Why do I require a Contamination Report ?

Why do I require a Contamination Report ? (Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, Phase 1 ESA or Phase 2 – Environmental Site Assessment, Phase 2 ESA) ? – We are often asked by clients “why do we require an assessment for contamination? (commonly called a Phase 1 ESA or Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment).  Why do I require a Phase 1 ESA for my bank ?  What is a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment ??  What is the cost of a Phase 1 ESA ?

These recent articles provide examples of the impacts of a group of chemicals PFOS and PFOA which in the last few years are drawing increasing concern in relation to human and ecological health.  These articles outline the impacts which can occur from the use of chemicals which were used frequently in the past but were not at the time of use known to be a high risk.  Now however, this group of chemicals is being compared to the DDT of this generation.  In this case the chemical(s) are Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  These are members of a group of chemicals known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). Both PFOS and PFOA are very persistent in the environment.  They were used in firefighting foams by firefighters and military for many years and often result in contamination to groundwater and soil around the source of their use.  This often includes areas such as airports and training facilities.

There is a great deal of uncertainty about this large group of chemicals which have been used in everything from firefighting foam, non-stick pans (Teflon), water resistant coatings for clothing, shoe waterproofing, cosmetics, and food packaging (like microwave popcorn bags).  They are often passed onto humans via the consumption of various foods including fish and also drinking water.  High levels of PFAS have been linked to negative health effects in animals, including liver damage and stunted neurological development, according to Health Canada. There is little information about the human health risks associated with the chemicals however it is a known endocrine inhibitor.

Where contaminated groundwater is present residents cannot drink their well water or eat home-grown vegetables or eggs from farmyard chickens.  It is not a problem only to Canada and the USA.  In Australia towns near military bases are struggling with supplying water in some areas as the groundwater is contaminated due to the use of firefighting foams.  The use of these chemicals since the 1940’s and their bioaccumulation and stable chemical composition makes them a high risk to human health.  The full impacts of such chemicals are yet to emerge as the research progresses and the available data is in its early stages with much research into the human and ecological impacts continuing.  Groundwater testing should be undertaken regularly to test for contamination by a range of substances which can enter gradually through the soil.  With long lived stable substances such as these migration to the groundwater table can take many years.  As such well water should be tested regularly as contamination may enter the groundwater making a once clean water supply contaminated.

As Environmental Consultants servicing Calgary, Edmonton and British Columbia we come across contamination situations quite often.  As part of any land purchase (just like a home inspection) it is well worth obtaining the services of an experienced environmental consultant to undertake an assessment of the property to determine the potential risk of contamination by way of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment report.  If there is an identified risk of potential contamination then a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment should be undertaken to determine if there is contamination present, it type, extent and recommended remediation.  These assessments are a critical part of Due Diligence with any property purchase particularly if it is a ranch/farm, disused piece of land or former industrial site or if the history of the site is uncertain.  The impacts of purchasing a contaminated piece of land can include significant health impacts and significant financial losses through clean-up costs.




Habitat for Humanity – Phase 1 ESA Calgary

Anderson Environmental Inc is proud of its support for Habitat for Humanity.  We have recently provided Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments in Calgary at reduced cost to provide support for this great organisation.  The Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments were undertaken for a number of sites for housing redevelopments.  These sites are important to provide low cost housing and mortgages for families.

With the help of sponsors, donors, community partners and volunteers,  habitat for humanity build homes and help families purchase homes through their affordable mortgageHome ownership builds long-term stability and independence for families, while offering lasting, tangible benefits to our entire community.

Habitat homeowners build their own homes alongside experienced staff and volunteers, and purchase their homes with a no down-payment, no-interest mortgage, giving them financial stability to build better futures. Their monthly mortgage payments are used to build more homes for more families.

Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta was established in 1990 and we are extremely proud to support such a great organisation supporting our local communities.  We encourage our clients and everyone to support this great organisation.  Please see the website link below for the great work undertaken by this organisation.




Anderson Environmental now serving British Columbia

After almost 5 years serving Albertans with many Phase 1 and Phase 2 ESA’s and Biophysical Impact Assessments undertaken in Calgary and Edmonton and right throughout Alberta,  Anderson Environmental is now providing its services in British Columbia.  This has been at the request of many of our clients which we have assisted with projects in Alberta wanting a trusted company to assist them in the BC area.  We offer a full range of Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments, Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments and Biological and Biophysical Impact Assessments in British Columbia.

Being a small company, we offer a personalised service and very competitive prices and we work with our clients to achieve their objectives and timelines.

We offer Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments to the following areas:

  • Vancouver
  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Prince George

If you are outside of one of these areas and require an ESA Phase 1 or 2 please contact us with your specific location.

We also offer Biological Assessments and Biophysical Impact Assessments in the following areas:

  • Vancouver
  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Prince George

If you are outside of one of these areas and require a Bio assessment or biophysical impact assessment please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are happy to assist customers in all areas providing professional advice and quick turnarounds.

We are also still very busy with Phase 1 ESA’s in Calgary and Phase 1 ESA’s in Edmonton and all areas throughout Alberta.  Planning should be commencing for clients now for the next season for Biophysical Impact Assessments and Biological Assessments for projects so please give us a call for your forward planning requirements.

Phase 1 Environmental Assessment Reports Edmonton

Did you know Anderson Environmental undertake Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment reports throughout Alberta?
If you are based in Edmonton or Calgary we have dedicated numbers specifically for those areas to help us serve you better!
All Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment reports are undertaken in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z768-01:2003 (reaffirmed 2012).
Our reports are undertaken in accordance with the Alberta standard 300 metre search radius.

Phase 1 ESA Reports in Edmonton are also undertaken in accordance with The City of Edmonton Environmental Site Assessment Guidebook (2016). This guidebook provides detailed information for the level of assessment required for developments within The City of Edmonton which require a Phase 1 or Phase 2 ESA Assessment. You would usually undertake this report for a range of reasons some of which are included below.

  • Rezoning
  • Due Diligence
  • Financing

Most of our clients undertake ESA to assist in reducing uncertainty about potential liabilities regarding a site purchase or activity. Some clients want a baseline for the site before they lease or purchase a site so when they leave the site they can indicate that it was in a certain condition when they acquired the site. A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment can assist with these outcomes and often they are required as a Commercial

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment report for financing:

The conclusion of the Phase 1 ESA may be that as Phase 2 ESA is needed.  This is if there is evidence a site may have been contaminated, so the role of a Phase 1 is for the buyers protection and it is important to understand that it is not just a box ticking exercise as there are real risks associated with contaminated sites from both a health and financial perspective. Therefore it is very important to conduct an ESA to assist in making informed decisions about a properties history and contamination risk and assist in transactions and identifying baseline environmental conditions.

They also assist in meeting regulatory requirements, and sometimes as an initial step in site remediation (Canadian Standards Association Z768, Phase I Environmental Site Assessment).

Anderson Environmental offer a total service so if your Phase 1 does lead to a Phase 2 ESA being required we can handle both and will already have a good working knowledge of what needs to be done at the site.

The requirements for a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment report – when undertaken for The City of Edmonton are provided in the pdf link below.

Requirements of the City of Edmonton for a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment (ESA)

If you are based in Edmonton or Calgary or anywhere else in Alberta or BC and require a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment reports please feel free to give us a call
Edmonton 780 – 403 808 1826 | Calgary – 403 808 1826