Amendments to O. Reg. 406/19: On-Site and Excess Soil Regulation
November 7, 2022
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) recently advised the MEA that it is proposing to amend O. Reg. 406/19: On-Site and Excess Soil Regulation (“Excess Soil Regulation”). To make the Excess Soil Regulation more practical and focused on higher-risk movements of soil, the MECP is proposing amendments to reduce requirements applicable to low-risk projects, and to provide more flexibility when storing excess soil.
In 2019, MECP finalized a new Excess Soil Regulation, supported by risk-based soil reuse standards, to make it easier and safer for industry to reuse more excess soil locally. The Excess Soil Regulation was being phased in over several years.
In April 2022, to help give developers and municipalities more time to better understand their responsibilities under the regulation, the MECP paused the implementation of the provisions that came into effect on January 1, 2022, until January 1, 2023, including provisions related to registration, sampling and analysis and tracking of excess soil. The requirements that were paused will come back into effect on January 1, 2023.
Low-Risk Sites: To exempt low-risk projects from excess soil reuse planning requirements if excess soil is being removed from a project area at which the current or last property use was agricultural, residential, parkland or institutional. The requirements from which low-risk projects would be exempt include:
- filing a notice in the Excess Soil Registry
- retaining a qualified person to prepare an assessment of past uses, and if needed, a sampling and analysis plan and a soil characterization report, along with an excess soil destination assessment report
- implementation of a tracking system.
This exemption would not apply if the excess soil is excavated from a project area that was used as an enhanced investigation project area or a project area known by the project leader to be impacted by historical contamination.
- Storage: Amend the Soil Rules document incorporated by reference in the regulation to allow soil storage piles to be a maximum of 10,000 cubic metres. Other soil storage rules would continue to apply, including the requirement to prevent any adverse effects.
To review the proposed amendments in more detail and to provide your feedback, please visit ERO #019-6240 on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-6240) which is available for public comment until December 3rd, 2022.