Ontario’s new excess soil management regulation is now in effect as of January 1, 2021.

Excess soil is soil that has been dug up, typically during construction activities and must be moved off-site because it can’t or won’t be reused at the development site.
The intention of the regulation is to reduce the amount of soil ending up in our landfills and promoting the safe re-use of acceptable soils.

“Improper management of excess soil can negatively affect ground or surface water quality and/or quantity in natural areas and agricultural lands. It is also associated with local issues like noise, dust, truck traffic, road damage, erosion, drainage and other social, economic, health and environmental concerns.”

The new regulation is being phased in more stringently over the time:

  • January 1, 2021: Soil reuse rules in place, including risk-based standards, waste designation and approvals
  • January 1, 2022: Soil testing, tracking and registration
  • January 1, 2025: Restrictions on landfilling soils – meaning soils with no or limited amounts of contaminants cannot be landfilled

The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation (MECP) requires a “Qualified Person” (QP) to oversee the process including:

  • Assessments of past uses of the source property
  • Sampling and analysis plans
  • Excess soil characterization reports and excess soil destination assessment reports
  • Soil storage and processing
  • Excess soil tracking systems

These regulations do not typically apply to quantities of soil less than 350 cubic meters, licensed quarries and pits under the Ontario Aggregate Act or fully agricultural projects. However, your QP should be consulted to ensure compliance with the regulations.

CM3 has QPs on staff to address all excess soil management projects.