Thurber’s environmental scientists and technologists oversee the assessment and remediation of contaminated sites in the context of due diligence, land development and provincial certification. We also provide groundwater and hydrogeological studies as well as Phase I, II and III assessments for property transfers.

Environmental Site Assessments

An Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is the primary tool for evaluation of environmental liabilities associated with a property. It is usually structured in phases ranging from a Phase I (historical research and site reconnaissance) to a Phase II (sampling, analyses and contaminant identification) to a Phase III (contaminant delineation).

Remediation and Reclamation

If site contamination is established during a phased environmental site assessment, remediation or reclamation are normally required to prevent further environmental impact. Remediation involves containment, removal, or stabilization of contaminants from soil, groundwater and vapour. Reclamation involves physical reconstruction of soils and terrain on a disturbed site to achieve equivalent land use capability as to what existed before disturbance.

Land Capability Assessments

Man-made disturbances can affect the ability of soils to provide the physical, chemical and biological processes required to sustain natural and crop vegetation. Thurber’s environmental scientists provide a number of services aimed at establishing the ability of disturbed lands to support a particular land use in a sustainable manner.

Compliance Monitoring

The legacy of past production and mishandling of solid and liquid wastes is a major public concern in many communities across Canada. Stricter and wider-reaching environmental regulations this can impose responsibilities and liabilities on government, businesses and industries who have inherited contaminated sites. Thurber has expertise in designing, implementing and reporting compliance monitoring programs in accordance with the local regulatory framework.

Waste Disposal

Design of modern waste disposal facilities requires an extensive knowledge of geotechnical engineering and hydrogeology. Engineered barriers of these facilities require reliable testing techniques and long-term monitoring and reporting to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines. Thurber Engineering has provided input on all project phases for disposal facilities from municipal and oilfield landfills to tailings dams and waste rock dumps.

Hazardous Building Materials

Thurber Engineering Ltd. offers a variety of services to industry and building owners facing hazardous building material risks. We have provided these services to owners and managers of schools, office buildings, apartment complexes, hospitals, shopping malls and industrial properties. Our services include the sampling and inspection of building materials to assess the presence of asbestos, lead paint and polychlorinated biphenyls.

Indoor Air Quality

Occupants of office buildings are frequently unaware of how their health and productivity may be affected by airborne contaminants. Improper design or operation of the ventilation system can result in elevated levels of air contaminants. Thurber has qualified professionals and modern analytical instrumentation to quantify air quality parameters as well as the expertise to develop cost effective corrective actions.

Risk Assessment and Management

Risk assessments are used to identify appropriate cleanup criteria or the level of remediation efforts required for contaminated sites. Quantitative and qualitative assessments can be applied to make the cleanup of contaminated sites more cost-effective and create opportunities for redevelopment. Thurber offers a range of risk assessment services to evaluate current and potential threats to human health and the environment.

Environmental Impact Assessments

Conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at the earliest possible stage of a new development is required to ensure that environmental concerns are explicitly addressed prior to major decision making. The EIA process should ensure that the appropriate techniques and experts are employed and that the inter-relationships of environmental, social and economical aspects are brought into play.

Mine Closure

A key focus of mine closure is the reclamation of tailings or mine waste facilities. Successful reclamation of tailings deposits requires achievement of slope stability and sufficient consolidation to ensure a stable, well-drained landform. In the oil sands sector, much attention has been paid in recent years to tailings consolidation, treatment of fluid fine tailings and reclamation technologies.


With individuals spending more of their time in indoor environments, radon exposure and its possible long-term health impacts are becoming an increasing concern. The properties of radon (colorless, odorless, tasteless gas present at some level in all buildings) make it easy to dismiss, in spite of its status as a known carcinogen. Thurber has Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) certified professionals available to carry out radon measurement programs, consult on mitigation measures, and provide construction monitoring for mitigation system rough-ins for new construction.

Other Areas of Expertise

geotechnical engineering


Thurber provides a complete range of geotechnical services including site investigations, geo-hazard assessment, foundation design, slope stability engineering, seismic design, deformation analysis, testing and monitoring.

material engineering


Thurber’s engineers and technologists provide consulting for the selection and design of construction materials to achieve or increase the design service life of structural components and to determine conformance to project specifications.