Contaminated Site Remediation

New provincial regulations require potential contaminated site identification for development applications

The provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has amended the Environmental Management Act to help identify potentially contaminated sites slated for redevelopment. Effective February 1, 2021, the PRRD is mandated by the provincial government to participate in the site identification process. This involves collecting information about a site’s former use to help determine if there is potential contamination during industrial or commercial activities that may have resulted in chemicals or toxic materials being spilled or deposited on the site. The site identification process is intended to ensure that potentially contaminated sites are remediated before redevelopment.

Who is affected by this legislation?

Anyone submitting an application to the PRRD for re-zoning, a development permit or building permit must fill out a PRRD Contaminated Site Declaration form and submit it along with your application.

What kind of industrial and commercial activities does the legislation cover?

Some examples of potentially affected commercial and industrial properties include gas stations, drycleaners, auto repair shops, metal salvage, pulp & paper mills, railyards, landfills, and road salt storage. The list of such activities is provided on the ministry’s website here. It is important to note that determining whether a site is contaminated depends on the property’s use, not its zoning in PRRD bylaws.

What do I do next?

If you declare that there is no history of specific industrial and commercial uses as identified in Schedule 2 of the Contaminated Sites Regulation, you don’t need to take further action; the PRRD will continue to process your application.

If you declare that there is a history of specific industrial and commercial uses, you are also required to fill out the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s Site Disclosure Statement, and submit it to the PRRD along with your application.

Where can I find the Site Disclosure Statement?

The statement is available on the ministry’s website here. PRRD planning staff can also provide it to you.

What happens after I fill out the Site Disclosure Statement?

The PRRD will forward your completed Site Disclosure Statement to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s registrar. This triggers the ministry’s investigation into your potentially contaminated property. PRRD approval of your application will be suspended until the site investigation is complete and the property is certified by the ministry as not contaminated, remediated, or having an approved plan for remediation.

How much will remediation of a contaminated site cost?

The cost will depend on the level of remediation required. This will be determined by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The PRRD is not responsible for ensuring that contaminated sites are remediated before redevelopment.

Where can I find more information on this topic?

Information is available on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s website.