New rules governing the planning, characterization, management, documentation, tracking and appropriate reuse of excavated material are on the horizon in Ontario. On April 16, 2018 the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) posted a revised regulatory proposal for Excess Soils Management to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry. This regulatory proposal responds to actions outlined in Ontario’s Excess Soil Management Policy Framework which was released in December 2016 resulting from an MOECC review of the need for a new policy for managing excess soil sustainably in Ontario.
After considering all comments received on the original EBR posting in 2017, the revised proposal incorporates some changes to the regulation based on stakeholder input. The current proposal posted to the EBR includes: a new On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation; complimentary amendments to O.Reg. 153/04 and O.Reg. 347; and other supporting documents (including proposed “Rules for On-Site and Excess Soils Management” to be incorporated by reference into the main regulation that contains the proposed standards for reuse of excess soil at reuse sites).
Some of the key changes made to the regulation and supporting documents include:
- A revised approach to waste designation;Reduced regulatory complexity with some previously regulated elements being redefined as “guidance”;
- A phased-in transition time for key regulatory requirements over two to three years to provide time for education and training and to reduce potential impact to existing projects;
- Amendments to O. Reg. 153/04, proposed as part of the regulation to come into effect sooner;
- Further flexibility for reuse of excess soil through new reuse standards and a new Beneficial Reuse Assessment Tool to develop site specific standards.
Maxxam has been actively involved in the Excess Soils Engagement groups established by the MOECC by providing industry leadership and scientific expertise and by helping MOECC formulate realistic and practical regulations with which the remediation, development and construction industries will be required to comply.
Recognizing that the election of a majority Progressive Conservative government in Ontario may result in changes to the proposed regulation, Maxxam has prepared a Technical Bulletin describing key elements of the regulation as currently posted, and its impacts on sampling and analysis programs to support required excess soil management plans (ESMPs).