Detailed testing: step 5 of federal contaminated sites decision-making framework

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Step 5: detailed testing program

If the results of the Initial Testing Program (Step 3) indicate that contaminant levels exceed guidelines or background levels and may pose a risk, a detailed testing program may be required in order to address outstanding issues.

Step 5 involves investigating site conditions, characterizing the impacted media and further delineating the areas of concern identified during Step 3. The Detailed Testing Program is accomplished by developing and completing a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), updating and finalising the Conceptual Site Model (CSM) from the Initial Testing (Step 3), and continuing consultations with stakeholders. Sustainable site assessment methods should be implemented. Furthermore, for each of these activities, future climate change considerations should be observed.

The type and scope of the detailed assessment to be conducted at Step 5 depend on the site conditions and should aim to allow a determination if further management action is required, and aim to allow a robust classification of the site as per CCME National Classification System Detailed Evaluation Form (in Step 6).

Generally, the detailed testing program will concentrate on areas identified in the initial testing program and involve a similar systematic process of sampling and analysis, evaluation, conclusions and recommendations; however, a greater number of samples are usually collected and a smaller suite of chemical substances may be analyzed as the program converges on the environmental issues and the full extent of the contamination.

Key decision(s)

Step 5: Detailed Testing Program
Long description

Review findings from previous steps, and develop the scope of work for detailed testing, ensuring to consider future impacts of climate change. Conduct the Phase III ESA using sustainable methods; update the Conceptual Site Model (from Step 3); and consult stakeholders. Once completed, proceed to Step 6.

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 5

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

Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Guidance

Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) Guidance

Other guidance

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