On July 1, 2008 the long-anticipated Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals Society ("the CSAP Society") became fully operational in British Columbia.

The CSAP Society is a self-regulating professional society whose members (called Approved Professionals) are authorized to recommend that the Ministry of the Environment (the "Ministry") approve applications for specific legal instruments to be issued in respect of contaminated sites, pursuant to recent amendments to the Environmental Management Act (the "EMA"). As a result of these regulatory amendments, the CSAP Society has been delegated primary responsibility and oversight with respect to so-called "non-high risk" contaminated sites, which will allow the Ministry to focus its resources on procedures and applications related to high-risk sites. The CSAP Society is also responsible for qualifying, overseeing and conducting assessments of Approved Professionals, developing practice guidelines and operational procedures, and responding to complaints regarding Approved Professionals.

With the CSAP Society fully operational, applications for contaminated sites services that must be recommended by an Approved Professional should be sent directly to the CSAP Society. The CSAP Society will receive, process and forward all recommendations by Approved Professionals to the Ministry, once the required documentation and fees have been received and the CSAP Society considers the application to be correct and complete. The Ministry continues to have the final say on issuing all legal instruments and retains full control of high-risk sites.

Under the new regime, Approved Professionals can issue recommendations for the following applications:

  • Approvals in Principle of remediation plans
  • Certificates of Compliance
  • Determinations of Contaminated Sites
  • Soil Relocation Agreements

However, applications addressing sites subject to human health and ecological risk assessment and high-risk sites are not included in the regime.

If an Approved Professional has recommended a requested instrument, the Ministry may issue the requested instrument without further review. These changes are anticipated to speed up applications addressing nonhigh risk sites, a positive benefit for applicant landowners and developers.

More information on the procedure to be followed can be found on the CSAP Society website, and applications may be completed online. The CSAP Society website is found at http://www.csapsociety.bc.ca/