Soil vapour testing in proximity to 17 Sydenham Street

Background

In 2012, the City of Brantford hired Jacobs Engineering Group (Jacobs) to design and oversee the remediation of the former brownfield property located at 17 Sydenham Street to a residential/parkland standard using a risk assessment approach to manage environmental contaminates.

Completion of remediation project

A Record of Site Condition (RSC) was successfully obtained from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP), for the Site in March 2018, permitting the redevelopment of the Site for residential purposes. As part of the RSC process, a Certificate of Property Use (CPU) was issued by the MOECP, which included conducting post-remediation environmental monitoring on Site for a minimum of two (2) years, completed in the Fall of 2019. Following the completion of the two-year monitoring program, an additional one year of monitoring was completed to further assess the concentration of Trichloroethylene (TCE) on Site which was completed at the end of 2020.

Source of TCE at 17 Sydenham Street

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chemical generally associated with industrial degreasing activities and can impact air quality when vapours from contaminated soil or groundwater migrate into buildings through cracks in building foundations. The source of the TCE on the brownfield site was believed to be an equipment pit located in the southwest portion of the historical industrial facility. When the soil was originally contaminated, best practices for the safe disposal of hazardous materials were not in place. Many industries dumped these materials into the soil onsite without understanding the impact this could have on the environment.

The most current groundwater and soil vapour data at the property boundary on 17 Sydenham St. suggests that contaminant from historical on-site industrial operations may extend off-site towards some neighbouring residential properties. In close consultation with the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change and Parks (MECP), the City and MECP has concluded that additional monitoring is required at certain locations adjacent to 17 Sydenham Street, due to the potential for off-site migration of TCE.

While the City is not the historic contaminator, we are the property owners now and as such the health and safety of our residents is our primary concern. We are still in the investigative stage at this point and there is no way to confirm whether or not off-site contamination has occurred without additional testing of potentially impacted properties.

Next steps

To properly assess neighbouring properties, the City plans to conduct residential indoor air monitoring at homes in close proximity to where elevated levels of TCE were identified.

Based on consultation with the Brant County Health Unit, it is important to note that these proposed activities do not present a public health threat to the community at large. For more information regarding TCE, please visit the Questions and Answers summary page.