The Ontario government has announced that it will be clarifying the province’s excess soil regulations. The announcement was made by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek at the Excess Soil Symposium in Ajax.
“Improper management of excess soil can negatively affect ground or surface water quality,” according to Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “It is also associated with local issues like noise, dust, truck traffic, road damage, erosion, and drainage.”
Clear rules and new tools to work with municipalities and other law enforcement agencies will also strengthen enforcement of illegal dumping of excess soil. These regulatory changes will provide greater assurance that soil of the right quality is being reused locally, reduce greenhouse gas impacts from truck transportation, and prevent reusable soil from ending up in landfills.
“As Ontario’s population continues to grow, we need to ensure our valuable resources and prime land don’t go to waste,” said Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation and parks. “These changes will remove barriers for communities, developers and property owners to clean up and redevelop vacant, contaminated lands and put them back into productive use. This will benefit the local economy and create jobs, and keep good, reusable soil out of our landfills.”
Ontario is also reducing barriers to clean up brownfields, which are properties where past industrial or commercial activities may have left contamination. This is so that underused land in prime locations can be cleaned up and put back to productive use. This will also provide developers with more certainty and opportunity to redevelop brownfield properties, while still maintaining human health and environmental protection.
“The Ontario Home Builders’ Association is supportive of clarifying rules regarding the reuse and management of excess soils generated from construction sites,” said Joe Voccaro, chief executive officer of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. “This will create business certainty, while ensuring the tracking and quality of soil being deposited and increasing opportunities for reuse on other sites. Furthermore, exempting historic road salting that was preventing developers from obtaining an RSC is a very positive amendment supporting new housing supply.”
Header image credit: Roman Synkevych.