After a pause on implementation, several sections of Ontario’s On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation (O.Reg. 406/19) came into effect on January 1, 2023. This article is an update to our previous post in 2022 which you can access here.
The most recent and relevant changes are as follows:
Implementation of the Soil Registry
As of January 1, 2023, several parties are required to file notices to the soil registry about how they reuse and dispose of excess soil. Specific parties include:
- Construction and development Project Leaders; and
- Operators/Owners of soil reuse sites and residential development soil depot sites.
As part of filing a notice to the Soil Registry, the following documentation is required prior to the removal of soil:
- A general project description;
- Description of the project area, including geographic coordinates (UTM);
- Contact information of the project leader, operator of the project area, persons filing on behalf of a project leader or corporation, qualified persons that prepared or oversaw preparation of documents, and person responsible for the transportation of the excess soil;
- Estimate of soil volume to be removed;
- Location and operator contact information of any temporary management sites;
- Location, property use, and intended reuse of final placement of excess soil; and
- Declaration of compliance by the Project Leader.
Within 30 days of all soil being removed from a project area or management site, the registry must be updated with the following:
- Final volumes of soil deposited at any of the following sites:
- Class 1 soil management site (soil storage or processing);
- Class 2 soil management site (any temporary soil storage site, other than Class 1);
- Reuse site;
- Local waste transfer facility; and
- Date on which the last load of soil was removed from the project area or any Class 2 soil management site.
Information relating to the Soil Registry as well as the system to file notices can be found at this webpage: https://rpra.ca/excess-soil-registry/
As of January 1, 2023, the following documentation is required for any project filing a notice to the Soil Registry:
- Assessment of Past Uses: This is very similar to a Phase One Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) under O.Reg. 153/04 and involves a records review, interviews, site reconnaissance, and a report identifying Potentially Contaminating Activities (PCAs) and resulting Areas of Environmental Concern (APECs). A new assessment is not required if a Phase One ESA compliant with O.Reg. 153/04 has already been prepared for the property.
- Sampling and Analysis Plan: If the Assessment of Past Uses or Phase One ESA report identifies APECs at the project area, a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) is required. The SAP must be prepared by a qualified person and include appropriate sampling for all areas where soil is to be excavated. A SAP is not required if soil is to be deposited at a Class 1 soil management site.
- Soil Characterization Report: Based on the results of the SAP, a Soil Characterization Report must be prepared which includes:
- The results of the sampling program, including descriptions of sampling locations;
- Identification of where soil may be deposited based on the results, including reuse within the project area, disposal at a Class 1 soil management site or landfill, and potential reuse sites.
- Excess Soil Destination Report: This report outlines which type of site excess soil is to be deposited including specific locations and volumes of soil:
- Each Class 1 soil management site;
- Each reuse site;
- Each landfill; and
- Any alternate sites in the event excess cannot be deposited at the expected site.
Detailed requirements for the Assessment of Past Uses, SAP, Soil Characterization Report, and Excess Soil Destination Report can be found in the Rules for Soil Management and Excess Soil Quality Standards which is posted on the Government of Ontario’s website here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/rules-soil-management-and-excess-soil-quality-standards
Operation of a Reuse Site
As of January 1, 2023, any owner/operator of a reuse site where a soil volume of 10,000 m3 or more is expected to be deposited, other than an infrastructure project, must comply with the following:
- File a notice in the Soil Registry with the information below:
- Location of the reuse site with UTM coordinates;
- Description of undertaking for which the final placement of soil will be used (i.e. cover, fill, etc.);
- Contact information of operator;
- Estimate of soil volume;
- Applicable excess soil quality standards for the reuse site;
- Timing estimate for first and final loads; and
- Declaration of compliance by owner/operator.
- Develop procedures for the soil to be deposited for final placement, and that such placement does not result in an adverse effect. The owner/operator must ensure that these procedures are being following for each load of soil deposited;
- File an update to the Soil Registry within 30 days of placing the final load confirming that all soil was deposited, the total volume of soil, and the date of the final load received.
Additional information relating to the handling of excess soil including links to supporting documents can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/handling-excess-soil