Our History

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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 Opens an Office in Victoria, BC

On May 1 2024, Keystone Environmental opened a branch office in downtown Victoria. Our Vancouver Island staff live in Victoria as well as neighbouring communities such as Sooke, Nanaimo and Ucluelet. With increasing demand of environmental services across the Province, this expansion is a testament of our commitment to providing exceptional service to our clients and a home base for our Vancouver Island staff.

Keystone Environmental certified as a Great Place To Work

The company is awarded and has been certified as a Great Place to Work (GPTW) after a thorough and independent analysis by Great Place to Work Institute Canada. Based on direct feedback from employees. GPTW measures the level of trust in the workplace by focusing on credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.

Keystone Environmental Announces Two New Shareholders

Keystone Environmental announces a significant milestone in the growth of the company. On September 29, 2023, two leaders in the Biological Services Department, Warren Appleton, R.P.Bio. and Jeremy Nilson, R.P.Bio. P.Biol. have officially been named as shareholders of the company.

Keystone Environmental Wins their Largest Contract Ever

Keystone Environmental is proud to have earned the number one spot for a large contract – valued at $12 million dollars – with the federal government, Public Services Procurement Canada. For the next three years, the company will prepare Environmental Site Assessments and in-depth Remedial Options Analyses for federal sites.

Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers

For the sixth consecutive year, Keystone Environmental is awarded as one of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers for 2023.

35 Years in Business

On February 1st, Keystone Environmental enters its 35th year of business. The company is proud of the success and progress they have made since opening its doors in 1988, and thank their staff, clients, partners and community for their continued commitment and support. On this day, Keystone Environmental has four service lines – Contaminated Sites, Biology, Engineering, Indoor Air Quality – with over 120 staff members.

Patent Approval Received to Support Dewatering with a Biodegradable Permeable Geobag

Keystone Environmental, along with its client Canadian National Railway, receives patent approval to support dewatering with an innovative concept: a biodegradable permeable geobag, designed from renewable materials, to replace traditional, labour and energy intensive, filter presses and non-degradable, synthetic dewatering geobags. This innovation allows for the geobag and sludge material to be diverted from landfill disposal and re-directed to a treatment facility for re-use in mine site reclamation.

Keystone Environmental Expands Into Ontario

Keystone Environmental Ltd. is proud to announce the opening of a new office location in Ontario effective October 1, 2022

Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers

For the fifth consecutive year, Keystone Environmental is proud to once again be named one of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers for 2022.

In-Person Events Post-Pandemic

For the first time since the pandemic started in March 2020, more than two years later in May 2022, Keystone Environmental hosts their first in-person client event at the Vancouver Whitecaps Pitchside Suite and attends industry conferences.

Partnership Established with Sterling IAQ

On October 1, 2021, Keystone Environmental enters into a partnership with Indoor Air Quality Specialists, Sterling IAQ, who is now a division of Keystone Environmental.

Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers & Best Employers for Recent Graduates

Keystone Environmental, for the fourth consecutive year, is once again named one of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers and proud to be chosen by The Career Directory as one of Canada’s Best Employers for Recent Graduates.


Keystone Environmental Ltd. Announces 4 New Shareholders

Today, February 1, 2021 Keystone Environmental Ltd. 33 anniversary, we are pleased to announce four new shareholders to the organization – Christina Chan, P.Eng., Jamie R. Slogan, Ph.D., R.P.Bio, Sumeet Dogra, P.Eng., CSAP and Mike Farnsworth, P.Ag.

Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers

Keystone Environmental is named one of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers for the third consecutive year!

Keystone Environmental Named Top Employer by Eco Canada

The 2020 Eco Impact Awards name Keystone Environmental as Top Employer. The ECO Impact awards were developed to create visibility and recognition for the people who are leading the environmental sector in Canada.

Raminder Grewal is an EY Entrepreuner of the Year® 2019 Pacific Region finalist!

EY Entrepreneur of the Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.

Canada's Top 100 Small & Medium Employers

Keystone Environmental is named on of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers for the second consecutive year!

Raminder Grewal named Business Person of the Year

Raminder Grewal, President of Keystone Environmental, named Business Person of the Year at the 19th Annual Burnaby Board of Trade Excellence Awards. Read More…

Keystone Environmental named Finalist in Business of the Year

Keystone Environmental Ltd., was named a Finalist in the Business of the Year at the 19th Annual Burnaby Board of Trade Excellence Awards. Read More…

Raminder Grewal is an EY Entrepreuner of the Year® 2018 Pacific Region finalist!

EY Entrepreneur of the Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Read more….

Canada's Top 100 Small & Medium Employers

Keystone Environmental is named on of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers!

Canada's Best Employer for Recent Graduates

Keystone Environmental Ltd. has been selected for The Career Directory, the guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates.

New Shareholders

Keystone Environmental announced that 5 exceptional employees have become our newest shareholders. These individuals were selected because of their business acumen, integrity and cooperative team spirit. Jason Christensen, Keree Orso, Richard Wells, Kevin Wong, Richard Johns.

Award for Remediation and Restoration

Keystone Environmental wins the 2016 Environmental Managers Association (EMA) Award for Remediation and Restoration for the Lawson Foreshore Enhancement Project.

Fellowship of Engineers

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.

Environmental Assessments for Small Craft Harbours

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.

Forty Under 40

Raminder Grewal named in Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40.

New President Named

Raminder Grewal named President of Keystone Environmental Ltd.

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

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.

Environmental Investigations & Assessments

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.

Chatterton Petrochemical Refinery

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.

Preparing for the Olympics

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.

New Partner Named

Raminder Grewal becomes a partner of Keystone Environmental.

Complete Environmental Assessment for CN Prince Rupert Railroad Ferry

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 CEAA Environmental Assessment

Complete the CEAA environmental assessment paving the way for the construction of the first phase of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal.

Biological Services Department Added

Keystone Environmental expands our practice to include biological services.

Undergo Rapid Growth

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.

"Mortgage" Burning

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.

First Email & Cell Phone

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.

Canadian Independence

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.

Wastewater Treatment Plants

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.

Wasterwater Treatment Plans

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.

Excavation of Herbicide

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.

Remediation Plan for Wood Treatment Plant

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.

Keystone Environmental's Second and Third Employees

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.

Investigation of Site Contamination in False Creek

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.

Keystone Environmental Established

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.

EXPO Land Risk Assessment Complete

Assessment of risk to human health on the redevelopment of the Vancouver EXPO Lands for residential use completed.

Risk Assessment of EXPO Land

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.