Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP)

The Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is a cost-shared program that supports federal departments, agencies and consolidated Crown corporations in addressing contaminated sites for which they are responsible. The primary objective of this program is to address the risks that these sites pose to human health and the environment, and to reduce the associated financial liability.

The goal of the 15-year FCSAP program is to complete the assessment and remediation or risk management of highest-risk federal contaminated sites.

Who administers FCSAP?

FCSAP is administered jointly by Environment Canada, which houses the FCSAP Secretariat, and the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada, which ensures consistency with Treasury Board policies on the management of federal real property.

What government departments are involved?

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence (DND) have responsibility for many of the contaminated sites. These include military installations and other sites related to national defence activities on Federal Crown lands dating back over half a century, long before the environmental impacts of such activities were adequately understood or managed. The department also inherited responsibility for many former mines in the North after they were abandoned, or through bankruptcy proceedings and court decisions.

Four federal government departments—Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada—are responsible for providing expert support to custodians (which includes federal agencies like Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada), the FCSAP Secretariat and the Federal Contaminated Sites Associate Deputy Minister Steering Committee.

What types of projects are eligible?

Three types of projects are eligible under FCSAP:

  • Assessment, which involves a detailed analysis of the site to identify the nature and extent of the contamination
  • Immediate care and maintenance to manage an imminent environmental threat
  • Remediation/risk management actions, in which various alternatives for addressing contaminated sites are developed and reviewed before a final option is recommended to reduce the risk to human health and the environment

How many sites will FCSAP address?

FCSAP calls for the assessment and remediation or risk management of an estimated 6,000 federal contaminated sites over the next 15 years.

The Treasury Board of Canada maintains the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory. The inventory includes all known contaminated sites for which federal departments and agencies are accountable. There are over 18,000 such sites in the inventory, from across Canada. More than a quarter of these are currently being remediated or under risk management. To view the inventory, visit the Treasury Board Secretariat website.

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