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A property owner will have difficulty transacting on their property without some form of environmental consideration.   With over 15 years’ experience with Site Investigations and remediating contaminated properties while adhering to the Ministry of Environment’s Contaminated Sites Regulations, Ambleside Environmental is here to help.  Please call us as soon as you are considering a land transaction, particularly if contamination is suspected.  The sooner Ambleside is involved, the more options there will be for remediation strategies, if needed.  This can make the difference between a closed, stress free, deal and a delayed or missed opportunity.

There are many reasons for Site Investigations:

  • Home or property financing
  • Home or property insurance
  • Regulatory approvals to develop a property, or
  • Awareness of potential liabilities when purchasing a property

At Ambleside, our Site Investigations are conducted in a sequential phased approach to first identify and then to quantify environmental impacts.  The Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigation (Stage 1 PSI), sometimes called a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) depending on the circumstance, will identify potential environmental liabilities and will determine whether the Stage 2 PSI/Phase II ESA is required.




The Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) (also called a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment or (ESA)) is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence and consists of desktop historical research with no sampling.  Ambleside will examine past and present activities for the property and neighbouring properties to identify potential environmental liabilities.  This information is crucial for owners, lenders, and insurers, as they move forward with their transactions.  The process often includes the following:

  • Historical Land Use Review using aerial photographs, fire insurance plans etc.,
  • Previous reports,
  • Interviews,
  • Site walkover,
  • Regulatory Review including Site Registry databases,
  • Record of Site Condition,
  • Completion of a Phase I Report including recommendations and conclusions.

At the end of the investigation you receive a report that identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities.  The investigation, often called a Stage I PSI, typically addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property.




If the Stage 2 PSI concludes that there is contamination on your property, a Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) will be required. This will determine the contaminant type, concentration and vertical/horizontal extent of the contamination, source, whether conditions at the site are causing/likely to cause adverse effects (groundwater flow), and may require notification to the appropriate regulatory authority. This information will allow you to evaluate your options to find the solution to best suit your needs. This is the final investigative step before considering remediation options, if needed.

With our understanding of contaminant geochemistry and site considerations, our experienced staff at Ambleside will safely and efficiently collect the data required to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the contamination, all while keeping your budget in check. We will maintain a strong line of communication with you during the project and will take the time to discuss and help you understand our reports and your options completely.