City of Vancouver Remediation Policy Changes

Oct 5, 2015

As of September 16, 2015, the City of Vancouver has amended their Remediation on City Streets Policy Previously, the City of Vancouver had required the upper 3 meters of soil within City roadways to be remediated to the Contaminated Sites Regulations (CSR) residential land use (RL) standards.  According to the CSR, the industrial land use (IL) standards are considered applicable to roadways; therefore, in order to more closely align City policies with the requirements of the CSR, the City has made the following amendments, effective immediately:

  • In roadways and laneways, soil contamination is required to be remediated to CSR IL standards;
  • In boulevards and street medians, the upper meter of soil is required to be remediated to CSR RL standards (and the CSR IL standards are applicable below the first meter);
  • Applicable groundwater standards should be selected as per the Water Use Determination provided in Technical Guidance 6 of the CSR; and
  • Soil vapour is required to be remediated to CSR IL standards.

As before, Remediation Policy Agreements will determine the reporting and regulator requirements for each site and a separate Ministry issued Certificate of Compliance will be required for remediated City lands. However, if boulevards and/or medians are remediated as part of the City lands, the City has indicated that they will accept a Certificate of Compliance in one of two ways:

  • Option 1 – A Certificate of Compliance that indicates that the soil was remediated to CSR RL standards in the upper meter of soil beneath the boulevard and/or median(s), and the remaining soil was remediated to CSR IL standards; OR
  • Option 2 – A Certificate of Compliance that indicates that soil was remediated to CSR IL standards, accompanied by a Contaminated Sites Approved Professional (CSAP) approved/signed letter indicating that the CSR RL standards were met in the upper meter of soil below the boulevard and/or median(s).

For sites with Remediation Policy Agreements in place prior to September 16, 2015, remediation may continue in accordance with the existing Remediation Agreement, or remediation on City lands may continue in accordance with the new Remediation on City Streets Policy.

In addition to remediating City lands to numerical standards as defined in the CSR, the option for a risk based approach is available; however, it will require a formal application to the City and approvals will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on how Keystone Environmental can assist you with this or other Environmental issues please contact Raminder Grewal at 604-430-0671 or

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