in this period and is now engaged in environmental assessments for private and public sector clients.
Completed a demanding bird survey project to enable the clearing and construction of a high-tension power transmission lines, the original team hired was unable to progress their work that enabled construction to proceed on schedule. We assigned teams of specialists, seven days a week, to progress the surveys to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Environment and enabled construction to proceed on schedule.
We are asked how Keystone Environmental would approach the closure of the Chatterton Petrochemical refinery. Our plan committed to securing a Certificate of Compliance within two years and Keystone Environmental takes over the project and within two years delivers the on-site Certificate of Compliance on schedule and on budget. One year later, we secure the off-site Certificate of Compliance, employing in-situ chemical treatment and risk assessment.
Retained by Lantic Real Properties to assist in the oversight of the investigations and remediation of the former Chatterton Petrochemical plant site, a former Dow Chemical facility. This site had been under investigation for a decade and there appeared to be many more years before closure was in sight.
Become involved in the Vancouver Shipyard site with the Washington Group to develop a remediation plan to address both upland and sediment contamination associated with a historic wood preservation plant, taking into consideration the ongoing ship building on the property. Our plan not only responded to the environmental needs addressing the ongoing discharge of contaminants to Burrard Inlet but also addressing contaminated sediment.
Raminder Grewal becomes a partner of Keystone Environmental.
Complete the Environmental Site Assessment for the CN Prince Rupert Railroad Ferry, the construction of which is delayed until 2015.
Sponsor the World Mountain Biking Festival and Conference on Sustainability and win the Association of Professional Engineers Environmental Award (Meadow Avenue Project).
Complete the CEAA environmental assessment paving the way for the construction of the first phase of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal.
Keystone Environmental expands our practice to include biological services.
Having outgrown our Richmond offices, we move twice before settling in to our current offices in Burnaby, outgrowing that office in three months and expanding into the existing space.
Work with Alcan to close the remote Kemano town site, providing a unique solution that also benefited many communities throughout the Province by securing approval to burn the houses, one at a time, while community firefighters experienced “live house fire” training!
Remediation of the CN Meadow Avenue site, a former wood preservation plant site. Modelling the fate and transport of the creosote related contaminants, we are able to show that by installing a double sheet pile wall, the groundwater flow path can be redirected so that the contaminant concentrations are reduced below acceptable standards before reaching the Fraser River. Years later, the plan still shows to be effective through ongoing monitoring programs.
The financial obligation from the purchase of Keystone Environmental, from the former parent is retired and we held a “mortgage” burning, lighting up the fireplace in the Chateau Whistler Mallard Room with the now completed financial agreement.
1994 holds interesting Keystone Environmental trivia with the sending of our first email and purchasing our first cell phone – which plugged into the car cigarette lighter.
Keystone Environmental becomes fully independent of its former US parent with the acquisition of the firm by the initial three shareholders; Bill Donald (President), Ken Evans (Treasurer) and Don Bryant (Secretary) who re-focused the business on the local marketplace, rather than the broad geographic range of “Canada and the Western United States.”
Keystone Environmental establishes a relationship with Canadian National Railway, which now spans over 24 years and includes the design and construction of wastewater treatment plants across Canada, rail yard drainage studies, spill prevention and control program development.
Completed the environmental program for monitoring of the new fuel supply at the International Terminal at Vancouver International Airport, where aircraft fuel delivery was installed with a directional drilled fuel supply pipeline and fuel hydrants which were required to meet the weight of heavy aircraft wheels moving over the apron.
Admitted to the CN National CSR Master Program – one of the smallest firms admitted – and to this date continue on the program.
Keystone Environmental designed and installed a biological treatment plant to treat pumped groundwater containing PAH and PCP, to surface water discharge requirements – almost non-detect.
Began a long-term relationship with West Fraser Mills. At their Eurocan Pulp and Paper mill, leachate from their chemical waste landfill was leaching into a ditch that connected to a freshwater course of interest to Fisheries Canada.Keystone Environmental designed and constructed a slurry wall to intercept the leachate and direct it into a catchment pond where the water was then pumped to the mill wastewater treatment system.
At the Titan Steel nail plant in Richmond, we managed the excavation of many years of metal laden sludge accumulation in their wastewater treatment lagoons.
Completed a wastewater treatment plant in Powell River to treat PCP-contaminated water.
Developed and implemented an approach for the remote cleaning of C5 tanks at the Novacor polyethylene plant, in Alberta. In this highly explosive environment, we developed an approach that employed a lance, inserted through a fitting in an access hatch and sprayed diesel fuel into the tank to dislodge and dissolve sediment residue that had accumulated, the fuel gas was then pumped from the tank and sent for refining and product recovery.
One of Keystone Environmental’s most ambitious early projects was the excavation of barrels of surplus “Agent Orange” herbicide that had been buried by the Ministry of Transportation decades before. Our engineers and technicians traveled to the Northern BC site, oversaw excavation and containment of the contamination, and created a long-term storage facility for the waste.
Engaged by J.H. Baxter and Company to investigate and develop a remediation plan for its Eugene, Oregon, wood treatment plant – the largest such plant in the western US. Keystone Environmental staffed and managed the project from our Vancouver office, completing the detailed investigation of the plant site, offsite contamination that had migrated to residential properties, and a detailed human health and ecological risk assessment. When the offsite contamination was identified, the need to control the offsite migration became a priority. Keystone Environmental designed a surface water treatment plant to collect and treat all storm water runoff from the site.
Retained to investigate the Science World site, the former EXPO 86 Ontario Pavilion, to complete a human health risk assessment to determine if it was “safe” for Science World to open its doors to the public. Engaged by Bosa Development to investigate the lands now occupied by Citygate – our early work at this site included yet another risk assessment, the first used in connection with the redevelopment of a former industrial site to a residential use in Greater Vancouver. For more than a decade, we continued with Bosa Development through the first four of the total five phases of this development.
In October 1989, Keystone Environmental hired its second Canadian employee, Ken Evans. Ken joined the firm from the Ministry of Environment’s Kamloops office, where he was an Industrial Section Head. A month later we hired our first geotechnical engineer and our growth started. By 1990 we had four senior personnel in our Richmond office, including Don Bryant who transferred from the parent Pittsburgh office.
Keystone Environmental Ltd. established its operation in Vancouver, with one Canadian employee (Bill Donald). Two of our first projects stand out as milestones in the development of the environmental practice in British Columbia.
Assessment of risk to human health on the redevelopment of the Vancouver EXPO Lands for residential use completed.
Following the end of EXPO 86, the British Columbia government engaged Keystone Environmental Resources Inc., to assess the risk to human health if the EXPO lands were developed for residential use.