Professional reliance

The ministry often relies on professionals to provide sound and impartial advice and recommendations in relation to requirements or applications under the Environmental Management Act (EMA) and Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR).  These professionals must have the necessary knowledge, skills and objectivity to support the best environmental outcomes for a site and to protect public interests.

There are two types of professionals that can be relied on for their expertise relating to contaminated sites legislation: qualified professionals and Approved Professionals (APs).

Qualified Professionals

A qualified professional (QP) is a person who: (a) is registered in BC with a professional association, acts under that professional association's code of ethics, and is subject to disciplinary action by that professional association; and (b) through suitable education, experience, accreditation and knowledge may be reasonably relied on to provide advice within their area of expertise.

Qualified professional services

Within the BC professional reliance model, QPs are relied on to:

  • complete site investigation and remediation
  • prepare application packages and notification documents for submission to the ministry
  • provide support for APs

Approved Professionals

Approved Professionals (AP) are qualified professionals who have been appointed to the ministry’s Roster of Approved Professionals under Section 42 of EMA. APs are registered professional agrologists, biologists, chemists, engineers and geoscientists who are members of the Contaminated Sites Approved Professional (CSAP) Society.

Approved professional services

Protocol 6: Applications with Approved Professional Recommendations (PDF)  describes activities that may or must be performed by an AP for non-high risk sites. Under Protocol 6, applications for ministry certification documents, such as Certificates of Compliance, Approvals in Principle of a remediation plan and Determinations of a Contaminated Site must be submitted with AP recommendations.

AP services relating to certification document applications include:

  • reviewing investigation report(s), remediation plan, and/or confirmation of remediation report
  • completing a Summary of Site Condition (SoSC), which includes a recommendation to issue the certification document being sought
  • drafting the ministry certification document, and
  • submitting these documents along with the application form to the CSAP Society for screening

AP services may also be required to fulfil conditions in certification documents; to obtain a release under the site identification process; or to classify a site under Protocol 12: Site Risk Classification, Reclassification and Reporting (PDF)  As such, APs may also provide recommendations where required by the director on any of the following:

  • monitoring reports
  • fluxes in concentrations of substances at a site
  • the appearance of new substances at a site
  • the adequacy of investigations at a site
  • the risk classification of a site
  • the adequacy of a remediation plan, when implemented, to appropriately manage contamination at a site

All submissions with AP recommendations must go through the CSAP Society for screening to ensure that the required documents are included in the application package and to confirm specific details about the site.  Complete applications are then forwarded to the ministry unless they are selected for a performance assessment.

The CSAP Performance Assessment Committee (PAC) conducts performance assessments on one in eight submissions for Certificates of Compliance, Approvals in Principle of a remediation plan or Determinations of a Contaminated Site. For more information on performance assessments, see the Guidelines for Performance Assessment of Submissions by Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals.