Ontario MOE Updates Model for Use in Modified Generic Risk Assessments

On Nov. 1, 2016, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted on the Environmental Registry an update to the Ministry’s Approved Model for use in Modified Generic Risk Assessment (MGRA) submissions under the Environmental Protection Act.

The MGRA (also referred to as “Tier 2”) process provides a streamlined approach to developing property specific standards under The Brownfields Regulation (O. Reg. 153/04) for use in a Record of Site Condition for a remediated site. The streamlined process uses the Approved Model, which is based on the model that was used to develop the generic site condition standards.

The Approved Model enables a Qualified Person entitled to prepare or supervise a risk assessment to develop property specific standards quickly and easily. It also gives users a limited ability to modify physical site characteristics (such as distance to surface water body) and opt in to risk management measures developed specifically by the Ministry. For these reasons, the Ministry provides a streamlined process for acceptance of property specific standards that are developed in risk assessments that rely solely on the Approved Model.

The Ministry worked with a technical advisory body made up of experienced environmental professionals and industry representatives to develop new model features that will be both environmentally protective and promote more efficient brownfield redevelopment. Version 2 of the Approved Model is designed to:

  • Allow a greater number of sites across the province to qualify for this streamlined risk assessment process
  • Provide a greater number of features, which makes the model more user-friendly
  • Correct errors in the model discovered since it was first published
  • Update the model to reflect current science, while continuing to provide the same level of protection.

Version 2 includes a number of new features (which are described in greater detail in the User Guide and the model itself):

  • Risk management measures to prevent vapours from entering buildings to protect indoor air quality;
  • Land use control measure to ensure drinking water is municipally supplied to prevent risk where groundwater isn’t potable;
  • Additional risk management options for capping a site;
  • Health and safety plan and a soil and groundwater management plan to protect people/community during redevelopment;
  • Risk assessment submission form is integrated into the Approved Model and is auto-populated;
  • Standardized approach to demonstrate that there’s no evidence of free product (no oil slick) on site;
  • Greater ability to utilize soil vapour sampling to help demonstrate that the site meets relevant standards;
  • Ability to utilize new ministry endorsed Toxicity Reference Values.