AEL continues to engage in Ontario’s conversations about fill management. We believe it is an important thing to consider and has a significant impact on stakeholders. The following is an excerpt from an RCCAO response to an MOE stakeholders session on this topic.
“From time to time we hear of distressing situations where a BMP approach has not been followed (for example, the front cover story which was published by the Toronto Star on October 20th: “Following the Trail of a Dirty Secret: Toxic soil from construction sites is loaded up and shipped out – but no one is sure where”). Public confidence is eroded when these bad examples are brought to light. Thus, we cannot afford to put on hold solutions pending the outcome of the current EBR soil policy review project (Note: we do not think that this will be the case but we wish to underscore the importance of moving forward).
Furthermore, we would like emphasize that responsible and timely action on the soil handling management file represents a great opportunity for the MOECC to introduce positive climate change programs. In particular, a move away from a ‘dig and dump’ approach to a beneficial reuse model will reduce overall truck hauling distances which will in turn result in lower GHG emissions and less wear and tear on roads and highways.”
AEL echoes these thoughts – clean fill affects much more than the immediate stakeholders. The effective management of fill impacts land owners, people using arterial roads, the environment, and more. Positive action in this area will have significant benefits, and inaction will have serious consequences.
For our part, AEL is working with a number of national corporations to explore soil reuse, storage, and management, specifically through the use of on-site testing to determine fill quality. AEL is glad to be able to contribute to the province’s work in this area by offering expertise and working within the BMPs that have been established, giving feedback along the way.