In the province of Ontario how do we manage excess soil?
Over 25 million cubic metres of excess soil needs to be managed each year in Ontario. In 2014 the province issued a Best Management Practice to guide the industry in how to best manage excess soils in order to protect the environment and promote beneficial reuse, but it had little effect. In 2017 the province pushed this initiative farther by releasing a regulatory proposal for Excess Soil Management. The initial intent was to implement the regulatory framework by Jan 1, 2018. Thankfully the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has listened to many of the comments they received from their ERB posting and have committed to a number of changes for the implementation and focus of the regulation:
1) An ammended phased-in approach for the regulation was put forth, implementing reuse standards in 2020 and excess soil management plans and registry requirements in 2021;
2) A recognition that excess soil should be seen first and foremost as a resource rather than a waste;
3) And changes to what triggers an Excess Soil Management Plan (ESMP) being required.
For further details on excess soil management take a look at the following presentation by the Province of Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change from the Canadian Urban Institute Symposium in 2017.