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Public Engagement on Updates to the Environmental Guideline for Contaminated Site Remediation

Press Release

August 4, 2023

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is seeking feedback on how contaminated sites are remediated across the territory.

The draft Environmental Guideline for Contaminated Site Remediation reflects the GNWT’s expanded scope of responsibility post-devolution, including current methodologies for contaminated site remediation and updated remediation criteria for some parameters.

The draft Guideline:

  • Reflects the expansion of the GNWT’s jurisdiction to include all public lands since devolution;
  • Includes additional remediation criteria for groundwater, surface water, and sediment quality (previously a federal government responsibility), including for arsenic in soil found in Yellowknife and Inuvik;
  • Clarifies the roles and responsibilities of key participants involved in the assessment, remediation and/or management of contaminated sites;
  • Describes requirements for a Qualified Professional, who leads or supervises the environmental site assessment process, is accountable for documentation and quality of work, and must have the appropriate level of knowledge and experience in all aspects of contaminated site investigation, management, and remediation;
  • Summarizes permitting requirements for the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, the Inuvialuit Water Board, and the Inuvialuit Land Administration;
  • Includes additional details for the Contaminated Site Guideline Process including notification, site assessment, preparation and implementation of a remedial action plan or risk management plan, and site closure; and
  • Contains a new section on acid rock drainage and metal leaching from quarries.

The draft Guideline aligns with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Health Canada, and other Canadian jurisdictions, as well as guidance from the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Health Organization.

How to Have Your Say

  • Read the draft Environmental Guideline for Contaminated Site Remediation and supporting documents online here.
  • Share your comments by:
    • Email:
    • Mail:

Environmental Protection and Waste Management Division

Environment and Climate Change

Government of the Northwest Territories

PO Box 1320

Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2L9

Feedback will be accepted until the end of the day on August 31, 2023.

For media requests, please contact:

Tania Oosting

Communications and Public Affairs

Environment and Climate Change

Government of the Northwest Territories


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