When a substance is released, it is essential to conduct an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). The Alberta Environmental Site Assessment Standard provides minimum requirements for ESA site characterization and reporting at contaminated or potentially contaminated sites in Alberta.
The ESA is based on the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).
The ESA Standard should be used by:
- site managers
- environmental consultants, such as project managers who plan and review ESA projects and reports
- other environmental practitioners who implement site-investigation programs
ESA standard scope
The ESA Standard supports ESA information provided in the Contaminated Sites Policy Framework and provides more details on what to include in ESAs for Alberta Environment and Parks and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
The Standard expands on and supports environmental legislation and guidelines such as:
- Alberta Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines
- Alberta Tier 2 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines
- Contaminated Sites Policy Framework
- legislation, including acts, regulations and codes of practice
The Standard also explains the site evaluation and reporting processes, including:
- Phase 1 ESA
- Phase 2 ESA
- confirmatory investigation
The Phase 2 ESA Checklist is designed for the site owner, consultant and report reviewers to ensure the site is thoroughly assessed, the substance(s) delineated and the reports contain the appropriate information for remediation and/or risk management.
The Phase 2 ESA Checklist forms the basis for Director reporting requirements for Phase 2 ESA reports that must be submitted to the Department under the EPEA.
Find the checklist at: Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist
Record of Site Condition forms
As of May 1, 2008, all Phase 2 reports must include a Record of Site Condition (RSC) Form. The form must also be completed for remediation and risk-management projects.
The Director requires this form as a regulatory reporting requirement for all Phase 2 ESA, remediation and risk management projects submitted to the Department as part of the Release Reporting Regulation. This includes reports conducted on approved facilities, upstream oil and gas sites, petroleum storage tank sites, other commercial and industrial facilities and any other locations.
If you submit your Phase 2 ESA without this form, it will be refused as incomplete.
- Record of Site Condition (RSC) Form (DOC, 445 KB)
The form is used to track and update the progress of assessment and remediation. It must be completed, signed and submitted with the following:
- Phase 2 ESA report for initial intrusive site investigation to screen for contaminants
- Phase 2 ESA report delineating spills and releases to determine horizontal and vertical contamination
- remediation report describing how the contaminated area was remediated
- confirmatory data report showing remediation meets Alberta Tier 1 or Tier 2 Soil and Groundwater Guidelines
- risk-management plan or exposure control plan to monitor soil and/or groundwater
A new version of the RSC form was released on April 6, 2009. Submit this form in the following situations:
- for new information
- for reports submitted between May 1, 2008 and April 6, 2009 without the RSC form
Further information on the Record of Site Condition form can be found at:
- Contaminated Sites Management Record of Site Condition Form - Factsheet
- Record of Site Condition Form (DOC, 445 KB)
- Record of Site Condition Frequently Asked Questions
- Record of Site Condition User Guide
Professional sign off
For petroleum storage tank sites and approved facilities a professional must sign all submitted reports that support information provided in the RSC form. For upstream oil and gas sites, a professional must sign off all Phase 2 ESA and remediation work completed after January 1, 2008 and submitted with the RSC form.
Find out who can sign off on reports at: Professional sign off.
Further information on professional declaration and sign-off requirements and responsibilities for ESA, remediation and reclamation work for reclamation certificates in Alberta can be found at: Professional Declaration Requirements Reclamation Certificates.
The RSC form is not intended for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) that might be required under Part 2 of EPEA.
For more information, see the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
Environmental Site Assessment Repository
RSC forms and associated ESA reports that have been received by the Department are available on the Environmental Site Assessment Repository.
The RSC form is a public record. Information is disclosed as per:
- Section 35 of the EPEA
- Disclosure of Information Regulation
- Ministerial Order 23/2004
Reasonable efforts have been made to minimize collection of personal information where possible.
Personal information on the form is collected under the authority of section 12(c) and other provisions of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and is in compliance with sections 33(a) and 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). Personal information collected on this form will be used by the Department for the purposes of administering its programs.
Please see the following manuals for more about environmental site characterization:
- Guidance Manual for Environmental Site Characterization in Support of Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment: Volume 1 Guidance Manual – CCME (PDF, 5.1 MB)
- Guidance Manual for Environmental Site Characterization in Support of Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment: Volume 2 Checklists – CCME (PDF, 411 KB)
- Guidance Manual for Environmental Site Characterization in Support of Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment: Volume 3 Suggested Operating Procedures – CCME (PDF, 2 MB)
To connect with the Policy and Planning Division:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Land Policy Branch, Policy and Planning Division
Alberta Environment and Parks
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
10th Floor, 9820 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6