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Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan Annual Report (2014-2015)

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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 related financial liabilities from federal contaminated sites.

In Phase I of FCSAP (2005–2011), federal departments, agencies and consolidated Crown corporations (also referred to as custodians) made significant progress in addressing contaminated sites. FCSAP Phase II was approved in the 2011–2012 fiscal year 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 2014–2015, the fourth year of Phase II.

Nationally, federal custodians involved in FCSAP reported total expenditures of $290.7 million in 2014–2015. This includes $8.5 million spent on assessments, $262.8 million spent on the remediation and risk management of federal contaminated sites, and $19.3 million for program management activitiesFootnote 1. In 2014–2015, the program achieved several results:

  • Custodians conducted assessments at 322 sites to characterize environmental conditions; of the 180 sites that were fully assessed, 31% require remediation or risk management, while 69% require no further action, as they pose no significant risk.
  • Custodians conducted remediation and risk management activities at 368 sites, leading to improvements to environmental quality and reduction of federal financial liability; at 39 of these sites, the remediation process was completed.
  • Approximately 1400 jobs (person-years) were created or maintained, with an estimated 5.2 direct jobs resulting from every million dollars spent on FCSAP projects.

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 2014–2015, the FCSI listed approximately 22 820 sites. A comparison of FCSI data from the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 fiscal years shows that the number of sites suspected of being contaminated decreased by 14%. There was also a 6% decrease in the number of active sites and a 7% increase in the number of closed sites, where no further action will be required. Much of this progress was a result of the available FCSAP funding, which allowed custodians to conduct assessment and remediation work at their sites. Approximately 79% of expenditures reported to the FCSI in 2014–2015 were attributable to FCSAP, as not all federal contaminated 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 all federal contaminated sites increased by $997 million to a total of $5.793 billion during 2014–2015. Adjusted liability, an estimate of the liability for sites that may be eligible for FCSAP funding, increased by $439 million to a total of $4.089 billion during 2014–2015. Adjusted liability is expected to decline eventually, as fewer new sites are added to the federal inventory and more existing sites are remediated.

For questions or comments on this report, contact:

FCSAP Secretariat
Contaminated Sites Division
Environmental Protection Operations Directorate
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Boulevard, 17th Floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
Email: ec.secretariatpascf-fcsapsecretariat.ec@canada.ca

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Because of rounding, the numbers do not add exactly to the total.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Executive Summary