EDI Makes Biology Work for Island Businesses (Business Examiner)

EDI helps businesses navigate the complexities of the environmental regulatory process

NANAIMO – EDI brings a down-to-earth approach to environmental consulting.

For over 24 years, EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc. (EDI) has been helping companies navigate the environmental regulatory process through to the completion of their project.

EDI is an environmental consulting firm that provides practical services through their team of aquatic and terrestrial scientists, working on everything from single property developments, to collecting baseline information to large-scale environmental assessments and environmental construction monitoring.

The company started in Prince George in 1994, initially focusing on providing environmental guidance to the forestry industry.

Over the years, it has expanded to have eight offices across Western and Northern Canada, including the Southern Region offices of Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver led by Ian Redden, as well as the Prince George, Whitehorse, Calgary, Grand Prairie, and Saskatoon locations.

“The company has grown to include 85 specialists, but it still has a family feel. We work to understand the markets we work in and what our clients need,” says Rahul Ray, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer at EDI.

“The best part about working at EDI is that we’re not huge, and we have a home-grown feel while still being able to support some of the biggest projects that are happening in western Canada,” says Jason Collier, one of EDI’s Environmental Scientists. “The relationships we have built with our clients are long-term and collaborative.

In all eight of their offices, EDI has a strong relationship with its community. In Nanaimo, volunteering and supporting community organizations is an important part of our company fabric.

As an example, an organization Ray volunteers with, Power To Be, recently began leasing a former golf course.

“I put the word out to our EDI team that they were planning accessible infrastructure on their 78 acre parcel, and overnight I received several emails from EDI volunteers to do an environmental inventory of the site,” he says.

“The inventory results are now being used to help the design of the infrastructure in less-environmentally sensitive areas to help individuals and families with mental, physical, financial, or other barriers reconnect to nature.”

Along with this community focus, EDI thrives because they offer practical solutions-oriented consulting.

“The work we’ve done out of our Nanaimo office covers a variety of sectors, including power projects, municipal, residential and industrial developments and many more.”

When proponents are planning a project EDI helps guide them through the environmental components of projects early, continuing through successful project completion.

We have a broad range of skills, and team with other local companies to provide a reliable, proven team.

“We do a lot of the baseline work to help the proponent put the project in the right place, minimizing environmental effects, and reducing regulatory and schedule risk,” says Ray.

The team has a great understanding of both the business world and the regulatory processes, as well as a great deal of experience working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

“We’re here to help our clients find smart solutions to the environmental permitting, mitigation planning, construction monitoring, and reclamation efforts they need to undertake,” says Ray.

Their portfolio of project ranges from small projects all the way to major projects across western Canada.

Recently, led by project manager Adam Compton, the Nanaimo office supported construction contractors on a major project called the Salmon River Diversion Decommissioning Project.

EDI was project manager for environmental support services to the contractor. We were responsible for water quality compliance monitoring, erosion and sediment control planning, in-stream works planning, fish salvage bird nest surveys and general environmental mitigation measures.

The company is also proud to be involved in the environmental components of run-of-river projects for some smaller indigenous communities.

“We’ve been going for 24 years, and actually grew through the recent market downturn,” says Ray. “We really like the range of clients we get to work with, and our reputation as a collaborative solutions-oriented firm continues to grow.”

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