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Brownfields Ground Water Sampling Regulatory Amendment

March 22, 2021

 The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has finalized regulatory amendments to O. Reg. 153/04 (Records of Site Condition) related to ground water sampling at sites that no longer have soil to be sampled and that meet a range of other prescribed conditions. These amendments support commitments in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to remove barriers to redevelopment and revitalization of brownfields in a way that continues to be protective of human health and the environment

These amendments allow a qualified person (a professional engineer or professional geoscientist), to use their professional judgement to assess the need for ground water sampling. This discretion is limited to sites required to complete a phase two environmental site assessment in order to file a record of site condition, where all the soil down to the bedrock surface was removed from the site without adequate soil sampling being completed. Previously, O. Reg. 153/04 required the sampling and analysis of ground water as part of the site assessment.  In accordance with the new amendments and other ministry conditions, ground water sampling is not necessary provided a qualified person submits a written rationale that considers factors such as the types of contaminants present, the type of soil and the type of bedrock geology, and stating that they believe the ground water meets applicable standards. To ensure 

ground water sources stay protected, along with other ministry conditions, the existing ground water testing will still be required on sites that:

  • use ground water as drinking water or for agricultural purposes;
  • are located in a designated well-head protection area; and
  • are within 30 meters of a surface water body. 

For more information
please visit the Environmental Registry posting by clicking on the link
Guidance material will be available through this notice posting in the coming weeks.

Questions about these amendments may be directed to:
Sanjay Coelho,
Senior Policy Analyst,
Environmental Policy Branch