MEMBERS’ UPDATE – Winter 2024
In this issue:
- Message from the President
- Ministry Updates
- Performance Assessment Committee Updates
- Screening Updates
- Review Services Committee Updates
- Technical Review Committee Updates
- Membership Committee Updates
- Professional Development Committee Updates
- Submission Statistics Update
- What’s new at CSAP
- Links of interest
- Industry events
The recent Fall PD workshop was a great success and I enjoyed seeing everyone in person. I believe networking and seeing our colleagues in person is an extremely important aspect of our professional world. A big thanks to the CSAP operations team and the PD Committee for all of their efforts in bringing this together. And thank you to ENV for sending so many of their folks out—it was great to put a face to a lot of the new names.
At CSAP, we continue to see a relatively high number of submissions, particularly when it comes to Approvals in Principle. Our additional Review Services continues to be a big success for us and has the added bonus of reducing some of ENV’s burden. We are in a continuing dialogue with ENV for other opportunities where we can provide support and potentially help reduce their queue. We have also provided input to ENV for their ongoing initiatives including Protocol 19 revisions and Indigenous engagement.
As we enter a new year, I wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2024!
The Site Remediation Program has made strides these past few months on several policy projects. Additionally, incoming applications have remained steady, with many internal pieces being updated or implemented to enhance services and improve timelines.
As a result of a divisional review, an internal shifting of the Environmental Protection Division is underway. The Site Remediation team is moving to a new branch called the Authorizations and Remediation Branch (ARB). The policy team from Site Remediation is joining the Environmental Services Branch (ESB), where a dedicated policy director will be in place by the end of the fiscal year (April 1, 2024). There is no expected change to external business and timelines will not be impacted by this move.
The number of certification documents issued so far this fiscal year exceeds the number received. This may be attributed to an increase in overall staff numbers within the program, including strategic operational roles, an expansion of the statutory decision making team, and improvements to our internal processes. With these substantive undertakings, further progress has been made in decreasing the application queue. However, delays do continue to occur when incomplete applications are received and/or significant clarification is required from the applicant, resulting in a series of back-and-forth communication before a statutory decision maker can proceed with their review. As a reminder to all applicants, based on a few of the more common occurrences ENV encounters, please ensure that submissions include all of the appropriate supporting documents, in final format, the required signatures on the necessary forms, and consistency between the draft certification document and the summary of site condition.
Making Contaminated Sites Climate Ready: Site Remediation policy staff are continuing research on select aspects of the Making Contaminated Sites Climate Ready project. We are also considering various website updates including resources relating to climate data. Work is continuing with First Nations to improve relationships and capacity relating to contaminated sites remediation via continued meetings with the Contaminated Sites Indigenous Advisory Committee. Risk assessment training is currently being developed and webinars will be offered to First Nation representatives in February and March 2024. ENV will also be collaborating with CSAP to identify any opportunities to support Indigenous Peoples through the Society.
Protocol 19-Phase 1: Indigenous engagement on Phase 1 (soil relocation) of Protocol 19 amendment considerations recently took place on January 19 and 23. More detailed proposed amendments are scheduled to be posted for a 30-day comment period in late February. Information sessions to clarify or further explain these proposed amendments will be scheduled to take place during this time. Protocol 19 amendments will be re-evaluated based on the comments received from both First Nations’ engagement and public consultation.
Protocol 19-Phase 2: A jurisdictional review was completed for vapour investigation for Phase 2 of Protocol 19. Subject matter experts at ENV are working to develop vapour investigation requirements based on the jurisdictional review, guidance already available. (e.g. Technical Guidance 4) and technical input received from CSAP. Engagement on Protocol 19 for vapour investigation and reporting will take place in 2025.
Service Enhancement Review: Public engagement sessions were hosted on January 16th and 18th to provide project background, objectives, next steps and gather initial stakeholder feedback for the Service Enhancement Review. The discussion paper is posted on Engage.bc for public viewing, along with a survey to provide comments until February 29th. First Nation engagement sessions will take place to provide information and gather feedback on First Nation Site Registry accessibility and usage in early February. A ‘What We Heard Report’ summarizing comments from public sessions, which will later be incorporated in an Intentions Paper (projected completion Winter 2025), will also be posted publicly.
Housing Strategy: Site Remediation continues to support the Province in its strategy for streamlining permitting for housing developments. The Province is integrating all statutory decision making permitting processes involving housing, to align timelines on key steps (e.g. Indigenous engagement). The Single Housing Application Service and the assigned housing navigators can help applicants with the coordination of all provincial housing permits.
Site Remediation Services Web App: The Site Remediation Services web application (SRS) was launched last year with limited functionality to move towards easier submission of applications for site remediation services, with a more streamlined approach to the application handling process.
Once logged in, an applicant can:
- Track the status of application submissions
- Have an application checked in real time to make sure it is complete
- Receive feedback from staff in the web app, then update and resubmit the application
- Start an application and save it to finish at a later time
The digital team is currently working on new functionality updates to the web app, including:
- All forms and application packages available
- Document upload to support form and application submissions
- Online storage solution to store and share files, images, and documents with co-workers, partners, or the public
This new release is projected for February 2024, and external user training is planned following the launch.
ENV reminds applicants that a BCeID account will be required once the SRS web app is fully implemented to fill out the necessary forms and upload supporting documents.
Site Remediation updates and announcements will be made through our Site remediation news email subscription service.
From a recent Performance Assessment, members are reminded to use Mann-Kendall trend analysis to evaluate groundwater plume stability when adequate data is available. Other possible tools for evaluating plume stability are on the proposed project agenda for the TRC in the coming fiscal year.
When restrictive covenants are required, timing of the registration should be noted in relation to issuance of the certification document by ENV. Situations have arisen where CoCs have been requested with an AiP in place, but the required restrictive covenant has yet to be registered on the land title. Issuance of the certification document is at the discretion of the Director and ENV should be consulted in these circumstances, prior to the COC application being made.
The PA panel RFQ responses were reviewed and verified by CSAP. Contracts have been sent out for signature and are due back to CSAP by Friday, January 26, 2024.
The PAC Q&A forum will be launching in the coming weeks.
A summary of previous PAC Updates is available here.
There is not much to report from the Detailed Screening Sub-Committee—as the old adage goes, no news is good news!? We have definitely found our groove: APs and QPs that prepare submission documentation are, for the most part, aware of the requirements, resulting in fewer issues raised during Detailed Screenings. Detailed Screeners appear to identify most issues before the submissions go to ENV, and therefore we see less subsequent follow-up from the ministry, with most of the follow-up that is received for items that are beyond the scope of a Detailed Screening (e.g., information included in reports).
We have added two new Detailed Screeners to our roster, which hopefully means less stress for Anna, and quicker turnaround times. 2024 is off to a good start!
The Review Services Committee (RSC) has been completing reviews (approximately 30 per year) for two years. Those reviews are of reports (generally annual reports) typically associated with AIPs but also associated with risk-based CoCs with specific reporting conditions, and occasionally SRAs. The specifics of what work the RSC completes can be found on the RSC webpage.
Previously the RSC indicated that they were reviewing Closure Reports as well. The most typical Closure Report requirement can be found on all AIPs and reads as follows:
Remediation must be confirmed in accordance with applicable legislation and ministry guidance. Within 90 days of completing remediation, a report summarizing confirmation of remediation must be prepared in accordance with section 49 (2) of the Contaminated Sites Regulation and submitted to the Director.
Such a clause is triggered when remediation is complete and no associated CoC submission is made. As AIPs have become a more common regulatory instrument during the past two years there is potentially an increasing requirement for the submission of Closure Reports. The RSC, in discussion with ENV, recently removed the review of Closure Reports from the above noted webpage as the RSC will not be completing that work. Going forward standalone Closure Reports associated with an AIP (and in other circumstances as well) should be forwarded directly to ENV for review in those circumstances (when no CoC was otherwise applied for).
Over the past three months, the TRC has been working on identifying and scoping out the Special Projects that CSAP will be funding for 2024/25. The Special Projects being considered this year were generated from a running list of projects and topics suggested by members. The TRC is currently developing the scope of work and budget for these projects. Requests for proposals (RFP) for each of the projects will go out to members in April.
The TRC has also been working on wrapping up the last of its 2023/24 projects listed below:
Shallow Vapour Attenuation Factors – This project was split into 2 stages. Stage 1 was developed in response to the issues that practitioners have been having with the requirements associated with Protocol 19. To address these concerns a review was conducted that included: soil vapour issues in relation to appropriate vapour attenuation factors for receiving sites; criteria for determining when soil vapour investigation is required; and equilibrium requirements when conducting soil vapour sampling of soil stockpiles. The purpose of the review was to bring together information and analysis that will lead to an improved understanding of these issues. A draft of this memo was reviewed by the TRC and then forwarded to ENV for review and consideration on September 18, 2023. Stage 2 of the project will be completed in March and will include a discussion of methods for addressing vapours when groundwater is near to or in contact with building foundations. A presentation to members will follow once the draft report is substantially complete. This project is being conducted by MEMS, Arcadis, and Hers Environmental.
Other TRC documents completed over the past year are listed below and can be found on the CSAP webpage here:
- Protocol 2 Site-Specific Standards: Use of Groundwater Protection Model (November 2023)
- A Framework to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Contaminated Sites in BC (October 2023)
- CSAP Guidance for Potential Contaminants of Concern (January 2023)
CSAP Scholarships – CSAP awards three scholarships annually to graduates studying in the area of contaminated site investigation and remediation. The deadline to apply is March 29. If you know of a suitable applicant, please direct them to our website here to find out more information and download the application. Scholarships will be awarded in May and announced at our June AGM.
If you have any suggestions for a topic that you would like the TRC to tackle, please send your ideas to [email protected].
The Membership Committee is pleased to welcome the newest Approved Professionals to the Society:
- Daniel Joel D’Angelo, P.Ag. (Numerical Assessment Approved Professional)
- Erica E Milligan, M. Sc., P.Ag. (Numerical Assessment Approved Professional)
- Tracey Denise L’Esperance, R.P. Bio. (Risk Assessment Approved Professional)
Request for Exam Candidate Experience Reviewers
The Membership Committee invites interested APs to put their name forward to review new candidates’ work experience and provide a recommendation. We encourage past and present Exam Development Panel volunteers to be Experience Reviewers too. The time commitment is as follows:
- Review each candidate’s experience presentation [maximum 4 billable hours per review]
- Provide experience review results [Due date July 8]
Please indicate which category (Risk or Numerical) you are interested in via email to [email protected].
Request for Regulatory Exam Development Volunteers
The Membership Committee invites interested APs to put their name forward to volunteer as part of the regulatory examination process. The development panel will be selected based on experience and a range of locations and company affiliations. The time commitment is as follows:
- Writing Webinar for new members on March 8 [2 billable hours]
- Item writing – two questions by April 3, and three additional questions by May 8 [10 billable hours]
- Item Review webinar on April 5 [2.5 billable hours]
- Exam Development Workshop on September 10 & 11 [12 billable hours]
Please express your interest to volunteer via email to [email protected].
Please remember to submit your BC Certificate of Insurance to CSAP Society before (and not after) your insurance expires. You are required to maintain an up-to-date record of your insurance with CSAP Society at all times. CSAP Society is not responsible for the tracking of your insurance status.
Please reach out to a member of our CSAP team if you do not have the template for the BC Certificate of Insurance.
Lunch and Learn schedule
Our 2024 series kicks off on February 27. These virtual one-hour sessions are open to the public with the exception of members’ open forums which provide APs an opportunity to confidentially discuss issues affecting their AP practice with your peer group.
Topics are still being finalized at time of writing however the following dates and times are confirmed:
- February 27 at 11 a.m.
- April 17 at 12 noon
- May 23 at 11 a.m.
- July 16 at 12 noon
- September 18 at 11 a.m.
- December 12 at 12 noon
Bookmark the Lunch and Learn page and watch your email for updates.
AGM and Fall PD Workshop dates confirmed
Mark your calendars! Our AGM & PD Workshop is being held June 6 at the Terminal City Club, Vancouver, and the Fall PD Workshop is being held November 7 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. Post-event happy hours will follow.
Bookmark our events page to keep abreast of the all the details as they are finalized.
Did you know you can find presentations from previous events on our website?
- Our Workshops page has presentations from our AGM & PD Workshops and our Fall PD Workshops. (Note ENV presentations are found in CSAP Member Services.)
- Our Webinars page has presentations from our Lunch and Learn sessions and other webinars.
- We are pleased to announce new staff member Stephanie Kwok, Board & Administrative Coordinator, who was hired last month. Welcome Stephanie!
- A reminder that applications for our 2024 scholarships are now available here. Find the details here.
- Registration is now open for our AGM & PD Workshop on June 6.
- Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery was the 5th weakest in the OECD
- Federal and B.C. governments forecast an 8-year retreat in living standards
- Canadians face 40 years of stagnant incomes – government’s economic strategy is failing
- Submission on Clean Electricity Regulations
- Submission on the proposed B.C. Oil and Gas Emissions Cap Policy Paper
- Submission to the B.C. Government on the Gig Worker Engagement Process
If you have a link of interest, please forward it to [email protected].
- ITRC: Pump & Treat Optimization Training – January 30, 2024, virtual
- ITRC: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Training – February 6, 2024, virtual
- Contaminant Vapor Migration and Intrusion – February 8 & 9, 2024, virtual
- Application of Artificial Intelligence in Civil/Environmental Engineering – February 21 to 23, 2024, virtual
- ITRC PFAS Introductory Training – February 29, 2024, virtual
- Scientific and Practical Challenges of Artificial Intelligence – March 1, 2024, virtual
- Risk Assessment of Contaminated Sites – March 19 to 20, 2024, virtual
- Contaminated Soil and Groundwater, Assessment and Remediation – April 2 to 4, 2024, virtual
- BCEIA BEST conference – May 8 to 10, 2024, Whistler
- SABCS Workshop & Conference – September 25 & 26, 2024, Vancouver (hybrid)
- Climate Adaptation Fundamentals Micro-credential – Royal Roads, ongoing, virtual
- Contaminated Site Clean-Up Information (CLU-IN) – Sponsored by the US EPA. Hosts free weekly webinars focusing on contaminated sites-related subjects
- EPIC Training – environmental engineering training courses
- GeoEnviroPro – various webinars, ongoing
- Northwest Environmental Training Center – Remediation and toxicology courses among other environmental practitioner courses
- Regenesis.com – various webinars, ongoing