Step 3: Initial Testing Program

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

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

  • Planning:
    • 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.

Supporting Documents

Next Step: Initial Site Classification