Federal contaminated sites annual report 2013 to 2014

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Executive Summary

Established by the Government of Canada in 2005, the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is a 15-year, $4.2-billion program. Its primary objective is to reduce environmental and human-health risks and related financial liabilities from federal contaminated sites.

In Phase I of FCSAP (2005–2011), federal departments, agencies and consolidated Crown corporations (also referred to as custodians) made significant progress in addressing contaminated sites. FCSAP Phase II was approved in fiscal year 2011–2012 to continue this work for five years, with a focus on the remediation of the highest-priority sites. A third phase is planned for 2016–2020. This report describes the progress made in fiscal year 2013–2014, the third year of Phase II.

Nationally, federal departments involved in FCSAP reported total expenditures of $329.5 million in fiscal year 2013–2014. This includes $8.9 million spent on assessments, $300 million spent on the remediation and risk management of federal contaminated sites, and $20.6 million for program management activities. In fiscal year 2013–2014, the program achieved several results:

  • Custodians conducted assessments at 347 sites, to characterize environmental conditions; of the 163 sites that were fully assessed, 39% require remediation or risk management, while 61% require no further action, as they pose no significant risk.
  • Custodians conducted remediation and risk-management activities at 368 sites, resulting in improvements to environmental quality and reduction of federal financial liability; at 22 of these, the remediation process was completed.
  • Approximately 1600 jobs (person-years) were created or maintained, with an estimated 5.2 direct jobs resulting from every million dollars spent on FCSAP projects.

These results are reflected in the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory (FCSI), which is maintained by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. At the end of fiscal year 2013–2014, the FCSI listed approximately 22 590 sites. A comparison of FCSI data from fiscal years 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 shows that the number of sites suspected of being contaminated decreased by 25%. There was also a 6% decrease in the number of active sites and a 14% increase in the number of closed sites, where no further action will be required. Much of this progress was a result of the FCSAP funding available, which allowed custodians to conduct assessment and remediation work at their sites. Approximately 76% of expenditures reported to the FCSI in fiscal year 2013–2014 were attributable to FCSAP, as not all federal contaminated sites are part of the program.

Contamination of federal sites may translate into liability for the Government of Canada, when appropriate accounting criteria are met. The total liability for the remediation of all contaminated sites decreased by $95 million to a total of $4.796 billion during fiscal year 2013–2014. Adjusted liability, an estimate of the liability for sites eligible for FCSAP funding, increased by $47 million to a total of $3.651 billion during fiscal year 2013–2014. Adjusted liability is expected to decline eventually, as fewer new sites are added to the federal inventory and more existing sites are remediated.

For questions or comments on this report, contact:

FCSAP Secretariat
Contaminated Sites Division
Environmental Protection Operations Directorate
Environment Canada
351 St. Joseph Boulevard, 17th Floor
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Email: fcsap.pascf@ec.gc.ca

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