Site remediation news

Site remediation subscription service

The purpose of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy's Subscription Service is to identify legal, technical, policy and guidance information related to the management and administration of contaminated sites in British Columbia which may be of interest to subscribers. Mention of non-ministry documents or presentations does not constitute ministry endorsement of their contents; only an acknowledgment that they exist and may be of interest to Site Remediation News subscribers. 

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‚ÄčListed below are the most recent messages sent out to subscribers.

May to August 2021

A new laboratory news service is now available.

This service includes an email subscription option which provides timely notification of both new and revised methods for environmental sampling and analysis under the:

As of May 6, 2021, the laboratory news subscription service will be the only way to receive the:

  • Notification of new and revised methods, which includes the opportunity to review and provide comments on those methods

Signing up for a subscription is free and easy. It is also easy to unsubscribe. Notifications are infrequent but relevant.

June 28, 2021

B.C.’s draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy is now available for comment. The draft strategy highlights the actions we are taking in 2021 to 2022 and presents a suite of proposed actions for 2022 to 2025. The actions aim at strengthening foundations, enhancing community climate resilience, fostering resilience of species and ecosystems, and advancing a climate-ready economy and infrastructure. The action item that specifically relates to contaminated sites is 'Conduct initial work on a watershed security strategy and assess risks to water quality from contaminated sites under future climates'. A set of 6 draft principles have helped guide the choice of actions and will continue to inform work going forward.

Email your comments to: ClimateReadyBC@gov.bc.ca by August 12, 2021. Input will be used to inform the next phase of the strategy, expected to be released in 2022. For more information visit the ClimateReady webpage.

Learn more about the strategy by attending one of the following public informational webinars:

Webinar 1: Monday, June 28, 2021 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM PST or

Webinar 2: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM PST

Register for a webinar now.

June 16, 2021

Revised Site identification webpages

The following four webpages describing the site identification process have been revised to ensure consistency with current ministry policies; to improve clarity; and to reflect the numerous comments and questions received by the ministry since the pages were released on February 1, 2021 as part of implementation of the CSR Stage 13 amendments:

Site identification

Requesting a release notice

Compliance verification for site identification

Municipalities and approving officers

Significant improvements were made to the requesting a release notice webpage to clarify eligibility and submission requirements. Additional guidance is also provided to municipalities and approving officers on how to apply exemptions as well as how to determine if a certification document is valid for the purpose of approving municipal applications.

Any submissions relating to the site identification process should be submitted to siteID@gov.bc.ca.

Site Disclosure Statement new online format

All contaminated sites forms are currently available in fillable PDF format on our site remediation forms webpage. The ministry is aware that many stakeholders are having difficulty accessing these forms. To improve accessibility, the site disclosure statement is now available in a new format that is completed online, then saved as a PDF. We encourage all users to try the new form. Submission requirements for the site disclosure statement have not changed and are described on the site identification webpage.

Staff are working on converting other forms into this online format and links will be provided as they become available.

 

Protocols revised to reflect Professional Governance Act

May 19, 2021

The Professional Governance Act (PGA) and its regulations came into effect on February 5, 2021. The PGA provides a consistent governance framework for self-regulating professions that incorporates best practices of professional governance. The PGA governs the five regulatory bodies overseeing agrologists, applied biologists, applied science technologists and technicians, engineers and geoscientists, and forest professionals. Protocols 1, 4, 9, 12, 13, and 20 were amended to indicate that work completed by qualified professionals must be conducted in accordance with the PGA.

Procedure 8 has been revised and updated to reflect the CSR Stage 13 amendments. Definitions already provided in EMA and its regulations and outdated definitions were removed, and other definitions were updated to reflect the revised definitions in the 10 protocols that came into effect on February 1, 2021.

 

Protocol webinars and Response to comments posted 

May 4, 2021

Recordings of webinars describing the CSR Stage 13 amendments and 10 revised protocols that came into effect on February 1, 2021 are now available on the Site remediation presentations webpage. In addition, a report summarizing the ministry’s response to comments received during the protocol consultation period is now available.

 

January to April 2021

March 9, 2021

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is proposing amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (Stage 14) and is seeking comments on the proposed changes outlined in the Intentions Paper-Regulating Soil Relocation. The ministry encourages you to comment because all feedback will be taken into consideration and adjustments will be made to the proposed changes. The due date for feedback on the intentions paper is Monday, March 15 at 5:00 pm to site@gov.bc.ca.

For those of you who missed the webinars on regulating soil relocation, recordings are now posted on our Site remediation presentations webpage.

February 19, 2021

Changes to the site identification provisions in the Environmental Management Act and Contaminated Sites Regulation came into effect on February 1, 2021. As a result of these changes and to incorporate previous amendments, ten director’s protocols were updated.

To help affected parties understand the revised protocols and implications of the changes, a series of ten webinars are being delivered by ministry staff. Each webinar will include a presentation and time for questions. Please use the links provided below to register for a session of interest:

Webinars

Webinar

Date

Time

General Overview of Stage 13 Amendments

February 24, 2021

2 to 3 pm

Protocol 9

February 26, 2021

9:30 to 10:30am

Protocol 11 and 12

March 1, 2021

2 to 3 pm

Protocol 28

March 3, 2021

9:30 to 10:30am

Protocol 13

March 5, 2021

9:30 to 10:30am

Protocol 1

March 8, 2021

2 to 3 pm

Protocol 4

March 11, 2021

2 to 3 pm

Protocol 6

March 15, 2021

2 to 3 pm

Protocol 16 and 17

March 17, 2021

2 to 3 pm

General Q & A and Discussion

March 19, 2021

9:30 to 10:30am

For questions about webinar registration, please contact Cindy Bertram at CindyBertram@telus.net.

For questions about the content of the amendments or implementation, please send a message to siteID@gov.bc.ca.

February 10, 2021

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is proposing amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (Stage 14). Approved amendments to the Environmental Management Act (Bill 3) received Royal Assent on March 5, 2020 and it can be viewed at the following link: Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2020 (Bill 3). The proposed regulatory amendments to the soil relocation process are outlined in the Intentions Paper - Regulating Soil Relocation that can be found on the Site remediation- Requests for comments page. Two webinars describing these proposed changes will take place on February 18 at 11:00 am and February 25 at 2:00 pm. If you would like to register for a webinar, please use one of the following links.

Thursday, Feb 18 @ 11:00 AM

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2550486958229722637

Thursday, Feb 25 @ 2:00 PM

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5971352405752533773 

Site remediation forms

The ministry is aware of continuing difficulties with downloading site remediation forms. The fillable pdf forms are not compatible with all browsers. Please download, save the files to your computer and then open them using Adobe Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat.

February 1, 2021

Changes to the Environmental Management Act (Bill 17) and the Stage 13 Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) amendments came into effect on February 1, 2021. As part of implementing these changes, many ministry documents are changing. The following protocols have been revised, taking into consideration comments received during consultation:

  • Protocol 1: Detailed Risk Assessment 
  • Protocol 4: Establishing Local Background Concentrations in Soil 
  • Protocol 6: Applications with Approved Professional Recommendations and Preapprovals 
  • Protocol 9: Establishing Local Background Concentrations in Groundwater 
  • Protocol 11: Upper Cap Concentrations for Substances Listed in the Contaminated Sites Regulation 
  • Protocol 12: Site Risk Classification, Reclassification and Reporting 
  • Protocol 13: Screening Level Risk Assessment 
  • Protocol 16: Determining the Presence and Mobility of Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids and Odorous Substances 
  • Protocol 17: Site Remediation Forms 
  • Protocol 28: 2016 Standard Derivation Methods 

The groundwater model provided in Technical Guidance 13 was updated to reflect revised methanol standards. Many fact sheets, guidance and procedure documents were converted from PDF documents into new ministry webpages. These PDF documents are out of date and will be removed from our website. The following table provides the new web pages that will replace the listed documents.

Document

Webpage

Administrative Guidance 1: Completing and Submitting Site Profiles

Site identification

Administrative Guidance 2: Site Profile Processing Requirements for Municipalities and Approving Officer

Municipalities and approving officers

Administrative Guidance 4: The Site Information Request Process

Information on sites

Administrative Guidance 6: Site Profile Decisions and Requesting Releases Where Local Government Approvals are Required

Requesting release notices

Administrative Guidance 11: Expectations and Requirements for Contaminant Migration

Communication expectations

Administrative Guidance 13: Guidance on Schedule 2 Purposes and Activities

Not applicable. Schedule 2 was revised to clarify activities.

Administrative Guidance 14: Performance Verification Plans, Contingency Plans, and Operations and Maintenance Plans

Performance verification

DRAFT Administrative Guidance 15: Approvals Not to Delineate or Remediate the Entire Extent of Contamination at a Site

Preapprovals

Administrative Guidance 16: Approved Professional Role in the Administration of Site Profile Releases

Requesting release notices

Technical Guidance 16: Soil Sampling Guide for Local Background Reference Sites

Background concentrations in soil

Procedure 12: Procedures for preparing and issuing contaminated sites legal instruments

Preparing applications and Drafts and cover letters

January 26, 2021

This site remediation news is to inform practitioners that the new draft analytical methods listed below, developed with the assistance of the British Columbia Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC), have now been posted for review and comment to the ministry’s Sampling, Methods & Quality Assurance webpage, BC Environmental Laboratory Manual, Methods Posted for Review:

  1. Solids, Total Suspended (TSS) – PBM (PDF)
  2. Semi-Volatile Organics by GCMS for TCLP Leachates – PBM (PDF)
  3. Resin and Fatty Acids in Water – PBM (PDF)
  4. Determination of Sodium and Chloride Pore Water Concentrations of Peat/Muskeg – Prescriptive (PDF)

New methods awaiting director’s approval

The analytical methods listed below, had gone through the process of Public Review. They have been revised and edited by BCELTAC accordingly and have been moved to the section  Methods Awaiting Director’s Approval:

  1. Enterococci in Water by MF or Enzyme Substrate Method – Prescriptive (PDF)
  2. Salmonella in Solids by MTF – Prescriptive (PDF)
  3. Silica Gel Cleanup of Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons – Prescriptive (PDF)
  4. Tetraethyl Lead in Water – PBM (PDF)
  5. Tetraethyllead in Soil – PBM (PDF)
  6. Total Organic Halides – Prescriptive (PDF)
  7. Phosphorus, Total and Total Dissolved - PBM (PDF)

Please provide comment on the new methods by February 28, 2021 to: Laboratory Standards and Quality Assurance Unit Labs@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca.

Technical questions regarding the proposed new methods should be directed to: Sergei Verenitch at Sergei.Verenitch@gov.bc.ca or Mark Hugdahl (BCELTAC Chair) at Mark.Hugdahl@alsglobal.com.

January 14, 2021

The Land Remediation Section is proposing amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (Stage 14).

Following consultation on a 2014 discussion paper and a 2016 intentions paper, and the release of a 2019 policy direction paper, Bill 3 -- addressing changes to the provisions for soil relocation in the Environmental Management Act (EMA) -- received Royal Assent in March 2020. The changes will come into legal effect by regulation. As such, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is proposing changes to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) that align with the amendments to EMA. These changes will streamline the legal regime, making the process clearer, and will improve the ministry’s ability to carry out compliance verification and enforcement. The proposed amendments to the soil relocation process are outlined in the Intentions Paper – Regulating Soil Relocation that can be found on the Site remediation- Requests for comments page.

January 5, 2021

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has made changes to the site identification process in the Environmental Management Act and Contaminated Sites Regulation that come into effect on February 1, 2021. Two webinar recordings describing these changes are now available for review on the Site remediation presentations page.

For transitional purposes, the ministry will continue to receive site profile forms and release requests under the current legal provisions up to 12 pm on January 29, 2021. No forms or release requests will be accepted between 12 pm January 29 to 12 am February 1, 2021. All submissions starting February 1, 2021, must meet the new requirements for submission of site disclosure statements and release requests.

Protocol comments: 

Ten protocols have been revised and posted for comment. A reminder that the ministry requests stakeholder feedback on the draft protocols by Monday, January 11, 2021, using the form provided.

Technical Guidance 8 update:

Technical Guidance 8: Groundwater Investigation and Characterization has been updated to clarify information regarding plume stability for detailed risk assessment previously provided via a February 1, 2019, CS e-link.  Where demonstration of plume stability is necessary, the expectations outlined in Technical Guidance 8 apply to all contaminated sites.  The revised document has been posted to the ministry’s technical guidance page. 

For questions about the guidance, please contact the ministry at remediationFAQs@gov.bc.ca.

 

2020 Archive

November 27, 2020

Changes to the Environmental Management Act (Bill 17) and Stage 13 Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) amendments come into effect on February 1, 2021. As part of implementing these changes, ten protocols have been revised and posted for comment. The ministry requests stakeholder feedback on the draft protocols by Monday, January 11, 2021.

The following guidance and procedure documents are also under review and will be converted from PDF documents into new ministry webpages:

  • Administrative Guidance 1: Completing and Submitting Site Profiles
  • Administrative Guidance 2: Site Profile Processing Requirements for Municipalities and Approving Officer
  • Administrative Guidance 4: The Site Information Request Process
  • Administrative Guidance 6: Site Profile Decisions and Requesting Releases Where Local Government Approvals are Required
  • Administrative Guidance 11: Expectations and Requirements for Contaminant Migration
  • Administrative Guidance 13: Guidance on Schedule 2 Purposes and Activities
  • Administrative Guidance 14: Performance Verification Plans, Contingency Plans, and Operations and Maintenance Plans
  • DRAFT Administrative Guidance 15: Approvals Not to Delineate or Remediate the Entire Extent of Contamination at a Site
  • Administrative Guidance 16: Approved Professional Role in the Administration of Site Profile Releases
  • Technical Guidance 16: Soil Sampling Guide for Local Background Reference Sites
  • Procedure 12: Procedures for preparing and issuing contaminated sites legal instruments

November 12, 2020

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has made changes to the site identification process in the Environmental Management Act and Contaminated Sites Regulation that come into effect on February 1, 2021. These changes aim to streamline the legal regime by making the process clearer and more predictable and will improve the ministry’s ability to carry out compliance verification and enforcement. The full amendments can be found here:

Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2019 (Bill17): https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/41st-parliament/4th-session/bills/third-reading/gov17-3

Contaminated Sites Regulation OIC 0368/2020: https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/oic/oic_cur/0368_2020 

To help affected parties understand these amendments, three webinars are being delivered by the ministry to targeted audiences. Each webinar will include a presentation and time for questions. Please use the links provided below to register for an appropriate session.

Wednesday, November 25 – 10:00 to 11:00 PST (for Municipalities, Approving Officers and Modern Treaty First Nations Only)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4778074424242582028

Thursday, November 26 – 2:00 to 3:00 PST (General, for all affected parties)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6089214552574826252

Wednesday, December 2 – 2:00 to 3:00 PST (for Municipalities, Approving Officers and Modern Treaty First Nations Only)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3341521800623095820

For questions about webinar registration, please contact Cindy Bertram at CindyBertram@telus.net

For questions about the content of the amendments or implementation, please send a message to siteID@gov.bc.ca

July 10, 2020

The Order in Council (OIC 368) for the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) amendment was approved by Cabinet on June 24, 2020.  Bill 17 “The Environmental Management Amendment Act” received Royal Assent in May 2019. The legislative amendments were to streamline the site identification process by making it more predictable and easier to understand.

This OIC is for the Stage 13 amendments to the CSR, which are required to bring Bill 17 into force. The CSR amendments will strengthen the site identification process and ensure that sites are investigated and remediated promptly after closure and prior to redevelopment. The revised site identification process will minimize administrative processes, improve clarity and ensure equal application of regulatory requirements across the province. Responsibilities for oil and gas sites are also addressed. There will be no ability to opt-out and there will be an automatic requirement to investigate a commercial or industrial site if a person is seeking redevelopment or wanting to shut down operations. Administrative Guidance 6 release options will still be available; although there will be a few minor changes involving high-risk sites and multi-phase development projects.

The amendments will allow for more focus on ministry resources on high-risk sites and overall compliance verification and enforcement, with the overall result of increased protection for human health and the environment.

The changes address issues raised during the initial consultation with industry, other ministries, local governments and Indigenous nations across the province. The ministry has a comprehensive implementation plan to help local governments, Indigenous Nations and others respond to the changes, including updated webpage information, revised policy documents and training opportunities.

The CSR amendments were deposited on June 29, 2020. Changes to site identification come into effect on February 1, 2021.

 

Land Remediation Section has posted a new job opportunity

June 22, 2020

Land Remediation Section has posted a new job opportunity. This position will be supporting regulatory changes and implementation of revised soil relocation provisions in addition to work on site profiles, site registry, authorizations and compliance.

Job details:

Contaminated Sites Officer - Scientific Technical Officer R24

  • An eligibility list may be established for a future temporary and permanent position in Victoria or Surrey.
  • Currently available: 1 permanent position in Victoria. Surrey location may be considered.
  • Posting closing date: July 2, 2020, at 11:00 pm.

For complete details about this opportunity, including accountabilities, please refer to the job profile (https://bcpublicservice.hua.hrsmart.com/hr/ats/Posting/view/69967). For specific position related enquiries, please contact Valentina.Yetskalo@gov.bc.ca

June 15, 2020

The requirement for paper copies of reports has been suspended. For the duration of the public health threat, a complete submission for site services and site risk classification includes electronic copies of a completed Contaminated Sites Services Application Form (CSSAF) and relevant forms, reports, figures and tables. Payment for services must be received before the service is provided by the ministry. ‘Additional services and functions’ charged at an hourly rate will be invoiced upon completion of the service.

For a detailed description of the ministry submission requirements, fees and a new payment option, please visit the Apply for Services webpage.

Questions related to the revised requirements for site services should be directed to the ministry Client Information Officer (Environmental Emergencies and Land Remediation Branch) at csp_cio@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca.

March 24, 2020

This message is to inform practitioners that the public comments period for the new and revised sections of the BC Field Sampling Manual (BCFSM) has been extended.

Methods drafted for Part D1 Soil Sampling and Investigations, and Part D3 Sediment Sampling, of the BCFSM, which were originally posted in July of 2019, have now been extended for an additional 45 days for review and comment.

Stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to review these methods and provide any feedback or concerns by May 15, 2020, to Blair Irwin, Senior Quality Management Analyst, at Blair.Irwin@gov.bc.ca.

The new methods, which are listed below, can be found on the BC Field Sampling Manual Page, under the heading ‘Methods Posted for Review.’

 

CS e-Link subscription service moving to a new platform on March 31, 2020: Site Remediation News

March 19, 2020

The CS e-Link subscription service is moving to a new platform within the B.C. Government as of March 31, 2020. This will not affect current subscribers but you may notice a slight difference in the style of email from the new system. 

If you have bookmarked the old CS e-link page, you will want to replace that with a link to the Site Remediation News page at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/site-remediation/site-remediation-news

The purpose of the subscription service continues to be as listed below. Subscribers will receive emails when news and updates are added to the web pages, along with a link to the Site Remediation News page.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested in subscribing to the Site Remediation News page. Subscription information is available on the webpage. Current subscribers to CS e-link do not need to re-subscribe.

March 13, 2020

This CSe-Link is to inform practitioners that effective May 01, 2020, the Ministry will require field filtration for all environmental water samples collected for the analysis of dissolved metals (including mercury) for Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) and permittee compliance monitoring purposes which fall under the Environment Management Act (EMA).

It is now broadly recognized among environmental practitioners that field filtration can be critically important for the accurate measurement of dissolved metals concentrations. Guidance from APHA Standard Methods (Method 3030) has recommended field filtration of dissolved metals for more than twenty years. Field filtration is particularly important for anoxic groundwaters, where exposure to oxygen may trigger redox reactions causing rapid precipitation of some metals (particularly iron), leading to substantially low biased test results for iron as well as other metals due to co-precipitation. 

Field filtration of dissolved metals is currently prescribed as best practice in the BC Field Sampling Manual, and within the current approved B.C. ENV Sample Preservation & Holding Time Requirements table in the BC Environmental Laboratory Manual, however, both manuals currently provide an allowance for lab-filtration if test results are qualified. Qualified lab-filtered test results for dissolved metals samples collected on or after May 01, 2020, will no longer be accepted by the Ministry for EMA compliance purposes.

A proposed new B.C. Environmental Laboratory Manual method “Sample Preparation for Dissolved Metals or Mercury in Water”, which formalizes the requirement for field filtration of metals, was recommended by the B.C. Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC). The new method has undergone extensive public consultation and was posted to the Ministry website for public comment with notification to stakeholders by CSe-Link May 15, 2019.  All submissions received within the comment period were reviewed and duly considered by the Ministry. The new method is now approved by the Director having an effective date on May 01, 2020.

Suitable field filtration techniques are described in the B.C. Field Sampling Manual (using 0.45 µm membrane filters), such as hand-operated vacuum filtration units or disposable syringe filters. In-line filters connected to sampling pumps are also commonly used.  Field Filter Blanks are recommended.

Any comments or concerns regarding this new requirement should be directed to Joyce Austin, Director of Analysis Reporting and Knowledge Services at Labs@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca.

New Draft Analytical Methods Posted for Review

This CSe-Link is to inform practitioners that the new draft analytical methods listed below, developed with the assistance of the British Columbia Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC), have now been posted for review and comment to the ministry’s Sampling, Methods & Quality Assurance webpage, BC Environmental Laboratory Manual, "Methods Posted for Review”.

  1. Enterococci in Water by MF or Enzyme Substrate Method – Prescriptive
  2. Salmonella in Solids by MTF – Prescriptive
  3. Silica Gel Cleanup of Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons – Prescriptive
  4. Tetraethyl Lead in Water – PBM
  5. Tetraethyllead in Soil – PBM
  6. Total Organic Halides – Prescriptive

Please provide comments on the new methods by April 5, 2020, to Laboratory Standards and Quality Assurance Unit Labs@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca.

Technical questions regarding the proposed new method should be directed to Mark Hugdahl (BCELTAC Chair) at Mark.Hugdahl@alsglobal.com.

March 6, 2020

The CS e-Link subscription service is moving to a new platform within the B.C. Government as of March 31, 2020. This will not affect current subscribers but you may notice a slight difference in the style of email from the new system. If you have bookmarked the old CS e-link page, you will want to replace that with a link to the Site Remediation News page.

The purpose of the subscription service continues to be as listed below. Subscribers will receive emails when the news is added to the web pages, along with a link to the Site Remediation News page.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested in subscribing to the Site Remediation News page. Subscription information will be available on the webpage. 

February 11, 2020


Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy posted three new job opportunities with the Land Remediation Section for dedicated senior professionals.

The Land Remediation Section (LRS) oversees the identification, investigation and remediation of contaminated sites in British Columbia and leads the implementation of a legislative and policy framework focusing on high-risk environmental contamination, thereby ensuring the health and safety of provincial water, land and air.  By managing remediation activities across the province, LRS conducts environmental planning, monitoring and enforcement to develop and foster a timely and efficient regulatory system that balances remediation requirements with economic development and environmental quality.

Sr. Professional Reliance Officers – Working in partnership with the Contaminated Sites Approved Professional Society of BC (CSAP), these officers will lead oversight of the Director’s Roster of Approved Professionals regulatory review process, liaise with CSAP committees, ensure compliance with the Professional Governance Act, perform audits, and conduct compliance verification on documentation prepared to guide the remediation of contaminated sites. These positions will also advise program managers and others charged with developing policy, regulations and guidance under the Environmental Management Act.  

LSO4 Senior Professional Reliance Officer

https://bcpublicservice.hua.hrsmart.com/hr/ats/Posting/view/66718

BIO30 Senior Professional Reliance Officer

https://bcpublicservice.hua.hrsmart.com/hr/ats/Posting/view/66706

Sr Risk Assessment Officer – The Senior Risk Assessment Officer is a designated statutory decision-maker under the legislation.  The position is a recognized provincial expert in the area of quantitative human health and environmental health risk assessment focused on the assessment and remediation of high-risk contaminated sites.  The position provides regulatory oversight of applications seeking approval from the ministry.

BIO27 Senior Risk Assessment Officer

https://bcpublicservice.hua.hrsmart.com/hr/ats/Posting/view/66716

Working for BC Public Service offers a competitive salary, a diverse work environment, a healthy work/life balance, and excellent benefits. In addition to the base salary for Professional Employee Association members, there is an allowance to cover professional fees, strong dental and medical plans and much more. The BC Public Service offers a healthy work/life balance, excellent benefits, including one of the best pension plans available, and a variety of opportunities for career learning and development. Regular, full-time Professional Employee Association members are also entitled to 7% allowance in Lieu of Overtime Shiftwork and Standby (taken as time or money), have a 35-hour workweek, and 4 weeks’ annual paid leave entitlement. 

The BC Public Service is committed to creating a diverse workplace to represent the population we serve and to better meet the needs of our citizens. Consider joining our team and being part of an innovative, inclusive and rewarding workplace.

Positions may be located in Victoria or Surrey, subject to the operational requirements of the ministry.  The competitions close February 24, 2020

 

2019 Archive 

December 12, 2019

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has posted a Request For Proposal (RFP) on BCBid, with the closing date on December 16, 2019. The ministry is seeking a contractor to conduct a comprehensive review of best practices for landfills accepting contaminated soils. The review should include best technologies, operational practices and relevant policies and regulations in the areas of siting, design specifications, risk assessment, performance and monitoring requirements, with a specific focus on drinking water protection. The full RFP can be accessed at BC Bid

November 13, 2019

Have your say on B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy

Climate change is already impacting communities across British Columbia. We’ve seen record wildfires, extreme weather, increased drought and more frequent flooding. That’s why the government’s CleanBC plan commits the Province to develop a Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy to help ensure that communities across B.C. can prepare for a changing climate.

CleanBC is helping to reduce climate pollution and put us on the path to a low-carbon economy that creates opportunities for everyone. While this is a critical part of addressing the climate change challenge, we also need to take steps to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change that are already underway.

We want to hear from you. We are inviting you or your organization to provide your thoughts on how climate change is affecting you as well as your visions for how to build a resilient, climate-ready future. This input will help the Province better understand how to develop policies and programs that support communities across B.C.

People can share their thoughts until Jan. 10, 2020, through an online questionnaire, discussion forum and written submissions. Additional opportunities for public input will follow in early 2020, with the release of the final climate preparedness and adaptation strategy later in the year.

Have your say: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/climatereadybc/

Join the conversation on social media by tagging #ClimateReadyBC and #MyClimateStoryBC

To learn about what B.C. is already doing to prepare for climate impacts, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/adaptation.

Your input is greatly appreciated. We need to work together to prepare our communities for B.C.’s changing climate.

Sincerely,

Jeremy Hewitt

Assistant Deputy Minister

Climate Action Secretaria

September 5, 2019

This is a reminder to register for an upcoming webinar session to learn more about the proposed Stage 13 CSR amendments including proposed changes to the process for identifying contaminated sites. The proposed amendments are outlined in the Policy Direction Paper – Identification of Contaminated Sites.

To help stakeholders understand the proposed amendments, two webinars (up to 1 hour in length) are being delivered by ministry staff. Webinars will include a presentation and time for questions. Please use the links provided below to register for a session.

Tuesday, September 10 – 10:00 to 11:00

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5257633007699447307

Tuesday, September 17 – 2:00 to 3:00

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6969259251332934155

For questions about webinar registration, please contact Cindy Bertram at cindybertram@telus.net.

For questions about the content of the proposed amendments, please contact Kelli Larsen at kelli.larsen@gov.bc.ca.

The Land Remediation Section is proposing amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (Stage 13).

Following consultation on a 2014 discussion paper and a 2016 intentions paper, Bill 17 -- addressing changes to the provisions for site identification in the Environmental Management Act (EMA) -- was introduced and received Royal Assent in May 2019. The changes will come into legal effect by regulation. As such, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is proposing changes to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) that align with the amendments to EMA. These changes will streamline the legal regime, making the process clearer and more predictable, and will improve the ministry’s ability to carry out compliance verification and enforcement. The proposed amendments to the process for identifying contaminated sites are outlined in the Policy Direction Paper - Identification of Contaminated Sites.

Additional CSR amendments under consideration include:

  • Revised methanol standard for soil protective of groundwater due to changes made to the degradation rate constant;
  • Correction of typographical and transcription errors to substance names and CAS numbers in Schedules 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3; and
  • Removal of Schedule 1.1, “Summary of Site Condition” from the CSR and placement of the form under a Protocol.
  •  

To help stakeholders understand the proposed amendments, two webinars (up to 1 hour in length) are being delivered by ministry staff. Webinars will include a presentation and time for questions. Please use the links provided below to register for a session.

Tuesday, September 10 – 10:00 to 11:00

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5257633007699447307

Tuesday, September 17 – 2:00 to 3:00

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6969259251332934155

For questions about webinar registration, please contact Cindy Bertram at CindyBertram@telus.net

For questions about the content of the proposed amendments, please contact Kelli Larsen at kelli.larsen@gov.bc.ca

August 11, 2019

The following six prescribed Land Remediation Section forms were updated and converted into functional and fillable pdfs: Site Risk Classification Report, Protocol 6 Approval Application, Summary of Site Condition Form, Notification of Independent Remediation, Notification of Likely or Actual Migration, and Contaminated Soil Relocation Agreement.

The key changes made:

  • Format and colour scheme was updated to be consistent with other ministry forms;
  • Cover pages were added to each form, with consistent information and submission instructions provided; and
  • The forms were made to be more user-friendly and functional, with adaptable line additions and automatic expansions for text, as needed.

Please ensure that you go to our webpage to download the new forms, and please use them for your next submission. Internet Explorer is the recommended browser for these fillable PDF documents.

Should there be issues with the forms or concerns regarding their functionality, please contact Colleen Delaney at Colleen.Delaney@gov.bc.ca.

Site Identification Proposed Regulatory Changes Webinar Available on our webpage.

A webinar held on September 10, 2019, was presented based on a policy direction paper describing the proposed changes to the identification of contaminated site provisions in the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The full policy direction paper can be accessed here.

Please direct questions or concerns regarding the proposed changes or the webinar to Kelli Larsen at Kelli.Larsen@gov.bc.ca

August 1, 2019

Technical Bulletin 3 establishes regional background concentration estimates for arsenic, lithium, selenium, vanadium and uranium in groundwater in British Columbia. This document version has been updated and now includes the use of an iMapBC GIS layer to define regional boundaries instead of Acrobat pdf files and provides online access to the regional background and individual site data.

The document entitled Technical Bulletin 3 – Regional Background Concentrations for Select Inorganic Substances can be found on the ministry website noted above in the “Guidance and Resources” heading.

Technical questions regarding this document should be directed to Steve Dankevy at Stephen.Dankevy@gov.bc.ca

June 14, 2019

14 new draft analytical methods, developed with the assistance of the British Columbia Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC), have been posted for review and comment on the ministry’s Laboratory Standards & Quality Assurance webpage, under the B.C. Field Sampling Manual, Methods for Review.

The new methods will be posted for 30 days, please provide comments by July 11th, 2019 to Blair Irwin, Senior Quality Management Analyst, at Blair.Irwin@gov.bc.ca

June 12, 2019

Under section 49(2) of the Hazardous Waste Regulation, the Director has approved a variance for the determination and characterization of leachable toxic waste for cyanide. It authorizes the use of a variation of the BC MLEP to use 0.125 M NaOH for the analysis of cyanide only. The US EPA method 1311 must be used for the classification of leachable toxic waste for all substances other than cyanide.

The Protocol for Leachable Toxic Waste Characterization for Samples Containing Cyanide (PDF) is found in the section titled “Hazardous Waste Protocols & Criteria” of the Hazardous Waste Legislation & Regulations web page.

The method variance was developed with the assistance of the B.C. Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC). The ministry would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee, and especially Mark Hugdahl, for their outstanding expertise and effort in achieving this work

 

Groundwater Protection Model update, 17 Draft Methods to Review & 28 Methods Approved

May 15, 2019

Groundwater Protection Model Update

As a quality control measure, the use of the ministry’s existing Groundwater Protection Model (GPM) was set to expire on April 30, 2019. The model does not function after this date.

This CS e-Link is to inform practitioners that a renewed model version has been posted at Site Remediation Policies & Standards. Users will need to download the new model version to conduct calculations under Protocol 2 - Site-Specific Numerical Soil Standards (SSS) and Protocol 13 - Screening Level Risk Assessment. 

Questions regarding the GPM and associated Technical Guidance 13 should be directed to George.Szefer@gov.bc.ca and Annette.Mortensen@gov.bc.ca.

17 New Draft Analytical Methods Posted for Review 

The new draft analytical methods listed below, developed with the assistance of the B.C. Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC), have now been posted for review and comment to the B.C. Environmental Laboratory Manual.

  1. BC ENV Sample Preservation and Holding Time Requirements
  2. Detection of Total Coliforms and E.coli in Water by Membrane Filtration and Chromocult® Coliform Agar (CCA)  - Prescriptive
  3. Determination of Thermotolerant Coliforms in Water by Multiple-Tube Fermentation Technique – Prescriptive
  4. Determination of Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) in Water by Pour Plate, Spread Plate, Membrane Filtration and Enzyme Substrate Test Methods – Prescriptive
  5. Determination of Thermotolerant Coliforms in Water by Multiple-Tube Fermentation Technique
  6. Detection of Total Coliforms in Water by Multiple-Tube Fermentation – Prescriptive
  7. Detection of Total Coliforms in Water by Membrane Filtration and mEndo Media – Prescriptive
  8. Determination of Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) in Water by Pour Plate, Spread Plate, Membrane Filtration and Enzyme Substrate Test Methods
  9. Detection of Total Coliforms, Thermotolerant (Fecal) Coliforms and E. coli by Colilert® in Water – Prescriptive
  10. Detection of Total Coliforms and E. coli by Colilert® in Water
  11. Enterococci Membrane Filter Technique (MF) for Fresh Water, Wastewater and Marine Water
  12. Liquid-Solid Partitioning (Leachability) as a Function of pH (Metals, Inorganics, and SVOCs)
  13. Multiple Tube Technique (MPN) for Salmonella in Solids
  14. Multiple-Tube Fermentation Technique (MPN) for Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Fresh Water, Wastewater and Marine Water
  15. Multiple-Tube Technique (MPN) for Thermotolerant Coliforms Bacteria in Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish
  16. Sample Preparation for Dissolved Metals or Mercury in Water – PBM
  17. Total Extractable Hydrocarbons (C10-C30) in Water

Some of these new draft methods have been developed in support of Stage 10 (Omnibus) amendment to the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The entire microbiology section of the Laboratory Manual has also been revised. 

Please provide comments on the new methods by June 17, 2019, to Joyce Austin, Senior Provincial Laboratory Specialist, Knowledge Management Branch at Joyce.Austin@gov.bc.ca.

Technical questions regarding the proposed new methods should be directed to Mark Hugdahl (BCELTAC Chair) at Mark.Hugdahl@alsglobal.com.

28 New Analytical Methods Approved

The Director has approved the 28 new analytical methods listed under Section F of the laboratory manual, Toxicity Test Methods.  Details of the 28 new analytical methods are available on the ministry’s Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Research, Monitoring & Reporting website, in Methods Approved by Director.

The new methods were developed with the assistance of the British Columbia Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Sub-Committee (BCELTAC).  The ministry would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for their outstanding expertise and effort in achieving this work.

Further information on BCELTAC is available on the Laboratory Standards & Quality Assurance web page.

March 14, 2019

Grandfathering Period Established for Demonstrating Plume Stability under Detailed Risk Assessment

Requirements for demonstrating plume stability under Detailed Risk Assessment (DRA) were clarified by the B.C. government via CS e-Link on February 1, 2019. It has come to our attention that these requirements could result in appreciable delays of a number of contaminated site (CS) instrument applications where alternative approaches to demonstrating plume stability have been relied upon. 

Consequently, we are granting a grandfathering period of nine months for CS instruments that are based on DRA to transition to the requirements outlined in the February 1, 2019, CS e-Link. 

Effective Date

Applications for CS instruments based on DRA submitted prior to December 20, 2019, may rely on a professional opinion of plume stability reached by a qualified hydrogeologist, based on scientifically defensible data and arguments and full documentation. Applications submitted after December 20, 2019, must meet the minimum requirements specified in the February 1, 2019, CS e-link.

Please be advised it the responsibility of Qualified Professionals involved in providing contaminated site investigation and remediation services to inform their clients of requirements under the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The grandfathering period from February 1, 2019, to December 20, 2019, is considered sufficient to allow minimum groundwater data requirements to be met in CS instrument applications submitted after December 20, 2019.

Webinar on Prevention of Site Contamination from Soil Relocation is posted!

As previously announced, two webinars were held to explain the proposed amendments to the soil relocation provisions in the Environmental Management Act and the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The webinars included a presentation and time for questions and answers. A recording from the February 28, 2019 webinar has been posted on the CS presentations page.

Any questions about the soil relocation proposed amendments can be directed to ardith.gingell@gov.bc.ca or 778-698-4873.

Personnel Announcements: New Acting Director at Land Remediation

The Site Remediation team is pleased to welcome Alan McCammon is our new acting Director. Alan will fill this role until the fall when Danielle Grbavac returns

February 12, 2019

Policy Direction – Prevention of Site Contamination from Soil Relocation (PDF).

To help stakeholders understand the proposed amendments to the soil relocation provisions in the Environmental Management Act and the Contaminated Sites Regulation, two webinars (up to one hour in length) are being delivered by government staff. Webinars will include a presentation and time for questions. Please use the links provided to register for sessions.

Tuesday, February 26 – 1:00 to 2:00

Thursday, February 28 – 1:00 to 2:00

All webinars will use the following call-in details for audio

  • Phone 1-888-952-9304, Participant ID 578788.

Any questions about the webinars can be directed to ardith.gingell@gov.bc.ca or 778-698-4873

February 1, 2019

Stage 12 Amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation

Stage 12 amendments to the CSR were approved, and the Ministerial Order #40 and Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council #20 deposited, on January 24, 2019. These amendments corrected a number of errors in standards and footnotes in CSR Schedules 3.1 to 3.4, introduced during the 2017 amendments, and included consequential amendments to CSR Schedule 1.1 that were inadvertently missed during previous amendments. Additionally, the name of a Wide Area Site (WAS) was changed to Environmental Management Area. The new name has the same meaning as a WAS and does not affect the WAS provisions in the CSR. The name of a Wide Area Remediation Plan will not change as a result of Stage 12 amendments. This change will affect existing WAS designation holders and future wide-area sites. 

Final Policy Direction - Soil Relocation

Following consultation on a 2014 discussion paper and a 2016 intentions paper, the ministry is proposing changes to the current soil relocation process. These changes will help by streamlining the legal regime, making the process more clear and transparent, and improving the ministry’s ability to carry out compliance verification and enforcement. The proposed amendments to the soil relocation process are outlined in the Final Policy Direction – Prevention of Site Contamination from Soil Relocation. A notification with schedule and registration information for upcoming webinars to discuss the proposed amendments will be sent soon.

Amendment to Protocol 4 Establishing Background Concentrations in Soil

The ministry revised Protocol 4 – Establishing Background Concentrations in Soil. This new version (Version 10) removes unintended contradictory language, thus clarifying the conditions under which practitioners may apply the protocol on sites with anthropogenic influences. It revokes and replaces the former version of Protocol 4 issued on November 1, 2017, under the authority of the Contaminated Sites Regulation, and this new Version 10 is effective January 09, 2019.

Please direct your comments and feedback on Protocol 4 to Jennifer.Puhallo@gov.bc.ca

Update of Protocol 13 Screening Level Risk Assessment

The ministry has completed a minor update to Protocol 13 – Screening Level Risk Assessment (SLRA). The changes are in response to stakeholder queries from the SLRA webinar held in the fall of 2017 and subsequent to that time. The changes are summarized as follows:

  • SLRA may now be used for any substance;
  • For consistency with the above, minor wording changes were made to Appendix A along with clarification of substances and associated leaching tests;
  • The protocol now specifies constituents of creosote and petroleum hydrocarbon carrier solutions as beneficial use materials instead of PAHs in “Beneficial use exemption” section;
  • HEPHs is now included in Table A-1, Appendix A;
  • A soil pH-Kd isotherm is now included for silver; and
  • Minor clarifications were made to the sequence and references to notes 11, 12 and 13 in the questionnaire.

The ministry thanks those stakeholders who provided their comments to date and welcomes any further comments on the protocol going forward.

Please direct your comments and feedback on Protocol 13 to George.Szefer@gov.bc.ca and Jasen.Nelson@gov.bc.ca.

Requirements for Demonstrating Plume Stability under SLRA/DRA

The ministry advises the following based on recent queries regarding the demonstration of plume stability under Detailed Risk Assessment.

Ministry policy requires that groundwater contamination plumes be demonstrated to be stable or shrinking when using a risk assessment approach at contaminated sites. Requirements for demonstrating plume stability are specified in section 7 of Protocol 13: Screening Level Risk Assessment. The requirements are summarized as follows:

“The demonstration of stable or decreasing contaminant plumes must include the evaluation of groundwater conditions within and at the margins of contaminant plumes and provide evidence of both stable or decreasing substance concentrations and no additional vertical or lateral migration or rebound effects. A minimum of 2 years of groundwater monitoring and geochemical data (including seasonal variations over a 2 year period) demonstrating stable or decreasing groundwater concentrations and conditions is necessary.”

The above requirements apply to the Screening Level Risk Assessment (SLRA). By association, the requirements also apply to Detailed Risk Assessment (DRA). However, in consideration of the more detailed and site-specific nature of DRA, the ministry acknowledges that there may be other means of evaluation/lines of evidence that may be used under DRA to demonstrate plume stability. Accordingly, the ministry’s expectations for assessment of plume stability under DRA are as follows:

  • Meet the requirements specified in SLRA; or
  • Meet the requirements specified in SLRA with a minimum of 1 year of quarterly groundwater monitoring and geochemical data (including assessing groundwater conditions over the range of seasonal/temporal variations) coupled with other methods of evaluation/lines of evidence that in sum demonstrate plume stability (e.g., partial/complete source removal, conservative modelling, etc.)

Trend analysis (e.g., Mann-Kendall test, α=0.05) of the monitoring data used to support the demonstration of stable or decreasing concentrations is implicitly required as part of the assessment of plume stability under either SLRA or DRA. The plume stability assessment should also be carried out by a qualified professional hydrogeologist.

The above DRA expectations are deemed to apply to current submissions. The expectations are planned to be incorporated into ministry guidance in the near future.

Please direct any comments or feedback on the plume stability assessment to George.Szefer@gov.bc.ca.

Administrative Bulletin 5

As a result of Stage 11 amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) in 2017, a number of typographical, transcriptional and consequential errors were introduced into CSR Schedules 3.1 to 3.4. Administrative Bulletin 5 summarizes known errata; these were corrected in the recently approved CSR Stage 12 amendments. Should additional errors, or suspected errors, be identified, please notify the Environmental Emergencies and Land Remediation Branch at site@gov.bc.ca.

Administrative Bulletin 6

The ministry has released Administrative Bulletin 6 to further communicate the Land Remediation Section’s interpretation of legal requirements for authorizations prescribed under the Environmental Management Act. This bulletin is directed specifically at circumstances where authorizations are required for onsite discharges connected to remediation of sites. Any questions regarding this document should be sent to site@gov.bc.ca.

Personnel Announcements: Management Change at Land Remediation

After 11 years working in various roles within the Land Remediation Section of the Environmental Emergencies and Land Remediation Branch, the current Acting Director, Peter Kickham, is moving over to the Capital Regional District where he will be taking on the position of Manager of Environmental Regulations. While he is looking forward to a new challenge, he will miss the great people and important/interesting work he has been involved with throughout his career in the BC Public Service.

Peter’s last day is Friday, February 1st. Please join us in wishing him all the best