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Environmental Site Assessments

Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) are used by purchasers, vendors, financiers, real estate agents and lawyers involved in real estate transactions to determine potential or actual contamination on properties which could create financial liability. ESA’s have become a standard tool when property ownership is transferred or land-use zoning is changed on some property types.  T. Harris Environmental Management Inc. (THEM) can provide a thorough examination of the property according to the ESA guidelines required by Ontario Regulation 153/0, as amended, – Records of Site Condition under the Environmental Protection Act. 

The Process of Evaluation:

  • Phase I – Historical and background records review, site inspection, interviews and analysis to determine potential contamination on or near the site
  • Phase II – Assessment of potential concerns through sample collection and analysis of suspect materials or contamination
  • Phase III – Formulation and completion of remediation plans or site management measures

The Phase I ESA involves inspection and evaluation of a property under the guidance and supervision of a Qualified Person (QP) to determine if actual or potential contamination exists on a property. This is used to establish whether environmental problems may be present which could create financial liability and affect the value of the property. The protocol utilized by T. Harris Environmental Management Inc. is in general accordance with CSA Standard Z768-01 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. 

In the initial investigation, the current status of the property is identified, focusing on information that is reasonably accessible or which is available through non-invasive means. Based on the findings and recommendations from the Phase I ESA, a Phase II ESA may be conducted to verify, refute or delineate potential environmental contamination on the property. Information gathered during a Phase I ESA provides guidance in determining a scope of work for any Phase II investigation. Phase II ESA’s are conducted in accordance with the general requirements of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z769-00, Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.

THEM is capable of performing phase I and II ESAs as per requirements of amended Ontario Regulation 153/04. The new requirements of phase I and II ESAs (which came in effect in July, 2011) would require extensive review of the property and specific sampling requirements, respectively.

If any concerns are identified, remedial actions will be implemented based on findings of Phase I and II assessments. If significant amounts of contamination are identified, a follow-up to the initial Phase II assessment may be required.

Remedial actions or a Phase III ESA may range from simple excavation of contaminated soil to implementation of bioremediation programmes or site-specific risk assessments and engineering solutions to reduce hazards.