Contaminated Sites Regulations Toughening

August 23, 2019

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy plans to capture more Schedule 2 commercial and industrial properties (e.g. dry cleaners, service stations) currently escaping the investigative needs triggered by submission of a “Site Profile” (soon to be called “Site Disclosure Statement”) when municipal development-related permits are required. For starters, the 42 municipalities which opted-out of receiving Site Profiles will lose their exemption (e.g. Coquitlam, Township of Langley, Powell River), and thus re-development applications in those jurisdictions will soon trigger investigation and remediation.

Of greater concern, investigation will be triggered “automatically” after submission of a Site Disclosure Statement. Furthermore, the requirement for investigating a decommissioned site will soon extend to sites which simply ceased operating a Schedule 2 use. For instance, dry cleaners which closed their doors would have to investigate (read: drill) and submit a site risk classification report to the Ministry within 18 months. Administrative penalties are under development.

Harm Gross
Next Environmental Inc.