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Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan Annual Report 2008-2009

4 Program Achievements: Program Administration

4.1 Expert Support and Secretariat Funding

In 2008-09, a total of $14.1 million was spent for Secretariat and Expert Support Services; $1.2 million was reallocated internally and $2.4 million was lapsed. The expenditure breakdown is provided in Table 6.

Table 6: Summary of FCSAP Program Management Expenditures for Secretariat and Expert Support Services (2008-09)
DepartmentPlanned FCSAP ExpendituresAdjustmentsActual FCSAP ExpendituresVariance (Approved + Adjustment – Expenditure)
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Expert Support3,335,637-300,0002,303,048732,589
Environment Canada    
Secretariat3,466,020 2,161,413 
Expert Support3,174,355 2,506,866 
Total EC Secretariat/Expert Support6,640,375 4,668,2791,972,096
Health Canada Expert Support6,688,829 5,829,791859,038
Public Works and Government Services900,000 809,31590,685
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat480,804 497,67616-16,872
Total Expenditures18,045,645-300,00014,108,1093,637,536

Table 6 – Text Equivalent

The main factor contributing to the variance within Departments (as identified by the Expert Support departments and the Secretariat) was the inability to staff vacant positions funded by the program and rescheduled projects.

4.2 Key Activities

4.2.1 Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan Secretariat

In 2008-09, the FCSAP Secretariat provided ongoing support, advice, guidance and FCSAP program administration. The ongoing activities generally consisted of: coordinating the fall 2008 project submission process and securing funding for custodians; coordinating CSMWG and the Federal Contaminated Sites ADM Steering committees, subcommittees and working group sessions to discuss and resolve issues related to the FCSAP program; providing training to custodians and expert support departments; maintaining and upgrading the Interdepartmental Data Exchange Application (IDEA) application to meet the continually changing needs of the program; and responding to ministerial dockets and requests for information related to the program.

The FCSAP Secretariat also undertook the following activities related to enhancing the program. 

  • Conducted initial consultations with participating departments on the future FCSAP program.
  • Completed and coordinated the approval of the FCSAP Formative Evaluation Plan.
  • Developed a FCSAP Performance Measurement Strategy.
  • Conducted a scoping study related to reporting of Liability Estimates for Federal Contaminated Sites.
  • Initiated the development of a risk mitigation analysis, the FCSAPdecision-making process, and the Five Year Science Plan.
  • Created the Director General Committee and coordinated a meeting with this group.
  • Coordinated the project and funding proposal for the Accelerated FCSAP program announced in Budget 2009.
  • Assisted TBSwith the coordination of and participated in the 2008 Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop in Vancouver, BC.
  • In consultation with TBS, assisted EC communications in the roll out of the FCSAP Web Portal intended to provide general information about the program and on activities at the federal contaminated sites.
  • Developed fact sheets to promote effective management of contamination on federal storage tanks.

4.2.2 Treasury Board Secretariat

In 2008-09, the Real Property and Materiel Policy Division of TBS supported the FCSAP Secretariat in program development activities including the preparation of funding approval documentation, development of the program risk profile, decision-making process and Performance Measurement Strategy, and annual reporting. Additional ongoing activities undertaken by TBS included: advising the FCSAP Secretariat/custodians on Treasury Board policy issues relating to contaminated sites; administration and maintenance of the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory (FCSI); supporting FCSAP governance committees at the ADM and DG level and providing advice to working groups such as CSMWG and the FCSAP annual reporting team; and developing guidance for the preparation of contaminated sites management plans and providing feedback to custodians on annual submissions.

The TBS also undertook the following activities related to enhancing the program.

  • Worked in partnership with the FCSAP Secretariat on a number of strategic program implementation issues including support to secure FCSAP funding for custodians, consultations on FCSAP program renewal and the Budget 2009 contaminated sites acceleration initiatives.
  • Worked with the FCSAP Secretariat to complete the FCSAP Formative Evaluation, including the preparation and approval of the management response.
  • Chaired and coordinated planning for the 2008 Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop, held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from April 28 to May 1, 2008. The workshop brought together more than 550 federal managers, remediation specialists and industry representatives from across the country, to learn about technical, scientific and organizational innovations and best practices for the management of federal contaminated sites.
  • Coordinated interdepartmental committee to initiate event planning for the 2010 Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop.
  • Participated in the business analysis of the FCSI and IDEA.
  • Participated in interdepartmental working groups and contributed to the development and refinement of program guidance material, such as PWGSC’s brownfields classification tool, the FCSAP eligible cost documentation and the scoping study related to reporting of Liability Estimates for Federal Contaminated Sites.
  • Worked with the FCSAP Secretariat to finalize the content of the federal contaminated sites web portal, undertook technical development work to create the portal, launched the site in June 2008 and provided ongoing site maintenance (

4.2.3 Expert Support Departments

In 2008-09, much of the work of Expert Support departments focused on the development and delivery of guidance documents and training, the provision of advice, third-party review, and the promotion of innovative technologies:

  • DFO led the development of an Aquatic Sites Classification System, a key deliverable to the Aquatic Sites Working Group, and provided custodians with training on informational needs for aquatic sites classification and on the use of the Program Activity Tracking for Habitat (PATH) database.
  • In general, EC promoted regulatory compliance at federal sites and ensured site remediation / risk management decisions were consistent with federal environmental policies and management objectives. They did this, in part, by providing expert support advice to custodians on the best practices and management options for the remediation and risk management of federal contaminated sites. They also assisted custodians in selecting contractors to conduct human health and ecological risk assessments, as well as reviewed assessments and site classifications. ECalso provided custodians with training on the NCS scoring and Ecological Risk Evaluation, Canada Wide Standards for Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil, and site characterization.
    During the course of the year, EC provided expert advice to the Secretariat in the development and implementation of a scientifically-defensible revised NCS score and FCSAP ranking system for project selection. They also acted as liaison between federal departments and provincial/territorial Ministries of Health and Environment, and between federal departments and Aboriginal peoples on health and environmental issues.
  • HC provided expert support on a variety of human health risk assessment topics. In particular, they provided custodians with peer-review of risk assessment reports regarding federal contaminated sites, in order to assist custodians and the Secretariat with the consistent determination of risks posed by federal contaminated sites across Canada, and as part of the FCSAP funding application process. In addition they continued work on the development and advancement of human-health-based soil quality guidelines and toxicological reference values for several chemicals and on updates to a series of human-health-risk assessment guidance documents for use at federal contaminated sites. These guidance tools will allow for a standardized and consistent approach in assessing and quantifying the risks to human health posed by contaminants present on federal sites across Canada. HC also completed a new public involvement guidance document and a 14 minute multi-media tool on Human Health Risk Assessment that explains the basics to stakeholders.
    HC provided training to the various FCSAP stakeholders in human health risk assessment, vapour intrusion, and in the areas of public involvement and risk communication.  A Human Health Risk Assessment e-learning course is also being developed.
  • HC, EC and DFO conducted site visits to gain further understanding of the unique situations at many sites and to enable the departments to provide better guidance and advice relating to activities at contaminated sites. HC, EC and DFO also provided custodians with advice regarding risk assessments, site classifications, regulations, remedial plans, and technical requirements.
  • PWGSCdelivered project management training related to contaminated sites remediation / risk management in Vancouver, Toronto, Yellowknife, Gatineau, Halifax, and Edmonton. PWGSC also delivered Innovative Solution Workshops in Banff and Toronto to create awareness of the needs of custodians for innovative approaches and reduce barriers to implementation.
    PWGSC initiated the development of the Sustainable Decision Support Tool (SDST) for contaminated site remediation to assist custodians in evaluating the sustainability of remedial options, and on the Demand Forecast Analysis to share information with the private sector regarding the anticipated federal contaminated sites projects for which private sector assistance would be required to enable implementation.

Detailed information on the activities carried out by the four expert support departments (DFO, EC, HC and PWGSC) during the fiscal year can be obtained by contacting the specific expert support department directly:

  • DFO – Expert Support Federal Contaminated Sites, Habitat Program Services Branch, Habitat Management, Oceans Sector, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 200 Kent Street, Ottawa ON K1A 0E6.
  • EC – Contaminated Sites Division, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate, Environment Canada, 351 St. Joseph Blvd, 17th Floor, Gatineau QC K1A 0H3.
  • HC – Contaminated Sites Division, Bureau of Risk and Impact Assessment, Safe Environments Program, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa ON K1A 0K9.
  • PWGSC – National Manager, Contaminated Sites, Environmental Services Directorate, Public Works and Government Services Canada, 11 Laurier Avenue, Gatineau QC K1A 0S5.


16 The difference between planned and actual expenditures was absorbed by the Real Property and Material Policy Division, TBS.