The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) retained the services of our Hazardous Materials/ Environmental Health & Safety Division to conduct annual asbestos reassessments and various designated substances surveys in order to maintain compliance with the requirements of the Occupational Health & Safety Act in Ontario. Since 2012, we have performed annual reassessments and designated substances survey for seven water/waste water facilities in order to evaluate the presence and conditions of various hazardous materials. We have also updated the existing room-by-room electronic hazardous materials database with information obtained during the reassessment inspections in addition to updating the asbestos management plans for each facility.

The project included an initial review of previous Designated Substances Survey (DSS) Reports for each facility to determine previous findings and reassess the condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). This information was used to provide an indication of where ACMs had been removed, as well as to determine where bulk sampling has been previously conducted and where asbestos had been previously identified. We also reviewed available abatement reports regarding any removal and or repair work that may have been completed at the various facilities.

We worked closely with OCWA site managers at each of the facilities and attended plant safety orientation training in advance of conducting any field work in order to ensure that health and safety of our field staff while maintain compliance with site specific safety protocols. A field review of all accessible areas was then conducted in accordance with applicable regulations. For each building, an assessment of the condition of materials known to contain asbestos was carried out. During the field review, OCWA staff were also interviewed to collect additional information regarding the condition of ACMs and any other relevant work completed to date.

In addition, sampling of materials suspected to contain asbestos was also conducted, where applicable. Bulk sampling was conducted to complement sampling previously completed, for which records were available, in order to develop a sampling strategy that minimizes number of samples collected, while meeting the survey objectives. Minimum sample requirements along with bulk sampling based on homogeneous materials was conducted as per the requirements of Table 1 in Ontario Regulation 278/05. Asbestos bulk samples were analyzed by an independent laboratory using Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) methodologies in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Test Method EPA 600/R-93/116 as per O. Reg. 278/05.

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