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Risk Assessment of VOCs at Industrial Property


Premier was retained by a property investment company to undertake a Risk Assessment (RA) on a 10 hectare undeveloped parcel of land in an industrial area of Cambridge, Ontario. The property was subdivided and sat vacant and undeveloped for many years as a result of low levels of 1,1-Dichloroethylene and benzene in the groundwater approximately 20m below the ground surface.


Premier’s Phase I and Phase II ESA work revealed that a plume of groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvent constituents was migrating onto the subject property and as a result, an RA could be completed to prove that the low concentrations of 1,1-Dichloroethylene did not create a detrimental risk to human health or the environment. Prior to submitting the PSF in accordance with Ontario Regulation 153/04, Premier carried out extensive drilling to determine the full vertical and horizontal extent of the contaminant plume. Geochemical parameters were used as parameters input to the Biochlor model to determine the fate and persistence of 1,1-Dichloroethylene and its break down compounds (i.e. vinyl chloride).


The outcome of the RA was that the chlorinated solvents would be completely biodegraded over a 40 year period and that the maximum concentration on site would never exceed the Property Specific Standard (PSS) established from the risk modeling calculations. The RA allowed for a shorter time period for review by the MOE and to support a Record of Site Condition (RSC), which was required to obtain a building permit for the property.

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