What’s Needed

Through its investigations of the problems faced by its members and studies of what went wrong at various fill sites the OSRTF has drawn up the following list of required actions.

1. Fill Brownfield Regulatory Gaps

MOE to amend O. Reg. 153 to track contaminated soil to approved receiving sites

  • Ensure entire source site sampling and compatibility with the receiving site


2. Clarify use of MOE Soil and Groundwater Tables

MOE to develop Standards and Regulations for soil placement outside of O. Reg 153

  • Consider accumulative effect for large fill site
  • Determine if salt impacted soils affect ground water
  • A clear definition of “inert fill”/”clean fill”
  • Create a soil table specific to Commercial fill with clear definitions
  • Elevate MOE Guidelines to Regulations


3. Gain Jurisdiction over Aerodromes

Transport Canada to specify that the environmental quality of fill is not integral to aviation.

Municipalities to be educated and supported by MMAH on their rights regulating fill at Aerodromes

4. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing involvement

MMAH 2015 review of ORMCP and NEP to consider fill impacts

  • Large-scale fill projects defined as development
  • High Aquifer Vulnerability and Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas in ORMCP and NEP to be protected from fill

The Planning Act to define commercial fill operation as a use-of-land

Municipal Act and/or Planning Act to require a materials management plan for excess soil as part of any future large-scale development

Amend the Municipal Act so that site alteration by-laws do apply in CA regulated areas

5. Stronger Municipal By-laws

Municipal by-laws to regulate and monitor large-scale fill operations

    • MOE Standards Development Branch to develop fill guidelines for municipalities
    • MMAH, Conservation Ontario, & AMO to provide model by-laws to municipalities and Conservation Authorities
    • Increase municipal fees to effectively recover costs of monitoring the operations
    • Use independent consultants to provide monitoring services

Municipalities to consider a large scale fill site as a change in land use and subject to planning

  • Have municipalities engage in pre-selection and pre-approval of targeted fill sites under zoning

Municipalities to request Material Management Plans for excavated material in building permits and development projects

Improved coordination/consultation between municipalities and Conservation Authorities (CAs) on applications for large-scale fill

6. Stronger Conservation Authorities

CAs need to better regulate fill operations

  • MMAH, Conservation Ontario & AMO to provide model by-laws to municipalities and Conservation Authorities
  • MNR to develop CA regulations to allow them to expand from their current emphasis on flooding
  • For those CAs that do not have fill policies in place, articulate requirements for large-scale fill operations in a Policy document (e.g., CLOCA’s Large Fill Policy)
  • Require a meaningful amount of financial assurance to deal with any potential future liabilities


Improved coordination/consultation between municipalities and Conservation Authorities (CAs) on applications for large-scale fill

7. Better Rehabilitation of Aggregate sites

MNR 2015 review of Aggregate Resources Act to consider fill impacts for soil quality and landform conservation

  • Link to MOE fill regulations for rehabilitation
  • Undertake bioregional landscape planning and rehabilitation
  • Mechanisms such as conservation easements for long term protection


8. Clarification that Large Scale Filling is not a “Normal Farm Practice”

OMAFRA to issue a guideline or policy statement indicating how large scale filling is not consistent with the definition of an agricultural operation and is not a normal farm practice.

  • OMAFRA to endorse the authority of municipalities to enforce their site-alteration by-laws when it comes to large scale filling applications on farmland, and to recognize the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change 2014 Guideline on Management of Excess Soils detailing the same.
Click here for our Model Fill By-law!


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