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Excess Soils Symposium and Upcoming Regulatory Changes
December 14th, 2021 2:41 pm     A+ | a-

By Nadia Todorova

Last week the annual Excess Soils Symposium brought together many across the industry to compare regulatory realities from jurisdictions across Canada. The cross-jurisdictional discussion was particularly pronounced during a panel I moderated focusing on the business of excess soils. Key highlights revealed there are quite a few regulatory similarities in Quebec and Ontario, which will be informative for other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, which is in the midst of implementing new excess soil measures.

RCCAO has been involved in this annual event for several years and with the new excess soil regulations coming into force on January 1, forums like this are incredible timely for industry.  I was pleased to moderate one of the sessions and thank the Environment Journal for organizing such a great and informative gathering.

The full day symposium offered an interactive platform for an update on the business of excess soils and new regulations impacting construction and cleanup projects. The panels provided comprehensive conversations with multiple stakeholders on various elements of excess soil management including new regulatory developments, perspectives on land use planning, building issues, environmental impacts and disposal costs related to new regulations.

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The panelists included Freesia Waxman from WSP Canada; Bruce Tunnicliffe from Vertex Environmental and John Hibbard from Tervita Corporation and Secure Energy Services.

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Beyond the jurisdictional discussion, the panelists offered a wealth of information on other excess soils management elements such as the cost of compliance, the changing industry standards, and offered examples of specific infrastructure projects across Ontario and Canada and how they are managing excess soils. Generally, the panelists noted that the new excess soils regulations are overdue and encourage the reuse of soil. This is also something that RCCAO has long advocated for when it comes to excess soil – recognizing it as a reusable resource, rather than seeing it as waste.

RCCAO’s involvement with the annual Excess Soil Symposium builds on the work that we have done on this file over the last nine years. We have commissioned several reports into quantifying the volume of excess soils that are generated by infrastructure projects in Ontario and launched video series on excess soil management. Reflecting the importance of excess soil to the infrastructure industry, RCCAO worked in partnership with other industry organizations on these projects, including the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and the Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors’ Association.

In 2022, industry will see significant regulatory changes regarding the movement of excess construction soils. RCCAO will continue its work on this file to ensure that industry is well versed in these changes and that the regulations have a positive impact. As part of that work, in January, RCCAO will be holding a webinar for members that will be led by D. Grant Walsom of XCG Consulting Limited and will discuss the new regulations and their impact to the construction and infrastructure industry.
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