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Significance of environmental assessment

While purchasing, selling, or refinancing a property, it is very important to carry out environmental due diligence to mitigate environmental, legal, and financial risk. That’s where PRYCO’s s Environmental Due Diligence and Remediation team can help to assess, manage, mitigate, or re-mediate those risks. A Phase 1, also known as level 1, Environmental assessment may help in identifying potential contaminants that may have affected the property due to its past or present use. A Phase I assessment can limit the purchaser’s liability before the purchase of the property. Lenders commonly require environmental assessment phase I to limit the risk as contamination can severely devalue the property.

Types of Environmental Assessment

Preparing Phase I Environmental Assessment

Phase I Environmental Assessment has four principal components. A. Records Review B. A Site Visit C. Interviews D. Information on information and reporting.

  • Phase one environmental assessment involves a historical search of land titles.
  • Level I environmental assessment also includes a review of historical aerial photographs of the area encompassing the subject property.
  • File search of local historical records (fire records, drainage records)
  • Visual sit review of the property and interviews with adjacent landowners and people familiar with the property.
  • Current use of the site by the owner or others.
  • Phase I Environmental assessment is carried out as per CSA Z768-01 Standards.
  • The Phase I ESA report shall document each source of information that was examined in the records review, even if a source revealed nil findings or no response was received. Documentation of sources shall be sufficient to enable reconstruction of the research either at a later date or by another party. For example, when obtaining regulatory information, the name of the regulatory body and individual providing the information should be noted.
  • Phase I Assessment does not include evaluation or Asbestos,  or Mold, which may be present in the older buildings.
  • Phase I Environmental Assessment should be carried out by a qualified professional who has specific qualification and experience to carry out the work.The assessor shall be familiar with applicable federal, provincial, territorial, and local legislation and published guidelines used to evaluate the actual or potential presence of contamination on a property.

Preparing Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is based on the outcome of Phase I Environmental Assessments.

The purpose of Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment must determine through intrusive sampling, the presence or absence of CoPC(S) at a site and the type, extent, degree and approximate volume of contamination at the APEC(s). Where CoPC(s) and APEC(s) are determined through an initial Phase 2 investigation, a more detailed Phase 2 ESA involving full delineation of the contaminated area(s) is required as defined in Alberta Tier 1 and Ter 2 guidelines.

Delineation programs must be extensive enough in both horizontal and vertical directions to enable the proper assessment of all applicable exposure pathways and receptors. Delineation is considered complete when measured concentrations are consistently less than Alberta Tier 1 guidelines or Alberta Tier 2 guidelines using the pathway exclusion approach.

  • Phase II environmental assessment includes In situ drilling, soil sampling, chemical analysis of soil, and groundwater to determine the extent of the contamination.
  • Detect Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) by Photo Ionization Detector (PID)
  • Analyze select soil samples for PHC constituents (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and fractions F1 to F4 ) at an accredited laboratory.
  • Analyze groundwater samples from each groundwater monitoring well for PHC constituents (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and Fractions F1 to F2) at an accredited laboratory; and,
  • Prepare a report documenting the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Phase II ESA.
  • Based on the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment outcome if the ground is found to be contaminated, then Phase III Environmental Assessment is carried out.

Phase III Environmental Site Assessment

A Phase III study normally involves assessment of alternative cleanup methods, risk management strategies, and costs and logistics. Phase III reports detail the steps needed to minimize human or ecological risk, to perform site cleanup, and conduct follow-up monitoring for residual concomitants Supervising Removal of contaminated soil and replace with fresh soil.

Construction oversight and contract management of site remediation.