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Comments submitted on behalf of the Scugog Environmental Advisory Committee, Port Perry, Ontario

Excess soil management regulatory proposal

In a general sense the proposal is good and corrects/offsets many of the issues small municipalities faced in the past. However inherent assumptions may be problematic. Foremost amongst these is that municipalities have the tools and experience to manage soils coming from offsite in a safe and effective manner. One way to offset this is to develop a Model Soil Use Bylaw to provide a framework to municipalities to develop and manage local bylaws and to provide consistency across the province.
The second assumption is that the industry will self-regulate which has been shown to not have occurred historically. Some businesses will do a great job, others will not. Stronger controls need to be in place to regulate those hauling outside their municipal boundaries and an inspection program developed by MOECC to ensure compliance.

The third area that is problematic is the movement of soils between jurisdictions. The proposal essentially permits enroute mixing and storage and then assumes the soils will get to their final destination in the same condition as they left the site of generation. This will not happen in many cases and better safeguards must be developed. Municipalities geographically separated from the point of origin will have no mechanism to follow the soils back to their source should problems arise. Delegating this responsibility to a lower tier municipality seems ill-advised. The province should retain control of movements between municipalities and the receiving municipality can take control once it enters their jurisdiaditon and has been shown to be safe.

Following are some comments on some parts of the specific documents provided in support of the MOECC proposal.
ERO number - 013-2774

Regulation to be made under the EPA – Onsite and Excess Soil Management

Generally, the definitions and clarifications both offsite treatment of soils is vague and needs to be beefed up. When ECAs or other approvals are required must be clear. Since the MOECC is moving away from enforcement and oversight, the upper and lower tier municipalities and contractors must have clear understandings of when approvals are needed and where the processing of soils can take place. Likewise the timeframes for processing and/or storage offsite should be clarified. Finally onsite storage needs to be tightened up. If volatiles are permitted to passively come off the piles of hydro chlorinated soils, these can impact adjacent stakeholders.


Under the definition of Qualified Person, it should be more clearly defined that this person needs to be more than a P.Eng - he/she must be qualified in soil management and testing specific to this industry.

Under definition of soil bank storage site, that permits the storage, on a temporary basis, of excess soil that originates from one or more projects - how do you protect against cross-contamination of loads from multiple sources?

Under definition of soil processing site, the scope is too narrow. Shouldn’t it seek to reduce or eliminate the contaminants, not just reduce?

Under the definition of temporary site, how long is temporary? This should be clearly limited in time to reduce impacts of unspecified terms for storage.

Part II – Excess Soil

Under section 3.(1)2. – do these sites all require ECAs? If so, it should be sated here that the sites must be approved?

Under section 3.(4)2.- why is this section even here? The PO has the right to issue orders within the confines of his/her duties. To express limitations here is inappropriate and may fetter their ability to use their judgement in certain circumstances.

Under section 5.(1)3.iii – shouldn’t agriculture be included in this list?

Under 6.(2)3. – Why is this limit here? A smaller area such as 100 m3 could be contaminated as well. To exempt projects less than 2000 m3 from requiring an excess soil management plan seems unjustified.

Under section 7.(3)17.iv – why make a statement such this? It is unenforceable. What does it mean to the best of the PL’s ability? This needs to be better defined as it gives an out for “incompetent” project leaders.

Under section 12.(3)6. – How does one deal with successor if the original persons involved change. Shouldn’t this also have a successor clause so that the project leader is required to update registry when the key persons change?

Under 13.(6)1. – should the estimated time for storage of the soil be included for each of these sites to give a level of enforceability?

Under section 15.(3)3. – Although this section has value, it fails to recognize adverse effect. The definition is too narrow. Why not add the standard definition of adverse effect to make it a complete definition and avoid confusion?

Section 17.(3) – some of these will require an ECA if the soil is treated offsite. This should be noted here to avoid confusion. I realize the section deals with onsite generation, but the implication is that once it is designated a non-waste, that remains so throughout its life. This assuredly is not the intention I hope.

Ontario’s Excess Soil Management Policy Framework and Proposed Regulation (overview document)

Under the goals stated on page one, proponents and generators must be encouraged to limit travel distances and reuse soils onsite or as close as possible. This is not clear in the current message and should clearly be stated under goal 2.

Section3 – Improving Transparent and Accountability

In the 2nd paragraph that starts with “This registry would provide a valuable …”. This implies that the registry would be accurate and would actually be reliable; hopefully this would be the case but history repeatedly shows that those willing to break the law won’t be telling anybody about it. I’m not sure how you solve this but we can’t be blatantly implying the registry will be all encompassing and totally reliable because it won’t. In the 2nd sentence of that same paragraph, it states that spills can be traced back to their source. Elsewhere in the proposal the transfer, off-site storage and mixing of soils is permitted, so this statement cannot be true all the time.

O.R. under EPA for Records of Site Conditions

Under section 1.(5).1 - why is this hospital included and not others?

Under section 9. Clause 28(10)(a & a.1) and 28(11)(a & a.1) – In these sections it is presumed that nothing has changed in the 18 months that have passed since the report was prepared. This needs to be confirmed before this section is applied as this is a dangerous assumption. Mixing or onsite contamination could have occurred in the interim.

Under section 55.(1).2 – the words “at the receiving site” should be inserted after “applicable soil quality standards …”.