Environmental Site Assessment & Contaminated Land Evaluation

Since its conception 25 years ago EDI has assessed over a thousand commercial, industrial, multi-residential and oil & gas properties in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Our personnel conduct a thorough review and assessment of site history and current activities; we perform comprehensive sub-surface investigations in order to accurately characterize a site and use our in-depth knowledge of industry regulations and standards to provide our clients with a range of options and steps in order to achieve regulatory closure.

Phase I Environmental Assessments (ESAs)

A Phase I ESA is the first step in site characterization. Conducting a Phase I ESA is usually a requirement prior to a property transaction, transfer, estate settlement, insurance, development, financing or remortgaging. It is one of the many steps of the due diligence process required prior to a land acquisition or site re-development. The assessment may be requested by a lender,  insurance company, municipality or various levels of government. Even if it is not a requirement by a third party, conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is strongly recommended to ensure the new property is not in fact a liability.

 

During a Phase I ESA we conduct a thorough review of historical records available at different institutions, review municipal and government environmental records as well as conduct interviews and inspections as a part of the assessment. The Phase I is a detailed systematic investigation of the past and current activities on the property as well as an evaluation of the adjacent properties with respect to the risk they might represent for the subject site. The assessment is completed by experienced environmental professionals trained in evaluating the documentation available and visually inspecting the property. Usually a Phase I ESA does not include soil, groundwater, air or hazardous materials testing unless an enhanced scope of work has been agreed upon initially.

 

All Phase I ESA reports are prepared and provide recommendations in accordance to the Canadian CSA Standard Z768-01 (R 2016). If no areas of potential concern are identified the report will state that there is no need for further work. In case the assessed property is found to be subject to potential or actual contamination further work will be recommended.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs)

Phase II ESAs are usually conducted based on the recommendations of the initial Phase I investigation. The purpose of a Phase II ESA is to determine, through intrusive sampling, if there is contamination present on site. It can also determine the extent of contamination and approximate volume of contamination at a site, however, due to the complex nature of Phase II ESAs they are often completed in several stages. The first stage is often prepared for screening the site and if contamination is confirmed on site then one or more detailed investigations are done to delineate the impact.

 

The Phase II investigation is an intrusive assessment where, with the help of specialized drilling or excavation equipment, soils and groundwater samples are retrieved from the subject site and analyzed by an accredited environmental laboratory. The analytical results are then compared to the guidelines applicable for the site.

 

All Phase II reports are prepared in accordance with the Canadian CSA Standard Z769-01 (R 2013). No further work will be recommended if the findings indicate that no chemicals of potential concern have been identified in exceedance of the applicable guidelines. Further investigation, mitigation and/or remediation will be recommended for unacceptable levels of contamination.

Supplemental Environmental Investigations

Supplemental Investigations are sometimes needed to further characterize the contamination found on site. When contamination is encountered there are often several other options prior to undertaking an expensive remediation.

 

Some reasons for conducting supplemental investigations are:

  • Vertically and laterally delineate the contamination encountered during the Phase II ESA

  • Modify guidelines based on site specific conditions; Tier 2 evaluation such as pathway exclusion and guideline re-calculation

  • Source characterization

  • Characterize the contamination with respect to the background in the area

  • Free product (DNAPL & LNAPL) characterization

  • Update the Conceptual Site Model based on new information

  • Undertake long-term monitoring

  • Conduct statistical trend analysis when sufficient data is available

  • Address data gaps