Last week (December 1, 2022), OSPE responded to the call for consultation for the Amendments to Certain Requirements under the Excess Soil Regulation. OSPE found the proposed revisions reasonable, but made the following comments:
- Although institutions (e.g. schools), parks, and residential properties represent a lower risk, we are aware of circumstances where soil historically placed at some of these sites would be considered relatively contaminated. The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) should consider providing additional guidance to Project Leaders regarding these risks and the due diligence that should be undertaken to confirm that a source site is truly “low risk.”
- Although some flexibility in how soil is assessed, with consideration to the relative risk of the source, is reasonable, further guidance regarding reasonable standard of care is required. If due diligence is lacking, improper placement of soil may erode public trust in the beneficial reuse of excess soil.
- It is our understanding that soil tracking requirements were implemented to ensure transparency in soil handling. Consideration should be made to keeping a tracking requirement, perhaps based on the volume of material received (i.e. maintaining a tracking requirement for reuse sites accepting larger volumes of low risk excess soil).
There is an opportunity to create a framework that offers clarity and efficiency to ultimately protect the public. OSPE is available to support the MECP in developing regulations that are practical in nature while maintaining public trust, directly informed through the input of our qualified members.