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The following contamination management tools and resources should be used by companies to

  • identify and manage releases and spills,
  • assess contamination,
  • manage the risks of contamination, and
  • remediate releases and spills.

Many of the following resources are published by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP).

Our Remediation page describes our expectations for companies to safely and responsibly manage contamination.


Contaminated Sites Policy Framework

AEP’s Contaminated Sites Policy Framework provides a foundation for developing provincial guidelines for remediation and contaminated site management, and sets out the following principles of contaminant management:

  • control the source of the contamination,
  • conduct an environmental site assessment,
  • assess risk,
  • manage contamination, and
  • consider other factors in addition to risk.

Alberta Exposure Control Guide 

The Government of Alberta’s Exposure Control Guide should be used to manage contamination and remove or mitigate an exposure pathway to a receptor. It sets out exposure control policy and risk management requirements. The guide can be used by companies when developing and assessing options for managing contaminated land through

  • administrative or institutional controls (e.g., restricting groundwater use, restricting site access); and
  • physical barriers (covering contaminated soil).

Alberta Tier 1 and Tier 2 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines

AEP’s Alberta Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines contains generic guidelines for remediating contamination on cultivated, residential, commercial, and industrial land. AEP’s Alberta Tier 2 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines describes how to modify the Tier 1 guidelines using site-specific information.

AEP released revised soil and groundwater remediation guidelines in February 2016, which came into effect on May 1, 2016. We continue to accept applications for remediation certificates and reclamation certificates that follow the 2014 edition of the Alberta Tier 1 and Tier 2 Guidelines, provided that the lab reports for any phase 2 environmental site assessments were prepared or sampling occurred before May 1, 2016.

Conceptual Site Model Builder Tool

The Conceptual Site Model Builder Tool, developed by Health Canada, can be used to illustrate a site in order to show how and where a spill or release occurred, the current location of the contamination, and where it is migrating to, including what and who is or will be affected.
The tool can be requested by emailing Health Canada at cs-sc@hc-sc.gc.ca.

Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist

AEP’s Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist is designed to ensure that companies are properly remediating their sites and managing contamination risks. Companies that follow this checklist are more likely to

  • thoroughly assess their sites,
  • accurately delineate the substances, and
  • develop accurate and comprehensive site assessment reports.  

Record of Site Condition Form

AEP’s Record of Site Condition Form should be used by companies to report releases and track major environmental parameters for an assessed site. The form and its declaration are required for all phase 2 environmental site assessments, and remediation and risk management projects submitted to the AER.

Subsoil Petroleum Hydrocarbon Guidelines for Remote Forested Sites in the Green Area

AEP’s Subsoil Petroleum Hydrocarbon Guidelines for Remote Forested Sites in the Green Area must be used at sites within the Green Area that

  • will not be affected by human disturbance, and
  • are being reclaimed to forested land use.

These guidelines specify when the ecological direct contact pathway for petroleum hydrocarbon fractions 1 to 4 may be eliminated (1.5 m for fine-grained soil; 3.0 m for coarse-grained soil).

Tier 2 Guidelines for Salinity: The Subsoil Salinity Tool

AEP’s Subsoil Salinity Tool is a software program for developing Alberta Tier 2 soil remediation guidelines for chloride-based salt contamination below the root zone, based on information provided by the user, including site location and soil and groundwater information. Soil within the root zone must be remediated to meet salinity guidelines in AEP’s Alberta Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines.

Tool users who wish to develop Tier 2 guidelines for remediation or reclamation certification must successfully complete a three-day training course, including a comprehensive four-hour exam with an 80 per cent pass mark. For more information, see the Subsoil Salinity Guidelines Fact Sheet on AEP’s website and our Subsoil Salinity Tool Assessment Checklist.

Remediation Action Plan Checklist

Our Remediation Action Plan (RAP) Checklist outlines the minimum information that companies must include in a RAP. If we find that information is missing, we might request additional information, or reject the RAP and notify the filer. While it is not required, we encourage companies to submit this checklist with all action plans. For more information about the checklist, please contact CSUSubmissions@aer.ca.