Remediation plan and Approval in Principle (AiP)

Remediation plans are prepared and implemented to address contamination at a site.

The definition of a remediation plan is found in Section 1: Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR).

Applications to the ministry for review of remediation plans may be eligible to receive an Approval in Principle (AiP). This is a ministry issued document confirming ministry review and approval.  

What's a remediation plan?

A remediation plan is a document that may include, but is not limited to, information on the following:

  • A detailed description of the full extent of site contamination
  • Identification and consideration of remediation alternatives
  • Selection of remediation methods for implementation
  • Identification and classification of contaminated media to remain in place or to be removed
  • Risk assessment to demonstrate compliance with risk based standards (if using)
  • Identification of any supporting authorizations that may be required
  • Proposed confirmatory sampling, monitoring, risk management and performance verification
  • Proposed public consultation or review of remediation
  • Remediation plan schedule

Remediation plans describe the remedial actions necessary for a site to comply with the Contaminated Sites Regulation's numerical and/or risk based standards. 

Remediation plans vary in size and complexity depending on the nature and extent of contamination at a site.

The Guidance for risk assessment page provides risk assessors who are qualified professionals in risk assessment with technical information for conducting risk assessments.

Do remediation plans require ministry review and approval? 

Remediation plans do not require ministry review and approval unless a responsible person is ordered to prepare and submit one for those purposes.

A responsible person may choose to seek ministry review and approval of a remediation plan by applying for Approval in Principle.

Visit Apply for services to learn more about applying for an Approval in Principle.

What's an Approval in Principle?

An Approval in Principle is a document confirming that a remediation plan has been reviewed and approved by the ministry and that it may be implemented in accordance with any imposed conditions.

An Approval in Principle confirms that the site is considered contaminated when the approval was issued. 

For more information, refer to:

What are the benefits of an Approval in Principle?

  • It's one of several ministry documents that may facilitate the release of permits at the local government level
  • It may increase the likelihood of qualifying for a Certificate of Compliance, confirming the successful remediation of a contaminated site
  • It can authorize waste discharges that may be necessary in connection with implementing a remediation plan.
    • For example:
      • On-site treatment of contaminated groundwater or vapour
      • Re-deposit of contaminated soil at the site
  • It may increase certainty for landowners, developers, lenders and others regarding the cost and schedule for implementation of remediation

Learn more about certification.

The information on this web page does not replace the legislative requirements in the EMA or its regulations and it does not list all provisions for contaminated site services.

If there are differences between this information and the Act, Regulation, or Protocols, the Act, Regulation, and Protocols apply.