Projects

Whether GEMS is needed to obtain a permit, perform a fish removal and relocation, recommend and implement erosion and sediment control measures, perform compliance monitoring, conduct natural heritage evaluations or all of the above and more, GEMS is experienced working with clients on smaller scale, short term contracts as well as large scale, long term projects. Below is a snapshot of some of GEMS’ work.

Underground High-Rise Parking Construction

  • Underground High-Rise Parking Construction

6 Level Underground High-Rise Parking Construction

Location: Toronto ON
Services: Hydrogeological Investigation, Construction Dewatering Evaluation, Permit to Take Water (PTTW)
Sector: Construction – Residential Development

Project Details:

A high-rise condominium with six levels underground parking located in Toronto’s downtown core area. This complex project required particular attention to evaluate the magnitude of the drawdown around the nearby TTC subway line. 3-D groundwater modeling was carried out using Visual MODFLOW. The model simulated drawdown in and around the excavation. Results included plan view contour maps and cross-sections of drawdown at different time periods around the excavation and extending across the TTC subway and surrounding infrastructure.

Hydro Electric Power Dam Restoration

  • Hydro Electric Power Dam Restoration

  • Hydro Electric Power Dam Restoration

Hydro Electric Power Dam Restoration

Location: Hydro Electric Power Dam Restoration
Services: Environmental impact analysis for Permit to Take Water (PTTW) and Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA)
Sector: Construction – Power Generation

Project Details:

Dewatering of a penstock intake at headworks and tailrace for replacement and repair work of a generating station located in the eastern part of northern Ontario near North Cobalt.

GEMS carried out extensive analysis of possible environmental impacts including water quality assessment, surface water resources, fisheries impacts as well as recommended comprehensive monitoring and mitigation plan. Under a tremendously short time schedule GEMS acquired two permits from Ministry of the Environment (MOE): Permit to Take Water (PTTW) as well as Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) under section 53 of the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) for the project.

Resurrection of a Northern Mine

  • Resurrection of a Northern Mine

  • Resurrection of a Northern Mine

Resurrection of a Northern Iron Mine

Location: Ear Falls ON
Services: Environmental Impact Analysis, Permit to Take Water (PTTW), Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), Monitoring Program Design for ECA Approval
Sector: Construction – Mining

Project Details:

To proceed with the drilling exploration program, drainage of the north pit of a former mine property was required.

GEMS team, including a Natural Heritage Ecologist, an Aquatic Biologist and a Professional Geoscientist, visited the site area to conduct an assessment of the water quality vertical profile of the pit lake, surface water resources, natural features, and existing conditions. GEMS prepared an analysis of possible environmental impacts and recommended comprehensive monitoring and multination program. The study was submitted in support of the required Ministry of the Environment (MOE) Permit to Take Water (PTTW) as well as Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) under section 53 of the OWRA for the project. Over the duration of the first phase of the approval process GEMS was the project agency liaison.

Power Plant for Conversion of Natural Gas to Electricity

  • Power Plant for Conversion of Natural Gas to Electricity

  • Power Plant for Conversion of Natural Gas to Electricity

Power Plant for Conversion of Natural Gas to Electricity

Location: Newmarket ON
Services: Hydrogeological investigation, Permit to Take Water (PTTW), Environmental Monitoring Program Development and Implementation, Fisheries Permitting and Salvage
Sector: Construction – Power Generation

Project Details:

GEMS provided technical assistance for York Energy Centre project in King Township. The politically charged project required exceptional attention to detail during assessments and evaluations of the possible environmental impacts as a result of the required dewatering and watercourse crossings. GEMS services included hydrogeological analysis, pumping test, compliance monitoring, extensive agency liaison and communication, fisheries related permitting and fish relocation (4 fish relocation events for the culvert and 2 relocation events for stream channel realignment and restoration.)

Emergency Discharge Authorization for Hydro Project

  • Emergency Discharge Authorization for Hydro Project

  • Emergency Discharge Authorization for Hydro Project

Emergency Discharge Authorization for Hydro Project

Location: Toronto, ON
Services: City of Toronto Discharge Authorization Design of Water Treatment System to meet Toronto Storm Sewer By-Law, Monitoring Water Quality for Discharge Authorization

Project Details:

Major utility construction in the downtown core provided many challenges when deep shafts and tunnels are the means and methods for construction and there is little option for discharge of ground and surface water seepage. The project was at a standstill when GEMS was called to obtain discharge authorization and water quality compliance. Based on the location, the contractor could only discharge to storm sewers, which discharged directly into a creek. The discharge water quality from the dewatering system needed to meet the city of Toronto Storm Sewer Discharge Bylaw and there were exceedances in total suspended solids (TSS), manganese and zinc.

When working underground, manganese and zinc are often a challenge to remove from water in order to meet water quality objectives. GEMS designed a cost effective system that ultimately filtered and treated the water to meet discharge objectives, enabling GEMS to obtain discharge authorization for the client.

Regional Watermain Installation

  • Regional Watermain Installation

  • Regional Watermain Installation

Regional Watermain Installation

Location: Region of Peel
Services: Erosion & Sediment Control (ESC) Monitoring and Inspections, Permit to Take Water (PTTW) Monitoring, Discharge Monitoring, Agency Liaison
Sector: Construction – Infrastructure

Project Details:

GEMS was retained by the Regional Municipality of Peel (Peel Region) to be the primary environmental consultant through all phases of the Regional Watermain Installation Feedermain Contracts. Due the size and length of the proposed feedermain the project was divided into six separate contracts with four contractors working in conjunction to complete this integral phase of infrastructure updating.

GEMS role included weekly Erosion & Sediment Control (ESC) site inspections, Permit to Take Water (PTTW) monitoring which included monitoring local well levels, dewatering discharge monitoring /sampling and recommendations on how to improve discharge quality with best management practices and new technologies. GEMS was the liaison with local conservation authority officials for permit applications and onsite inspections; during many watercourse crossings GEMS was the environmental monitor and restoration specialist.

These contracts presented some unique challenges for instance, designing flume systems to divert watercourses and effectively contain fluctuating watercourse levels through many months of construction. Effectively isolating work areas directly in a stormwater management pond with aqua barriers, removal of wildlife from adjacent naturalized areas and designing dewatering discharge treatment system to meet local storm sewer by-laws. Throughout all phases, GEMS kept in close communication with Peel Region, the contract administrator, contractors and provided updates to conservation authorities while work was occurring in environmentally sensitive areas.

Pumping Station Upgrades

Location: Markham ON
Services: Permit compliance monitoring program design and implementation.
Sector: Construction – Infrastructure

Project Details:

GEMS was contacted by York Region to price a monitoring program based on the Permit to Take Water (PTTW) that was issued to The Regional Municipality of York (York Region) for the project site. The compliance monitoring program within the PTTW was quite elaborate and GEMS worked with York Region to provide recommendations on appropriate revisions to reduce the program to something tangible and achievable. The reduced monitoring program received approval from the Ministry of Environment (MOE).

Toronto York Spadina Subway Expansion

  • Toronto York Spadina Subway Expansion

  • Toronto York Spadina Subway Expansion

Toronto York Spadina Subway Expansion Project

Location: Vaughan ON
Services: Environmental Manager – Comprehensive Environmental Controls and Methods Program (CECMP), Discharge Authorization, Erosion & Sediment Control (ESC) Monitoring, Thermal Monitoring, Report Compilation, Agency Liaison
Sector: Construction – Infrastructure

Project Details:

GEMS is the Environmental Manager, one point of contact, for the General Contractor (GC). We receive and analyze all the data and reports from all environmental aspects of the project and compile them into one weekly and monthly report for submittal to TTC. GEMS obtained and monitors discharge authorization, we coordinate dust, noise and vibration monitoring, ESC monitoring, and thermal monitoring to comply with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) Letter of Advice (LOA).

GEMS created the Comprehensive Environmental Controls and Methods Program (CECMP), which entails the development of a spills clean-up program, soil contamination program, response to any exceedances for dust, noise and vibration program, and ESC program.

GEMS has become the overall resource and support for any environmental questions, concerns and problem solving on site, including flooding of excavation, discharge of excess water, spills clean-up and reporting, design of new ESC measures to deal with issues on site.

Wilson Carhouse Northern Extension

  • Wilson Carhouse Northern Extension

  • Wilson Carhouse Northern Extension

Wilson Carhouse Northern Extension

Location: Toronto ON
Services: Environmental Manager – Comprehensive Environmental Controls and Methods Program (CECMP), Discharge Authorization, ESC Monitoring, Thermal Monitoring, Report Compilation, Agency Liaison.
Sector: Construction – Infrastructure

Project Details:

Expansion works in an active TTC Yard including the extension of a building which involves excavation of a work area in a working yard with active tracks and trains making for a tight work space. GEMS has written the CECMP, will provide specific ESC inspections that provide photo documentation of ESC measures at installation and removal as well as analyzing function during the project. GEMS is obtaining discharge authorization through the City of Toronto to go to storm and will have to design a treatment train to meet storm by law.

Road Widening from 2 to 4 lanes

  • Road Widening from 2 to 4 lanes

  • Road Widening from 2 to 4 lanes

Stouffville Road Widening from 2 lanes to 4

Location: Whitchurch-Stouffville ON
Services: ESC monitoring, in stream works monitoring
Sector: Construction – Linear Infrastructure

Project Details:

GEMS was retained by a general contractor for the Stouffville Road Widening from two lanes to 4 lanes. GEMS provided environmental inspections (ESC inspection), fish relocations for 6 culvert expansion locations, in stream works oversight, recommendations on creek bypass methodologies.

200 Acre Block Development around Cold Water Creeks

  • 200 Acre Block Development around Cold Water Creeks

  • 200 Acre Block Development around Cold Water Creeks

200 acre block development around Cold Water Creeks

Location: Vaughan ON
Services: MNR species at risk permit attainment, ESC monitoring, PTTW monitoring, TRCA liaison, breeding bird survey
Sector: Construction – Residential Development

Project Details:

GEMS was retained by the Developer for a 200 acre block development in Vaughan. GEMS conducts all the ESC monitoring on site, GEMS developed the monitoring and mitigation plans for dewatering on site to make sure there is no impacts to sensitive areas (creeks).

Fish Relocation for Open Cut Sanitary Sewer

  • Fish Relocation for Open Cut Sanitary Sewer

  • Fish Relocation for Open Cut Sanitary Sewer

Fish Relocation for Open Cut Construction of Subtrunk Sanitary Sewer

Location: Mississauga ON, Credit River
Services: Permit attainment (MNR), Defishing, restoration (plantings), oversaw ESC measures and installation of ESC measures, monitoring effectiveness of ESC
Sector: Construction – Linear Infrastructure

Project Details:

Project Background:
GEMS was retained by a general contractor (GC) to evaluate and provide on-site consultation on erosion and sediment control measures and protection of the Credit River during open-cut construction for the installation of sanitary servicing under the Credit River.

The project consisted of approximately 110 meters of 675mm diameter subtrunk sanitary sewer. Ground surface elevations varied along the project alignment but the sewer excavations were in the order of approximately 4.6 meters to 5.7 meters below the existing ground and were an average of 3 metres below the Credit River.

In accordance with Credit Valley Conservation and under the provisions of the Fisheries Act, successful fish rescues within the cofferdam areas were conducted on both sides of the site and were completed in February.

All sediment control measures remained in place and operational throughout the site restoration phase. Post construction monitoring is an important stage of any Best Management Practice (BMP). GEMS monitored the site and performed on-site assessments to ensure that the river is providing adequate passage for fish, the banks remain stable and to determine if planting was successful.

Stream Restoration Under Endangered Species Authorization

  • Stream Restoration Under Endangered Species Authorization

Stream Restoration Under Ontario Endangered Species Act Authorization

Location: Rouge River Watershed
Services: Permit Attainment, Fish Relocation
Sector: Construction – Residential Development

Project Details:

GEMS got the call in July from the contractor to perform a fish relocation of a 200 metre long stream realignment within the Rouge River Watershed. As a required condition to build a bridge, the contractor needed to do stream restoration under the Ontario Endangered Species Act for redside dace as a measure of compensation for approved project works.

The contractor planned to isolate and bypass the full 200 metre section at one time which would require GEMS to conduct a one-visit fish relocation. As with many projects, original plans for staging the creek bypass changed and unforeseen weather resulted in flooding of the site. Ultimately, what was supposed to be a single bypass and a one-visit fish relocation, turned into 2 separate bypass sections and 5 relocation visits over a two week period. GEMS successfully relocated 2,503 fish from the creek.

Fish Removal for Mine Expansion under DFO Authorization

  • Fish Removal for Mine Expansion under DFO Authorization

  • Fish Removal for Mine Expansion under DFO Authorization

Fish Removal for Mine Expansion under Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Authorization

Location: Newfoundland
Services: Fish removal and relocation
Sector: Construction – Mining

Project Details:

GEMS was contacted to perform fish removal and relocation from a wetland pond to allow for expansion of a gold mine pit in Newfoundland. GEMS was onsite for five days conducting the fish removal of brook trout using seine nets and minnow traps.

Sewer Failure in Golf Course

  • Sewer Failure in Golf Course

  • Sewer Failure in Golf Course

Sanitary Sewer Failure in City of Vaughan Golf Course

Location: Vaughan ON
Services: Emergency Response, Hydrogeological Analysis, Drilling & Pumping Well Installation, Aquifer Test, Dewatering and Environmental Impact Evaluation, Monitoring Program Design and Implementation
Sector: Construction – Infrastructure

Project Details:

Wastewater operators noticed abnormally high flows at the Sewage pumping station during a rainfall. This was traced back to a section of the sanitary sewer on a golf course, where they discovered a settlement of soil above a section of concrete sewer pipe about 825 mm in diameter. The sewer pipe had shifted and come apart at the joints.

The Regional Municipality of York assembled an emergency response team including GEMS, a contractor, engineering firms and subcontractors to address the repair and subsequent stream restoration of that failed section.

The temporary dewatering and bypass pumping was successfully carried out with little to no impacts to the surrounding environment (and the golf course) facilitating the installation of the new sanitary sewer. Approximately 30m of the tributary banks that collapsed when the sewer failed were successfully restored. This included restoration plan preparation, agency liaison for permit attainment as well as stream channel isolation, fish rescue and construction oversight. Ecological assessment of stabilization methods is ongoing.

Grout Release Into Etobicoke Creek

  • Grout Release Into Etobicoke Creek

  • Grout Release Into Etobicoke Creek

Grout Release into Etobicoke Creek

Location: Brampton ON
Services: Emergency Response, 24 hours monitoring of clean-up crew, liaison with TRCA and Peel, permit attainment (expedited permission from TRCA)
Sector: Construction – Infrastructure

Project Details:

GEMS was retained by Regional Municipality of Peel (Peel Region) to obtain an expedited permit for watercourse clean-up due to a spill of construction material. GEMS liaised with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) to discuss means and methods for creek cleaning, submitted a plan while on-site and received TRCA approval within 24 hours. Upon authorization and set-up, GEMS provided 24 hour monitoring over the course of 10 consecutive days of the 800 metres of creek clean-up. GEMS worked with the clean-up crew to address unforeseen issues due to inclement weather conditions in December temperatures. GEMS provided regular reporting to Ministry of Environment (MOE) and TRCA as well as final project success reports to both agencies.