Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is the first intrusive step in site characterization. In a Phase II ESA, an environmental consultant (or consulting team) visits the site to test the Areas of Potential Environmental Concern (APECs) which were identified in the Phase I ESA. O. Reg. 153/04 outlines the requirements that all Phase II ESAs in Ontario must meet.
When completing a Phase II ESA, a sampling plan is established based on each site’s unique APECs. Work generally requires several members of the environmental consulting team to be present on the site along with a drilling subcontractor to reach sub-surface samples. The team investigates the site by taking surface and sub-surface soil samples, surface and groundwater samples, and other materials on site as necessary.
AEL is at the forefront of the environmental engineering industry in Ontario through its use of on-site testing technology. Using on-site testing, AEL is able to efficiently screen a high quantity of samples within minutes of soil sampling on the site. This screening data gives the AEL team a quick and accurate picture of any hotspots in the soil, and provides the site owner with a better site understanding. Samples are selected from the screening results to submit for laboratory analysis at a certified (CALA) laboratory.
AEL’s team uses strict quality assurance and quality control procedures including the labelling of samples with unique barcode identification label, and cross-referencing sample descriptions on field borehole logs and in GIS software. These procedures eliminate out of sequence or erroneous logs which can significantly affect the cost of the Phase II Site Assessment and accurate site understanding. The use of barcodes on samples is part of AEL’s industry-leading approach to Phase II Environmental Site Assessments.
The laboratory results that are analyzed by AEL’s senior engineers and environmental scientists. Laboratory results must be compared to appropriate standards as there are various different standards which could apply, and using the wrong standards could result in inaccurate conclusions about the site. It is the task of the AEL team to determine which standards are relevant to the site, considering the client’s goals. Results are then summarized in a report which is written to be clear and understandable.
From the Phase II ESA, AEL determines whether site remediation (Phase III ESA) is required.
For an easy-to-understand guide on choosing an environmental engineering company for your site assessment project, download our 9 Questions To Ask Your Environmental Consultant.