Testing has determined a total of 91 West Side properties were affected by a leak at the Shell gas station at Granville and 41st Avenue.
Contamination, much of which is 60 feet below ground, was discovered when the station was rebuilt in 2006.
Last September, the Courier reported 78 properties-72 residential and six commercial ones-had been affected. Since then, Shell did more testing and the extent of the plume has been delineated.
"The key part here is the plume has been established. We have achieved delineation-that's a really important piece. We know exactly what we're dealing with here," explained Shell Canada spokesman Randy Provençal.
"There are approximately 90 properties impacted. It's a slightly higher number than it was before. One of those properties is a City of Vancouver property as well, so obviously they've been notified."
In May, Shell applied to the Ministry of Environment for Certificates of Compliance for all the properties affected and submitted a risk-based remedial action plan. Provençal didn't have details about the action plan, but what action is taken could be different depending on the property. Last year, the Ministry of Environment told the Courier various options could be considered including monitoring contamination while it naturally degrades to more proactive methods or a combination of measures.
Provençal noted the importance of the Certificate of Compliance.
"We are waiting, obviously, for the Certificate of Compliance. We don't know how long that's going to take. I know it does take some time, but we do continue to be in contact with the Ministry of Environment on this file," he said.
"We want residents to be able to proceed if there are any changes they want to make to their properties. The Certificate of Compliance would enable them to do that."
Shell's position is that there's no impact on health given the depth of contamination, according to Provençal.
The company has been in touch with affected property owners since it held a private meeting with them at the Arbutus Club in September, Provençal added.
"Since then, we have actively communicated with neighbours. We'll send them an update newsletter just to say this is where we're at with this particular file and our intent is, yes, to go back and have another open house meeting for residents who wish to participate. I don't have a specific date on that yet, but we're looking to do something like that before the year ends."
In an email to the Courier, Peggy Evans, manager of risk assessment and remediation in the land remediation section of the Ministry of Environment, said the ministry is in the process of reviewing Shell's submissions and aims to respond sometime in the fall.
As reported previously, some of the property owners involved were notified of contamination because environmental standards were tightened in early 2011. Prior to Feb. 1, 2011, the requirement was an ability to support aquatic life, which was stiffened to drinking water standards.