DFO Expert Support for the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP)

In Canada, there are thousands of contaminated sites for which the federal government has accepted responsibility. The FCSAP was developed to provide funding and support to federal departments, agencies, and consolidated Crown corporations (i.e., custodians) in mitigating human health and ecological risks associated with their contaminated sites while reducing federal financial liability.

A portion of federal contaminated sites are in whole or in part "aquatic sites" (Definition of an Aquatic Site). With the goal of protecting fish and fish habitat to ensure a sustainable aquatic ecosystem, DFO expert support provides scientifically sound and nationally consistent advice to custodians, such as during early planning, environmental site assessments, ecological risk assessments, remediation, risk management, and long-term monitoring of FCSAP funded sites, to foster effective and cost-efficient contaminated site management.

Federal Contaminated Sites Management 10-Step Approach

Federal contaminated sites are managed according to a common 10-step approach (i.e., "A Federal Approach to Contaminated Sites, 1999" for terrestrial sites and the "Framework for Addressing and Managing Aquatic Contaminated Sites Under the FCSAP, 2011" for aquatic sites). DFO expert support can help custodians identify and protect the aquatic ecosystem located on or near federal contaminated sites. Consultation with DFO expert support early in the 10-step process will lead to the effective assessment and management of the sites

The following pages describe each of the 10 steps and include examples of common activities that occur at each step. This overview is not intended to provide a complete list of possible activities.

10-Step Approach diagram (text version follows)

Text version

In the FCSAP, sites under federal custody are managed according to a common 10-step approach. The management of these sites begins with a problem formulation phase where suspect contaminated sites are identified using existing information, i.e., suspected contaminated aquatic sites are identified (Step 1) and a historical review is conducted (Step 2). If contamination is suspected at the site, an initial assessment of the level of contamination (screening level assessment) is conducted where an initial testing program is developed and implemented (Step 3) and the initial site classification occurs (Step 4). If the site is contaminated, a detailed assessment of the level of contamination (detailed level assessment) is conducted where a detailed testing program is developed and implemented (Step 5); the site is then reclassified (Step 6). If the contamination at the site is poses a risk to human health and/or the environment, the final phase involves risk management of these sites. A risk management strategy is developed (Step 7) and implemented (Step 8; this may include remediation). Confirmatory sampling (Step 9) and long-term monitoring (Step 10) then occurs to confirm that the management and remediation objectives have been met.

Go to Step 1: Site Identification

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 Risk Management Strategy Step 9: Confirmatory Sampling Step 10: Long-Term Monitoring