Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Cleanups and Other Services

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Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs)

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), as defined by CSA Standard Z768-01, seeks to determine whether a particular property is, or may be subject to actual or potential contamination.

The principal components of a Phase I ESA include: a) a records review;
b) a site visit;
c) interviews;
d) an evaluation of the information reviewed and reporting;
e) conclusions and recommendations. These recommendations will include whether a Phase II ESA is required.

The Phase I ESA includes records for the site and the subject study area (SSA). The SSA includes a 250 metre radius of the site and it can often be these near neighbours that determine if there is a risk to the site to recommend a Phase II ESA.

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), as defined by CSA Standard Z769-00, seeks to characterize and/or delineate the concentrations of contaminants of potential concern related to a site and compare those levels to the required criteria. Results of analysis for soil and groundwater samples taken are compared to the criteria in Ontario Regulation 153/04.

The principal components of a Phase II ESA include: a) review of existing Phase I ESA or background information;
b) develop a sampling plan;
c) plan site investigation;
d) conduct site investigation;
e) interpret and evaluate data gathered;
f) reporting;
g) conclusions and recommendations. In some cases if contamination is identified, a supplemental Phase II ESA may be required to delineate contamination and determine the next course of action.


Cleanups

If contamination is found during the Phase II ESA, a remediation program may be recommended. Various technologies can be used to achieve this, depending on the circumstances. One of the most common methods for removing soil contamination is a “dig and dump program”, where an excavator is brought to the site to remove the contaminated soil and dispose of it according to the regulations at a certified landfill site. If the contamination is present in the groundwater, a common method of remediation is in-situ chemical oxidation.

A&A has obtained the appropriate certificate of approvals to conduct this type of remediation.


Record of Site Condition

Under current Ontario Regulation 153/04, no building permit can be issued for any site which is being re-developed for a more sensitive use without first obtaining a ‘Record of Site Condition’ (RSC). For example, a former commercial site which has been sold to a residential property developer will need an RSC before any building permits can be issued. To obtain an RSC, the property must first undergo a thorough investigation of its environmental condition and if necessary, a cleanup or risk assessment. Some clients, however, may wish to have an RSC completed even if it is not required by law since the RSC becomes attached to the land title, confirming that the site meets the current applicable criteria.


Other Services

Other services are a broad category of services including all investigative services for a variety of contaminants, tank removal, environmental audits and special projects. A&A is capable of a wide variety of investigative services for contaminants in air, soil or water and are able to design a custom approach to a problem in order to gain an understanding of what contaminants are involved and how to address them appropriately. We have also undertaken a number of special projects that require creative problem solving approaches to complete. If your project does not fit entirely into one of our general service categories, please call us to find out if we can design a solution for you.