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The objective of a Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) is to assess the environmental risk at a site caused by present or past use, or present or past activities on neighbouring sites. These studies are usually required by financial institutions, insurers and lenders as part of real estate transactions, or as part of due diligence.

Phase I ESAs are carried out according to the general principles in standard CSA Z768-01, MELCC guides (Guide de caractérisation des terrains, Guide d’intervention – Protection des sols et réhabilitation des terrains contaminés) and CCME recommendations. These assessments include the following steps, among others:

  • Research into historical documents, such as deeds, aerial photographs, fire insurance plans, municipal documents, MELCC and RBQ documents, inspection reports, land use map, topographical maps, prior studies, etc.;
  • An inspection of the site being studied to identify activities or facilities on the site itself or on neighbouring sites likely to have an environmental impact on the site being studied;
  • Interviews with people likely to have information on the historical use of the site being studied;
  • An assessment and a synthesis of information to identify potential contamination issues with the site being studied.

The Groupe SCP Environnement Inc. team has worked together for years and knows how to effectively manage Phase I ESA projects. Over the years, Groupe SCP Environnement Inc. has developed project management processes, such as standardized Phase I report templates, ensuring that all elements needed for each type of study are covered and increasing the efficiency of producing and reviewing reports. Our team initiates the whole access to information application and request for historical documents process the same day as we receive notice from our clients that they have accepted our bid.

We have several databases, such as fire insurance plans, aerial photos and other historical plans. These speed the process of identifying potential elements of environmental risk. Sometimes we can even visit the site on the same day as we receive the acceptance notice.

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