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 (AEP) 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 ESA reports that are submitted to AEP must include a Record of Site Condition (RSC) Form.
If the facility is regulated by the AER relevant environmental site assessment reports submitted to AER must use the AER version of the form. For more information please contact the AER. Additional information can be found on the AER website.
The AEP Record of Site Condition Form can be obtained at:
The RSC 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
If you submit your Phase 2 ESA to the department without this form, it will be considered incomplete.
NEW: A Remedial Action Plan (RAP) can now be created and submitted in the RSC Form. Guidance on completing a RAP can be found in the Remedial Action Plan Guide (AEP, December 2020).
Further information on the Record of Site Condition form can be found at:
- Record of Site Condition (RSC) and Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Form (PDF, 1.2 MB)
- Remedial Action Plan Guide (December 2020)
- Record of Site Condition User Guide
Professional sign off
A professional must sign all submitted reports that support information provided in the RSC form.
Find out who can sign off on reports at: Professional sign off.
The RSC form is not intended for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) that might be required under Part 2 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).
For more information, see the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
Environmental Site Assessment Repository
The 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 02/2010
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)
Land Policy Branch, Policy and Planning Division
Alberta Environment and Parks
10th Floor, 9820 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6