Performance verification plans

A performance verification plan (PVP) is a stand-alone document that describes the principal risk controls necessary to ensure that risk-based standards under the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) are met at a site and lays out the actions needed to ensure these risk controls are implemented and maintained.  An example of a risk control is a pavement cover placed over shallow contaminated soil to eliminate the risk to humans and animals coming into contact with that soil.  PVPs support the development and compliance with risk controls such as those included in conditions listed in Schedule B of a Certificate of Compliance. 

General information

Under Protocol 6, a PVP may be required as part of the application package for Certificates of Compliance and Approvals in Principle that are recommended by Approved Professionals.  PVPs may also be required by the director:

The person responsible for the remediation of a site is also responsible for the implementation of the PVP. Typically, that would be the applicant for the risk-based standards Certificate of Compliance or the Approval in Principle. A PVP may be modified based upon application to, and at the discretion of, the ministry.

To determine whether a PVP is necessary, sites are classified into Type 1 or 2 based on the type of risk control needed to meet CSR risk-based standards. Type 1 sites generally do not require a PVP unless specified by the director. Type 2 sites that implement institutional and/or engineering controls require a PVP.  

Site type descriptions with examples of risk controls are described below in Table 1.

Site types and risk control examples
Site Type Examples of Risk Controls

Type 1: 

The site has institutional control for limiting the presence of future drinking water wells where the site is serviced by a treated municipal water supply.

The site has engineered control of a maintained and a paved cap covering soil contamination in a municipal roadway or sidewalk.

Institutional Control:

  • Site groundwater must not be used for drinking water purposes
  • The site will remain a municipal roadway and the asphalt cap will be maintained on a routine basis.

Type 2:

Site meets risk-based standards under current and future uses through use of institutional or engineered risk controls (apart from the risk controls noted in Site Type 1). 

Institutional controls:

  • Fencing
  • Signage restricting use (e.g., no trespassing)
  • Lack of receptor occupancy or contractual restriction of receptor, or Land title restriction on soil disturbance or land use.

Engineering controls:

  • Vapour barrier
  • Pavement or soil cap for deeper soil contamination
  • Secure containment of leachable contaminated soil in a lined cell
  • Groundwater extraction and treatment system
  • Soil vapour extraction and treatment system
  • Engineered barrier system or reactive wall
  • In situ soil treatment system
  • In situ water treatment system; and ex situ soil treatment system

The ministry expects a PVP to include the following:

  • the necessary risk controls with the rationale for their selection
  • the actions required to implement, operate and monitor the identified risk controls
  • detailed specifications on any engineering work to be implemented
  • a description of immediate risk of exposure to humans, the aquatic receiving environment and terrestrial non-human receptors to contaminants if there is a sudden failure of risk controls
  • schedules for inspection and maintenance of any operations or engineered works
  • contingency plans related to installed engineered works
  • notification instructions to the director if performance verification actions indicate that there is a failure of risk controls or contingency action is triggered
  • identification and contact information (address and email) of those responsible for the proper operation, maintenance and record-keeping of risk control performance

Records of risk control maintenance and monitoring activities performed on the site should include the following:

  • description of inspection and maintenance works
  • data from the monitoring of environmental media to confirm the efficacy of works
  • construction activities that may have occurred
  • any identified failures in risk control performance along with the measures to restore their efficiency
  • quantity and quality of soil or waste managed or disposed of as part of the engineered works

Records should be submitted to the ministry either upon request or on a scheduled basis as detailed in a Certificate of Compliance or an Approval in Principle.

PVPs that are part of an application package to the ministry under Protocol 6 must be signed by an Approved Professional.  PVPs required for screening-level risk assessments (Screening Level Risk Assessment (PDF)) may be signed either by a Numerical Standards or Risk-based Standards Approved Professional. PVPs required for detailed risk assessments can only be signed by a Risk-based Standards Approved Professional. Qualified professionals who have contributed to the findings of the risk assessment or the implementation of risk controls should also sign the PVP. 

More information regarding the ministry’s professional reliance on qualified and Approved Professionals, the types of Approved Professionals and their roles can be found on the ministry's professional reliance webpage.