Historical review: step 2 of federal contaminated sites decision-making framework

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Step 2: Historical review

In Step 2, a suspected site identified in Step 1 undergoes a Historical Review of information, also known as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and the custodial department accountable will consult with stakeholders. The four principal components of a Phase I ESA are 1) a records review; 2) a site visit; 3) interviews; and 4) an evaluation of information and reporting.

This information will provide insight into the types and locations of potential contaminants and the suspected pathways and receptors. Custodians must prioritise the sites that are being assessed (for financial capacity or prioritization of activity reasons). For FCSAP-funded site assessments, a priority assessment must be submitted to the Secretariat at some point during Step 1 to 6. Sites that are not identified as a priority for assessment should be re-evaluated periodically according to a custodian’s portfolio characteristics.

If there is evidence or reason to suspect environmental or human health issues of concern, then the custodian could develop a Preliminary Sustainability Plan (see Appendix A) for the site as described in the Sustainability Strategy and Implementation guidance (Appendix A). The plan should also require any consultants and contractors working on the site to consider implementing, where feasible, elements of the Preliminary Sustainability Plan.

Key decision(s):

Step 2: Historical Review
Long description

Review information gaps and uncertainties from Step 1, and develop a scope of work for assessment of the site. Conduct the historical review and Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), and consult stakeholders. Determine if there is evidence, or reason to suspect the presence, of environmental or human health issues of concern. If yes, deliver the preliminary Sustainability Plan, then proceed to Step 3. If no, then no further action is needed. Close the site on the FCSI and record the rationale.

How Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) expert support can assist

How Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) expert support can assist

How Health Canada (HC) expert support can assist:

How Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) expert support can assist

How the FCSAP Secretariat can assist

Supporting documents and tools specific to Step 2

Please also refer to the list of "Supporting documents and tools useful throughout the 10-step process" at the beginning of the document.

General Guidance

Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) Guidance

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