CARO News

Stage 13 Amendments To B.C.’s CSR: What’s Coming Next

Posted on September 29, 2020

contaminated site BC regulation 

Are you prepared to the changes in the BC Contaminated Site Regulations’ (BC CSR) Site Investigation Protocols coming into play February 1, 2021? If not, you have come to the right place! Here is a summary of what is to come, and what these changes could mean for you and your project team.
(Special note from our Chemists: in addition to the procedural amendments outlined below, the BC MOE is also looking at correcting errors to substance names and CAS numbers in Schedules 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3. Huzzah!)

The Stage 13 amendment was approved by the Order in Council (OIC 368) on June 29, 2020 as part of Bill 17. This amendment to the CSR addresses the following improvements proposed during the initial consultation with the industry, ministries, local governments and indigenous Nations across BC:

  • Ensure that sites are investigated and remediated promptly after closure and prior to development;
  • Minimize administrative processes;
  • Improve clarity;
  • Ensure equal application of regulatory requirements across the province of British Columbia.

These amendments are designed to help strengthen the site investigation process by providing the tools to identify possible contamination sooner rather than later. An automatic requirement to investigate commercial and industrial sites means that there will be no ability to opt-out: Sites with Schedule 2 activity on commercial or industrial land will automatically trigger a Stage 2 PSI.

What does this mean for our clients?

Stage 1 investigations might look a bit different moving forward; a few more boxes to tick and/or some new trigger points to consider.

Stage 2 Investigations may also become more common, as the ability to “opt-out” is removed and an automated trigger is implemented. The list of exemptions to this trigger has also been updated, to provide a clearer more consistent tool for expediting site profile processes where changes and potential impacts are minor. For some types of projects, a Stage 2 Investigation may now be required where it may have historically been avoided. Alternatively, sites that may have previously caught in the profile process may now be more easily identified as exempt. These changes are designed to make the overall Land Remediation process quicker and more streamlined, with electronic completion and submission also being considered for the near future.

As your local, Western Canadian environmental laboratory, we have been supporting the Stage 2 Investigation sampling programs for over 33 years and look forward to supporting you through these upcoming changes! If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes or anything else testing-related, please do not hesitate to reach out: 1-888-311-8846, or by email: [email protected]

For more detailed information on these site identification policy changes, please check out the following resource provided by the Government of British Columbia.

You can also register for their contaminated sites CS e-link messaging system here, for access to informational webinars as hosted by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

 

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