How Risk Assessment Can Help Property Owners

Are you facing practical challenges or project costs that prevent full site remediation and qualification for financing? Many site owners find themselves in this predicament. Risk Assessment (RA) represents a viable option for undertaking environmental due diligence when full site remediation is not possible. Here is a closer look at the Risk Assessment process and how it can help site owners.

What Is a Risk Assessment?

Risk Assessment may become necessary if a property fails to meet generic environmental criteria, specifically the environmental site standards prescribed in O.Reg.15314. During a Risk Assessment, qualified experts consult with the Ministry of the Environment, Parks and Conservation (MECP) to calculate the probability that a hazard will cause harm to humans and the ecological environment under specific exposure conditions. This calculation is then used to create property specific standards (PSSs) that will protect the uses that are being proposed for the unique site. In other words, a Risk Assessment allows property owners to develop less stringent, site-specific criteria to meet an appropriate standard of care, and is generally more cost-effective than full remediation to generic site standards. At the end of the process, a Record of Site Condition (RSC) can be obtained, providing site-owners with acceptance from the MECP when following a set of site-specific Risk Management Measures (RMM).

What Does a Risk Assessment Include?

A Risk Assessment through AEL includes the following:

  • Thorough Analysis – A Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) are conducted to determine the risk of adverse health effects to humans and flora/fauna, respectively. This assessment is based on a thorough analysis of the site-specific Contaminants of Concern (COCs) and their associated exposure pathways.
  • Submission Process – Once the risk of exposure has been calculated via the HHRA and ERA, a Pre-Submission Form (PSF) is filed to the MECP to identify the need for further investigation. Following approval of the PSF, you can decide whether to submit a Modified Generic RA (MGRA), a Tier 3 RA or a Streamlined Tier 3 RA for your site. Our team of experts will then assist you to choose the correct RA format for your distinct needs. The right RA format is dependent upon your personal goals for the property, the timeline, and available capital.
  • Risk Management Measures (RMM) – After the correct RA format has been submitted and approved by the MECP, Risk Management Measures (RMM) can begin. Risk management is the process used to control or reduce the level of risk determined by the RA. Once again, these measures are customized to meet your personal goals for the property.

How Can a Risk Assessment Help Property Owners?

A Risk Assessment can help property owners to undertake environmental due diligence and meet an appropriate standard of care. When a property does not meet generic environmental criteria, risk assessment strategies can be used to help your property meet compliance standards and be viable for bank financing. This is achieved through careful analysis, the correct RA format to meet site-specific needs, and customized Risk Management Measures. 

There are cases also, where some remediation is recommended in combination with an RA in order to satisfy MECP standards.

The AEL team is with you every step of the way. We are here to explain your options and help you make informed decisions about your site and whether Risk Assessment is a viable option for you. Contact Us today to learn more about the Risk Assessment process.

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