Alberta Environment and Parks works with the public and industry to maintain soil and groundwater to the highest quality, applying codes of practice, guidelines, policies, and programs to protect them. Assessment and monitoring tools for restoring the quality of soil and groundwater to their full potential are also developed.
The Tier 1 guidelines are generic guidelines for application at a range of sites within a given land use.
The Tier 2 guidelines describe how to develop site-specific guidelines by modifying the Tier 1 guidelines using site-specific information.
Alberta Environment and Parks released revised soil and groundwater remediation guidelines in February 2016:
The 2016 editions of the Alberta Tier 1 and 2 guidelines come into effect on May 1, 2016. Alberta Environment and Parks and the Alberta Energy
Regulator will continue to accept applications for reclamation certificates and remediation certificates that are compliant with the 2014 edition
of the Alberta Tier 1 and 2 guidelines provided the laboratory analytical data report(s) from a Phase 2 environmental site assessment or confirmatory
sampling event is dated on or before April 30, 2016.
Alberta Environment and Parks has adopted the 2016 CCME Guidance Manual for Environmental Site Characterization in Support of Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment, Volume 4: Analytical Methods for compliance with the Alberta Tier 1 and Tier 2 soil and groundwater remediation guidelines. Soil and water samples analyzed on or after March 1, 2017 for regulatory compliance and closure must meet these requirements. Soil boron, salinity, and soluble ions are excluded from this requirement and must be analyzed in saturated paste extracts, as required by the Alberta Tier 1 guidelines.
In response to practitioner questions, Alberta Environment and Parks has developed additional guidance to clarify the use of methanol preservation when sampling soil containing volatile hydrocarbons:
Learn the facts about the Tier 1 and 2 guidelines, and read the frequently asked questions.
Subsoil Petroleum Hydrocarbon Guidelines for Remote Forested Sites in the Green Area
Guidance for the use of subsoil petroleum hydrocarbon guidelines within the Green Area is available at:
Under the conditions specified in this document, the Petroleum Hydrocarbon Fractions 1 to 4 ecological direct contact pathway may be eliminated at depths >1.5m
in fine textured soil. This option is only available for sites within the Green Area that are remote from potential human disturbance and are being reclaimed to
forested land use. The guideline document provides further detail on required site conditions. Management limits for coarse and fine grained soil are also provided
for Tier 2 applications at these sites.
Tier 2 Guidelines for Salinity: The Subsoil Salinity Tool
The Subsoil Salinity Tool (SST) is a software program for developing Tier 2 soil remediation guidelines for chloride-based salt contamination below the root zone.
The SST will guide the user to enter a minimum dataset, including site location and soil and groundwater information. Using this information, the software will
provide Tier 2 remediation guidelines for soil below the root zone. Soil within the root zone must be remediated to meet salinity guidelines in the Alberta
Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines.
All users of the SST wishing to develop Tier 2 guidelines for a reclamation certificate application must successfully complete a two day training course. See the
Subsoil Salinity Guidelines Fact Sheet for further information.
To download the software, follow the link to the FTP site and right click on SST.exe to download the software package to your computer. Once on your computer,
double click on the file and follow the instructions to install the program.
Applying for a reclamation certificate:
Alberta's Tier 1 and Tier 2 guidelines replace the Alberta Soil and Water Quality Guidelines for Hydrocarbons at Upstream Oil and Gas Facilities (2001
Upstream Guidelines). However, Alberta Environment and Parks will continue to accept applications that are compliant with the 2001 Upstream Guidelines as long as
the laboratory analytical data report(s) from a Phase 2 environmental site assessment or confirmatory sampling event is dated on or before December 1, 2007.
Soil monitoring and management programs at approved facilities will transition to the Alberta Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines or
the Alberta Tier 2 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines as required by the facility operating approval and the Soil Monitoring Directive.
Updated: Aug 1, 2017