Contaminant Monitoring Program
Submitted by Environment Services
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018
The sustainable range program was developed to ensure the health of the natural environment with the purpose to ensure the long term ability of the military to train in our ranges across Canada. A large element of the program is the environmental monitoring and tracking of impacts, resulting directly from our training activities such as the introduction of munition-based contaminants into the soil, surface water and groundwater. An understanding of the presence, extent and mobility characteristics of these chemicals is key to developing an effective monitoring program that can predict the current and future impacts.
The Contaminant Monitoring Program managed by Garrison Environment is composed of two elements. The first is project based (CS Project) and monitors known Contaminated Sites (CS) such as former dump locations, Fire Fighter Training Areas, leaking above ground and underground storage tanks and past infrastructure (old airfields, maintenance buildings, rail lines/spurs, etc.). The second is more general monitoring (CS Program) that includes collecting groundwater, surface water, sediment and soil samples at key locations around known areas impacted by training activities or in close proximity to Garrison Petawawa property boundaries.
The information collected as part of the CS Program is compiled into an ArcGIS data warehouse and is compared not only to Federal and Provincial guidelines, but tracked so that trends can be developed and observed over time. The trending of the data allows for the early warning of the presence of anthropogenic impacts or changes to the natural chemistry, like an alarm, so that the source of the variance can be identified and changes implemented to mitigate any further impacts to the media.
Additionally, the CS Program works with other government departments towards an understanding of the mobility and fate of specialized DND chemicals of concerns (CofC). This research can be applied to the CS Program by refining the sampling locations and media, as well as assisting in the interpretation of the results we receive from the laboratory. Research projects are also working towards the development of passive remediation strategies for our specialized CofC that will, ultimately, meet the needs of the ongoing training requirements of DND.