Section PS 3260 - Liability for contaminated sites

Effective date:

April 1, 2014

Published by the PSAB:

June 2010


This Section establishes standards on how to account for and report a liability associated with the remediation of contaminated sites.

A liability for remediation of contaminated sites should be recognized when all of the criteria are satisfied:

  1. an environmental standard exists;
  2. contamination exceeds the environmental standard;
  3. the government:
    1. is directly responsible; or
    2. accepts responsibility;
  4. it is expected that future economic benefits will be given up; and
  5. a reasonable estimate of the amount can be made.

The estimate of a liability should include costs directly attributable to remediation activities. Costs would include post-remediation operation, maintenance and monitoring that are an integral part of the remediation strategy for a contaminated site. The estimate would include costs of assets acquired as part of remediation activities to the extent those assets have no alternative use.

The carrying amount of a liability for remediation should be reviewed at each financial reporting date. Any revisions to the amount previously recognized should be accounted for in the period in which revisions are made.

History of Section PS 3260




June 2010

New Section

This new Section establishes recognition, measurement and disclosure standards for liabilities relating to contaminated sites of governments and those organizations applying the Public Sector Accounting Handbook.

Effective for fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2014. Earlier adoption is encouraged.

Note: The above summary does not include details of consequential amendments made as the result of other projects.

Public Sector Accounting Discussion Group meetings

  • October 27, 2015 - Sections PS 3260: Liability for Contaminated Sites
  • May 7, 2015 - Sections PS 3200 and PS 3260:  Remediation Obligations
  • January 7, 2014 - Section PS 3260: Determining When Assets Are “No Longer in Productive Use”

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