Step 10: Long-Term Monitoring

Navigate between each steps Step 1: Site Identification Step 2: Historical Review Step 3: Initial Testing Program Step 4: Initial Site Classification Step 5: Detailed Testing Program Step 6: Site Reclassification Step 7: Develop Risk Management Strategy Step 8: Implement Remediation/Risk Management Strategy Step 9: Confirmatory Sampling Step 10: Long-Term Monitoring

Long-term monitoring (LTM) is used to confirm that the nature and extent of the risk management activities have been carried out as per the risk management goals and that risk management activities will continue to meet the risk management goals for the foreseeable future. The overall goals of LTM for aquatic contaminated sites include the evaluation of the effectiveness of the risk management activities and the documentation of ecosystem recovery (e.g., the reduction of human health and environmental risks to acceptable levels, the effectiveness of mitigation measures to protect fish habitat). LTM can be terminated when there is a defensible “no” to the question “Will the contaminated aquatic site pose an unacceptable human or ecological risk in the foreseeable future, such that further management action is required?”. The closure of a site is closely tied to the design of the monitoring program. The components of a monitoring program (i.e., monitoring objectives, monitoring tools and exit criteria established at the start of the program) are used to determine when the remedial goals have been achieved. Site closure occurs when all management objectives have been attained.

How to Prepare

  • Review of the following:
    • previously developed site-specific monitoring plans;
    • confirmatory and effectiveness sampling to determine if long-term monitoring is required;
    • risk management objectives;
    • Adaptive Management Plans (AMP).

What to Do

  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Evaluate the results.
  • Address deviations from the objectives
  • Establish decisions based on results:
    • (1) monitoring results indicate success; site activity and monitoring can be concluded;
    • (2) monitoring results do not indicate success but are trending towards it; site activity and monitoring is continued;
    • (3) monitoring results do not indicate success and are not trending towards it; review and revise the site activity (e.g., risk management actions) and/or monitoring plan and implement.
  • Fulfill the monitoring conditions:
    • of any Fisheries Act authorization, including associated fish habitat compensation/offsetting projects;
    • of the Species At Risk Act (SARA) permit (aquatic species and habitat);
    • related to fish and fish habitat in the Environmental Assessment (EA) decision statement.
  • Confirm the accuracy of model assumptions made in the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) and the Risk Management Strategy.
  • Proceed to site closure if the risk management objectives have been achieved and these conditions are expected to continue into the foreseeable future (i.e., the contaminated site no longer poses unacceptable human health and ecological risks).

How Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Expert Support Helps

  • Provide the following:
    • advice during the design, development and implementation of a long-term monitoring program (e.g., selecting effective and cost-efficient monitoring targets/endpoints and monitoring plans);
    • support with public engagement activities (i.e., help with the interpretation and communication of results);
    • assistance with interpreting LTM results and reports;
    • assistance with the aquatic ecological risk components of the Site Closure Tool (SCT);
    • advice on adaptive management and possible modifications to the monitoring plan.
  • Provide access to training and resources for LTM (such as the Long-Term Monitoring Planning Guidance).

Supporting Documents