Excess Soil Management

What is it?

The Government of Ontario introduced a new regulation (Ontario Regulation 406/19) about how to manage excess soil from construction, development, and infrastructure projects. The regulation has two objectives: 

  1. Move clean fill away from landfills and use excavated soil for infrastructure projects and development sites.
  2. Stop contaminated soil from ending up on clean sites such as farmland and other rural areas.

How can we help? 

We can take you through the excess soil management process from start to finish. We have experience administering soil sampling plans, segregating and stockpiling soil, finding destinations for soil and completing all of the required paperwork that is needed to move your soil efficiently and within the new regulations. If you have any questions about the regulation or a project you are working on, contact us and we will help you through the process. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

When is it coming?

The excess soil regulation is being implemented in phases. On June 12, 2020, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservations, and Parks (MECP) announced that some provisions of the regulation which were going to come into effect on July 1, 2020, have been deleted to January 1, 2022.

What is changing?  

  • Excess soil is considered waste as soon as it leaves a work site 
  • Quality and testing requirements for excess soil are more specific
  • Excess soil must be directly transported to a reuse site, a temporary excess soil management site, soil processing site, a soil bank storage site, or a local waste transfer facility
  • Excess soil quality has to meet the new Excess Soil Standards
  • The quantity of excess soil must be consistent with the reuse quantity specified for the reuse site
  • Certain types of soil processing will be allowed at project areas prior to excess soil being taken without the need for an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). 

What does it mean to your site? 

If you are a municipality managing a development or infrastructure project, or you are a developed undertaking a project, this regulation will change how you approach excess soil.

If excavated soil or excess soil has odour, dust, noise, litter, or in any way impacts the natural environment or water quality; preventive and remedial actions must be taken. Meanwhile, the owner/operator may need to suspend all soil management activities, including soil excavating, transporting, and receiving.

What does it mean if you are a contractor?

The new regulation is meant to:

  • Prevent illegal dumping of contaminated soil.
  • To keep these new processes cost-effective, developers should consider soil and its reuse much earlier in a project’s planning phase. As such, it will be essential to incorporate the newly required sampling and testing into your overall plan.

What does it mean for your future projects?

These new regulations will:

  • Give the construction industry clarity on how to manage excess soil and introduce means to do so
  • Excess soil will be considered a valuable resource
  • Reduce the clean excess soil going to landfills as waste
  • Set clear rules to govern soil reuse
  • Prevent inappropriate disposal of contaminated soil

Have questions? Need help? 

Contact us if you have any questions about how to manage the soil at any of your sites.