Environmental Assessments for First Nations Reserve

Support Reserve management under the First Nations Land Management Act

 The Task:

Support the Squamish Nation in taking on their reserve management under the First Nations Land Management Act, including conducting Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments.

The Client:

The Squamish Nation is comprised of descendants of the Coast Salish Aboriginal peoples who lived in the present day Great Vancouver area. The nation consists of 23 villages encompassing 21.2 square kilometers. (www.squamish.net)

The Challenge:

PGL was retained to undertake Phase 1 and enhanced Phase 2 reviews of the Vancouver Squamish Nation reserves. Our work encompassed three major reserves on the Vancouver North Shore and one in Kitsilano. On these reserves, there has been a broad mix of industrial and commercial uses by tenants, and varied uses by adjoining land owners.

While the project was generally straightforward, specific challenges included multiple clients (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada was a significant player in the project) and working with reluctant tenants to gain access to carry out inspections and investigations.

The Solution:

PGL’s Phase 2 work identified 21 contaminated sites over the four reserves, predominantly affected by metals and petroleum hydrocarbons. Environmental issues at the reserves included historical deposits of metals ores and other filling, heavy equipment service, marinas/shipyards/boat repair, and sawmills. Adjoining uses included bulk fuel storage, dry cleaning, electricity distribution infrastructure, and a variety of small manufacturing operations.

The Result:

In addition to identifying issues, PGL quantified the remediation considering Squamish preferences on remediation methods. Strong report summaries were necessary to make the highly technical information as accessible as possible for Chief and Council.