Guidance for Soil Vapour and Indoor Air Monitoring Assessments

This document was developed by the Atlantic PIRI Soil Vapour and Indoor Air Monitoring Task Group to provide guidance on the assessment and quantification of the subsurface vapours to indoor air exposure pathway for petroleum hydrocarbons, through the measurement or prediction of soil vapour or indoor air concentrations.

It will assist in understanding the technical options and requirements for the assessment of the subsurface vapours to indoor air exposure pathway.

The document provides background discussion, technical options, recommended approaches and mandatory elements for assessing the subsurface vapours to indoor air exposure pathway. Specifically, guidance is presented on:

understanding the processes that control subsurface vapour transport and intrusion into buildings;

  • completing adequate site characterizations and developing appropriate conceptual site models;
  • developing sampling strategies and determining which methods for sample collection and analysis should be employed;
  • interpreting the results within the Atlantic RBCA framework; and
  • applying the results within Provincial contaminated site management processes to obtain site closure.

This guidance is primarily intended to be used by Site Professionals with detailed knowledge and experience in the management of petroleum impacted sites. The document provides information that they can use to develop and implement soil vapour and/or indoor air monitoring programs at petroleum impacted sites in Atlantic Canada, as an alternative to Tier I/II assessment/remediation of potential indoor air impacts as a result of subsurface petroleum hydrocarbon impacts.

This document is an Appendix to the Atlantic RBCA User Guidance v3 and supplements the Atlantic RBCA toolkit and Provincial management processes.

A presentation providing an overview of this Guidance is also available: Overview of Guidance on Soil Vapour and Indoor Air Monitoring Assessments.


Atlantic PIRI would like to acknowledge and thank the following people for their contributions of time, comments and expertise in the preparation of this report:

Atlantic PIRI Task Group Coordinator:

  • David A. Rae, Jacques Whitford Limited

Members of the Soil Vapour and Indoor Air Monitoring Task Group

  • Geoff Dickinson, TerrAtlantic
  • Thelma Green, Research and Productivity Council
  • Ian Hers, Golder Associates
  • Warren Kindzierski, University of Alberta
  • Scott MacKnight, OCL Services
  • Todd McAlary, GeoSyntec Consultants, Inc.
  • Peter Miasek, Imperial Oil
  • Tania Noble-Sharpe, Jacques Whitford Limited