ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Our Environmental Services team is well versed in current environmental regulations and standards for Greenfields and Brownfields development projects and have strong experience assessing all types of properties. 

 

Our services include :

 

Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) 

When it comes to property and other types of commerce, a principle long used is caveat emptor - buyer beware.  Under this policy, the onus is on the buyer to conduct their own due diligence before making a purchase.  It is no more applicable than in the case of land development or Brownfields property redevelopment.  LDS can help buyers to 'be aware' of potential environmental risks associated with a potential property purchase.  Since the effort, complexity, and pricing for the ESA protocols are so varied, LDS can liaise with a client and advise regarding the determination of the appropriate protocols for their requirements.

The first step in site characterization is the completion of a Phase I ESA.  A Phase I ESA is a preliminary study for a parcel of land, for which a site visit and desktop review of available information is carried out to identify the potential for historical or current environmental impacts at the property. This work is conducted in accordance with one of two protocols: the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z768-01 (R2016) for conducting Phase I ESAs, or the Ontario Regulation (O.Reg.) 153/04, as amended requirements for Phase One ESAs, depending on project-specific requirements. 

 

A Phase II ESA involves soil, groundwater and/or sediment sampling and testing to assess the presence of environmental contaminants at the property. This work is generally conducted in accordance with one of two protocols: the CSA Standard Z769-00 (R2013) for conducting Phase II ESAs, or the O.Reg. 153/04, as amended requirements for Phase Two ESAs.

LDS staff have priority status with subcontracted utility locators, drilling and well installation firms, and environmental laboratories, and pass on the scheduling and pricing savings to clients.  

Record of Site Condition (RSC)

An RSC submission summarizes the environmental condition of a property, based on the completion of one or more environmental site assessments, and in some cases remediation and/or risk assessment.  The regulatory requirement to file an RSC is mandatory in the case when a property is changing from less-sensitive land use to more-sensitive land use (i.e., industrial or commercial to residential).  Additionally, some municipalities require that an RSC be filed in order to grant Site Plan Approval.

A Qualified Person (QP, under the terms of O.Reg. 153/04) supervises the completion of a Phase One (and usually) Phase Two ESA at a site, which are required in order to file an RSC.  The QP is responsible for certifying that the property meets the applicable site condition standards or standards specified in a risk assessment for the intended use. The RSC is filed with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) for inclusion into the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry.  The LDS Environmental Services team has QPs on staff who are able to file RSCs.

Excess Soil Management Plans

Construction activities typically involve the excavation of quantities of soil which, depending on the size of the project, may lead to an excess volume of soil that cannot reasonably be re-used on-site and must be transported for off-site re-use or disposal.  A QP is responsible for developing a Soil Management Plan, which provides guidance on appropriate re-use and disposal options for excavated soil or excess soil which is generated, stored and transported onsite, to ensure that the excess soil is managed in an environmentally sound manner. 

MECP is developing a new excess soil re-use regulation which will reportedly include amendments to existing regulations including O.Reg. 347 (Waste) and O.Reg. 153/04 (Records of Site Condition), made under the Environmental Protection Act.  LDS is monitoring the EBR Registry for updates to the status of this proposed regulation.

Tank Removals and Site Remediation

LDS has long-standing relationships with a number of local remediation contractors who specialize in the removal of fuel underground storage tanks (USTs) and the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-impacted soils and water.  LDS has extensive experience working with these firms to observe field activities, document tank removals, collect confirmatory soil samples for laboratory analysis, and prepare reports confirming tank removal.

Designated Substance Surveys (DSS)

DSS assessments are carried out to determine whether designated substances (such as asbestos, lead, silica or mercury) are present in building materials at a site, in accordance with O.Reg. 278/05 - Designated Substance - Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations, and Ontario Regulation 490/09 - Designated Substances.  These surveys are especially important when planning significant renovations to or demolition of site structures (especially those in the 1950s-1970s construction era).  Canada intends to ban the use of asbestos in new construction and renovations by this year (2018) due to its carcinogenicity and related human health effects.

LDS has qualified field technicians who have sufficient experience to economize on DSS sampling requirements (i.e., recognizing materials that are non-asbestos containing and do not require sampling/analysis) and appropriately assess a variety of building types.

Environmental Monitoring

Environmental monitoring is carried out to observe the natural environment and to identify potential or actual impacts on natural heritage features as a result of site development and construction activities. 

LDS can provide groundwater monitoring, stream level measurements, and inspections of sediment and erosion control measures.  LDS has an in-house inventory of monitoring equipment, and rents more sensitive equipment to ensure all field measurements are accurate and defensible.