Environmental Planning

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

The Environmental Department specializes in providing consulting services such as Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I ESA) for real estate due diligence and land development planning at the University.

A Phase 1 ESA, with a careful review of environmental records and an on-site visit, can uncover information regarding spills, past high-risk occupants or contamination impacting the property. It is important to understand the environmental history and regional context before finalizing property transactions or when planning a redevelopment.

A Phase I ESA is a great risk management tool that helps to identify conditions that could have material and financial impacts and to obtain an understanding of any potential liability. Or, how environmental conditions may affect the property’s value and development process.

The Phase I ESA is completed by performing:

  • A review of available environmental reports for the subject site;
  • A review of historical data in order to identify areas of potential environmental concern and area of potential contaminating activity on the subject site and on adjacent properties through an evaluation of past land use;
  • A site reconnaissance and preliminary examination of the subject site;
  • Preparation of a report on the results of the work undertaken, including professional opinion of the potential environmental risks, if any, and recommendations for additional investigations as required. The table of contents for the ORM preliminary phase one ESA outlines the elements included in the final report. 
Project Planning & Compliance

The Environmental Department devotes considerable resources to identify environmental aspects and to assess their significance on individual projects. The Office of Risk Management aim’s at promoting the full consideration and integration of environmental implications at the early planning stage for all individual projects as well as within the overall strategic planning.

Policy 72 - Environmental Management and Sustainability, provides the framework for implementing procedures and directives to ensure environmental aspects are addressed responsibly and diligently in the course of University operations and development.

Example projects that requires adequate environmental planning to ensure potential legal/due diligence environmental requirements are addressed in due time and additional unforeseen costs and delays are avoided:

Cooling towers at the power plant

Cooling towers at the power plant

  1. Development and renovation projects
    • Property transactions (sale, acquisition, and start and end of lease agreements either as lessor or lessee) 
    • Property development, subdivision or lot severance
    • Excavations (greater than 5m2 or 15.24 cm deep) or any earth works or removal of soil from a University Site (e.g. stockpile, excess soil management)
    • New facility planning and design
    • Construction, demolition and renovation projects
    • Laboratory and workshop upgrade, relocation and decommissioning

For example, all construction, demolition and renovation projects performed at 200 Lees avenue must follow the requirements of the Risk Management Health and Safety Plan

2. Operation and Maintenance projects

  • Hazardous waste management and disposal
  • Installation, modification, replacement and decommissioning (or any other work outside regular maintenance), in parts or in whole, for the following equipment or systems:
    • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
    • Boilers
    • Chillers
    • Fume hoods and paint booths
    • Exhaust fans and stacks
    • Emergency generators and fuel systems
    • Hazardous substances
    • Storm and sanitary sewers

 

 

Environmental authorizations, registrations and permits

Provincial

The University must have environmental “permissions” from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) for all its operations and activities that have the potential to release contaminants into the air, land or water. Permissions such as an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) or an Environmental Activity Sector Registration (EASR) must be obtained prior to proceeding with an activity or installing, altering, modifying and operating equipment with emissions. The purpose of environmental permissions is to set rules for these operations and activities in a way that helps protect the natural environment and human health.

To comply with Ontario’s environmental regulations, the University has to demonstrate that, when operating under worst-case scenario conditions, the sources from the proposed activity, site or facility will not discharge contaminants in amounts that exceed any of the regulated limits. If any of the contaminants exceeds regulated limits, mitigation alternatives must be developed and studied with the purpose of demonstrating their successful reduction of the concentration of the contaminants. The definition of “contaminant” as defined in Ontario EPA: “contaminant” means any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration, radiation or combination of any of them resulting directly or indirectly from human activities that causes or may cause an adverse effect.

At the University, there are many different discharge and emission sources of contaminants that may require provincial permission, including the following:

  • Laboratory and workshop specialized equipment installation or modification
  • Emergency and peak shaving generators
  • Digester gas-fired boilers and large natural gas fired boilers
  • Storing, transporting or disposing of hazardous and industrial waste
  • Dry or wet scrubbers
  • Fugitive dust and sediment from roadways (during and after construction)
  • Decontamination or redevelopment of contaminated sites
  • Emissions from specialized areas (welding, paint booth, fume hoods)
  • Building air intake and exhaust systems

 

Municipal

The City of Ottawa has a development review and approval process for construction projects, addition to a building and developments that require a change of land use or to the creation of a parcel of land. The environmental planning process has a very close relationship with the municipal development application review process.

The extent to which environmental considerations apply varies depending on the location, land-use designation and nature of the project. In many cases, the University will be required to undertake studies designed to identify the likely impacts of the proposed project on the adjacent community members and the environment

The nature of the project and the location of the property are the two main factors that determine which studies and assessments have to be completed for the application and municipal review process. For typical projects at the University, the following are often required:

  • Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments
  • Emission Summary and Dispersion Model
  • Acoustical Assessment Report.
  • Vibration Study
  • Water, wastewater and storm water impact study
  • Tree Conservation Report
  • Protection of Endangered and Threatened Species
  • Erosion and sediment control plan
  • Storm water site management plans
  • Environmental Risk Assessment

 

The Environmental Department provides internal expertise during the initial planning stages, where key decisions on broad issues are needed (e.g., establishing environmental goals/objectives, general design considerations, development limitations, potential receptors or mitigation options available).

The following are municipal permits that the University typically requires:

  • Permit to Construct or Demolish
  • Building Retrofits Water and/or Sewer Service Connections
  • Temporary or Permanent Encroachment Permit
  • Plumbing Permit - Building Permit
  • Site Plan Control Approval
Contractors environmental obligations

Environmental considerations are part of all activities and operations within the University of Ottawa.  While performing services and operations on behalf of the University of Ottawa, all contractors must understand their environmental responsibilities.

Contractors include:

1. Construction, Operation, Maintenance and Service activities

2. Hired equipment

3. Consultants

As a University of Ottawa contractor, your collaboration and performance during all contractual obligations are critical to the University’s commitment to protect the environment and comply with all environmental legislation. Contractors are required to read and sign the Contractor’s Environmental Obligations Agreement.

Contractors must identify, plan and coordinate the management of all environmental obligations and their potential impacts for each project in collaboration with the Environmental Management Department when projects involve working on the following:

I. Excavations greater than 5m2 and 15 cm deep;

II. Demolition;

III. Laboratory and workshop renovations, upgrades, relocation or decommissioning;

IV. Hazardous and industrial waste management;

V. Installation, modification, replacement and decommissioning (or any other work outside regular maintenance) for…

VI. HVAC systems

  • Boilers
  • Chillers
  • Dry or wet scrubbers
  • Fume hoods, canopy hoods and paint booths
  • Exhaust fans, rooftop and wall mounted
  • Stacks
  • Generators and associated fuel systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Storm, sanitary and combined sewers

Contractors shall have available qualified environmental specialists to the extent relevant to their environmental responsibilities and obligations.

Environmental Plans for renovations and construction projects

Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) :

The purpose of a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) is to outline how a construction project will avoid, minimize or mitigate effects on the environment and surrounding area. It is a ‘live’ document that may be reviewed and updated at regular intervals throughout the project life cycle.

CEMP Specific Requirements:

  • Complies with all applicable legislative requirements and those set out in the University Policy 72
  • Identifies the roles and provides detailed descriptions of the responsibilities of the members of the Contractor’s team and relevant stakeholders
  • Identifies the communication protocols between the members of the Contractor’s team and relevant stakeholders
  • Sets out the initial list of the sensitive environmental issues and compliance requirements, in connection with which the Contractor shall prepare an Environmental Work Plan
  • Includes the Component Plans, and
  • Identifies and provides a detailed description of the monitoring protocol and reporting requirements on the application and effectiveness of the CEMP.

Environmental Work Plan

Environmental Work Plan describes all actual and potential environmental considerations, issues and compliance requirements associated with a project and demonstrate the measures which the Contractor will implement and cause to be implemented by his subcontractors to protect the environment and ensure regulatory compliance.

Environmental Work Plan Specific Requirements:

  • Includes a description of the Site, or portion thereof applicable to the work described in the Environmental Work Plan, the part of the work that is to be carried out at such part of the Site, the schedule and duration of such part of the work;
  • Includes a description (including maps and drawings, as appropriate) of the environmental issues or requirements at the Site or portion thereof, and adjacent lands, applicable to the work described in the Environmental Work Plan and of the mitigation measures to be implemented, including regular maintenance activities;
  • Specifies the applicable sections, terms, conditions and commitments of the CEMP, Permits, Authorizations and Approvals relevant to the specified portion of the Site, the described part of the work, and the described mitigation measures, as applicable;
  • Describes the expected and scheduled timing of internal environmental inspections, including full time, daily, and as required inspections, as applicable, and the specific reporting procedures that will apply; and
  • Describes the prepared emergency procedures and relevant 24/7 General Contractor contact information, including applicable personnel, phone and email details, specific to the applicable portion of the Site, the described part of the work and the described mitigation measures.

Component Plans

The following are the principal component plans to address the various phases of construction and renovation projects with environmental management considerations:

  1. Communications Plan: The Communications Plan provides the detailed communication protocols, describing the approach for communicating and collaborating on the project;
  2. Construction Schedule: The Construction Schedule includes the timeline for obtaining environmental studies, permits, authorizations and/or approvals, environmental tasks towards mitigation and/or compliance measures and, if required, work restrictions planned during the overall project;
  3. Contaminated Site Management Plan (CSMP) : The CSMP identify environmental studies requirements, areas of soil and/or groundwater contamination and extent of remediation requirements, mitigation options, on site soil and/or groundwater contamination management, and procedures for which the Contractor is responsible. It describes the contingency plan for remediation and/or disposal procedures for known or new contamination encountered in the course of the project. The CSMP must also include requirements for the prevention of off-site migration during the project, if applicable;
  4. Air Quality and Dust Control Management Plan (AQDCMP): The AQDCMP describe the measures to be used to control dust during construction and the program that will be implemented to monitor nuisance dust concentrations, ambient particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), and ambient air quality;
  5. Surface Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Plan (SEPCP): The SEPCP identify areas and activities that are prone to generate elevated amount of sediments, describe general and site-specific measures that will be applied to mitigate soil erosion and shallow slope movement, to control sediment-laden flows, and to prevent sediment from entering sanitary and storm sewer systems and adjacent water courses. The SEPCP includes a description of the monitoring program that will be implemented on the proposed site specific measures;
  6. Construction Site Dewatering Plan (CSDP) : The CSDP identify measures necessary to plan and manage dewatering operations in compliance with federal, provincial and municipal regulations both prior to and during construction activities. It must describe the general steps and roles and responsibilities with respect to assessment requirements, permits, authorizations and approvals, construction dewatering and disposal procedures, management of construction site run-off, melt water run-off and sediment control. It shall also include the measures that will be implemented to manage and remove snow from the site in a timely and efficient manner with considerations for contaminated sediments;
  7. Noise and Vibration Management Plan (NVMP) : The NVMP describe Site-specific schedule pertaining to noise and vibration-generating activities, procedures and Best Management Practices to control Construction noise emissions including target noise emission levels of equipment, equipment maintenance, management and education, university community communication, and noise monitoring;
  8. Fuels, Chemicals and Materials Storage and Handling Management Plan (FCMSHMP) : The FCMSHMP describe procedures and Best Management Practices for the transport, inventory and storage of Hazardous Substances, servicing of equipment and equipment operations in environmentally sensitive areas, including but not limited to, near sewer manholes;
  9. Spill Prevention and Emergency Response Plan (SPERP) : The SPERP identify potential spills, list the spill abatement materials and equipment to be stored on the Site, identify responsible work personnel and external contacts, training procedures, recovery procedures including communications, containment, clean-up, debriefing and follow-up reporting;
  10. Solid and Liquid Waste Management Plan (SLWMP) : The SLWMP describe measures that will be implemented to reduce, reuse and recycle solid waste, as well as the disposal plan for solid, non-hazardous waste;
  11. Water Taking Plan and Discharge Plan : The Water Taking Plan must be produced by a Qualified Person (QP), as per Ontario regulation 153/04 which estimates the dewatering efforts required, analyze potential impacts and, if required, identify where the water can be discharged. The QP will also need to develop a Discharge Plan if there is any discharge of water to occur;
  12. Excess Soil Management Plan : The excess soil management plan describes the soil screening requirements, professional oversight, tracking of soil shipments and soil management at the receiving end;
  13. Backfill and final grade: The backfill and final grade plan describes the management of uncontaminated soils and the supply, placement and compaction of all materials necessary to reinstate site grades. It identifies the source and characteristics of imported material and the strategy for sampling and analyzing all backfill materials for their environmental and geotechnical quality;
Air & Noise Assessment
Noise contours

Noise Contours at the University of Ottawa

The University is operating in a very complex urban setting, with various sensitive land uses in its immediate vicinity. To minimize potential adverse effect to sensitive receptors, in 2011 the MECP implemented the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) as part of its risk-based environmental approvals program. The University, by having the potential to emit significant amounts of contaminants to the environment from operating fume hoods, scrubber systems, stand-by generators, boilers and cooling towers may be required to register each University facility hosting such equipment on the EASR system. In order to register a facility and air and noise emissions and discharges in the EASR system, the University must develop, prepare and submit supporting documentation that is mandatory for the registration.

  1. EMISSION SUMMARY AND DISPERSION MODELLING
    • Having an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) report that is reflective of the current or proposed operation, prepared by a Qualified Person.
  2. NOISE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS
    • Having an assessment of the noise emissions that is reflective of the current or proposed operation, prepared by a Qualified Person concluding that sensitive noise receptors aren’t adversely impacted.
  3. ODOUR ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS
    • If applicable, having a Qualified Person prepare an assessment of the odour emissions concluding that the facility meets the minimum setback distance requirements.
  4. UPDATING REQUIREMENT
    • The ESDM report, the noise assessment and/or the odour assessment, must be updated every five (5) years from the last update. The updated reports/assessments must be prepared by a Qualified Person and the information in the registry must be updated within 30 days.
  5. NOx EMISSION LIMIT FOR BOILERS AND HEATERS
    • Having a statement prepared by a Qualified Person verifying that each boiler or heater at the facility will emit oxides of nitrogen below the nitrogen oxides intensity rate in the Table outlining Nitrogen Oxides Emission Limits of Provincial Guideline A-9.
  6. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS
    • Prepare and implement operating procedures and maintenance programs for all sources of contaminants and ensure that any source that has the potential to discharge a contaminant is operated and maintained in accordance with the operating procedures and maintenance programs.
  7. COMPLAINTS REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
    • If a complaint with respect to the facility, and the complaint relates to the natural environment, the Local MECP District Manager must be notified of the complaint no later than two (2) business days after the complaint is received.
  8. RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENTS
    • The University must have on-site at the facility, until the facility ceases to operate, from the date of their creation all reports, records and information regarding the registration and operation of the activity.

 

To report any air or noise complaint please contact us.

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