dedicated landAs part of the development process, many municipalities will request a portion of the property to be redeveloped be dedicated to the municipality.  The dedicated land is often to widen roads or sidewalks or for public amenities such as parkland. If the property to be redeveloped is considered a contaminated site under the BC Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR), then in addition to cleaning up the property being redeveloped, the dedicated land will also need to be remediated.

Typically, a contaminated site will require a CSR Instrument (e.g. a Certificate of Compliance which states that the property has been cleaned up or a Determination which states that the property was never contaminated) be obtained for the site, prior to granting occupancy.

Due to liability provisions in the Environmental Management Act, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (BC ENV) are reluctant to issue Instruments that cover land parcels with more than one owner, so separate Instruments are typically required for the dedicated land and the property.

There are some things to consider when redeveloping a contaminated site where there will be land dedication to the municipality.

If an Instrument is to be issued for a property that is not owned by you then the requirements of Administrative Guidance 11: Expectations and Requirements for Contaminant Migration (AG11) must be followed. This involves formal consultations including notice to the other property owner that an Instrument is being sought, sharing all relevant investigation findings, providing a draft of the Instrument being applied for and seeking comment on the application.  There are mandated periods for the other party to comment and the entire process takes time and money to complete.  Therefore, if you transfer ownership of the dedicated land to the municipality prior to obtaining an Instrument, then you will have to go through the AG11 process.  If the land is transferred after the Instrument is obtained then there are no AG11 requirements, as you owned the dedicated land when the Instrument was issued.

You should also let your environmental consultant know early in the process which portion of your site is to be dedicated.  This way sufficient soil, groundwater and vapour samples can be collected from those lands to support the Instrument application.  This avoids the extra costs of your consultants having to remobilize out to the site to collect samples in the dedicated lands area long after all the investigation work has been completed.  When this happens during construction, there can be added problems with access to the area and/or disruption to construction schedule.

In summary, when redeveloping a property where land will be dedicated to the municipality, talk to your environmental consultant early in the process so that you can determine the best approach to dealing with obtaining an Instrument for these lands.

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