Environmental assessment

An environmental assessment is used to determine whether the soil is contaminated.


For commercial, industrial or income properties: 

Financial institutions require a characterization study before granting a loan.


For residential properties:

Look for evidence of a pre-existing tank, or the presence of holes in the brick, copper pipes going through the basement wall, old meters or gauges at ground level near the wall, to determine if testing by an expert is needed.

An environmental assessment is required to apply for a permit to build a home that is not served by a municipal sewer system.

The characterization study will allow to determine the type of sanitary system required before a home is built on a site.

Up to four phases may be required:

Phase 1

  • Research is conducted to learn about the history of the site and the activities that have occurred there. The evaluator visits the site and interviews people who are familiar with the area.

Phase 2

  • The presence or absence of contaminants is confirmed, including by sampling analysis. The source(s) of the contaminants, the contaminated areas and the extent of contamination are identified.

Phase 3

  • The precise scope of the contamination, the volume of contaminated materials, the impact on the environment, and the potential risks to human health, fauna and flora are established. If the land is contaminated, a rehabilitation plan to remedy the situation must be submitted and approved by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs.

Phase 4

  • The work required to implement the rehabilitation plan must first be submitted to an expert, who will certify compliance with the approved plan.

Last updated on: November 29, 2021
Reference number: 208798