Best Management Practices: Excess Soils

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has provided a Best Management Practices (BMP) Document for addressing excess soils.  The draft document, “Soil Management – A Guide For Best Management Practices” was made available in November 2012.

This is a BMP guidance document – all Ontario environmental regulatory requirements are still applicable.

The purpose of the document, according to the MOE, is “to provide guidance and outline best management practices for the management of excess soils generated from redevelopment and construction projects.”

The MOE is suggesting the use of a Qualified Person (QP) as defined in O.Reg. 153/04 to assist in the development of soil management plans.  Some of the recommendations for “source sites” include the following:

  •  Development of a plan that identifies areas to be excavated with detailed instructions to contractors
  •  Characterization of soils by a QP
  •  Testing of soils for appropriate parameters
  •  Documentation of removed soil and that it is appropriate for the receiving site

For commercial fill and other large “receiving sites,” the MOE recommends that the owner “undertake public consultation sufficient to ensure that the local community and land owners are aware of the proposal and have an opportunity to comment on the proposal.”  They also recommend the use of a QP to develop a fill management plan that would include the following:

  •  Copies of applicable permits/zoning requirements
  •  Appropriate characterization of soil based on the land use/sensitivity, etc…
  •  Dust and noise controls
  •  Traffic management
  •  Record keeping

The draft guidance document provides much more detailed information.

Anytime you are dealing with excess soils at a site, you want to carefully manage the soils to avoid excessive and unnecessary costs, limit local disruptions, avoid future liability, and document your best management practices.

If you have questions about developing a proper management plan for excess soils, contact Christopher Paré, P.Geo. ( at 519-979-7300.


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