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Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessments

Are you considering the purchase of a property that contains contaminated soil, impacted soil, and/or ground water? Let the expert environmental consultants at Rubidium Environmental assist you with assessing the extent of site pollution, potential impacts, help develop a cost effective phase 3 ESA remedial action plan, and remediating a known environmental liability present on your property.

What is a Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment?

A Phase III Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in Ontario is an investigation that includes the development of an effective remediation strategy for the redevelopment of a site. Otherwise known as environmental site remediation and redevelopment. Part of the Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment process is ensuring that sufficient knowledge about the extents of the contamination is known, which may include drilling further boreholes through a delineation program, and installing additional ground water monitoring wells on the property.

Often there are multiple ways to remediate a property during a Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment, but not every way is effective or efficient. Where Rubidium Environmental provides value, is by helping you determine the most cost effective plan which incorporates the specific nature of contamination at your property, and the most effective methods for site cleanup that are within your budget, and timeline. By identifying the most effective phase 3 ESA remedial response, and cleanup technologies, your property will be in compliance with the applicable Site Condition Standards allowing your development to proceed.

Our environmental consulting firm and team has extensive experience with the design, and implementation of cost effective Phase III ESA remediation programs to address soil, ground water, sediment, and surface water impacted areas. At Rubidium, we are well versed in the latest technologies for site remediation including chemical in-situ injections, excavation, vapour extraction, and soil washing. Our experience will help you transform your contaminated site into a developable property, allowing you to unlock the financial opportunity that increased urban intensification is bringing to major centres in Ontario. We are able to offer turn-key project management to our clients that want one source of responsibility for the entire duration of the project.

What is a Brownfield property?

Remediation and redevelopment (Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment) of brownfield sites is becoming more common in Ontario as urban intensification is increasing land values, and demand for residential housing and office space rises. Brownfield sites are where former industrial or commercial land uses, left significant sub-surface contamination in either the soil, ground water, or surface water. As a result of the contamination, the properties have been left undeveloped, or underdeveloped. We can assist your Brownfields redevelopment project by preparing a site specific phase 3 ESA remediation plan that manages the risk association with the unique nature of contamination on the property with a goal of obtaining a Record of Site Condition (RSC), so that redevelopment can commence. Our environmental consultants and engineers will work with you through the process allowing you to unlock the value of your land, or property development.

Why is a Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment Conducted?

Phase III ESAs are frequently required for due diligence, property sale, financing, and site redevelopment purposes. Phase 3 Ontario Environmental Site Assessments assist property owners, financial lenders, and land developers by helping them understand the presence of the known impacted areas and remedial action plan options to remediate these impacted areas to achieve compliance with the applicable Site Condition Standards (Ontario Regulation 153/04), so that a Record of Site Condition can be obtained, if required for property redevelopment.

Common types of land uses that require a Phase III ESA include:

  • Industrial
    • Metal, ink, salt, detergent, automotive part, and solvent manufacturing facilities
    • Chemical, oil, ink, detergent, and metal processing plants
    • Metal fabricating plants
    • Petroleum product manufacturing
    • Salt, chemical, oil, ink, fertilizer/pesticide, detergent, solvent, and fuel bulk storage facilities
  • Commercial
    • Automotive repair garages
    • Gasoline service stations
    • Dry cleaning facilities
    • Scrap yards
    • Tire storage facilities
  • Agricultural
    • Land that acquired large scale applications of pesticides
    • Land that contains large quantities of fill material of unknown quality
  • Institutional
    • Former schools, or hospitals

In certain instances the volume of contaminated materials might be too large, or the concentration of contaminants might be too high to practically remediate. When a property cannot feasibly meet the soil and ground water quality limits of the Site Condition Standards (O. Reg 153/04), applying a Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessment may be necessary to establish site-specific clean-up criteria to be applied at the site during clean-up activities and filing of a Record of Site Condition.

What are the components of a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment?

A Phase III ESA consists of the following:

Planning the site investigation Conducting a review of previous ESA reports and coordinating underground utility clearances and borehole location layouts (if delineation is required).
Site investigation Mobilizing, drilling, and logging boreholes, installing ground water monitoring wells, sampling and monitoring applicable media, conducting soil vapour screening, and submission of media samples to an accredited laboratory for analyses.
Design Creating a contaminated media management system and verification sampling program.
Remedial action Conducting underground utility clearances, retaining an environmental services contractor, excavating impacted soil and disposing of soil off-site, ground water treatment and/or extraction, and sampling of media to verify impacts have been removed and remaining materials comply with applicable Site Condition Standards.
A review and evaluation of the collected information Reviewing and assessing all field notes and laboratory analytical results.
Preparation and submission of a written report Compiling a report that describes the presence of any impacted media, remedial action plan, and current environmental conditions of the property, and recommendations (if any).   Upon completion of the report, a RSC can be filed for a brownfield property.

Depending on the extent of the remediation required, Phase 3 ESAs can last one month to numerous years. Our Environmental Consultants use the latest remediation technology and techniques between designing site remediation programs, minimizing the time required to redevelop a site, and unlocking the value of the developable property.

Site remediation techniques can include the following:

  • Excavation and Removal – a qualified environmental contractor is retained to excavate the identified impacted areas of soil. Soil is excavated, stockpiled and/or loaded into trucks and removed off-site for disposal at a licensed landfill that has acknowledged acceptance of the delivered material.
  • Vapour Extraction – a qualified environmental contractor is retained to construct a system of vacuum extraction wells piped into a vacuum pump/blower, which is connected to a treatment vessel. This method can be used for remediating media that are impacted with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. Once the contaminants transfer into a vapour phase, the vapours are extracted, and treated in an aboveground remediation process (i.e., adding oxygen to the wells) prior to being discharged.
  • Soil Washing – a qualified environmental services contractor is retained to scrub soils and remove contaminants by dissolving or suspending the soil in a solution or segregating the soil using particle size separation and using an attrition scrubber to scour the surface of the particles removing contaminants. This method can be used to remediate semi-volatile organic compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, and heavy metals.
  • Chemical In-Situ Injections – a qualified environmental contractor is retained to construct a system of injection wells that are used to inject chemical oxidizers directly into the contaminated medium to destroy and/or reduce the concentrations of the targeted contaminants. This method can be used to remediate chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons.

Across Ontario, Rubidium’s environmental consultants have worked with environmental contractors and prepared remediation action plans for a wide range of industries. Considering remediating the presence of an environmental liability? Contact us today, and we will help you understand the environmental condition of your property and what your remedial plan of action should be.

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