Identifying and cleaning up contaminated sites helps minimize negative impacts to human health and the environment. Collaboration with land owners, communities, public organizations and other stakeholders ensures that development opportunities are supported while protecting the health and beauty of our province.
Contaminated sites are a concern because they can pose a threat to human health, the environment and safety. The effects of contaminants on humans can range from minor physical symptoms to life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Environmental hazards can include:
In B.C., a site is contaminated if its land, water and/or sediment are unsuitable for particular uses. That means it’s an area that has a waste contaminating the soil, groundwater or sediment in an amount or concentration that exceeds environmental quality standards.
Many stakeholders have a role in managing contaminated sites in B.C. Examples include: land owners, developers, provincial law makers, ministry staff, approved professionals, environmental consultants, lawyers, local governments and scientific experts.