In Canada, there is a national standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) comparable to the ASTM E1527-05 or -13 that is used across the United States. The objective of the Phase I ESA in Canada is to establish whether there exists evidence of actual or potential environmental contamination on the subject property.This standard, issued by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and published in 2001, is designated the CSA Z768-01 (Reaffirmed 2012) standard.

The CSA Z768-01 standard is typically applied to Phase I ESAs in all Provinces unless, as in the case of Ontario, the Proponent is seeking a Record of Site Condition (RSC) pursuant to Ontario Regulation 153/04 (O. Reg. 153/04, The Brownfield Regulation), as amended.

The ASTM E1527-05 standard sets different search radii from the subject site for different kinds of environmental issues; for example, it requires a search within 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) of the subject site for CERCLA/Superfund sites but, only the subject site and adjacent sites for hazardous waste generators.  In contrast, the CSA Z768-01 standard only requires review of properties adjacent to the subject site, typically within a 250 meter (~820 ft.) radius from the center of the property while the O. Reg. 153/04 standard requires review of properties within 250 meters (~820 ft.) from each of the property boundaries of the subject site.

In Canada the national standard for conducting Phase II ESAs is the CSA-Z769-00 standard which is comparable to the ASTM E1903 standard implemented in the United States.  The objective of the Phase II ESA in Canada is to quantify potential contaminants of concern found on a subject property.

The CSA Phase II ESA standard, reaffirmed in 2013 is applied in all Provinces unless, as in the case of Ontario, the Proponent is seeking a RSC pursuant to the Brownfields Regulation.  In this case, the applied Phase II ESA methodology must be consistent with O. Reg. 153/04, as amended and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s technical guidance document for completing Phase II ESAs (i.e., Guide for Completing Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments under Ontario Regulation 153/04, June 2011).

To learn more, please contact Michael Cugino.