Environmental Assessment

An environmental assessment is an integral part of Real Property transfers and refinancing, Brownfield development, environmental due diligence, and emergency/disaster remediation. An assessment identifies real or potential environmental risks associated with current environmental and health and safety regulations.

We identify areas of potential environmental concerns (APEC), delineate areas of contamination, and provide you with solutions that work. We have dealt with every type of contaminant including petroleum products, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs, chlorinated solvents, and bacteria.

Our experienced staff (Professional Engineers, Professional Geoscientists, and Ontario Ministry of the Environment Qualified Persons) provide Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), Environmental Due Diligence, and Property Condition assessments.

Our assessments provide a detailed summary of the extent of contaminants and specific recommendations regarding remedial action if warranted. We emphasize quality control starting with site visits, laboratory checks and balances, and mandatory senior review of all deliverables and documents that are released to our clients or authorized agents.

Phase I ESA

A Phase I ESA is a non-intrusive investigation of a property to identify environmental liabilities or potential liabilities associated with historic and current site activities including an investigation of neighbouring properties. It requires a historical records review of the site and surrounding area in addition to a site inspection.

Phase II ESA

Remediation (clean-up) cost overruns and unsuccessful remediation projects are often the result of a failure to delineate or understand the nature of the contamination. A Phase II ESA is an intrusive investigation of a property to sample soil, ground water, sediment, and/or air. It typically results from recommendations of a Phase I ESA or known environmental impacts such as a fuel spill. This assessment determines the physical characteristics of the subsurface (e.g. soil type, ground water conditions, ground water flow direction) and the magnitude and distribution of contaminants in soil, sediments, or water. Environmental liability cost estimates can be prepared at request to aid in property transfers or environmental liability budgets for future management.

Oil Spill Delineation

Avoiding cost overruns and unsuccessful remediation of fuel spills depends on identifying the extent and understanding the nature of the contamination. We usually request additional assessment work to develop a conceptual site model (CSM) of the contaminated area, including geological analysis of the site and surrounding area, collection and analysis of soil and surface water samples, and, possibly, the drilling of boreholes to determine the extent of contamination.

Once we delineate the extent of contamination, we provide guidance to protect local water wells and on the design, operation, and optimization of a remediation plan.

Remediation can involve either excavation and off-site disposal or in situ remediation, for which we may recommend further chemical and physical testing of the soil and ground water within the affected area for parameters such as dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide levels, and soil permeability.

See Remediation oil spill excavation case study for more info.