4.14 Use & Role of Environmental Monitors

An environmental monitor inspects site activities for:

  • conformance with construction work plans that incorporate measures to protect forest resources in accordance with legislative requirements; or
  • during active development operations in sensitive habitats and ecosystems.

Retain an environmental monitor on a site specific project basis when specified in an environmental management plan or where required by an environmental agency (such as where bridge or major culvert construction occurs in critical or important fish habitats, or where instream work is approved outside of the fisheries timing window).

For appropriate qualifications for environmental monitors, see the Engineering Equipment and Services (EES) Directory under two categories:

  • Professional Environmental Monitoring (RPBio)
  • Technical Environmental Monitoring

Where an environmental monitor may be warranted, the scope of duties may include:

  1. liaise with ministry staff or other regulatory agencies;
  2. observe, record, and photograph the baseline site conditions before work commences and identify any significant (material adverse) changes in site conditions during and after work;
  3. attend the pre-work meeting and other project meetings as necessary, and provide assistance to the Licensee/Permittee/Contractor or ministry to assess conformance with the construction contract work plans, contract conditions, and BCTS EMS requirements (e.g., EFPs; Hazardous Materials Spill Preparedness Responsibilities and Spill Action Steps; Landslide and Major Erosion Event Response and Erosion Action Steps; and EMS documentation requirements);
  4. conduct on-site field visits either continuously or periodically to observe active operations; the timing and duration of field visits will depend on the type and complexity of the work, and on the sensitivity of the site and forest resource values at risk of damage or loss;
  5. during field visits, evaluate the adequacy of erosion and sediment control techniques, including work procedures for instream work, construction and diversions on watercourses, and observe, record, and photograph site conditions and work procedures;
  6. provide practical and appropriate options to protect or minimize harmful effects to fish and fish habitat if changes to the work occur due to unforeseen circumstances;
  7. modify or stop operations if the following occurs:
  • site activities do not conform with approved construction contract work plans and contract conditions;
  • work activities lead to harmful levels of sediment entering a stream;
  • work activities may harmfully alter, disrupt, or destroy fish or fish habitat or other forest resources;
  • unforeseen circumstances related to the work cause or may cause environmental problems;
  1. assist the Licensee/Permittee/Contractor or ministry with documentation requirements;
  2. if applicable, confirm that the completed work activities meet the requirements of the fisheries agency that grants a variance on the timing window and/or approval for the planned works;
  3. provide a brief written report to the ministry (and other agencies if requested) within two to four weeks after completion of the project; the report includes the following information:
  • background project information;
  • summary of Licensee/Permittee/Contractor’s work procedures and environmental protection strategies;
  • description of pre-works activities, works activities, and post- works activities;
  • conclusions; and
  • appendices, including copies of stop work orders (if any) and photographs (with time and date) of all important phases of the work showing site conditions before, during and after the work.