Hands are holding the earth


If you're a property owner who's looking to change the use of the property, you may need an environmental site assessment. If you're looking to buy a property, you may also need an environmental assessment. But what is an environmental site assessment, and how do you get one?


You can learn everything you need to know about environmental site assessments in Toronto and the GTA here. 

What Is an Environmental Site Assessment?

The environmental site assessment (ESA) is the industry-standard environmental report conducted for real estate development projects. It is a due diligence checklist used to detect potential risks and hazards within the environment of a particular site. The Environmental Protection Act establishes the rules and regulations that define the ESA.


The environmental assessment has two phases. The Phase 1 environmental site assessment assesses the property for contaminants. This step of the process includes a site inspection and a review of historical site documents.


A contaminant is any solid, liquid, gas, odour, sound, vibration, heat, or radiation that may cause adverse effects. These contaminants may exist in the air, land, or water on the property. If unchecked, they may harm humans, animals, or the environment.


The Phase 2 environmental site assessment involves a collection of samples. This collection of samples will determine if contaminants exist on the property. If discovered, you can take steps to remedy environmental damage in areas of concern.


When Do You Need One?

You will need an ESA inspection if you want to change the use of your property. For example, converting a commercial property to a residential property requires an ESA. A financial institution, lender, or municipality may also request an environmental assessment.


If you're unsure if you need an ESA, you can review the full Environmental Protection Act. It lays out all the regulations for environmental site assessments in Ontario. It also clarifies ESA requirements and standards that you must adhere to.


How Long Does It Take?

The Phase 1 environmental site assessment takes between 3-4 weeks to complete. The Phase 2 environmental site assessment takes between 4-6 weeks to complete. You should plan for this time in your schedule before moving forward with the project.

To speed things up, you can organize any information related to the property. This includes past ESA reports and any other environmental details. You will need to provide all relevant documentation for the assessment.


Who Can Provide Environmental Site Assessment Services?

If you need to conduct an ESA, you must find someone qualified to supervise the process. Look for a company with a strong record of success, robust experience, and expertise in the field. Finding a company you can trust will build your confidence in the results.

Fisher Engineering Limited has over 30 years of experience in site assessments. Our team of professionals can help you meet environmental health and safety standards. Reach out to Fisher Engineering Limited for environmental site assessment in Toronto and the GTA today.