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Article Summary: A natural strain of fungus could clean oil spills and return life to Alberta’s oilsands

October 30, 2017
Comments Off on Article Summary: A natural strain of fungus could clean oil spills and return life to Alberta’s oilsands

About 800 square kilometers of Alberta’s Athabasca oilsands are covered in coarse tailings. Contaminated, lacking nutrients and resistant to absorbing water, it is a hostile environment to both plants and soil microbes. It is rare for even weedy plants take root. One of these, a dandelion, was discovered growing naturally on a coarse tailings site. A unique strain of fungus was isolated from its roots.  The researchers soon found that when its spores are applied to plants, those plants grow and thrive on coarse tailings – it is in symbiosis with a plant. This fungus has the ability to eat the hydrocarbons and help the plant survive in these environments.

The fungus was even able to grow directly on diesel, crude oil and similar materials as its only nutrient source. This is promising because it can be  used to complete remediation and reclamation at the same time. Ordinarily, the removal of contaminants from a site is done separately from land restoration.  Contaminated soil is often taken away and replaced, which is in an expensive process. With the help of the newly discovered fungus, treated seeds can be applied directly to the contaminated sites. The next step is proving the method works in the real world.

Read the full article here.

T. Harris Environmental Management Offers Services in Alberta

With growing demand for environmental consulting services in Western Canada, it is with great pleasure that John C. Fisher, President & CEO of T. Harris Environmental Management Inc. (THEM), is excited to announce the addition of a new location in Edmonton, AB. As of April 3, 2017, this new location will not only complement, but add to the core competencies of our existing strongholds in Ontario and Quebec.

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About T. Harris Environmental Management

T. Harris Environmental Management Inc. (THEM) is a leading Canadian environmental consulting firm in the fields of environmental services, hazardous materials management, industrial hygiene, and occupational health and safety. Our professional staff serve a wide range of clientele including commercial, government, industrial institutional, and residential. We are passionate about health & safety and committed to excellence. Since 1979, we continue to provide high quality services, taking pride in building long-term relationships with our clients. We are dedicated to understanding your concerns and meeting your needs by delivering efficient, cost-effective solutions.

Mission: To be the preeminent niche environmental and occupational health and safety consulting firm in Ontario and Quebec.

Vision: To enhance our position as a premier niche environmental consulting company based on knowledge, innovation, technology, and be at the forefront of emerging EHS concerns and regulatory changes. We will achieve this by further developing our expertise, fostering growth of our team, synergistic relationships, excellence in performance, and strengthening client relationships.

Value Statement: We are committed to understanding client concerns and meeting our client’s needs by formulating practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions.


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