MEMBERS UPDATE – Spring 2021
Message from the President
These are challenging times. The pandemic is in its third and final wave, alongside the slow tide of vaccinations, and mental health in our community and our families continues to be strained by the marathon of this past year. What a year (+) it has been! Our message from the CSAP executive is a simple one – we have made it this far; the end is near and together we will get through this last leg of the pandemic. While we understand that sometimes it is easier said than done, it helps to take a long-term view and not get lost in the challenges of the next month or two. We hope that you will continue to prioritize your own self-care, as well as time with your families in this home stretch.
CSAP continues to move steadily onward with economic activity and optimism in the industries affecting our Approved Professional work on a steady rise. CSAP is managing through the regulatory changes and doing our best to set our budgets for an uncertain year. Working to maintain and build on our strong relationship with the Ministry remains a priority.
Again, I thank Catherine and the operations team for keeping the office going with a mix of working from the office home.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Annual General Meeting and professional development workshop in June!
All the best,
On February 1, 2021, amendments to the site identification process under the Environmental Management Act (EMA) and Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) came into effect. Ten Director’s protocols were updated to align with this amendment and content from relevant guidance documents and factsheets was converted to webpages or included in the applicable protocols. The revised protocols were posted by the ministry for public comment for a period of 45 days. The Comment Report presenting the ~700 comments that were received, along with the individual ministry responses, is available on the Request for comments webpage.
To help familiarize stakeholders and practitioners with the changes and implications of the recent amendments, the ministry hosted a series of ten webinars through February and March, starting with a summary of the amended site identification process, continuing with highlights of the individual revised Protocols, and ending with a final Q&A webinar. Recordings of the webinars are now available on the site remediation presentations webpage.
The Intentions Paper for proposed regulatory amendments to the soil relocation process to support EMA Bill 3 was posted for public comment until March 15, 2021. The ministry received feedback from various stakeholders and is in the process of reviewing the comments for the purposes of informing the regulatory amendment and developing next steps. Additionally, a ‘What We Heard’ report will be compiled and posted on the website in the coming months. Webinar recordings from earlier this spring, outlining the proposed CSR Stage 14 amendments for soil relocation, are available on the ministry website here.
A year into the Enquiry Management (EM) process, the ministry can provide metrics for the six generic inboxes that have been dedicated to the receipt, tracking and response of incoming enquiries covering a vast array of topics related to contaminated sites. Overall, the Land Remediation Section received over 1100 formal enquiries this past fiscal year, with an average response time of 2 weeks. For this system to continue to work efficiently and effectively, enquiries must be sent to only one inbox. Please do not send the same enquiry to multiple inboxes; this creates inefficiencies and results in longer response times. Additionally, any cold calls made to ministry staff will be directed to the EM system for appropriate response. Finally, enquiries related to site remediation that are sent to other ministry offices/contacts will be transferred to the appropriate generic email and will be addressed in chronological order through the EM system procedures.
The ministry continues to support economic recovery and remediation of contaminated sites in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications received and issued through the 2020-2021 fiscal year indicate an overall increase of greater than 30% compared with the average of previous years. The average turnaround time for all application types continues to be four months (range of 1 to 18 months). Please assist the ministry in your workplans by communicating these turnaround times with your clients and teams.
A summary of previous Ministry Updates is available here.
Members are reminded that preapproval from the ministry is required when the entire extent of contamination at a non-high-risk contaminated site will not be delineated and/or remediated and will not be included in an application for an Approval in Principle or a Certificate of Compliance. The preapproval must to be obtained prior to an application for an Approval in Principle or Certificate of Compliance under Protocol 6. Note that the preapproval requirements for Protocol 6 submissions also apply for release requests under the site identification process.
Consult the ministry’s preapprovals website for commonly encountered scenarios where full delineation or remediation may not be possible. Be aware that the scenarios requiring preapproval from the ministry include flow-through contaminant plumes and contamination caused by the placement of contaminated fill from multiple widespread and undetermined historical sources with no identified responsible person or that has been identified as wide-area contamination.
Overall submission numbers are down, but we hope to see a return to more regular numbers this summer given the adjustments made in meeting process requirements.
CSAP is committed to continuing working with BC ENV to help streamline the process where feasible.
A summary of PAC Updates is available here
The new CSAP Transmittal Letter was uploaded on March 19, 2021 (changes were made to the front page, and Land Title requirement). It can be found at the CSAP website, Make a Submission/Package section, along with new ENV forms.
The instrument templates (CoC, AiP, etc.) are currently under revision and are anticipated to be released in the Spring so please regularly check the CSAP Website if you are preparing a submission. If you are preparing a submission information that used to be contained in Procedure 12 can be found under “Preparing applications for contaminated sites legal documents” under Professional Reliance.
Recent submissions documenting communications with affected parcel owners (formerly called AG11) have been meeting detailed screening requirements. The checklist formerly found in AG11 can be found under the heading “Contamination Migration” and the link under text can be found here “Source Parcel Responsible Persons and Affected Parcel Owners”.
What’s new on the CSAP website
Now Located inside Member Service
- New capability to keyword search ENV PDFs and web pages
- The CSAP map is now available
- You can change your Members Services password
A new navigational tool to help locate ENV documents formerly available as PDFs.
The TRC has been working on several topics over the past three months:
CSAP Guidance for Assessment of Soil Vapour and Ambient Air Phase 3 – The draft report will be ready in early May, with the final report expected to be completed by the Fall. Look for a presentation on this guidance as part of the Fall PD workshop.
Arsenic in soil background assessment –As a result of the Stage 10 Amendments, practitioners identified that arsenic in soil is a challenge to manage at their sites. A meeting was held with ENV in March to discuss options for addressing this issue. Based on ENV priorities, regulatory changes to the arsenic soil standard are not proposed in the near future. Therefore, the working group is now looking to focus on establishing a soil background database for CSAP members to use to support P4 applications.
Review of ENV Soil Relocation Intention Paper – As part of the upcoming Stage 14 amendments to the CSR, ENV is proposing significant changes to the soil relocation process and released an intentions paper outlining the changes in February. The TRC organized a review of the Soil Relocation Intention paper. ENV responses to comments and identification of the next step in their process are pending.
CSAP Scholarships – CSAP received several applications for the three scholarships that are awarded annually to graduates studying in the area of contaminated site investigation and remediation. The applications are currently being evaluated by the TRC and winners will be announced at our Spring AGM.
Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions for TRC topics as part of the recent members’ survey. We will be reviewing these topics at our next meeting to identify the TRC’s projects for 2021/22.
If you have any suggestions for a topic that the TRC could tackle, please contact Christine Thomas, Chair of the TRC.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a record of their PD hours online before the January deadline. 32 members were up for renewal at the end of 2020.
Salute to retiring CSAP member
We wish you all the best and thank you for your time in CSAP. You will be missed.
Membership Fees Due – June 9th, 2021
Examination Application Deadline (new candidates) – June 4th, 2021
Examination Application Deadline (Members) – August 31st, 2021
- Numerical Standards – Nov. 2nd, 2021
- Regulatory – Nov. 3rd, 2021
- Risk Assessment – Nov 4th, 2021
Currently, it is anticipated that all three exams will be held this year.
Also please take note that in 2022, the exam application deadline for new candidates will be moved ahead a few months to the end of April (i.e., April 29th, 2022), so that Applicants will know sooner if they are eligible to write the exams and have more time to prepare.
New projects for 2021/2022:
- The Membership Committee will be reviewing the framework for reporting professional development hours.
- The Exam Development Committee will be reviewing and updating the exam bank of questions due to recent changes to the regulation.
Last but not least, the updated Membership Guidelines were posted on the CSAP website on May 4, 2021.
Regarding liability insurance, APs should check with their Regulatory Parent organization regarding supplemental insurance. Supplemental liability insurance is often reasonably priced and does add additional protection.
CSAP Annual General Meeting – June 9 & 10, 2021
Mark your calendars! This year’s CSAP Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place virtually in the morning on Wednesday, June 9th and Thursday, June 10th.
On Day 1, in addition to our society business, which includes election of new Board Members and approval of Bylaw amendments. We are pleased to announce that Tony Crossman and Scott Orth will be our guest presenters. Tony Crossman (CSAP Board member) will be presenting on “Administrative fairness” and the Declaration Act. Scott Orth will be sharing tools and skills to help people stay resilient through these ongoing challenging times. His talk promises to be an engaging mix of neuroscience, mindfulness and Stoic philosophy, all aimed at providing you with practical, no-nonsense tools that work. Here is a link to a recent article by Scott entitled No Bad Days! Just Good Choices and Better Habits. You can find additional articles on his website blog.
On Day 2 we will have important updates from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
A formal Zoom invite will be sent out soon.
Fall PD Workshop – October 28th & 29th, 2021
Stay tuned and mark your calendars for our annual Fall Professional Development Workshop, to be held on October 28th and 29th, 2021. We are zeroing in on a theme (yet to be determined), and welcome any thoughts or suggestions for a theme and/or technical topics. Just let us know! Please stay tuned for further details.
We have a few webinars that are in the planning stages and we encourage you to stay tuned. Once we have new templates for CoCs and a better handle on Schedule B conditions, we will put together a webinar this topic. Other webinars in the works include the annual “Lessons Learned”, presented by our Detailed Screening and Performance Assessment Committee members. We ae also looking to put together a webinar on Protocol #2 – Site-Specific Soil Standards and other topics you may be interested in. You’ll also find recordings of past webinars:
- Review of Professional Practice and New Regulation of Firms
- P22 and TG4 Soil Vapour
- Preparing repairing a CSAP submission
- Omnibus Standards review: Real Data – Real Results
- SLRA and Groundwater Models
- PA and Detailed Screening – Lessons Learned
- Detailed Administrative Screening
- TG4 and Trench Worker Attenuation Factors
If you have an idea for a webinar, please send it along to CSAP!
WEBINARS posted to the CSAP Website
Federal climate change law is valid, Tony Crossman, CSAP Director
The federal Act came into force in June 2018 and is comprised of two key aspects. Part one establishes a carbon fuel levy applicable to producers, distributors and importers of carbon-based fuels, the costs of which are expected to be passed onto consumers. Part two establishes an output-based pricing system for large industrial emitters based upon emissions intensity requirements.
The Act enables the provinces and territories to regulate the pricing of GHG emissions. However, the Act also acts as a backstop and applies in the event the provincial or territorial regulatory regimes are insufficient or fail to meet the federal benchmark.
Some of the initial impacts could include:
- A federally mandated pricing floor will result in consistent (and increasing) GHG emissions compliance costs for consumers, small business and large industrial emitters. For example:
- The existing GHG pricing for large industrial emitters as set out in the Act (currently set at C$40/tonne and increasing to C$50/tonne in 2022) will now be generally applicable across Canada, subject only to the particulars of those regimes deemed to be as stringent as the federal regime. All businesses, regardless of where they are situated, will need to plan ahead and incorporate increasing GHG pricing into their existing and proposed operations.
- The carbon price may subsequently increase significantly. If the proposals set out in Canada’s A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy (Climate Plan) released in December of 2020 are enacted as law, GHG pricing could subsequently increase by C$15/tonne each year from 2023 to 2030 resulting in a final GHG emissions charge of C$170/tonne of CO2e in 2030.
Although the GHG price will become consistent throughout Canada, the provinces and territories are still entitled to enact their own regimes, provided such regimes are acceptable to the GIC’s stringency review.
The SCC found that climate change’s effects are and will continue to be experienced across Canada. Accordingly, this should be kept in mind whenever businesses and governments propose projects or make decisions where climate change is, or may become, an issue.
The Groundwater Project (GW-Project),
The Groundwater Project (GW-Project), a non-profit global organization registered in Canada, is committed to contribute to advancement in education by creating and making available online free high-quality groundwater educational material for all. The GW-Project is led by Dr. John Cherry, recipient of the 2020 Stockholm Water Prize, GW-Project President and Chair of the Board of Directors. The GW-Project intends to cover most aspects of groundwater with subject matter organized into 4 key areas: children’s books, introductory books, overview books and specialized books. Over 400 well recognized scientists from around the world have agreed to participate. To support global education chapters produced first in English will be translated into several other languages soon after. Since August 2020, 12 books have been published (gw-project.org) with 200 more in progress.
Professional Governance Act (PGA) Implementation Update
Village Workshop Online Indigenous Training – BCIA
- Four online modules focusing on learning through storytelling.
- Course satisfies the BCIA requirement for Indigenous training, due by December 31, 2022.
- Course runs June 7 – 23, with a virtual group session on June 24. Registration due by June 3, cost is $75. Only open to BCIA members.
Business Development and Sales Skills for Engineers and Geoscientists – EGBC
- Registrants receive three months of access to myKISON eLearning Program along with monthly 90-minute webinars focusing on case studies and peer discussions related to securing work, conducting sales presentations, building your firm’s reputation and better understanding clients’ needs.
- Registration is open until June 18; program runs from July 2 – September 30. Cost is $250.
Modeling Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport at Mine Sites – EGBC
- This is a one-day webinar focusing on acid rock drainage and its impacts on groundwater and surface water.
- Webinar is on June 2 and seats are limited to 25 people. Cost is $329 / $379 depending on when you register.
Contaminated Site Fundamentals – GeoEnviroPro
- A seven-module course on the fundamentals of contaminated sites science, engineering and regulation. A Certificate of Course Completion is available after finishing the modules.
- Cost depends on how many modules a person registers for, $250 – $895, with a discount available for GeoEnviroPro members.
- Course is on now and runs through June 28.
Environmental Bioremediation – EPIC Training
- A web series including four webinars on various aspects of both in situ and ex situ bioremediation techniques and considerations.
- Hosted virtually May 25 – 28. Cost $560.
Basic Statistics for Environmental Professionals – Northwest Environmental Training Centre
- A three-day course focusing on the principles of statistics as applied to analysis of environmental data.
- Takes place online on June 8, 10 and 15. Cost is $695 USD.
Contaminant Vapour Migration and Intrusion – Northwest Environmental Training Centre
- A two-day course providing an overview of vapour intrusion and exposure pathways including technical aspects of investigating and remediating contaminated vapour sites.
- Takes place online on May 20 and 21. Cost is $695 USD.
Clean-Up Information website – https://clu-in.org/default.cfm
- Sponsored by the US EPA. Hosts free weekly webinars focusing on contaminated sites-related subjects
- Some appear to be very US-focused from regulatory perspectives but still many technically-focused webinars and has archives of past presentations for free viewing.
- It has a searchable archive of free webinars (just requires some basic information from participants).
- Mostly focused on products and case studies of various remediation sites.
- Free weekly webinars on various topics.
- Also, able to access past presentations for a subscription fee.