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How To Identify Potential Site Contamination on First Nations Land

Updated: Aug 2


Hi there, I am Corey Kinsella (CIPS Technical Advisor, Physical Sciences and Traditional Lands) with Cambium Indigenous Professional Services.


I am going to talk a little bit today about site contamination and some tips (and tools) and how you, as a First Nations Lands Manager can identify and potentially carry out some

remediation for these (contaminated) sites.


As a Lands Manager in your community you are are responsible for the record keeping for the site conditions for these different parcels (land) that are within your First Nation. You

might have some concern with historical uses of a particular property (or multiple properties). You may also be concerned about the current uses of these lands on your First Nation.


There are a couple of tools that you can use.


You can do a desktop review and there should be records that are available in your office or your band office. You can look at previous activities on these properties that (may) point

to contamination whether it is due to industry or storage of fuels and different materials that might pose some type of risk.


You can also do a visual confirmation on a day to day basis as you drive (or walk) through your community and seeing that the activities (in your community) has the potential risk for

contamination.


You can start that desktop review with existing records. You can also (go online) and use different GIS (geographical information system) and tools to really get a lay of the property

and take a look at it from a topographic view.


After that you can go out to the property (provided you have permission to access) and take a look around to see what's going on. You can keep a record and have a log book with you

confirm that the activities (occurring on these properties) might pose a risk for contamination.


From there, it evolves pretty quickly. You can approach an outside consulting firm (such as CIPS) who can also reinforce your desktop review. There may be some possible (soil) sampling to provide confirmation that there is contamination (occurring) on these properties. How to identify potential site contamination


1) Desktop review - Use special tools and software such as GIS (geographical information system) to help you get a topical view of the area


2) Visual confirmation - Visual inspect the areas of potential concern with a walk by or drive by.


3) Professional identification - Use an outside, third party company that specializes in identifying contaminated sites.


Related articles


What is a contaminated site?


Understanding Waste Management: Creating a First Nation Plan That Works


What is blue green algae?


Contact us today about how we can help you identify potentially contaminated lands. Call us at: (705) 657-1126 or by email at: spirit@indigenousaware.com


To book a zoom meeting directly with our CEO to discuss how we can help, click here


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