Real Estate Transaction Saved Due to Quick Work by ORTAM

Mar 1, 2023 | Case Studies

Project Name: Phase 4 Environmental Site Remediation in Montreal

Year: 2022

Service: Environmental Site Remediation (ESR)


The client was in the process of selling his business and its seven properties located in Montreal and Quebec. He needed the environmental studies for each property to be reviewed by engineering professionals and to be given an outline of what needed to be updated in order for the sale to go through.

The client contacted ORTAM on Christmas day 2022 – and we were able to quickly get to work reviewing the environmental studies after the holidays. The client, after the first call, exclaimed that he “already felt reassured and confident that he was in good hands“. ORTAM knew that the timeline was going to be tight, as the transaction to sell the business and properties was to take place in late Spring 2023.

The Challenge

After a thorough review of all property reports, ORTAM noted that most were outdated and needed to be either updated or redone from the beginning to make sure the environmental reports were acceptable and wouldn’t put any risk on the sale or the transaction.

Known for our rapid service and quick turnaround time, ORTAM got to work updating the environmental reports.

The Solution

We immediately began making arrangements to update or redo the Phase-1s, some of which subsequently turned into Phase-2s, 3s and rehabilitation/Phase 4s.

One property, in particular, was a pretty big job from the start. We had prepared a proposal with a cost estimation of around 685k plus taxes. When we started the excavation for the decontamination, we started finding a lot more contamination than anticipated especially in the form of residual materials (wood, brick, concrete from old foundations, plastic, metal and even an old TV). Our excavation was supposed to be about 3 meters deep and because of the unexpected materials in some places, we went up to 5 and 6 meters deep.

So the challenge was to ensure the original scope of work did not end up taking more time due to unforeseeable issues. To make sure we were able to complete the project in the same time frame (which originally was about 5 weeks) we added more trucks and had crews work longer hours to be able to get the job done ASAP.

We kept the client abreast of the situation on a daily basis and even met with him on-site.


Despite the delays, we were able to complete the remediation and decontamination of the site and property in time and were able to produce the clean report the client needed for the major transaction to go through.

If we hadn’t been able to stay on time with the project the client could have potentially lost a multi-million dollar real estate transaction.

Environmental Site Assessment Services

Phase I Environmental Study

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment consists of a historical review of all activities of a property. This study is typically performed in the course of real estate transactions or with mortgage refinancing.

Phase II Environmental Study

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment occurs when a risk of contamination is detected during the Phase 1 study. This phase involves surveying for sampling and chemical analysis of groundwater and/or soil.

Underground Storage Tank Removal

Removal of underground storage tanks is often required to improve the environmental status of the property. Our team provides pumping, cleaning, dismantling and disposal of tanks. We also locate tanks if needed.