Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Excess Soil Management Regulatory Proposal. On behalf of Infrastructure Ontario, I would like to submit the following questions and comments:
•Can more clarification be provided regarding the provided definition of “proponent” specifically related to the ability to transfer excess soil between proponents if the proponent is not the property owner?
•If the term “proponent” is intended to mean the property owner, who would be responsible for the management of the excess soil in a circumstance where a third party is completing work on property owners land? For example, Metrolinx may build an LRT on municipal lands. The construction of the LRT and management of soil would be the responsibility of Metrolinx, but would the municipality (as the property owner) be ultimately liable if the soil is improperly managed?
•It is our understanding that when soils are placed on an appropriate fill site, that the soils cease to be waste; however, if additional sampling is completed and it is identified that part of the soil exceeds the applicable standards, that it becomes a waste again, and the property owner of the source site becomes liable. Is there any way to incentivize the movement of clean soils to appropriate fill sites, without putting all of the liability on the source site owner? Is there a way or some system in place to eventually transfer liability to the receiver site? For example, there could be a time limit for liability (e.g. after 6 months, the liability for the soil management is transferred to the receiver site). It may be deemed easier and lower risk to dispose of soils at a landfill, because the liability would be transferred entirely to the disposal site.
•The standards for site receiving soils >5,000 m3 is very stringent. It is our understanding that in most cases this standard will be applied, because the amount of soil being received by a fill site will be unknown or the amount of soil received from a site will be greater than this threshold. These standards may make it very challenging to find an appropriate fill site.
•What communication and outreach has been done to discuss the implementation of the BRAT tool with the municipalities? It is common for municipalities to require the strictest standards for the importation of clean fill (Table 1 Standards), and without significant outreach, it may be challenging for the municipalities to accept a risk based standard.
•It may be easy for a QP to register online that they have a ESMP in place but what kind of quality control measures will be in place to make sure that a ESMP has actually been prepared and is adequate for the project?
•What are the legal consequences for non-compliance with the Excess Soil regulation? How will the Excess Soil regulation be enforced? Through audits, site visits etc?
•Does the project area have to include an entire property if the area associated with relocation of excess soil only involves a small portion of the property?
•What is the definition of a “settlement area”?
•Can it be clarified what “Crown land” is meant to include? Does it include all land that is provincially or federally owned or just provincially or federally owned land that hasn’t been parceled (unpatented land)?
•There seems to be some inconsistencies related to the timing for updating the ESMP. Some sections say an update is required every 14 days of soil movement while other sections say 28 days.
•Could there be negative connotations associated with categorizing soil quality as “unknown” in the Excess Soil Tracking System even if a QP has determined that no sampling is required? Can different terminology such as “not required” be considered?
•What are the minimum requirements for the “auditing procedure” for the Excess Soil Tracking System?
•Is there any guidance on how many leachate tests would be required and from what locations of a project area?
•Is an ESMP required for soils >100m3 being taken directly to a waste disposal site?
•Some excess soil movements are required to be registered to the Environmental Site Registry despite the proponent being exempt from the requirement to prepare an ESMP. Is this related to a key objective of the regulation “to ensure that excess soil is tracked to ensure it is taken to appropriate receiving sites, and to allow soil deposited at a receiving site to be traced back to a particular project area”? If so, why were other exemptions excluded from this requirement?
•For the Reg. 153/04 amendment related to converting low-rise commercial buildings to mixed use, is there a minimum footprint area size above which a building would be considered a “large building” where the exemption would not apply?
•Regarding the Reg. 153/04 amendment for naturally elevated concentrations of substances, can a guidance document be prepared to provide QPs with clarification on how to properly demonstrate concentrations of a substance are naturally elevated?
•In Schedule A, the first ESMP heading is “Property Description and Ownership” but the Section 2 of Schedule A appears to be referring to this heading as “Proponent and Project Area Description”. Which heading is correct?
•In Schedule B, are the volume ranges related to sample sizes too precise given the inherent accuracy limitations on stockpile volume estimations?
•Schedule A, Section 8b, subsection iii (page 40) wording is confusing since wouldn’t a Phase One ESA always be required as a first step to determine if an ESMP is required?
•What is meant by the “fill management plan” referred to in Schedule A?
•Schedule B (page 47) notes “ If the excavated soil is to be stored in stockpiles within the project area or at another location including a TESSS, the sampling and analysis plan must include measures to ensure that the soil is appropriately characterized to determine if any contaminants have been introduced to the soil since its excavation, as a result of handling, transporting, storing or other management of the soil.” Does this mean that additional sampling must be done after a soil is stockpiled in a project area or at a TESSS? Soil is often stockpiled on a project site for sorting, or due to the timing of truck movements, and resampling after stockpiling would not typically be warranted.
•In the Schedule B section for project areas with industrial use or use as a garage, a bulk liquid dispensing facility, including a gasoline outlet, or for the operation of dry cleaning equipment (page 52), it is unclear how the extra requirements are different from the base requirements for other types of properties.
[Original Comment ID: 209681]
Submitted February 8, 2018 1:42 PM