On April 21, 2022, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks ("MECP") officially announced that it is temporarily suspending the provisions of Ontario Regulation 406/19: On-Site and Excess Soil Management (the "Excess Soil Regulation") that came into effect January 1, 2022. The suspended regulatory requirements will now come into effect on January 1, 2023.
Ontario Regulation 388/22, scheduled to be printed in The Ontario Gazette on May 7, 2022, implements the suspension. While the majority of the Excess Soil Regulation continues to remain in force, the suspended provisions relate to the Excess Soil Registry notice and tracking requirements. Please see our previous article for details.
The MECP has advised that the temporary suspension is intended to clear up confusion regarding the Excess Soil Regulation, including assisting stakeholders who remain uncertain about whether the Excess Soil Registry requirements apply to their projects. It will give stakeholders and regulated entities more time to understand the requirements, coordinate implementation across organizations, and give the MECP time to refine and clarify provisions for greater certainty.
For those following the latest developments, the suspension should not come as a surprise. The announcement follows a consultation period, during which the MECP received 166 submissions. The comments were mixed, but many supported the temporary suspension. The MECP's official decision statement regarding the suspension is available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario website here.
The Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority, which runs the Excess Soil Registry on behalf of the MECP, will keep the Excess Soil Registry open for users during the temporary suspension.
Gowling WLG will be keeping track of further developments. In the meantime, we invite you to contact us to determine your obligations under the Excess Soil Regulation. We would also be happy to assist with reviewing and amending construction contracts to incorporate requirements, where applicable.