(250) 307-7365 info@sageenvironmental.ca

Written By: Kristen Cockburn, AAg

A Notification of Likely or Actual Migration [1] is a standardized form from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategies (MOECCS) that is a written notification that contamination from one property has, or has the potential to have, migrated to another property.  This form is filled out by the owner or representative for the parcel (the “Responsible Person”) where the contamination originated and is sent to any potentially affected parties. 

Usually a Notification of Likely or Actual Migration (NoM) will be issued following contaminated sites investigations where contamination of soil, groundwater or soil vapour is found to be present above applicable Contaminated Sites Regulation [2] (CSR) standards at the property line, or following a spill that may have affected neighbouring properties.  If contamination is suspected or has been proven to have moved off-Site, a NoM must be completed to inform the owners of the affected property.  When the NoM is filed, A Site Risk Classification form from MOECCS is additionally completed.  This is a desktop risk assessment of the potential or actual contamination to affect human health and the environment and is completed by the Responsible Person.  The NoM and Site Risk Classification package is generally completed by an environmental consultant who is conducting the contaminated sites investigations on behalf of the Responsible Person.

Spill Path
This spill migrated across 5 properties which all required notices of migration

Once this information is submitted to MOECCS, a Site Registry listing will be created for the property.  The Site Registry lists potential and confirmed contaminated sites documented within the province and the status of these sites, based on information provided to the Ministry.  It tracks regulatory information allowing practitioners in contaminated sites to access the same information. 

If you have received a NoM, you may want to obtain both legal advice from a lawyer, and technical advice from a professional with contaminated sites experience [3].  Further information can be requested about the parcel where the contamination originated including site investigation reports, analytical results, and any remediation plans for the contamination at the source or off Site.  It is recommended to have any previous investigation or remediation work on the source property independently reviewed by a contaminated sites consultant to understand what work has been completed to date.  They can provide you with an opinion on the completeness of the original investigations, and recommend further measures going forward if needed.  This can include investigations on your behalf to confirm potential contamination, or requests for further investigations by the source property owner.

Further information regarding remediation liability is provided in Facts on Contaminated Sites 16 – Remediation Liability Overview [4] as provided by MOECCS. 

If you ever receive a Notification of Likely or Actual Migration SEC would be happy to assist you in understanding what it means, what work has been completed, and how that may affect your property.

[1] https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/site-remediation/guidance-resources/forms

[2] http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/375_96_00

[3] https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/air-land-water/site-remediation/docs/protocols/p17_jan_2021_revisions_final_signed.pdf

[4] https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/site-remediation/identifying-sites-that-may-be-contaminated/liability