BC Protocol 4 Background Concentrations in Soil
British Columbia’s Protocol 4 is applied in situations where the concentration of substances exceeds the desired numerical soil standards described under Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR). It is applied to investigate and remediate contaminated sites to conduct soil relocation in such areas. The BC Protocol 4 outlines the procedures which are used to determine soil background concentrations for specific locations. Consequently, the ministry provides regional background concentration estimates for specific inorganic substances. Therefore, the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) is responsible for addressing local background soil concentrations under the Environmental Management Act (EMA).
The protocol provides guidelines that determine whether a site qualifies as contaminated. A site is not considered contaminated if the substance under consideration is below the local background concentration but above numerical soil standards. Inscribed in the protocol are options, procedures and reporting requirements essential for assessing site contamination and appropriate measures to be taken. The options include evaluating local background concentrations based on ministry data, reference sites and supplemental data. The reporting requirements highlighted in the protocol include identification of regions, soil sampling procedures, geographical location, physical characterization of reference sites, selection of reference sites, soil depths, comprehensive history of land use, analytical results, and conclusions made.
The BC Protocol for local background concentration in soils is used for the management of the environment. It assists in the identification of contaminated sites and clearly outlines the desired procedures necessary for remediation. The protocol defines land-use practices hence utilized by land developers. For instance, it provides the regulatory basis for contaminated sites. Through the guidelines provided, it is possible to formulate actions to be taken regarded contaminated sites. In general, it will assist in the protection of human health as well as the environment.
BC Protocol 4 Background Concentrations in Soil are now compiled and available in ESdat at https://www.esdat.net/Environmental_Standards.aspx or by synching against our reference system.
ESdat is a specialist environmental database system; used to validate and import a broad spectrum of Environmental Data and help users analyze and report it.
Environmental Standards. All compiled environmental guidelines and standards are shown on the ESdat website. These are pre-loaded into ESdat Online.
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (2021). Protocol 4 for contaminated sites: Establishing local background concentrations in soil. Retrieved from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/air-land-water/site-remediation/docs/protocols/p4__jan2021_revisions_final_signed.pdf