Updates on Contaminated Sites
The updates below inform the reader about recent contaminated sites developments under the Environmental Management Act, and the Contaminated Sites Regulation.
January 25, 2013
Stage 8 Amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation
View Update (PDF/139 KB)
August 28, 2012
Site Risk Classification Update
View Update (PDF/112 KB)
September 19, 2011
Compliance Promotion and Verification Update
View Update (PDF/96 KB)
May 30, 2011
Stage 7 Amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation
View Update (PDF/110 KB)
January 7, 2011
Site Risk Classification Update
View Update (PDF/137 KB)
May 26, 2010
New Site Risk Classification Protocol Coming into Effect
View Update (PDF/130 KB)
May 26, 2010
New Site Profile Processing Procedure
View Update (PDF/129KB)
July 6, 2009
Treaty First Nations Amendments to the Contaminated Sites Provisions of the Environmental Management Act
On April 1 this year, amendments were made to several contaminated sites provisions in the Environmental Management Act with respect to those Treaty First Nations which have taken responsibility for registering land titles and adopting legal provisions for soil deposit and removal.
December 12, 2008
Stage 6 Amendments to the Contaminated Sites Provisions of the Environmental Management Act
Stage 6 amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation (the Regulation) under the Environmental Management Act (the Act) will come into effect on January 1, 2009. They were made under the authority of an Order-in-Council and a Minister’s Order under sections 62 and 63 of the Act late this fall.
Many of the amendments will expand or amend the environmental quality standards in the Regulation. Key changes to the standards will include new matrices for barium, chloride ion and sodium ion, and new provisions for wildlands and vapours. As well, a number of clarifications will be made to the site profile regime and an updated Summary of Site Condition will be added as Schedule 1.1
June 27, 2008
New Responsibilities for Approved Professionals
Several new responsibilities for Approved Professionals have been introduced as part of the new Society of the Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals of British Columbia (CSAP Society). Starting in July 2008, the ministry will largely divest oversight of non high risk sites to CSAP Society members. This will allow more ministry resources to focus on the remaining high risk sites and to develop new contaminated sites policies, guidance, and programs. The CSAP Society, its Approved Professionals, and the ministry all provide specific functions and services. Additional information is contained in Fact Sheet 30, “The Roster of Approved Professionals”.
July 1, 2007
Stage 5 Amendments to Contaminated Sites Regulation Are Now In Effect
On July 1, 2007, Stage 5 amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation will come into effect. Key changes involve simplification of the fees regime signalling a further shift in the ministry's focus towards high risk sites and paving the way for Approved Professionals to take on greater responsibilities. The amendments bring into force provisions for Summaries of Site Condition which will be required with all service applications submitted to the ministry through the Approved Professional process. As well, the Site Registrar has been authorized to add new types of information to the Site Registry, the Director of Waste Management has been authorized to publish two new types of protocols, and the environmental quality standards have been amended to align them with recent changes in water quality guidelines.
March 13, 2006
Site Registry Streamlined and Site Registry User's Guide Improved
BC OnLine has recently simplified Site Registry searches by providing a shortcut to Synopsis and Detail Reports about a site, for clients who already know the correct Site ID number. As well, the Site Registry User’s Guide has been enhanced with a new section on search strategies.
December 1, 2004
Improvements to Contaminated Sites Legislation in Effect
Earlier this year the Waste Management Act was repealed and replaced by the Environmental Management Act. At that time 4th stage amendments of the Contaminated Sites Regulation were also implemented. Key changes include:
- A revised definition of contaminated site
- Strengthening provisions of approved professionals
- Consolidation of decision making at the director's level
- Elimination of conditional certificates of compliance
- Revisions to environmental quality standards for soil, sediments and drinking water
View Update (PDF/45 KB)
July 9, 2004
Next Steps Towards Backlog Reduction
This update is to advise of additional steps the ministry is taking to reduce application backlogs and to focus our limited resources on high-risk contaminated sites:
- effective July 15, 2004, all eligible applications must be submitted either as roster submissions by approved professionals or for external contract review; and
- effective November 1, 2004, all applications for low to moderate risk sites must be submitted as roster submissions by approved professionals.
View Update (PDF/116 KB)
May 5, 2004
Local Governments Which Have Opted Out of the Site Profile System
Provisions in the Waste Management Act and Contaminated Sites Regulation create a provincial system to screen for potentially contaminated sites using site profiles. Under the regulation, an important exemption exists if a local government decides it does not want to administer provincial site profiles. It can opt out of the site profile system, by writing to the Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection. This update contains a list of local governments which have opted out, and is current to the date "Last Updated" shown above. This list is subject to change at any time.
December 1, 2003
Third Stage Amendments to Contaminated Sites Regulation are now in Effect.
In January 2003 the Minister's Advisory Panel on Contaminated Sites recommended that fees for regulatory services must be clear, reasonable and proportionate with the services provided. In addition, the Panel suggested market-level hourly rates when program personnel provide professional services. In tandem with a government-wide review of fees and licences the ministry has amended the fees for contaminated sites services. This update describes those amendments.
May 23, 2003
Clarification on Hydrocarbon Analytical Methods and Standards
In recognition of the common industry practice to equate extractable petroleum hydrocarbon (EPH) analytical results with light extractable petroleum hydrocarbon (LEPH) and heavy extractable petroleum hydrocarbon (HEPH) data, and to allow sites which may have been so characterized to be reviewed by the ministry, the Director has approved on an interim basis the equivalency of EPH, and LEPH and HEPH methods, until January 1, 2004.
May 23, 2003
Temporary Process Approved to Characterize MTBE in Water and Soil
The Director of Waste Management has adopted a temporary approach for characterizing sites where MTBE is a potential contaminant of concern. The approach relates to an application for a Determination of a site's status as a contaminated site, an Approval in Principle, a Certificate of Compliance or a Contaminated Soil Relocation Agreement.
December 9, 2002
New Services Application Process
The Director of Waste Management recently reorganized the contaminated sites services application process. The changes streamline the way applications for Approvals in Principle, Certificates of Compliance, and other services are administered by ministry staff, by focussing on case file review turnaround times.
May 10, 2002
Contaminated Sites Provisions of the Waste Management Act Amended
The Waste Management Act (WMA) was amended on May 9, 2002, to eliminate duplication in regulating mine sites, to remove disincentives to the transfer of mine ownership, and to clarify the requirements for recovering site cleanup costs in court.
At the same time, amendments were made to several other statutes to clarify the requirements for authorizations sought for various activities generally associated with development on land that may be contaminated.
February 4, 2002
Second Stage Amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation Passed
Second stage amendments to the Contaminated Sites Regulation have now been passed. Highlights include changes to:
- streamline the system
- further delegate work to the private sector
- reflect up to date science and harmonize soil and water quality standards
- enhance environmental and human health protection
- introduce more equitable fees
- protect neighbours from migrating contaminants
February 15, 2001
Excellent Progress in Cleaning Up Sites
The ministry has seen significant progress in cleaning up contaminated sites since it first developed standards to deal with the Expo '86 property in Vancouver.
April 4, 2000
Progress on a Second Stage Contaminated Sites Regulation Amendment
This ministry is required to evaluate the Contaminated Sites Regulation within three years of its coming into force on April 1, 1997, to determine if changes are appropriate based on advances in science, law and the management of contaminated sites. This update describes recent progress of the ministry and contaminated sites stakeholders to provide a review of the regulation. The reader may wish to consult the update dated July 28, 1999, which describes the first stage amendment of this regulation made on July 19, 1999.
December 29, 1999
BC OnLine has recently enhanced the Site Registry by providing a practical new way to do area-based searches. Searches for sites within a specific area can now be done with postal codes, to look up sites' latitude and longitude. This will be particularly useful for those wishing to find sites neighboring a specific site, who do not have the geographic coordinates of that site.
July 28, 1999
CS e-Link Now Open for Business
To improve the delivery of contaminated sites information from the ministry, BC Environment has opened a new contaminated sites e-mail list service, called "CS e-Link". This update provides instructions on how to subscribe.
July 28, 1999
Site Registry Search Required in a Preliminary Site Investigation
A Site Registry search is now required as part of a Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) submitted to BC Environment for review under the Contaminated Sites Regulation. Section 58 (1) of the regulation was amended to clarify that a review of site historical use and records, which is one of several components of a first stage PSI, now includes a search of the Site Registry.
July 28, 1999
First Stage Amendment of Contaminated Sites Regulation Passed
On July 19, 1999 the first stage amendment of the Contaminated Sites Regulation (the regulation) under the Waste Management Act was passed. This update contains a summary of the amendments.
October 3, 1998
Successful Site Registry Launch
The Site Registry was launched through BC Online on November 3, 1997. It allows you to view information about sites in which the province has an environmental interest.
November 3, 1997
Site Registry Implemented
New contaminated sites provisions came into effect April 1, 1997 requiring the province to provide public information about sites in which the province has an environmental interest. The Site Registry mandated under the Waste Management Act (the Act) is now available through BC Online and was implemented on November 3, 1997 to meet this requirement.
October 21, 1997
Enhanced Local Government Immunity for Administration of Contaminated Sites
Recent amendments were made to the Waste Management Act (the Act) to enhance liability protection for local governments who administer certain contaminated sites provisions. The amendments were part of the Local Government Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 1997, which was passed in July, 1997.