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Risk Assessment for Residential/Commercial Mixed Use - Centre Suites on 3rd Ave., Owen Sound, Ontario

When redevelopment plans for a former three-storey printing plant building identified the need for a Record of Site Condition (RSC), XCG was called upon to complete the required assessment activities leading up to the RSC. 

The property was originally developed in 1922 as a major printing factory. When the printing operation moved to a new facility circa 1972, an office conversion occurred in the mid-1970s. However, opportunities for redevelopment of the upper floors into residential condominiums were realized in 2012. Using the historical building for adaptive use, the project began a revitalization of a portion of the downtown core of Owen Sound and is improving the livability of the area. XCG completed all necessary environmental assessment and remediation work supporting this project, including Phase One Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), Phase Two ESA, and soil and groundwater remediation activities for hydrocarbon impacts. The further discovery of a zone of low-level chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater that exceeded the generic site condition standards slowed the project, requiring some innovative planning and decisions. With the time-sensitive development activities needing to continue, a decision to treat the development property as two parcels was made by the project team and ownership. This decision allowed the filing of a RSC for the larger parcel without the VOC impacts in groundwater, permitting the sale and occupancy of the majority of the condominium units, while the smaller VOC-impacted parcel went through the known and defined process of a Streamlined Tier 3 Risk Assessment (RA) before filing the second RSC. 

The Streamlined Tier 3 RA was completed in accordance with Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 153/04, relying on site specific soil, groundwater, soil vapour, and indoor air sampling results. The Streamlined Tier 3 RA was completed to develop site-specific soil and groundwater standards for the low-level contaminants of concern (COCs) by applying a risk management measure (RMM) of “no first-storey residential use.” The following additional controls were included as requested by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks [MECP, formerly the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)] District Office: Modified Subsurface Protection (health and safety plan for construction workers); and a Soil and Groundwater Management Plan. 

The Streamlined Tier 3 RA was approved in July 2016 and the RSC was immediately filed following the arrangement of a Certificate of Property Use (CPU). The filing of the RSC triggered the allowance of the occupancy of the final few condominium units. This project was a 2016 Brownie Award Winner for the unique staging of the RSCs into two parcels to allow the continued construction and condominium sales and occupancy.

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