Treat and relocate contaminated material

  • Get a relocation permit
  • Get a land treatment facility permit
  • ​Risk-based restoration

Dealing with contaminated soil, sediment, snow and groundwater

When a site is determined to be contaminated, the contaminated material should be removed or contained. This is done to reduce the risk to human health and the environment.

We can help. The Government of Yukon regulates the transport of contaminated material, waste treatment facilities and a type of on-site contaminant management called risk-based restoration.

Permits for dealing with contaminated material

You need a permit to do the following.

  • Move contaminated material from one site to another, including treatment facilities: get a relocation permit.
  • Construct or operate a facility to treat contaminated materials: get a land treatment facility permit.
  • Implement site-specific cleanup standards developed through the risk assessment process: get a risk-based restoration standards permit.

Even when a permit is not required, all work related to contaminated sites in Yukon must follow to the protocols under the Contaminated Sites Regulation.

  1. Get a relocation permit

    Do I need a relocation permit?

    You need a permit if you plan to move soil, sediment, snow or water from one site to another - such as your property to a treatment facility - that is contaminated above any of the standards in the Contaminated Sites Regulation. If you are uncertain if your material is contaminated to this level, please contact or phone 867-667-5683 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, ext. 5683. . You must apply for a relocation permit prior to moving any contaminated material.

    To ensure the relocation is done correctly, we suggest that you hire an environmental consultant. They can help direct the activities, such as excavation and sampling, to ensure that you meet all permit requirements. An environmental consultant can apply for a relocation permit on your behalf as well.

    Apply for a relocation permit

    1. Get written approval from the owner of the site.
    2. Get a letter of authorization from the disposal or treatment facility accepting the contaminated material.
    3. Complete the relocation permit application.
    4. Submit the above documents to or to the Department of Environment office at 10 Burns Road, Whitehorse.

    After getting the permit

    You must follow Contaminated Sites Regulation Protocol 3 and Protocol 5 for sampling and laboratory analysis.

  2. Get a land treatment facility permit

    What is a land treatment facility?

    A land treatment facility (LTF) is an outdoor facility specifically constructed for treating soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs). PHCs include diesel fuel and gasoline.

    The main treatment process that occurs in an LTF is bioremediation. Bioremediation is a process where, under the right conditions, naturally-occurring microbes in soil break down contaminants, such as hydrocarbons. LTFs should be designed with these conditions in mind. The products of this type of bioremediation are non-toxic.

    Running a land treatment facility

    LTFs can be very beneficial because they help remove harmful contamination from the environment. However, if operated incorrectly, LTFs may spread contamination to the surrounding area. In order to ensure that LTFs have a beneficial impact on the environment, their operation is regulated under the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The operation of an LTF is subject to the requirements in Part 5 of the Contaminated Sites Regulation, as well as all applicable protocols. In particular, Protocol 11 describes requirements for sampling at an LTF.

    Types of land treatment facilities

    Private land treatment facilities

    Private LTFs can only accept contaminated material from the person or organization that obtained the LTF permit. The LTF may be designed to accept a small amount of contaminated soil on a single occasion or larger amounts of soil on a more frequent basis.

    Commercial land treatment facilities

    Commercial LTFs can accept contaminated material generated by the public. Once the LTF accepts the contaminated material, the person or organization holding the LTF permit inherits all responsibility and liability for the material.

    Apply for a land treatment facility permit

    You must apply for a land treatment facility permit before commencing construction or operation of a facility.

    1. Complete the land treatment facility permit application.
    2. Submit your application to or to the Department of Environment office at 10 Burns Road, Whitehorse.

    Other authorizations you may need

    You may also need the following authorizations, depending on the location and operation of the facility:

    • If the site is within City of Whitehorse boundaries: A development permit from the City of Whitehorse Planning Department at 867-668-8335. A Zoning Bylaw Amendment may also be required. If the facility is within the boundaries of another municipality, please check with your local municipal office to see if any similar authorizations are required.
    • If the proposed site is on territorial land: A lease from the Government of Yukon Lands Branch at 867-667-5215.
    • If the remediation process requires a large volume of water: A water licence from the Yukon Water Board at 867-456-3980.

    Assessment for large land treatment facilities

    If the treatment capacity of the land treatment facility is 3000 m3 or more, the activity will be subject to an assessment under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act.

  3. ​Risk-based restoration

    What is risk-based restoration?

    Often the simplest way to clean up a contaminated site is to use a permanent remediation method such as off-site removal. At some sites, however, it is impractical to remove contaminants because of technological, physical or financial constraints and they must be managed on site to ensure they do not threaten human or environmental health. This most often applies to sites with complex contamination, or existing structures that would prove very difficult to work around.

    In these situations, risk assessment can estimate the risks to human and environmental health associated with leaving the contaminants in place. This information can then be used to design solutions to eliminate the risks or reduce them to acceptable levels.

    Regulatory approvals for risk-based restoration

    You need a permit to use risk-based restoration standards at a site. You will also need a permit if you are relying on the results of a risk assessment to leave contamination on site in excess of the regular Contaminated Sites Regulation numerical standards. All risk assessments may be subject to review by a third-party expert, and the applicant must pay the cost of this review.

    Apply for a land treatment facility permit

    1. Complete the risk-based restoration permit application.
    2. Submit your application to or to the Department of Environment office at 10 Burns Road, Whitehorse.


For questions about handling contaminated material, email or phone 867-667-5683 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, ext. 5683. Report any spills to the Yukon Spill Line (867-667-7244).