Step 4: Initial Site Classification
Suspect sites are classified using the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) National Classification System for Contaminated Sites (NCSCS) or the FCSAP Aquatic Sites Classification System (ASCS) to prioritize sites and determine eligibility for FCSAP funding. Completion of Step 4 is required to obtain FCSAP funding. If there is uncertainty as to whether or not a site poses a risk to human health or the environment, then further assess the site in Step 5. The ASCS should be used if the site is a water lot or meets the Definition of an Aquatic Site.
How to Prepare
- Consult with DFO expert support on the classification and scoring of the site (including the identification of aquatic receptors, habitat, and risks).
- Review the NCSCS and ASCS.
- Consider the data requirements of an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) in all sampling plans.
What to Do
- NCSCS or ASCS spreadsheets:
- assign a classification score by answering a series of questions related to contaminant characteristics, exposure pathways, and receptors.
- Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), if not already completed.
- NCSCS or ASCS spreadsheets:
- Provide more detail on existing site conditions to accurately map the contaminant pathways.
- If an aquatic component to the site has been identified, apply the Framework for Addressing and Managing Aquatic Contaminated Sites Under the FCSAP to assist in targeting and identifying further sampling and data gaps in the aquatic environment.
How Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Expert Support Helps
- Review and provide advice on relevant (i.e., fish and fish habitat) components of the NCSCS or ASCS classification scores and associated background information.
- Provide access to training and resources for the ASCS (such as the FCSAP Aquatic Sites Classification System Detailed User Guidance Manual).
- Provide assistance in applying the Framework for Addressing and Managing Aquatic Contaminated Sites Under the FCSAP.
- A Federal Approach to Contaminated Sites [PDF 276KB]
- Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) - Guidance 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]
- CCME - National Classification System for Contaminated Sites (NCSCS) - Guidance Document [PDF 567 KB]
- CCME - NCSCS Spreadsheet
- CCME - Sediment Quality
- CCME - Water Quality Guidelines
- FCSAP Aquatic Sites Classification System (ASCS)
- FCSAP Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance
- Framework for Addressing and Managing Aquatic Contaminated Sites Under the FCSAP
- Pathways of Effects (PoE)
- 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?
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