Efficient, thorough, cost-effective Environmental Engineering Services

Environmental Investigations

Since 2007, Active Earth has completed over 2,000 independent environmental investigations in Southwestern B.C. and Vancouver Island. Our investigation process is efficient, thorough, and cost-effective. All investigations are completed by highly-skilled team members with experience in a wide range of site conditions.

Our top priorities are to determine the likely worst-case conditions, to accurately assess environmental liabilities, and to provide results that are directly relevant to each project. This approach prioritizes the long-term interests of our clients.

Active Earth carries out Stage 1 and 2 Preliminary Site Investigations (also referred to as Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments) and Detailed Site Investigations across a range of industries. Clients include those in commercial, industrial, mining, and forestry sectors as well as federal, provincial, and municipal governments and First Nations. Active Earth has successfully addressed contaminants associated with historic filling, automotive fuelling and servicing, leakage from storage tanks, mining and blasting, electrical equipment (PCBs), metalworking and machining, sandblasting, wood preservatives, coal processing, and numerous other industrial activities.

Remediation and Soil Relocation

Active Earth is an industry leader in completing site remediation under Contaminated Soil Relocation Agreements. This approach provides substantial savings to our clients, who also benefit from our in-depth knowledge of the excavation and disposal industry in B.C.

Our remediation expertise ranges from simple excavation-and-disposal projects to complex multi-year programs. Active Earth’s remediation techniques include excavation, bio-remediation, air-sparging, soil vapour extraction, chemical oxidation, and risk assessment.

We specialize in cost-benefit analysis, detailed remediation planning, and remediation using both Approvals in Principle and Independent Remediation to obtain Certificates of Compliance and environmental closure.

Regulatory Approvals and Permits

Active Earth’s team of technical experts have a deep understanding of the key environmental Acts and Regulations in BC, and a thorough knowledge of local government bylaws. We have a strong reputation with various regulatory bodies and decision makers, and have a demonstrated history of completing applications for approvals and permits in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Where applications require input from multiple parties, we possess the project management skills to effectively assemble and coordinate the required teams. Through regular, brief progress meetings, we efficiently track the progress of multiple concurrent deliverables, and ensure that potential conflicts are identified and resolved as intelligently and economically as possible. This approach results in improved designs, more comprehensive application packages, and quicker regulatory review timelines.

Our regulatory expertise includes, but is not limited to:

  • BC Environmental Management Act: Site Profiles, Certificates of Compliance, Approvals in Principal, Determinations, Releases, Background Concentration Approvals, Notifications of Independent Remediation, Notice of Likely or Actual Migration, Site Risk Classifications, Waste Discharge Authorizations, etc.
  • BC Water Sustainability Act: Water Well Licenses, Changes In and About a Stream, Short Term Use Approvals, etc.
  • Local government bylaws: stormwater management and discharge approvals, groundwater dewatering and treatment approvals, soil removal permits, fill placement permits, etc.
  • BC Mines Act: Reclamation Plans, annual monitoring for permit compliance, etc.
  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority: Project Environmental Reviews
  • Disposal at Sea Regulations: Site-Specific Disposal Permits, Multi-Site Annual Disposal Permits, Letters of Confirmation, etc.

Disposal at Sea

Active Earth completes more Disposal at Sea Approvals for land-based excavations than any other engineering firm in Western Canada. To facilitate these approvals, our team completes all aspects of the regulatory process on behalf of our clients, including technical site reviews, applications to Environment Canada, and the collection of confirmatory soil samples.

The handling of clean soil via Disposal at Sea can often save significant transportation and disposal costs for our clients. By using the services of Active Earth, our clients benefit from our experience and positive reputation with Environment Canada. Our clients also enjoy some of the lowest laboratory prices available for Disposal at Sea soil testing.

Environmental Management Plans and Monitoring

Active Earth has extensive experience in developing clear, efficient, and responsible Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) for gravel extraction and aggregate mining projects in B.C. Our Senior Hydrogeologists have developed dozens of EMPs and Monitoring Programs to ensure that gravel/aggregate mining programs meet all environmental regulatory requirements and do not adversely impact groundwater or surface water in the area. Active Earth completes regular monitoring and regulatory reporting for numerous gravel/aggregate mining projects in B.C. Our Senior Hydrogeologists routinely speak at public hearings on behalf of our gravel/aggregate clients.

Active Earth also develops EMPs for various construction and remediation projects. Our EMPs cover waste management as well as assessment and mitigation measures aimed at protecting soil, groundwater, surface water, and air quality. Our EMPs summarize the roles and responsibilities of the relevant parties and are written clearly and concisely. Considered “living documents”, our EMPs are updated and refined regularly as project conditions change.

While acting as the Environmental Monitors (EM) on construction or remediation projects, we ensure all parties are familiar with the relevant environmental issues and mitigation requirements. Our EM staff are recognized for their professionalism, expertise, communication skills, and collaborative problem-solving approach.


Active Earth has completed over 30 landfill-related projects throughout B.C. Our team includes leading experts in waste management, landfill design, and landfill management and monitoring. Successful past projects include the evaluation of proposed landfill sites, conceptual/detailed landfill designs, and ongoing monitoring and assessment of existing landfills.

We work in rural and urban areas helping to provide effective waste disposal options for small-scale domestic wastes, contaminated soils, industrial and medical wastes, wood waste, and large-scale municipal solid waste. Our assessments often evaluate the risks to local and regional groundwater and surface water quality, landfill gas emissions, soil cover assessment and design, human health and ecological risk assessment, and development and implementation of monitoring plans. The Active Earth team also prepares and implements responsible and cost-effective closure plans for landfills at or near capacity.