By Peter Reid, Vice President, Site Assessment and Remediation at Hemmera

Hemmera looks at the new realities of conducting environmental remediation work with COVID-19 and considerations that property developers need to make when refinancing or redeveloping a property from the perspective of Environmental Site Assessments.

During the recent response to COVID-19, Hemmera had several on-going remediations that needed to continue without risking harm to the environment.

With market conditions changing rapidly, it is anticipated that many Canadian property owners and developers may consider property refinancing.  Depending on the nature of the site and the areas around it, this may require an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) be conducted. Some things to consider are:

  • Redevelopment and refinancing have different requirements for environmental site assessments. Depending on your situation, a redevelopment may trigger environmental requirements that a refinancing may not.
  • Upcoming changes to schedule 2 uses in British Columbia will expand the number of sites that require assessments, including sites that have re-used asphalt as fill.
  • ESAs can be safely conducted during COVID-19, however the safety requirements for these assessments varies by province depending on each province’s health department rules.

The Hemmera team has been able to continue to conduct ESAs while managing the safety considerations required by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a webinar held on 30 April 2020, the team talked through some examples of the considerations above and discussed how these site investigations can be conducted while ensuring the safety of workers and the local community. The webinar was moderated by James Mair, with Rob Hamm, Peter Reid, and Karey Dow speaking.

Watch the recording of the webinar below.