August 2019
Backgrounder
Excess soil is soil that has been excavated and must be moved because it either cannot, or will not, be reused on a construction site. Municipal governments need policies that protect public health and the environment by preventing this soil from being illegally dumped or disposed in landfills. AMO supports improving opportunities to reuse excess soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its movement.

AMO welcomed the introduction of the Excess Soil Management Regulations in 2018. The regulations outline a process and requirements that place the responsibility on the owners of the site where the excess soil is generated to track soils from excavation to re-use by creating excess soils plans. The new regulations also harmonize requirements for related activities, such as brownfields. These changes reflect AMO’s recommendations on the policy framework proposed by the former Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in 2016.

However, municipal governments continue to be concerned about the self-reporting approach for fulfilling the excess soils plan requirements. This approach should be audited by the Ministry until it runs smoothly. As well, where the municipal government is generating excess soils, there will be new costs in hiring qualified person to write the excess soils plans. We will continue to advocate for an appropriate municipal fee from source site owners to help cover the costs of municipal tasks.

AMO is monitoring the effectiveness of the Excess Soil Management regulatory changes. We hope that municipal government concerns regarding monitoring and compliance are addressed by the Ministry as the new regime is implemented.