Through its specialist health sciences division, global testing group Exova has played a key role supporting the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada’s (PTAC) Soil and Groundwater Research Committee on the development of new boron soil-contact guidelines which take plant toxicity into account.

The Soil and Groundwater Research Committee’s Boron Working Group was tasked with developing risk and science-based soil guidelines through extensive stakeholder consultations, field trials and laboratory research methods.

Exova Edmonton worked with the Boron Working Group, drawing on its industry leading capabilities in environmental and soil testing, to help develop the new guidelines.

Compared with the previous hot water soluble boron criteria, the new saturated paste method is a better predictor of toxicity of boron on plants and invertebrates in a wide range of soil types.

The new risk-based criteria will ultimately reduce harmful impacts from contamination and reduce destructive, wasteful and costly remediation on otherwise healthy soil.

Darlene Lintott, regulatory expert at Exova Edmonton, said: “We are very proud to have been involved with the Boron Working Group in helping to research and deliver the new boron criteria.

“Exova’s environmental expertise in soil testing meant that we were well placed to contribute accurate data from our reliable testing methods, aiding PTAC in the development of the industry.”

The latest tier one guidelines, which replace those based on the protection of plants as opposed to identifying toxicity, have already been adopted by the Alberta Environment Parks, the body responsible for land, air and water biodiversity in the province.