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Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan: 2011–2012 Annual Report

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Executive Summary

Established by the Government of Canada in 2005, the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is a 15-year, $4.2-billion program. Its primary objective is to reduce environmental and human-health risks and the related financial liabilities associated with federal contaminated sites.

In Phase I of FCSAP(2005–2011), the federal departments, agencies and consolidated Crown corporations that have roles as custodians of federal sites made significant progress in addressing contamination. FCSAP Phase II was approved in 2011–2012 to continue this work for five years, with a focus on the remediation of the highest-priority sites. A third phase is planned for 2016–2020. This report describes the progress made in 2011–2012, the first year of Phase II.

Nationally, federal departments involved in FCSAP reported total expenditures of $230 million in 2011–2012. This includes $15 million spent on assessments, $194 million spent on the remediation and risk-management of federal contaminated sites, and $21 million for program management activities. In this year, the program achieved several results:

  • Custodians conducted assessments at 849 sites to characterize environmental conditions; of the 141 sites that were fully assessed, 26% required remediation or risk-management, while 74% required no further action, as they pose no significant risk.
  • Custodians conducted remediation and risk-management activities at 408 sites; at 43 of these, they completed the remediation process, generating improvements in environmental quality and reduction of federal financial liability.
  • Approximately 1,085 jobs were created, with an estimated 5.2 direct jobs created for every million dollars spent on FCSAPprojects.

These results are reflected in the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory (FCSI), which is maintained by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. At the end of 2011–2012, the FCSI listed approximately 22,200 sites. A comparison of FCSI data in 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 shows that the number of sites suspected of contamination decreased by 29% during this period. There was also a 7% decrease in the number of active sites and a 37% increase in the number of closed sites, where no further action was required. Approximately 83% of expenditures reported to the FCSI in 2011–2012 were attributed to FCSAP, as not all contaminated federal sites are part of the program.

Contamination of federal sites may translate into liability for the Government of Canada, when appropriate accounting criteria are met. The total liability for the remediation of contaminated sites increased by $419 million to $4.773B during 2011–2012. Adjusted liability, an estimate of the liability for sites eligible for FCSAPfunding, increased by $472 million to $3.416 billion during 2011–2012. Total liability for FCSAP-eligible sites will likely decline in future years, as custodians add fewer new sites to the federal inventory and remediate more existing sites.

For questions or comments on this report, contact:

FCSAPSecretariat
Compliance Promotion and Contaminated Sites Division
Environmental Protection Operations Directorate
Environment Canada
351 St. Joseph Boulevard, 17th Floor
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Email: fcsap.pascf@ec.gc.ca

Abbreviations and Acronyms

AAFCAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AANDCAboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
ADMAssistant Deputy Minister
CCMECanadian Council of Ministers of the Environment
CSCCorrectional Service of Canada
DFOFisheries and Oceans Canada
DGDirector General
DNDDepartment of National Defence
ECEnvironment Canada
ESAEnvironmental site assessment
FCSAPFederal Contaminated Sites Action Plan
FCSIFederal Contaminated Sites Inventory
HCHealth Canada
HSCHighest step completed
JCCBIJacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
LEDLands and Economic Development
NAONorthern Affairs Organization
NCCNational Capital Commission
NCSCSNational Classification System for Contaminated Sites
NRCanNatural Resources Canada
NWANational Wildlife Area
PCAParks Canada Agency
PCBPolychlorinated biphenyl
PWGSCPublic Works and Government Services Canada
RCMPRoyal Canadian Mounted Police
R/RMRemediation / Risk-Management
TBSTreasury Board of Canada Secretariat
TCTransport Canada
VOCVolatile organic compound
Executive Summary