Environmental Law: Managing Fill: When in Soil "Waste", and Where Can it Go? (Archived Video Stream) 

Nov. 20, 2012
Toronto Online

This is the archived version of a program presented on November 20, 2012.  This will not become available until 2 weeks after the orginal program date.  To order this format please click on the "REGISTER NOW" button.   

Soil movement is big business in Ontario, involving perhaps 170 million tonnes/ year, and adding about 15% to infrastructure costs. Last year’s changes to O. Reg. 153/04 have made soil movement more difficult and expensive than ever, and further cost increases are expected. For the Eglinton LRT alone, the extra costs could be $65 to $100 million.

For decades, Ontario has had confusion about what can be done with surplus soil. Soil that meets Table 1 standards may be “inert fill” that can go anywhere, and soil worse than Table 3 standards may have to go to landfill (or risk assessment). But what about the vast volume of soils that meet Table 2 or 3? Or exceed them because of natural conditions? Are these “soil” or “waste”? Can soils be mixed in order to meet MOE benchmarks? Can contaminated soils be put back in the same hole they came from? Do the same rules apply to non-soil materials like aggregate? Can or should municipalities prevent soil movement? And what gives the Ministry of the Environment jurisdiction over soil anyway?

This spring, Ontario released draft Best Management Practices for excess construction soils from large projects, based on the United Kingdom program, Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments. Learn how the BMP would work, and what the alternatives are.


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