Environmental Assessment

Brownfield redevelopment: A risk-based approach

Many communities across Canada have identified the need to intensify development within their existing footprint to prevent urban sprawl and preserve valuable farmland, recreational areas, or natural habitats.

These previously developed sites are called brownfields and may be contaminated from activities that have occurred historically or are currently taking place. It is estimated that there are more than 30,000 brownfield sites across Canada, providing significant opportunity to developers and real estate investors to capitalize on underutilized and often undervalued properties in high demand areas.

During the development of these sites, any identified contamination may be required to be addressed through regulatory or financial instruments. To reduce the contamination, remedial activities such as dig-and-dump of contaminated soils or chemical treatment of contaminated groundwater have been used for decades.

Increasingly, remedial approaches are being combined with (or in some cases, eliminated by) site-specific risk assessments, which evaluate the environmental risks and identify appropriate risk management measures. Application of risk assessment is an increasingly cost effective and popular approach to the safe redevelopment of contaminated land – without the need for extensive remediation.

Let’s take a deeper look at brownfield redevelopment and see how the four underlying principals of Ecometrix’ Environmental Intelligence™ – namely thought, application, solution, and communication – are used to enhance a risk-based approach to site contamination.

Brownfields Redevelopment Building It's critical to understand existing site conditions at the early stage of a brownfields redevelopment project.
Brownfields redevelopment worker Brownfields redevelopment projects have the greatest chance of success when property owners, developers, environmental consultants, and regulators are all on the same page.

Explore more of the Environmental Intelligence process in action.

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