Excess Soil Management…

ERO number


Comment ID


Commenting on behalf of

County of Oxford

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Comment approved More about comment statuses


Excess Soil Management Regulatory Proposal
EBR Posting # 013-2774


The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is receiving comments through EBR Posting 013-2774 for a Regulatory Proposal that updates the original proposal of EBR 013-0299 related to the management of excess soil in Ontario.

The MOECC has moved forward with the new Excess Soil regulation supported by complementary revisions to Regulation 347(waste) and Regulation 153/04 (records of site condition).

The new regulation also proposes a Beneficial Reuse Assessment Tool (BRAT) which aims to promote greater use of excess soil with the focus on human health and the environment.


The MOECC recognizes that there are currently issues in Ontario with regards to the illegal dumping of soils, commercial fill operations, characterization of soils and tracking of the movement of soils. The movement of thousands of truckloads of soil across the province has implications on greenhouse gas emissions which contributes to climate change.

The proposed Regulation builds on an earlier proposal, EBR Posting No. 013-0299, which was endorsed by Oxford County Council on July 12, 2017 through Report No. PW 2017-36. These comments and other comments received were evaluated by the MOECC and incorporated into the regulations and documentation proposed in current EBR Posting No. 013-2774.


Oxford County offers the following comments for MOECC’s consideration of the new regulatory proposal:

General and Regulation 347

• The improved definition of “excess soil” in Regulation 347 and the differentiation from “inert fill” will lead to better control of quality, transportation and final disposal requirements through the classification of excess soil as “waste” in certain situations.

• The new regulation recognizes that excess soils are currently being transported around the province without any regards to quality, transportation, environmental costs, and documentation for disposal at sites where the owner or MOECC has not be made aware of the quality of the soil.

• Although the proposed regulation has determined that sites with less than 2000 m3 of excess soil may move the soil without an Excess Soil Management Plan (ESMP), Oxford County would still like to see some environmental assessment process for amounts less than 2000 m3. There needs to be better documentation of what the responsibilities are for producers of excess soil amounts less than 2000 m3.

• The proposed regulation has a requirement for an ESMP which includes a registry with documentation for the movement of excess soils as requested by Oxford County.

• The new BRAT tool will help to classify temporary receiving sites, qualified personnel, retention times and hauling records. The BRAT tool will also encourage the reuse of excess soils onsite, if possible, for the protection of human health and the environment.

• The regulation recognizes that that excess soils reuse standards need to be evaluated separately on a case by case basis. The BRAT tool will help accomplish this.

• Characterization as “waste” and the required ESMP will ensure reuse or disposal at only appropriate sites, with documentation to support the movement and final receiving site.

• The new regulation through the BRAT and ESMP requirements will ensure that Oxford County’s naturally sensitive areas, watercourses, heritage features and farmland will be protected when excess soils are reused in Oxford County.

• The regulation, in principle, moves towards the goal to “protect human health and the environment from inappropriate relocation of excess soil”.

• The changes made to Regulations 153/4 and 347 ensure that the Province will be responsible for the monitoring of excess soils in Ontario and the enforcement of the regulations.

• The regulation is positive in that it allows exemptions for emergency movement of excess soils and the excavation of excess soils necessary for the maintenance of infrastructure such as municipal drains, sewer, and water repairs and drainage ditch maintenance.

• Written consent from site owners of soil receiving sites should lead to better awareness of the requirements of moving excess soil in the province.

Comments General and Regulation 153/4

• The changes made to Regulation 153/4 are consistent and complimentary to the existing regulation requirements.

• The proposed amendment to the records of site condition regulation with respect to mixed use buildings (amendment number 4) restricts the exemption to changes that meet specific criteria. The County questions the rationale for why a building should be no more than four storeys for the exemption to be applied (ss. 15. (1) 2. iv.).

• Also, ss. 15 (2) mentions properties being used for “indoor gathering of people for religious purposes” but does not reference other “institutional uses” or “community uses”. It is unclear why only buildings used for the indoor gathering of people for religious purposes is specified in this exemption.

• The County recommends that the changes in O Reg. 153/4 be reflected in updated provincial guidance on brownfield redevelopment such as the “Guide: site assessments, clean-up of brownfields, filing of records of site condition”.

• The County questions the rationale for the uses identified under the definition of “community uses”. In order to aid in municipal implementation of the proposed changes to the records of site condition regulation, it would be helpful to have clarity on the intent of the amendments (e.g. potential differences between buildings used for gathering of people for religious purposes versus buildings used for gathering of people for civic purposes).

• Regulation 153/04 allows for implementation of soils for backfilling or grading through the filing of a Record of Site Condition. This ability should be retained in the proposed regulation.

• Municipalities have the ability through by-law to prohibit or regulate the placing or dumping of fill. Municipalities also have the ability to control the quantity and quality of fill and, through site plans, the ability to control grading, filling and site rehabilitation. These abilities should be retained in the new proposal.

• Municipalities should retain the ability to pass by-laws which have more stringent requirements than the current proposed regulation.