ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT - ESA (Assessment, Soil Test, Ground Water Test, Contamination Clean-Up)
Environmental Site Assessment Phase 1, 2 & 3 in Ontario including City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region and York Region (Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Burlington, Etobicoke, Maple, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, North York, Oakville, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, Toronto, Vaughan, Uxbridge, Whitby, Barrie, Burlington, Bowmanville, Cambridge, Hamilton, Georgetown, Guelph, Kitchener, Kingston, London, Peterborough, Sarnia, Stoneycreek, St Catharines, Waterloo, Windsor and Woodbridge).
When it comes to dealing with environmental contamination it is better to be pro-active. Remember even if your site is found to be contaminated, you are the client, and we are under no legal obligation to report their findings to any government body, unless it is believed that the contamination seriously endangers the safety or welfare of the public.
Accidental spills and careless waste disposal practices can result in soil and ground water contamination. Spills are common and can occur just about anywhere and anytime. About 10,000 spills are reported each year in Canada, amounting to thousands of tonnes of fuels and other chemicals. Officials estimate that the total number of unreported spills could be as high as 40,000. Fuel products comprise about two-thirds of the reported spills. Chemicals spilled many years ago can linger in the soil and still be a problem today. Site contamination is a complex problem that seldom goes away by itself and can persist for decades. The contamination may not be confined to the site itself, because contaminants often spread far beyond their original source. Toxic substances can seep through the soil to the groundwater, which then becomes unfit for drinking. Natural groundwater flow can spread the contaminants over a wide area. As a result, soil and ground water contaminations are often found in properties near past or present industrial sites, such as refineries, steel plants, mines, scrap yards and chemical plants. Chemical discharges can also be associated with smaller-scale operations such as dry cleaning outlets, electrical contractors, print shops, waste processors and industrial waste disposal sites.
Leakage of petroleum or other products from underground storage tanks is another common cause of soil and ground water contamination. Contaminated sites are very often found near operating gas stations, former gas stations and at other locations where fuels have been stored in underground storage tanks. From 7,500 to 20,000 underground storage tanks across Canada are thought to be leaking. As time passes, more of the older tanks will begin to leak due to problems such as corrosion. There are at least 10,000 landfill sites across Canada. Contaminants may be seeping out of many of these landfill sites.The health and safety of people who live or work at or very near a contaminated site are directly at risk. The local natural environment is also at risk. The immediate concern is the potential cleanup cost. Individuals and corporations are, with increasing frequency, being charged and convicted of offences associated with contaminated sites, although they may not have been directly responsible for the contamination. Such court cases are very expensive.
The costs associated with contaminated property can be significant, and may have to be borne entirely or in part by past or present property owners, investors, lenders or even commercial tenants. A lender should not acquire title to mortgaged property unless satisfied that there are no indications of contamination on the property. The lender should also ensure that any business conducted on the property does not carry with it an unmanaged risk of contamination. A lending organization or individual who takes possession of a contaminated site, due to foreclosure of a mortgage or for any other reason may find that the property is worth very little. They may even find that the costs of a cleanup exceed the property’s value. A buyer who borrows money to purchase a property that turns out to be contaminated may subsequently be prosecuted for environmental offences and face fines and legal and cleanup costs. These expenses may reduce his or her ability to repay the loan. If lenders then have to take possession of the contaminated property, they may be prosecuted or become liable for the debtor’s environmental problems, including clean up costs. If contamination is found at a site, authorities could order anyone who has any control of the property or business to clean it up, whether or not they caused the contamination. Anyone who has ever owned or occupied that property may be ordered to participate in the cleanup. Creditors who were previously in possession of a contaminated property, for no matter how short a time, may also be required to cover some or all of the cleanup costs. Compliance with such orders can be extremely expensive. Property owners and occupants affected by nearby contaminated sites may sue those responsible, or sue current owners who may not even have caused the contamination.
There is currently no legal requirement in Ontario to conduct environmental site assessments. However, organizations and individuals who provide mortgages, guarantee mortgages or invest in real estate should note that there are very compelling reasons to insist on an Environmental Site Assessment before committing themselves to a transaction. Commercial lending institutions, and those who own, manage or invest in real estate know that it is essential to be concerned about the environmental status of properties with which they are associated. More and more organizations are requiring environmental site assessments as a condition for real estate transactions. The best time to determine if an environmental contamination is present, is before you buy. After you own the property it becomes your responsibility. Ultimately, Environmntal Site Assessments may become universally accepted as an essential component of responsible asset management.
Environmental Site Assessments are very valuable to identify potential environmental concerns at a property. These assessments, by their nature, are limited and it is crucial that all of the parties involved understand these limitations. An Environmental Site Assessment ESA by experienced environmental site assessor should reveal the potential for significant environmental issues at a site even if it is performed in a tight time frame. We use only senior qualified and experienced assessors to conduct the environmental site assessments. To ensure the important issues are not overlooked and that uncertainties associated with the assessment are reduced, Environmental Site Assessments are performed to the Ministry of Environment guidelines, by experienced environmental site assessors. Even the most thorough Environmental Site Assessments may not be able to confirm unequivocally that a site is not contaminated, or guarantee that a site will not become contaminated in the future. An Environmental Site Assessment can only determine that no indicators of contamination are found at the time of the investigation. Commercial and industrial real estate lenders scrutinize every aspect of a deal to make sure it is a good one. Environmental Site Assessment on commercial and industrial real estate deals is more important than ever. When a commercial or industrial property is purchased or sold, the responsibility for cleanup and containment of contamination is passed to the new owner. For this reason it is vital that any environmental liability be identified before a commercial or industrial property is purchased or sold. Identifying areas of "Environmental Concern" is imperative to prepurchase evaluation and assessment. When it comes to commercial real estate, one of the most-common issues that impairs the deals is environmental contamination. Both buyers and sellers need to know that Environmental laws hold owners responsible for cleaning up contamination, regardless of who created or contributed to the problem. If a buyer misses contamination and it is found later, the buyer will be liable for the cleanup. Recent environmental site assessment of the property can actually make potential buyers more comfortable. The discovery of contamination problems after the sale can lead the new owners to take up a legal battle—at significant cost to everyone—to force the sellers to pay for the cleanup. Legally, the seller can still be liable for cleanup even after seller no longer own or operate at the site. So developing a comprehensive understanding of the environmental conditions at the property is the best way to ensure a successful property transfer!
Ignorance at the time of purchase and sale is no excuse. By conducting thorough environmental site assessment early in the deal, everybody involved in the deal can learn about potential problems upfront and they have time to address any issues before closing.
CLARIFYING CONTAMINATION - Phase 1 - Environmental Site Assessment - ESA
A variety of actions can cause a Phase I study to be performed for a commercial property, the most common being:
* Purchase of the property by a person or entity not previously on title
* Contemplation by a new lender to provide a loan on the subject property
* Partnership buyout or principal redistribution of ownership.
* Application to a public agency for change of use or other discretionary land use permit
* Existing property owner’s desire to understand toxic history of the property.
* Compulsion by a regulatory agency who suspects toxic conditions on the site.
* Divestiture of properties
A phase 1 environmental site assessment is an absolute necessity when purchasing commercial property these days. A phase 1 is the fact phase of an environmental assessment. Basically, the whole purpose of the phase 1 is to determine whether or not there is any evidence that may suggest that the site is contaminated or may become contaminated.
The best time to determine if an environmental contamination is present, is before you buy. After you own the property it becomes your responsibility.
A thorough rigorous environmental analysis of the property and all surrounding uses or conditions, which may carry the risk of contamination or liability and issues arise from past use of chemical, oil tanks, asbestos and other hazards. Environmental site assessments ESA have been performed on a range of property types, including gas stations, medium sized industrial operations and multi-tenant commercial plazas. We focus our phase one environmental site assessment on the unique circumstances, conditions and risks inherent in each property type and develop an efficient strategy for acquiring specialized information unique to the property.
As described by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), in Standard CAN/CSA-Z768-01, a phase 1 environmental site assessment (ESA) is a systematic process by which an assessor seeks to determine whether a particular property is subject to actual or potential contamination. The scope of the phase 1 environmental site assessment will consist of the following four principal components of the CSA Standard:
Search, review and analyze of historical property use
A very detailed and labor intensive search, review and analyze of historical property use, occupancy records and aerial photographs of the subject and adjacent properties. Geology, Hydrology, Topography are analyzed to determine type of the soil, depth of water table, direction and flow of ground water and other physical attributes to determine the potential of any environmental hazard migrating to or from the subject property.
Visual assessment of the site and surrounding properties
Visual assessment of the site and surrounding properties including Identification of any liquid or chemical storage, PCBs, ACM, Lead and other designated substances, spills or soil and building contamination and identification of surrounding land use in order to identify possible impacts to the subject site. Physical obstructions can have a large impact on the results of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, since no intrusive sampling is done during the assessment
Interview with persons having knowledge of past and present site activities.
Sometimes information provided by individuals about the previous usage of the site and/or adjacent sites may somewhat misleading and may lead to certain assumptions being made regarding the potential environmental risks associated with the property by the parties involved in the transaction. Informations from interviews of individuals must be corroborated whenever possible.
Evaluation of Information and Reporting
Phase 1 environmental site assessment ESA in Ontario including City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region and York Region (Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Burlington, Etobicoke, Maple, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, North York, Oakville, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, Toronto, Vaughan, Uxbridge, Whitby, Barrie, Burlington, Bowmanville, Cambridge, Hamilton, Georgetown, Guelph, Kitchener, Kingston, London, Milton, Peterborough, Sarnia, Stoneycreek, St Catharines, Waterloo, Windsor and Woodbridge) can be arranged within six to eight business days.
Phase 1 environmental site assessment ESA reports are ready within 5 business days after completion of phase 1 environmental site assessment ESA. We specialize in locating and analyzing missing or previously undiscovered documentary evidence as well as our successful record of thorough assessment and reporting of the entire phase 1 environmental site assessment ESA process are what set us apart from other providers. The consequences of completing an inadequate Environmental Site Assessment can far outweigh the cost of a thorough Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
Cost of Phase 1 Environmental Assessment is $2,490
SEEKING THE SOURCE - Phase 2 - Environmental Site Assessment - ESA
Many financial lenders and banks specify a Environmental Phase I Asseesment prior to purchase of a commercial property. Environmental Phase I Assessments do not test soil or ground water and contamination issues are often overlooked. A gasoline station or a dry cleaners can severely impact a property 500 meters away.
Many buyers or sellers of a large property try to limit their costs by drilling few boreholes which may result in few soil samples and limited groundwater assessment. This is prone to error and often misses many potential contamination problems. Generally, a phase 2 environmental site assessment is required by a lending institution (bank) when potential contamination has been identified on a high-risk property such as gas stations(Petro Canada, Esso, Shell, Ultramar, Husky, Olco, Pioneer), dry cleaners etc, requiring financing.
The potential contamination is often identified through an initial phase 1 environmental site assessment. As described by the Canadian Standards Association CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z769-00 a phase 2 environmental site assessment ESA involves sampling and testing of soil and ground water etc., considered by the outcome of a phase 1 environmental site assessment ESA or other investigation to be possible instances of environmental contamination. The cost, scope and duration of a phase 2 environmental site assessment ESA are dependent on many factors such as the size and location of the site, the number and type of suspected, contaminants, the type of material to be sampled such as soil, groundwater, etc., the methods used for sample collection and the time required to obtain laboratory results. The most frequent substances tested are Petroleum Hydrocarbons in four fractions F1-F4, heavy metals, Volatile Organic Compounds VOC, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons - PAH, Polychlorinated Biphenyl’s PCBs pesticides and solvents. Representative soil & water samples are mostly obtained from boreholes and monitoring wells. The boreholes placements are selected by an initial rationale as being the most likely locations of contaminations.
Prior to any sub-surface investigation, the locations of underground utilities and services are investigated and confirmed to avoid potential disruption to the utilities during the sub-surface investigation. Sub-surface soil and ground water sampling and testing are completed in accordance with the requirements of phase 2 environmental site assessment ESA standard CAN/CSA-Z769-00. Proper chain of custody procedures are assured for the recovered soil and ground water samples.
Constituents of concern are identified, sampled, analyzed and the laboratory results are compared to the applicable Ontario Ministry of Environment Standards. If the phase two environmental site assessment identifies adverse environmental impact in excess of the applicable Ontario Ministry of Environment Guidelines, additional assessment and/or remedial work may be required. A phase 2 environmental site assessment ESA is an investigation to confirm the presence or absence of contamination on a property. If contamination is identified, the phase 2 environmental site assessment ESA findings are used to develop options for dealing with the contamination including removing the contamination from the soil and/or ground water, managing the contamination in-place and or monitoring soil and groundwater conditions to ensure the contamination doesn’t worsen. A phase 2 environmental site assessment costs more and the turnaround time is much longer than the phase 1 encvironmental site assessment.
The turnaround time for a typical phase two environmental site assessment ESA in Ontario including City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region and York Region ((Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Burlington, Etobicoke, Maple, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, North York, Oakville, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, Toronto, Vaughan, Uxbridge, Whitby, Barrie, Burlington, Bowmanville, Cambridge, Hamiton, Georgetown, Guelph, Kitchener, Kingston, London, Milton, Peterborough, Sarnia, Stoneycreek, St Catharines, Waterloo, Windsor and Woodbridge) is about 2 to 4 weeks.
Cost of Combination of a Phase 1 & a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment is $9,440
Geotechnical Engineering Evaluation
A Geotechnical Engineering Evaluation will evaluate the subsurface soil conditions at the proposed development to provide appropriate recommendations for site preparation, foundation design, drainage and other design and earthwork construction considerations. We will provide a Geotechnical Engineering Report summarizing site observations of subsoil and groundwater conditions, field and laboratory testing, with our comments and recommendations regarding the foundation conditions, T-time for septic area subsoils, backfilling, slab-on-grade construction, asphalt pavement design, etc. The turnaround time for a typical Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment and Geotechnical Engineering Evaluation is about 3 to 4 weeks. Our cost of carrying out the Phase 1 & Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment work and Geo Technical Engineering Evaluation is as follows:
Phase 1 & 2 Environmental Site Assessment and Geotechnical Engineering Evaluation
Up to 7 Boreholes $11, 440.00+ HST
- REMEDIATION (CLEANUP) Phase 3 - Environmental Site Assessment - ESA
Fortunately, today's property owners have learned from yesterday's mistakes, and are eager to cleanup contaminations confirmed in their properties. Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment is an investigation involving remediation of a property. When a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment confirms an environmental contamination, a Phase 3 environmental site remediation may be initiated based on the type, degree, and extent of contamination and subsurface conditions at the site. Phase 3 environmental site investigations aim to delineate the physical extent of contamination based on recommendations made in Phase 2 environmental site Assessments. Phase 3 environmental site investigations may involve intensive testing, sampling, and monitoring, “fate and transport” studies and other modeling, and the design of feasibility studies for remediation and remedial plans. This study normally involves assessment of alternative cleanup methods, costs and logistics. Depending on the subsurface conditions, type of contaminant, and other variables, various methods such as excavate and haul of contaminated soil, pump and treatment of groundwater, bioremediation (supply oxygen and nutrients to a contaminated site so that naturally occurring bacteria that degrade hydrocarbons can flourish and breakdown the hydrocarbons), soil vapor extraction (force air through contaminated soil to drive contaminant particles into the air), neutralization in-place, may be used to remove or neutralize the contamination.
Since no two contaminated sites are alike, phase 3 environmental site remediations are customized for every site, and can vary in cost and length of remediation.The cost to of Phase 3 environmental site remediation is based on the location and size of the site; type, extent, and degree of contamination; depth to groundwater; subsurface conditions etc.
Expert building inspection and environmental site assessment provide the property owners ability to effectively manage buildings and protection from environmental liability. We're an employee owned Canadian firm and take pride in our work.
BUILDING EXPERTS CANADA LTD
GTA Square 5215 FINCH AVENUE EAST TORONTO ONTARIO M1S 0C2
416 332 1743 email@example.com Our Service Area includes ajax, aurora, bolton, brampton, burlington, etobicoke, maple, markham, milton, mississauga, newmarket, north york, oakville, oshawa, pickering, richmond hill, scarborough, stouffville, toronto, vaughan, uxbridge, whitby, barrie, burlington, bowmanville, cambridge, hamilton, georgetown, guelph, kitchener, kingston, london, peterborough, sarnia, stoneycreek, st catharines, waterloo, windsor and woodbridge.
Other environmental site assessments firms serving Ontario including City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region and York Region (Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Burlington, Etobicoke, Maple, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, North York, Oakville, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, Toronto, Vaughan, Uxbridge, Whitby, Barrie, Burlington, Bowmanville, Cambridge, Hamilton, Georgetown, Guelph, Kitchener, Kingston, London, Milton, Peterborough, Sarnia, Stoneycreek, St Catharines, Waterloo, Windsor and Woodbridge):
Central Projects Group - Franz Environmental 250 Shields Court Markham Ontario 905 470 6570
Church & Trought Inc 885 Donmills Road Toronto Ontario 416 391 2527
Pinchin Environmental 2470 Milltower Court Mississauga Ontario 905 363 0678
Gas Stations/Petroleum Service Stations(Petro Canada, Esso, Shell, Ultramar, Husky, Olco, Pioneer)
The storage and the dispensing of petroleum products at gas stations pose a risk of subsurface soil and groundwater contamination. The contamination may not be confined to the site itself, because contaminants often spread far beyond their original source. Leaking storage tanks at gas stations are a major source of environmental contamination. And it is not just the property that the gas station is located on that is at risk. Depending on the type of soil, presence of groundwater etc. the contamination can literally spread for many city blocks. The environmental site assessments, type and age of the underground fuel storage tanks, leak detection system and liability insurance are going to be important as any existing or perceived environmental liability could render the property worthless. Due to the increased focus on environmental issues and the related environmental laws focused around environmental liability issues, any financing request will require recently completed Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, a commercial property appraisal by an accredited commercial appraiser, valid contamination insurance policy, and a recent tank test report. If there is a material amount of contamination detected, further levels of testing may also be required as well as the completion of remediation work identified.
Some tank installations pose a risk to the environment and under the regulations they must be permanently withdrawn from service and removed by June 12, 2012. They are as follows.
Single-walled underground tanks that, as of June 12, 2008, lacked corrosion protection and leak detection, groundwater monitoring wells or vapour monitoring wells.
Single-walled underground piping that, as of June 12, 2008, lacked corrosion protection, leak detection, groundwater monitoring wells, vapour monitoring wells, single vertical check valves or mechanical line leak detection devices
If you find a leak in your tank system or a component of the system, you must immediately withdraw the system or component from service until the leak is repaired. In the case of a component, you may continue to operate the system only if that component can be isolated from the system.
Because single-walled underground tanks and piping pose a significant risk to the environment there are specific requirements that apply when these installations leak. If single-walled underground tank leaks, you must immediately and permanently withdraw it from service. You then have two years following the discovery of the leak to remove the system entirely. If single-walled underground piping leaks, it must immediately and permanently be withdrawn from service, removed and, if you wish to bring the system back into operation, replaced by approved piping.
If you have a spill or a leak, you must notify your regional spill-notification centre as soon as possible. If 100 litres or more of petroleum product is released into the environment (i.e. beyond the secondary containment) then you are also required to follow up with a written report to Environment Canada.
If you’re considering installing a system it’s important that you get a copy of the regulations. There are requirements governing who may design and install systems, as well as new technical requirements. As with existing systems, all new systems must have a product transfer area designed to contain spills.
As of June 12, 2010, the person who delivers petroleum or allied petroleum product will no longer be allowed to fill tanks that do not have an Environment Canada identification number visible on the system. Also, delivery personnel are now required to immediately inform the system’s operator of any spills that occur during transfer of the product to your tank, or of any evidence of a leak or spill.
New underground tanks must be double-walled with an interstitial space that can be monitored, and have:
liquid- and vapour-tight connections
New piping must adhere to the following:
bear a certification mark and be of steel, copper or non-metallic construction; or be a flexible metallic hose
no buried or concealed mechanical joints
underground piping, up to 75 mm in diameter, must have secondary containment and, in the case of double-walled steel piping, cathodic protection underground piping larger than 75 mm in diameter must have secondary containment or cathodic protection
Systems that do not have double walls or secondary containment pose a higher risk to the environment because, in the event of a leak or spill, product is released directly into soil and water. Once there, it can migrate over a considerable distance and cause extensive and long-term damage to the environment.
If your system has single-walled underground tanks
1) Carry out a third-party certified tank precision leak test that meets the specifications laid out in section 21 of the regulations by June 12, 2010.
2) Immediately following your initial tank precision leak test, set up an ongoing leak detection or monitoring program using one of the three options below:
carry out a third-party certified tank precision leak detection test once a year, OR
use automatic tank gauging , OR
use continuous in-tank leak detection .
3) Remove your single-walled underground tank no later than June 12, 2012. There are two exceptions:
Steel tanks that have – as of June 12, 2008 – cathodic protection plus either leak detection, groundwater monitoring wells, or vapour monitoring may stay in place.
In addition, single-walled underground tanks made of a material other than steel may stay in place if – as of June 12, 2008 – they have either leak detection, groundwater monitoring wells, or vapour monitoring wells.
4) If your single-walled underground tank leaks, immediately and permanently withdraw it from service. You then have two years from the time you found the leak to remove it.
Dry Cleaning & Environment
There are an estimated 2,500 dry cleaning facilities in Ontario. The most common form of dry cleaning uses a chemical called tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene or "PERC"). Ninety percent of the industry uses perc, and drycleaning accounts for between one-third and one-half of all the perc used in Canada. Perc has been designated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act as a persistent, bio-accumulative chemical that is toxic to the environment.
Dry cleaning uses non-water-based solvents to remove soil and stains from clothes. Early dry cleaners used petroleum-based solvents such as gasoline and kerosene. After World War I, dry cleaners began using chlorinated solvents. These solvents were much less flammable than petroleum solvents and had improved cleaning power. By the mid-1930s, the dry cleaning industry had adopted tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), colloquially called "PERC," as the ideal solvent. It has excellent cleaning power and is stable, nonflammable, and gentle to most garments. PERC was included in the list of 44 substances published as the first Priority Substances List in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on February 11, 1989. These substances were given priority by Environment Canada and Health Canada for assessing whether they are “toxic or capable of becoming toxic” according to the definition specified in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1988. On February 5, 1994, a synopsis of the results of the PERC assessment was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The assessment concluded that PERC occurs in the Canadian environment in quantities that may be harmful to the environment (notably terrestrial plants). Consequently, PERC was added to the CEPA 1999 list of toxic substances - see Canada Gazette, Part II, March 29, 2000.
Under the Federal government’s Toxic Substances Management Policy, PERC fits the management goal to minimize environmental and human health risks by reducing exposure to, and/or release throughout its life-cycle. Following extensive consultation with producers, importers and users of PERC, other levels of governments and environmental groups, the proposed Regulations were published in Canada Gazette, Part I on August 18, 2001. After further consultation, the final Regulations were passed into law on February 27, 2003 and then published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on March 12, 2003. The purpose of the Regulations is to reduce PERC releases to the environment from dry-cleaning facilities. These reductions will be attained by requiring newer, more efficient dry-cleaning machines, by minimizing spills of PERC and by managing the collection and disposal of residue and waste water.
Modern dry cleaning machines use a closed-loop system in which the chilled air is reheated and recirculated. This results in high solvent recovery rates and reduced air pollution. In the early days of dry cleaning, large amounts of perchlorethylene were vented to the atmosphere because it was regarded as cheap and believed to be harmless.
Working solvent from the washing chamber passes through several filtration steps before it is returned to the washing chamber. The first step is a button trap, which prevents small objects such as lint, fasteners, buttons, and coins from entering the solvent pump.
Over time, a thin layer of filter cake (called muck) accumulates on the lint filter. The muck is removed regularly (commonly once per day) and then processed to recover solvent trapped in the muck. Many machines use "spin disc filters," which remove the muck from the filter by centripetal force while it is back washed with solvent.
After the lint filter, the solvent passes through an absorptive cartridge filter. This filter is made from activated clays and charcoal and removes fine insoluble soil and non-volatile residues, along with dyes from the solvent. Finally, the solvent passes through a polishing filter, which removes any soil not previously removed. The clean solvent is then returned to the working solvent tank.
Cooked Powder Residue — the waste material generated by cooking down or distilling muck. Cooked powder residue is a hazardous waste and will contain solvent, powdered filter material (diatomite), carbon, non-volatile residues, lint, dyes, grease, soils, and water. This material should then be disposed of in accordance with local law.
The waste sludge or solid residue from the still contains solvent, water, soils, carbon, and other non-volatile residues. Still bottoms from chlorinated solvent dry cleaning operations are hazardous wastes.
Solvents used in Dry Cleaning:
* Glycol ethers (dipropylene glycol tertiary-butyl ether) (Rynex)(Solvair) — In many cases more effective than perchloroethylene (perc) and in all cases more environmentally friendly. Dipropylene glycol tertiary butyl ether (DPTB) has a flashpoint far above current industry standards, yet at the same time possesses a degree of solvency for water-soluble stains that is at least equivalent to, and in most cases better than, perc and the other glycol ether dry cleaning solvents presently in commercial use. A particular advantage of the DPTB-water solutions of the Rynex product in dry cleaning is that they do not behave like a typical mixture, but, rather, the behavior is the same as a single substance. This permits a better-defined separation upon azeotropic distillation at a lower boiling point and also facilitates reclamation more effectively, at a level of 99% or greater, and also enhances purification using conventional distillation techniques.
* Hydrocarbon — This is most like standard dry cleaning, but the processes use hydrocarbon solvents such as Exxon-Mobil’s DF-2000 or Chevron Phillips' EcoSolv. These petroleum-based solvents are less aggressive than Perc and require a longer cleaning cycle. While flammable, these solvents do not present a high risk of fire or explosion when used properly. Hydrocarbon also contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to smog.
* Liquid silicone (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane or D5) — gentler on garments than Perc and does not cause color loss. Requires a license be obtained to utilize the property of GreenEarth Cleaning. Though considerably more environmentally friendly, the price of it is more than double that of perc, and GreenEarth charges an annual affiliation fee. Degrades within days in the environment to silica and trace amounts of water and CO2. Produces nontoxic, nonhazardous waste. Toxicity tests by Dow Corning shows the solvent to increase the incidence of tumors in female rats (no effects were seen in male rats), but further research concluded that the effects observed in rats are not relevant to humans because the biological pathway that results in tumor formation is unique to rats.(170.6 °F/77 °C flash point).
* Modified hydrocarbon blends (Pure Dry)
* Perchloroethylene — In use since the 1940s, perc is the most common solvent, the "standard" for cleaning performance, and most aggressive cleaner. It can cause color bleeding/loss, especially at higher temperatures, and may destroy special trims, buttons, and beads on some garments. Better for oil-based stains (which account for about 10% of stains) than more common water-soluble stains (coffee, wine, blood, etc). Known for leaving a characteristic chemical smell on garments. Nonflammable.
* Liquid CO2 — Consumer Reports rated this method superior to conventional methods, but the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute commented on its "fairly low cleaning ability" in a 2007 report. Another industry certification group, America's Best Cleaners, counts CO2 cleaners among its members. Machinery is expensive—up to $90,000 more than a perc machine, making affordability difficult for small businesses. Some cleaners with these machines keep traditional machines on-site for the heavier soiled textiles, but others find plant enzymes to be equally effective and more environmentally sustainable. CO2-cleaned clothing does not off-gas volatile compounds. CO2 cleaning is also used for fire- and water-damage restoration due to its effectiveness in removing toxic residues, soot and associated odors of fire.
Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations (SOR/2003-79)
The purpose of the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations is to reduce releases of tetrachloroethylene to the environment from dry-cleaning facilities. These reductions will be attained by requiring newer, more efficient dry-cleaning machines, by minimizing spills of tetrachloroethylene, and by managing the collection and disposal of residues and waste water.
The reporting provisions in these Regulations apply to persons who import or recycle tetrachloroethylene for any use, to persons who sell tetrachloroethylene to dry cleaners, and to dry cleaners. The provisions are harmonized as much as possible with the Solvent Degreasing Regulations. Persons with a diverse commercial market will thereby avoid the inconvenience of reporting their tetrachloroethylene quantities separately, under two related federal regulations, to Environment Canada. The Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations are put forth under the authority provided by subsection 93(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).
Revised Soil, Ground Water And Sediment Standards
One of the most important elements of the new regulatory package is the revised set of Standards for Soil, Ground Water and Sediment. The new Standards (dated July 27, 2009 but released in the first week of January 2010) will not come into effect until July 1, 2011. They will replace the existing Soil, Ground Water and Sediment Standards dated March 9, 2004. Although the existing Standards will remain in effect for approximately 18 months, proponents of ongoing projects should pay close attention to the transitional provisions described in Section 6, below.
The new Standards effect changes in two principal ways: They implement 1) more rigorous standards and 2) new standards where none existed previously. Some highlights include the following:
Generally more stringent soil and groundwater criteria will take effect for chlorinated solvents; for example, the non-potable groundwater criterion for perchloroethylene will change from 50μg/L to 1.6μg/L, and the criterion for trichloroethylene will change from 50μg/L to 1.6μg/L;
The Standards for Soil, Groundwater and Sediment are often used in aid of interpreting legal reporting obligations, to assess impacts to property values, in negotiating real estate transactions, and in pleading civil claims. The creation of more stringent Standards in some instances may also have the practical effect of forcing some owners or proponents to move to a risk assessment approach because a generic clean up option is no longer considered feasible, either technically or financially.
Printing & Environment
Many solvents and inks used in the printing industry emit a volatile organic compound (VOC) as atmospheric vapour. Emissions can be direct through stacks and vents, or fugitive. VOCs are photo-reactive and when they combine with nitrous oxide emissions and particulate from cars, trucks and industry and are synthesized by ultra violet rays in sunlight, they produce low-level ozone. That is why “smog”, as a dirty yellow pollutant, is most noticeable in summer. It is a serious health concern.
Printing operations could pose some environmental concerns due to potential spills leaks or migration of chlorinated solvents through natural and/or preferential pathways. The stricter pollution regulations including requirements to comply with the P2 (Pollution Prevention) waste water bylaw in Toronto, avoidance, elimination, reduction and/or substitution of the use of chlorinated solvents, re-use and/or recycling of chlorinated solvents, proper waste, spill and contamination programs have reduced the potential spills leaks or migration of chlorinated solvents from printing industry in the last decade.
Environmental Protection Act
The purpose of the Environmental Protection Act "is to provide for the protection and conservation of the natural environment." To ensure this, the Minister of Environment and Energy is empowered to administer and enforce the province's environmental legislation. This can take the form of monitoring, recommending appropriate abatement action, or prosecuting polluters. Many times all three are undertaken in the ministry's efforts to get tough with polluters.
REFORM OF ONTARIO’S ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVALS SYSTEM:
Bill 68, the “Open for Business Act, 2010” amends some 50 or so pieces of provincial legislation administered by different ministries, the most significant of which are to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the Ontario Water Resources Act
(OWRA). The Bill replaces much of the existing certificate of approvals system with a more streamlined
risk-based approvals model. The current system requires air, land and water approval applications to go through the same approvals process regardless of complexity or environmental risk of the proposed activity.
The Bill proposes a system that would have one of two avenues, depending on the type of activity for which approval is sought: (a) a “Registry System” for low-risk activities and, (b) a new “Environmental Compliance
Approval” (ECA) system for higher-risk activities, in place of all current certificates of approval. The target for changes to the approval systems is September 2012.
• Registry System:
A Registry would be created through implementing regulations to be developed by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Applicants would simply have to register their activities with the MOE. The Registry would be a database of specified types of facilities or activities that do not need to apply for an ECA, provided they meet specified eligibility requirements.
The Registry is intended to be simpler and quicker; an on-line electronic application process geared to lower-risk, standard requirements, well understood or relatively less complex activities or sectors. Activities would be subject to existing environmental standards. The Registry would comprise an online self-registration of activities followed by MOE confirmation of registration when registration is complete. An accountable person, i.e. facility owner or manager etc., will have to declare that the submitted information is accurate.
ENVIRONMENTAL REGISTRATION FOR AUTO BODY SHOPS
This new process is more responsive to businesses, takes into considering industry association and paint company input, and takes advantage of current technology while addressing the increasing complex approvals process.
Many shops understand that the Ontario Ministry of Environment must approve any spray booth activity, including new equipment or even changing to the use of waterbased paints. This approval, known as a certificate or “Schedule 9 air permit” was mandatory and could be very complex.
This new proposed process replaces the Certificate of Approval with a “Registry” that the shop, if qualified, would simply sign and agree to maintain certain “standards”. Shops that met “standards” such as a minimum stack height, 2 liters of paint use an hour or less, painting only from 7 am to 7 pm, a specific exit velocity or better from the stack and other requirements would be automatically registered. One of the most important changes is the proposal that if a shop sprays less than 2 liters of paint in an hour, then distance separation setbacks will not be required.
The province is also proposing the use of high efficiency spray guns, a training program and product and waste segregation.
If a shop were unable to meet these Registry standards then they would revert to the online approval form now in use.
A copy of the proposal can be reviewed on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry web site under EBR number 011-1959.
New Environmental Regulations Effective July 01, 2011
The due diligence process for Phase 1 environmental site assessments have become more complicated due to the amendments to Ontario's environmental legislation, O. Reg. 153/04.
Phase 1 ESA’s now investigate at larger 'Phase 1 Study Area', and consider more activities that could contaminate the subject property. This results in more Phase 2 environmental site assessments being recommended, to test the soil and groundwater for environmental contamination. While this costs more time and money, of greater concern is whether the property will pass or fail the lab tests.
One of the goals of the new legislation is to recognize developments in science regarding the impacts of pollutants on humans and the surrounding ecology. 65% of pollutants will thus have more stringent numbers in the new regulation. And some of the most common offenders – chlorinated solvents, oils and gas - will see significant reductions in their limits. Therefore we see many more properties being tested, and more properties failing, under the new stricter guidelines.
The new regulation is intended to facilitate, if not encourage, the redevelopment of Brownfield sites. A Record of Site Condition (RSC) must be filed whenever a property use changes to a more sensitive use as determined under the regulations. Otherwise, it is open to any landowner to file an RSC with the MOE-administered Environmental Site Registry in order to confirm that a property complies with the Ontario soil and groundwater standards, including site-specific risk-assessed standards, and obtain a degree of immunity from future government remediation orders.
The amendments to the RSC Regulation include a more predictable and transparent process that will clarify what environmental site assessment work must be done to submit an RSC.
The regulatory changes include:
* Specified minimum requirements for environmental site assessments (both Phase I and II ESAs)
* Changes to the RSC submission and filing process
* Strengthened Soil and Groundwater Site Condition Standards
* New conflict of interest restrictions for qualified persons.
New Phase I ESA requirements include:
* Minimum requirements:
* Records review
* Site reconnaissance
* Review and evaluation of information
* Determining whether a Phase II ESA is required based on identification of potentially contaminating activities and property use.
* Developing a Phase I conceptual site model to:
* Provide a summary of site conditions
* Determine whether a Phase II ESA is required
* Communicate the results to the property owner.
New Phase II ESA requirements include minimum requirements for planning and conducting the site investigation; interpreting and evaluating information; and reporting. Additional optional assessments are specified for a modified generic risk assessment.
STREAMLINED RISK-ASSESSMENT PROCESS (MODIFIED GENERIC RISK ASSESSMENT)
There is however hope for some contaminated sites, often referred to as ‘Brownfields’. The Ministry of Environment has introduced a new "Modified Generic Risk Assessment" (MGRA) model, which will allow some contaminated sites to be deemed acceptable for redevelopment (which is one of the stated goals of the new legislation: streamlining the process for redeveloping Brownfield sites).
A new "modified generic" or streamlined risk assessment has been created to provide an alternative to meeting generic standards and the traditional risk assessment, where appropriate. This streamlined approach is expected to be less time-consuming and more cost-effective.
A modified generic risk assessment can be prepared using a web-based "approved model". This will allow for convenient and controlled modification of the Ministry's generic site condition standards for use in an RSC.
The model can be adjusted to match an applicant's site-specific conditions, supported by site-specific data. Modification of any parameters must satisfy requirements laid out in Schedule E Table 4 (Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment Requirements for Modified Generic Risk Assessments) of the RSC Regulation. Site characterization requirements are intended to ensure any changes from the default parameters are appropriate and representative of the property.
The model can be adjusted to include site-specific conditions such as:
* Soil type
* Fraction of organic carbon (soil and aquifer)
* Distance to closest surface water body
* Minimum depth below grade to the highest water table
* Aquifer horizontal hydraulic conductivity and gradient
It can also be used to define incomplete exposure pathways:
* Simple risk management measures designed by the ministry (three types of caps and three types of building controls)
* Meeting soil vapour screening levels (supported by site-specific data)
* Modified ecological potential.
STRENGTHENED SOIL AND GROUNDWATER SITE CONDITION STANDARDS IN ONTARIO
The site condition standards contained in the Soil, Ground Water and Sediment Standards for Use Under Part XV.1 of the Environmental Protection Act, March 9, 2004 – were based on science available prior to 1996 and the MOE was of the view that they required updating. These changes also take effect as of July 1, 2011 and include the following:
* Improved models for soil and groundwater
* Protection for additional ecological species
* Updated toxicity information and strengthened standards
* New standards developed for several contaminants:
* Dioxane – 1,4
* Hexane (n)
* Petroleum hydrocarbons in non-potable groundwater
* Standards for shallow soil properties and properties within 30m of a water body have been clarified:
* Two new tables will apply to shallow soil properties
* Two new tables will apply to properties within 30m of a water body
* A previous table, Extract and Groundwater Standards, was removed.
For example, the following selected changes will occur to the existing named generic non-potable groundwater standards (Tables 3 and 5), depending upon the described soil conditions:
1,900 µg/L (2004) – coarse soil – 44 µg/L (2011)
12,000 µg/L (2004) – medium/fine soil – 430 µg/L (2011)
28,000 µg/L (2004) – coarse soil – 2,300 µg/L (2011)
50,000 µg/L (2004) – medium/fine soil – 2,300 µg/L (2011)
5.0 µg/L (2004) – coarse soil – 1.6 µg/L (2011)
5.0 µg/L (2004) – medium/fine soil – 17 µg/L (2011)
5,900 µg/L (2004) – coarse soil – 18,000 µg/L (2011)
37,000 µg/L (2004) – medium/fine soil – 18,000 µg/L (2011)
50 µg/L (2004) – coarse soil – 1.6 µg/L (2011)
50 µg/L (2004) – medium/fine soil – 17 µg/L (2011)
5,600 µg/L (2004) – coarse soil – 4,200 µg/L (2011)
35,000 µg/L (2004) – medium/fine soil – 4,200 µg/L (2011)
The Environmental Protection Act states that:
No person shall discharge into the natural environment any contaminant, and no person responsible for a source of contaminant shall permit the discharge into the natural environment of any contaminant from the source of contaminant, in an amount, concentration or level in excess of that prescribed by the regulations. R.S.O. 1990, c.E.19, s.6(l).
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MacKenzie, Ray, Heron & Edwardh - commercial appraisal service
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Paul Stewart Stewart Valuation Ltd - commercial appraiser
AACI-qualified, bank approved commercial appraisal service
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Ted Wojas Wojas Appraisal Group Inc - commercial appraiser
AACI-qualified, bank approved commercial appraisal service
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Environmental Insurance Brokers in Ontario
Senior Environmetal Underwriter
555 Burnhamthorpe Road, 8th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M9C 2Y3
(416) 342 1159 Toll Free 888 868 8367
Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd
505 Consumers Road, Suite 308
Toronto M2J 4V5 416-487-5200
Canadian Insurance Brokers Inc
1 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto, Ontario M4P 3A1
(416)-486-0951 Fax: 416-489-5311
Aaxel Insurance Brokers Ltd.
202 Main Street North
Brampton, L6V1P1 (905) 796-7600
1 (866) 358-2860
Fax: (905) 796-9700
HUB International Ontario Limited
2265 Upper Middle Road East 7th Floor
Oakville L6H 0G5 905-847-5500
Fax: 1 -(866)-903-0208