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The Atlantic Region Environmental Science Centre (ESC) is located on the Université de Moncton Campus in Moncton, New Brunswick, and houses employees from several regional and national Environment Canada units including:
- Atlantic Laboratory for Environmental Testing
- Marine Pollution Shellfish Program
- Enforcement Wildlife Division
- Chief Information Branch
- National Indicators and Reporting Office – Ottawa
- Water Quality Monitoring
The work conducted in and from the Environmental Science Centre contributes to the regional and national S&T priorities of Environment Canada. The Atlantic Laboratory for Environmental Testing, the largest unit of the Centre, supports the laboratory needs of Environment Canada research, monitoring and enforcement programs and works in collaboration with provincial agencies, regional universities and other federal government departments on various research topics. It delivers quality management products and services through responsive, cost-effective laboratory services that meet international standards of quality.
Accredited by CALA (the Canadian association for laboratory accreditation) to ISO/IEC Standard 17025, the Laboratory provides analytical (organic, inorganic, environmental toxicology) support to EC programs and supports EC in meeting its legal obligations under the Clean Water Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Bird Convention Act.
Marc Bernier, Manager
James Doull, QA/QC Coordinator
Ken Doe, Head, Toxicology Laboratory
Paula Jackman, Supervisor, Toxicology Laboratory
Art Cook, Head, Chemistry Laboratory
Martin Leger, Supervisor, Inorganic Laboratory
Jamie Aubé, Supervisor, Toxics
The Toxicology Laboratory provides accredited toxicity testing support and advice to Environment Canada programs in the Atlantic (NS, NB, PEI and NL). The main programs supported are: toxics, emergencies, enforcement (Fisheries Act and CEPA); disposal at sea; and environmental assessments. Toxicity support is also provided to other Regions and other Federal and Provincial government departments. Advice and expert testimony are provided during prosecutions. The laboratory has the capability to conduct a range of acute and chronic toxicity tests using fish, amphibians, invertebrates, plants and bacteria. Test media include freshwater, saltwater, soils, sediments, industrial wastewaters and commercial products.
Research on toxicity of pesticides and nonylphenol: The laboratory is partnering with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Homarus Inc., the Maritimes Fisherman's Union, Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, and the Université de Moncton, to determine the toxic effects of low environmentally realistic levels of pesticides and nonylphenol on growth, moulting, histology, gene expression (toxicogenomics), behaviour and survival of American lobster (Homarus americanus) larvae in a series of acute and chronic laboratory exposures.
Research on Amphibians: Because of recent amphibian declines, a research project has been initiated between the Laboratory and the Environmental Technology Centre in Ottawa, the National Wildlife Research Institute in Ottawa, and several universities. This project had two objectives: (1) To establish standard methods for rearing and conducting toxicity tests with native amphibians; and (2) To determine whether pesticide regulatory programs based on fish test species are protective of native amphibian species.
Research on sand shrimp: The Laboratory is partnering with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to develop test methods to determine the toxic effects of low environmentally realistic levels of pesticides and tunicate management treatments on growth and survival of sand shrimp (Cragnon septemspinosa) in a series of acute and chronic laboratory exposures.
Echinoid embryo larval developmental assay: The Laboratory is partnering with the Environment Canada PYLET Laboratory in Vancouver, and the Biological Methods Division in Ottawa to conduct methods development research on a sediment water contact toxicity test for echinoid (sea urchins and sand dollars) larvae.
The Chemistry Laboratory provides accredited chemical testing support and advice to all Environment Canada programs in the Atlantic Region (NS, NB, PEI and NL). The main programs supported are: enforcement of both environmental pollution (Fisheries Act and CEPA) and wildlife (Birds Oiled at Sea, Migratory Birds Convention Act and Canada Shipping Act in partnership with Transport Canada); water quality monitoring (federal/provincial Water Quality Agreements [WQAs] and Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators); toxics, emergencies and disposal at sea. Chemistry support is also provided to other Regions and other Federal and Provincial government departments. Advice and expert testimony are provided during prosecutions.
The laboratory itself is divided into 3 major areas of focus with an additional area of specialization:
- The inorganic lab provides a complete suite of inorganic parameters for the Enforcement and Water Quality programs ranging from analysis of lead shot under the Migratory Birds Convention Act to low-level phosphorus testing for the PEI-Canada WQA.
- The Toxics group is responsible for the long-term monitoring of organic carbons/PCBs/PAHs in U.S./Canada Gulf of Maine Mussel Watch program along with the long-range transport of organics in precipitation in Atlantic Canada from samples collected in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia.
- The ALET Chemistry lab is a national lead in oil matching and provides analytical support and expertise for federal/provincial agencies (EC, Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, NL/NS Offshore Petroleum Board and provinces) in the Atlantic region under an integrated program for Birds Oiled at Sea (BOAS).
- The Pesticides group is the third major division within the lab. The pesticides group in conjunction with the S&T Toxics group and the federal/provincial WQA program has developed a variety of analytical techniques to measure the high use/high risk pesticides used in Atlantic Canada. Also, in partnership with our Toxicology lab have developed forensic assays for the EC Enforcement Branch in the investigation of the highly publicized fish kills incidents.
Marc Bernier, Manager
Atlantic Laboratory for Environmental Testing
Atlantic Region Environmental Science Centre
Corner Morton Ave. & University Ave.
Moncton , NB E1A 6S8
tel.: (506) 851-2622 fax: (506) 851-6608
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