Step 3: Initial Testing Program
If the historical review (Step 2) identifies a potential environmental or human health concern, an initial testing program should be undertaken to confirm those concerns. This step provides a preliminary assessment of the degree, nature, and extent of the contamination.
How to Prepare
- Develop a suitable work plan based on the findings and/or uncertainties identified in Step 2: Historical Review.
- The work plan should incorporate the use of technically sound sampling and laboratory analytical procedures, as well as appropriate quality assurance and quality control.
- The sampling program should be designed to:
- obtain more definitive information about the nature and the extent of the contamination to build a Conceptual Site Model (CSM);
- include all exposure pathways and receptors relevant to the site.
What to Do
- If an aquatic component to the site has been identified, apply the Framework for Addressing and Managing Aquatic Contaminated Sites Under the FCSAP.
- Develop a work plan.
- Obtain or supplement baseline fish and fish habitat information at and near the site.
- Develop a sampling and analysis plan.
- Conduct investigations at the site and analyze samples/data:
- The investigations and analysis of the samples/data should assist in determining the degree of contamination at the site, whether or not further investigations are required, and if management actions are necessary.
- Identify risks:
- Using a qualitative risk assessment, establish the three components of risk: contaminants, receptors, and exposure pathways.
- Develop a list of Contaminants of Potential Concern (COPC) based on historical data.
- Develop a Conceptual Site Model (CSM):
- The CSM is a desktop approximation of the physical and chemical (contaminant) site conditions.
- The CSM provides the foundation upon which to develop subsequent stages of investigation.
- Conduct a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).
How Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Expert Support Helps
- Assist with identification of fish, fish habitat, fisheries and aquatic ecosystem components.
- Provide advice on:
- characterization of fish habitat or aquatic ecosystem components;
- confirmation of aquatic species (including Species at Risk Act (SARA)-listed species);
- expectations associated with fish and fish habitat data collection.
- Document reviews (e.g., Phase II ESA report, CSM) related to the risk(s) (including receptors, hazard, and exposure) to fish and fish habitat.
- Review sampling plan to ensure data collected will accurately represent the site and assess risks to fish and fish habitat.
- Participate in site visit(s) with custodians and other stakeholders to address potential issues and become familiar with the site.
- A Federal Approach to Contaminated Sites [PDF 276KB]
- Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) - Guidance Manual on Sampling, Analysis, and Data Management for Contaminated Sites - Volume I: Main Report [PDF 5.74 MB]
- CCME - Guidance Manual on Sampling, Analysis, and Data Management for Contaminated Sites - Volume II: Analytical Method Summaries [PDF 8.45 MB]
- FCSAP Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance
- Framework for Addressing and Managing Aquatic Contaminated Sites Under the FCSAP
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Guidance
- Phase II ESA Guidance
- Program Management Funding - Eligible Activities and Costs
- Projects Near Water - Self-Assessment: Does DFO need to review my project?
- Reviews and authorizations – Request for Review – Form and Guidance
- Species at Risk Act (SARA)
- Species at Risk Public Registry
- Terms and Concepts Used in the Species at Risk Program
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