Current photo of park with methane gas ventilation pipes

Phase II ESA Project

The Challenge

During a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment on a multi-family property in a residential neighbourhood, Fisher staff noticed what appeared to be ventilation pipes in a park across the street, south of the subject property (see photo).

Further investigation revealed that the park had been an operating landfill in the 1950s and the ventilation pipes had been installed to remove built up methane gas.

The Phase I ESA also revealed that groundwater flow in the vicinity was moving from the park through the subject property, thus making the landfill a potential source of contamination.

Our client, the purchaser, had only 3 weeks to waive his financing condition, while his bank was reluctant to approve the loan on a property that could be contaminated.

Our Solution

Residential neighbourhoods are typically low risk for environmental contamination, but this site did have one significant environmental concern: the former landfill.

Instead of conducting a full Phase II Environmental Site Assessment which could take 4 to 6 weeks, Fisher proposed performing a “limited” Phase II investigation to test the soil and groundwater at the property line shared with the former landfill. Fisher’s proposal would still determine if any contamination had migrated from the landfill onto the subject property, but could be completed in less than 3 weeks, and would cost thousands of dollars less.

Fisher discussed the idea with the client and then his bank. The bank, who had no other concerns about this loan, agreed to Fisher’s proposal.


The soil and groundwater samples taken from the site were found to be within the Ministry of Environment guidelines for contamination. The bank subsequently approved the loan.

Time Line

15 days to complete

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