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Understanding the Implications of the Contaminated Sites Regulation Updates

This edition of Environment & Energy Bulletin was guest-authored by Greg Quandt, Vice President, Hemmera (BC/YT Region).

Highlights 

  • In November 2017, the BC Ministry of Environment (BC MOE) is set to update the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR), referred to as the "Stage 10 Omnibus Amendments." This is the most significant change to the CSR since its inception in April 1997.
  • Using currently available science on chemical toxicity, transport, and land use, and BC MOE’s ecological protection goals, both the regulation and many of its standards for chemicals in soil, water, and soil vapour are updated.
  • The BC Contaminated Sites Approved Professional (CSAP) Society funded a study comparing various sites’ data against current and new [Omnibus] standards. The CSAP study focused on three site categories: gas stations, dry cleaners, and metals (i.e., typical fill sites). This exercise shed light on whether the Omnibus changes will make remediating contaminated sites in BC more or less onerous, and also identifies potential impacts to remediation costs.
  • This article summarizes the Stage 10 Omnibus Amendments, the key findings of the CSAP study, and speculates on how the Omnibus changes may impact sites that already have a BC MOE Instrument (i.e., a Certificate of Compliance).

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