The Ontario Excess Soil Registry is Now in Effect

By - David
07.01.22 01:37 PM

As of January 01, 2022, The Ontario Excess Soil Registry website is now online. This means that the requirement to submit a notice filing to document and track excess soil is now required. From this date forward, construction and development Project Leaders and Operators/Owners of soil Reuse Sites, and Residential Development Soil Depot sites must file notices about how they reuse and dispose of Excess Soil in compliance with Ontario’s Excess Soil Regulation.


The implementation of the tracking system was the next step to the On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation, O. Reg. 406/19 (the "Excess Soil Regulation" or the "Regulation"). This new step intends to ensure that each regulated project's soil reaches its pre-approved soil reuse destination(s).


Background to the Ontario Excess Soil Registry


The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is responsible for policy and programs related to Excess Soil and, for conducting compliance and enforcement activities under the Excess Soil Regulation. In December 2019, the Ministry released the Excess Soil Regulation under the Environmental Protection Act, as they were concerned that clean soil from the construction sites could contaminate un-tracked soil and was being wasted.


The Regulation does require both soil sampling and tracking to avoid this issue. As a result, clean soil excavated from one site in Ontario will be reused beneficially at another site in Ontario. This will prevent contaminated soil from ending at a soil reuse site.


Under the Regulation, through sampling and analysis, a Qualified Person ("QP") is required to assess the quality of excess soil. They will also be in charge of soil characterization, and determine potential reuse. The Regulation also allows a QP to develop site-specific standards for reuse site and incorporates by reference aBeneficial Reuse Assessment Tool.

This Regulation will be implemented in phases coming into effect at different times. Most of the requirements were implemented in the first phase, that came into force on January 1 of 2021. The second phase, that requires soil tracing in the Excess Soil Registry, came into effect on January 1st of 2022. The third phase is expected to take effect on January 1st of 2025, with additional restrictions on depositing soils at a “landfilling site or dump”. The final phase is expected come into effect on January 1st of 2026.


Who Needs to File a Notice?


As required under the regulation, Project Leaders, Owners and Site Operators are required to use the Excess Soil Registry to file notices for certain Project Areas, Reuse Sites, and Residential Development Soil Depot sites where Excess Soil is generated, transported, temporarily placed, and deposited.


Project Leaders, Owners and Site Operators can also assign an Authorized Person to file a notice and pay fees in the Registry on their behalf.


When Will Notice Filing be Required?


The regulation requires notices to be filed for three types of activities:

 1.  Notice filings for excess soil from Project Areas that can be made by a Project Leader or Authorized Person and may require retaining a Qualified Person.

2.  Notice filings for Residential Development Soil Depots can be made by an Owner, Operator, or Authorized Person. This notice will be required before excess soil is deposited on a residential development soil depot site if the depot commences.

3.  Notice filings for Reuse Sites can be made by a Site Owner, Operator, or an Authorized Person. These will be required starting January 1st 2022 and apply to a Reuse Site that expects at least 10,000 m3 of excess soil to be deposited after Jan 1,2022.



Further Details about the Ontario Excess Soil Registry

  • The filing fees have not been finalized, but the fee proposal is posted here.
  • Project leaders, owners and site operators of reuse sites should use the Excess Soil Registry to file (or assign an authorized person to file) notices for sites where excess soil is produced and deposited:
    • a project leader must file a project area notice when a project generates 100 m3or more of excess soil; and
    • an owner or operator of a soil reuse site receiving 10,000 m3or more must file a reuse site notice.
  • The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority will operate the Excess Soil Registry, but the Ministry will continue to be responsible for compliance with an enforcement of the Excess Soil Regulation.
  • Proponents of projects that generate 100 m3. or more of excess soil that cannot be reused onsite should submit the required notices unless it fits under one of the exemptions under the<i>&nbsp;</i>Excess Soil Regulation.


More information ca be found at The Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority webpage and its FAQ, as well as The Ontario Government : Handling excess soil page.



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