Model Fill By-law Project

Over the past several years, there has been a growing concern over the management of excess construction soil in Ontario. Large-scale commercial fill operations and the dumping of soils from brownfield redevelopment have caught the attention of local residents and governments. Concerned citizens have organized under the banner of the Ontario Soil Regulation Task Force (OSRTF) to work together to investigate problems and seek solutions. OSRTF has worked with government officials and politicians at all three levels of government, with technical experts, and with other groups to develop approaches that include:

  • asserting municipal rights at federally regulated aerodromes;
  • a Clean Soil Act to improve provincial legislation, regulation, and enforcement;
  • enhanced protection in the Greenbelt regulations; and
  • strengthening municipal regulation through site-alteration by-laws.

The following collection of documents can assist municipalities in strengthening their regulation of the importation of fill under site-alteration by-laws. Documents will be added to this page as the project progresses.

The Municipal Act has been amended.
Bill 68 received royal assent on May 30th 2017 and is now law. Section 142(8) of the municipal act has been repealed, meaning that site alteration by-laws now apply in conservation authority regulated areas. We recommend site-alteration by-laws be updated to reflect this change if it has not already been done.  OSRTF has updated the documents on this page to reflect this change.


Model By-law Documents
  1. Model Site-Alteration By-law for Ontario Municipalities, a model site-alteration by-law representing best practices
  2. Model Fill Management Plan for Large Scale Fill Receiving Sites, an enhancement to existing by-laws to better manage the importation of excess soils, i.e. fill
  3. Model Agreement for Large Scale Fill Receiving Sites, an enhancement to existing by-laws to better manage the importation of excess soils, i.e. fill
  4. Rationale Document, a collection of case studies, background documents, and specific rationale for restricting the importation of large scale fill
Background Documents
  1. Opinion Letters for OSRTF Model By-Law Documents, a collection of letters by professionals in the fields of geoscience, law, and environmental chemistry endorsing OSRTF’s Model By-law documents
  2. Guidance Document References, a collection of documents cited in the background documents, or providing additional context and rationale
  3. Lakeridge Citizens for Clean Water, an OSRTF member organization with additional detailed information about excess soil management and documentation of related issues


The Ontario Soil Regulation Task Force, along with its agents, contractors and principals, accept no liability for the content of these documents. It is incumbent upon the reader to verify the facts and form their own opinions.

Click here for our Model Fill By-law!


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