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Design and

Land Use Plan &



Addressing Environmental Impacts



Successful re-use requires that existing environmental concerns are appropriately identified, cleaned up and managed and that future uses protect the environment. Staged investigations help focus the environmental studies towards the areas and locations where clean-up is required; then technologies and techniques for clean-up can be assessed. The final step is implementation of the clean-up and re-use of infrastructure.

While the steps are sequential, there is no need to delay moving forward in some areas of the property because other areas are delayed due to environmental issues. This approach has been used on the Coke Ovens/Tar Ponds project. For example, capping of the landfill is nearly complete and the interceptor sewer is under construction at the same time that technologies are still being evaluated for the more complex environmental areas including the tar ponds.

In Nova Scotia, industrial sites are cleaned up following a process which is pro-scribed by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour (NSDEL). The NSDEL Guidelines for the Management of Contaminated Sites (http://www.gov.ns.ca/enla/pubs/contam.PDF) describes the process which results in a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) for a property. A CoC is confirmation that environmental liabilities have been addressed to the satisfaction of the regulator, and is essential before most lending institutions and insurance companies will back future re-use projects. A CoC is issued by an Environmental Site Professional, and accepted by NSDEL.

The Guidelines are designed to address the issue of chemical contamination in soil and groundwater. In order to issue a CoC, the Environmental Site Professional must first be able to demonstrate that the contamination source is controlled, and that no pure form of the contaminant exists in the soil or groundwater. Secondly, it must be shown that trace contaminant concentrations in the soil and groundwater on the property do not exceed the applicable guideline values. Failing this, various options are available for further assessment, remediation or management of the contaminated area.

The phased approach typically begins with a Phase 1 ESA, which consists of three main activities: interviews with knowledgeable individuals, site reconnaissance, and a review of historical site information. Based on this data, a determination is made regarding the need to investigate particular environmental concerns. If further assessment is not warranted, then the Environmental Site Profession states this in writing, and the process ends. At SYSCO the Phase 1 study is complete.

If further assessment is warranted, a Phase 2 ESA is carried out. A Phase 2 ESA is intended to further assess specific issues (such as an underground storage tank) in order to determine if soil or groundwater contamination is present. Following sample collection, laboratory results are compared with the applicable guideline values. If this comparison shows that contaminant levels are acceptable (i.e., be-low guideline values), then the Environmental Site Professional states this in writing, and the process ends. At SYSCO a number of items are currently advancing to Phase 2, including, for example; the high dump area and site sewers. A complete list is included in the Phase 1 report.

In the event that contamination levels in excess of guideline values are identified, several options are possible. The first is to remove the contaminated materials to a treatment or disposal facility, or provide for the treatment of the contamination in place. In Nova Scotia, the former option is more frequently selected as the results are assured, and the acquisition of a CoC expedited.

Site clean up can frequently be an expensive endeavor, and is often unnecessary from an environmental and health & safety point of view. Another commonly used option in Nova Scotia is Risk Assessment. Briefly, Risk Assessment is a process by which an Environmental Site Professional collects physical, chemical and meteorological data for a property and uses those data to calculate “site-specific guideline values”. The calculated values are intended to reflect the actual risk that the contamination poses to a variety of potential receptors, including people living near the site or fish swimming in a stream across the road from the site.

As part of the Risk Assessment process, certain site management activities may be implemented in order to separate potential receptors from the contaminated area. This may include such activities as “capping” the contaminated area to reduce the potential for direct contact with contaminated soils, or the installation of soil vapor extraction pipes to prevent vapors from entering a structure.

It should be noted that depending on the complexity of the site, further sampling and analyses might be required following the Phase 2 ESA in order to gauge the extent of a remediation process, or alternatively, provide the required information to perform a Risk Assessment.

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