Environmental site assessments

Our specialists’ reports are strictly confidential and accepted by ALL lenders.

Phase I – historical study of environmental risks

  • Cost: $1,570
  • Turnaround time: report in 3 to 5 weeks, subject to exceptions

Phase II – soil characterization

  • Cost: depends on the number of samples and analysis
  • Turnaround time: report in 2 to 3 weeks after fieldwork

Phase III – soil remediation (decontamination)

  • Cost and turnaround time: established on a case-by-case basis

Questions? Appointment?

You can call us at 514 990-2063 or fill out the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Exploratory soil test

Soil sampling and analysis to check for contamination, for example, by heating oil. This test does not offer the same scientific credibility as an environmental soil characterization. Moreover, this test does not constitute an environmental test according to the methodology prescribed by the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) and by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The client is responsible for choosing the sampling location. For additional details, please consult the “LEARN MORE” section below.

Cost

  • $500 including sampling, report and laboratory certificate.

Turnaround time

  • Report in 3 to 4 business days
  • Emergency service available

Soil test for disposal

Soil sampling and analysis for disposal at an authorized centre.

Cost

  • Please contact us for a price quote

Turnaround time

  • Established on a case-by-case basis
  • Emergency service available

Quality and credibility

Our specialists’ environmental reports (except for the exploratory soil test) are accepted by ALL lenders and are prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Multitest as well as these specialists are covered by errors and omissions liability insurance.

Learn more about our environmental soil tests

Phase I - Historical study of environmental risks

Phase I is generally required by lenders and buyers for commercial and multi-residential (7 units and more) properties. It consists of a historical study of the potential environmental risks related to a property; it can be more than 100 years in the past until today. The necessary research is done using 10 to 15 different information sources (Opta Information Intelligence, Québec land register, Énergir, etc.).

The study must conclude whether the land may have been contaminated, and if so, how. To obtain an answer to this question, a phase II environmental site assessment will be recommended.

Phase II - Soil characterization

Soil characterization consists of taking one or more soil and/or groundwater samples, performing a laboratory analysis, and determining the presence of contamination that exceeds acceptable limits according to the use of the property concerned. This is done in accordance with the requirements of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC).

The number of samples, sampling location, parameters to be analyzed and the drilling depth are based on the risks identified in phase I. The cost of phase II testing depends on these factors. It is therefore not possible to predict the cost of phase II testing without first completing phase I. For example, a simple case like a risk of an aboveground storage tank (AST) for heating oil could cost $2,500; each file is different.

In some cases, a complementary phase II test may be necessary if the analysis results indicate significant contamination that requires additional samples and/or analysis to accurately identify the extent of the contamination. This makes it possible to come up with a more accurate estimate of the soil remediation (also called rehabilitation) costs.

If the land is contaminated, the client may decide not to do anything (the report is confidential) or may decide to proceed with a phase III (soil remediation). It is usually the lender or potential buyer who will require the decontamination of the property.

Phase III - Soil remediation (decontamination)

Soil remediation (also called soil rehabilitation) consists in returning the soil to a condition that is within the acceptable criteria for its intended purpose. This is done through various techniques, such as: excavation and disposal of contaminated soil in authorized sites (also called ex-situ remediation), treatment of contaminated soil on site (also called in-situ remediation), phytoremediation (plant-based approach), etc.

The remediation cost depends on the extent of the contamination and the complexity of the work required (excavation in a crawlspace, work under foundations, etc.). It pretty rare that to have remediation cost below $10,000, while a more complicated case could cost a lot more (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Heating oil tank

Underground heating oil tanks contaminate soil more often than one might think, as they can be pierced by rust within 15 to 25 years. The value of the property could be affected and the interest from potential buyers may be reduced.

Apart from a leak from the tank, a spill could result from an above-ground tank due to improper filling or a supply line fracture below the concrete slab. This could be a costly fix if heating oil spreads under the foundation or on to a neighbouring property.

In many cases, a tank may have been removed from the property without a proper soil analysis to confirm the absence of contamination. Unfortunately, a soil characterization test will eventually be required by a lender or potential buyer. Therefore, it is important to have a soil characterization done, ideally when the removal occurs. See the section on phase II for information about costs, decontamination requirements and report confidentiality.

Exploratory soil test

An exploratory soil test consists of soil sampling and analysis to check for soil contamination—often following a potential heating oil spill/leak. The following parameters are analyzed: petroleum hydrocarbons (PHs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and, occasionally, heavy metals (HMs).

This type of test is referred to as “exploratory” because it does not provide the same degree of scientific credibility as soil characterization (see the section phase II/soil characterization for more details). This explains the price difference between the two ($500 compared to $2,500 or more). Soil characterization is accompanied by a report accepted by ALL lenders and is signed by an environmental specialized professional who will have determined the relevant sampling locations. For an exploratory soil test, the sampling location is chosen by the client.

An exploratory test is not an environmental test according to the methodology prescribed by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Our responsibility is thus limited to the quality of the laboratory analysis performed on the sample.

If the exploratory soil test indicates the presence of contamination that exceeds acceptable criteria for the property concerned, a soil characterization will be recommended characterization (see the section phase II/soil characterization for more details).

Soil test for disposal

The disposal of contaminated soil is regulated in Québec. When a contractor intends to dispose of excavated soil in an authorized centre, the centre will usually request a soil analysis beforehand to check one or several parameters, such as petroleum hydrocarbons (PHs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or heavy metals (HMs).

Each authorized centre has its own requirements for test parameters and the number of samples required; it is therefore recommended that these requirements be checked beforehand.

The cost of the test depends on factors such as the number of samples, the parameters analyzed and the required turnaround time to obtain the results.

Obligation to decontaminate

If the land is contaminated, the client may decide not to do anything (the report is confidential) or may decide to proceed with a phase III (soil remediation). It is usually the lender or potential buyer who will require the decontamination of the property.

FAQ on environmental testing

I need to do a soil test, what does it involve?

It is important to identify your needs. Please consult the “LEARN MORE” section above.

Phase I, environmental testing, soil characterization... what is it all about?

There are different types of soil tests. Please consult the “LEARN MORE” section above.

Is my test result confidential?

Yes.

Do i have to decontaminate if my test results is positive?

No. However, you will have to disclose it to any potential buyer.

Some testimonials from our clients

“I needed an urgent soil test to check if there had been heating oil contamination and Multitest offered me fast service at a great price, allowing me to complete the sale of my house. I was so happy that I told my whole hockey team about it!”

Jean-Marc Davignon, Boucherville

“I had to do a soil test quickly. The folks at Multitest gave me a competitive price the day after I called. The work was carried out cleanly, on time and for the price submitted. I am very happy with my experience with Multitest!”

Georges East, Montréal

“Thank you so much for your professional services throughout this (scary) project of a soil remediation of more than $120,000.00.”

Catherine M., Montréal

“We thank you for your professionalism, your help, your patience, but above all for the relevant information you provided us.”

Colette Lamoureux, Montréal

“In the context of the sale of one of our multi-unit buildings, we had a very short deadline to have a phase I study carried out. Thank you Multitest for your excellent work and for your efforts to get the report out faster than expected!”

Valérie L., real estate owner and manager

Main areas served by our environmental site assessment experts

North Shore of Montreal

We serve the North Shore of Montreal, including Laval, Mascouche, Terrebonne, Mirabel, Saint-Jérôme, Le Gardeur, Deux-Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, Pointe-Calumet, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Blainville, Boisbriand, Bois-des-Filion, Lorraine, Rosemère, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Sainte-Thérèse, Charlemagne, L’Assomption, Repentigny, Saint-Sulpice and L’Épiphanie.

City of Montreal

We serve the greater city of Montreal, including the following boroughs: Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Anjou, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lachine, LaSalle, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Le Sud-Ouest, L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal-Nord, Outremont, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Léonard, Verdun, Ville-Marie and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension.

South Shore of Montreal

We serve a large portion of Montérégie, including Longueuil, Greenfield Park, Saint-Hubert, Brossard, Belœil, Boucherville, Candiac, Carignan, Chambly, Châteauguay, Delson, La Prairie, McMasterville, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Otterburn Park, Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Constant, Saint-Isidore, Sainte-Julie, Saint-Lambert, Saint-Philippe, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Varennes.