The 2020 edition of the Excess Soils Symposium on December 8 was a successful event that brought together 280 participants from across Ontario to engage in a virtual discussion on new excess soils regulations and innovative trends in excess soils management.

The fourth annual event was presented by Actual Media Inc. This year, due to COVID-19 considerations, a virtual presentation was provided, but event organizers are optimistic that next year’s symposium will return to an in person format, as previous organizers Canadian Urban Institute had presented in the past.

The symposium delivered valuable information on important updates to excess soil regulations and various opportunities to network and share industry news on a multi-faceted virtual platform. Participants heard from expert representatives from government, industry, NGOs and academia on the benefits and challenges of excess soil reuse for municipalities, communities and the construction industry.

Construction and development in Ontario generates millions of cubic metres of excess soil that is transported across the province each year. The movement and relocation of soil must be properly managed to mitigate negative impacts on communities and the natural environment.

Keynote speaker Chris Lompart, manager of land use policy for the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks provided his expert insight into new provincial regulation that is being phased in soon.

“Our excess soil regulations are finally going to be coming into effect,” said Lompart. “As of January 1, parts of those regulations come into effect and will affect everybody.”

Participants learned about the new requirements and revised protocols for soils management, including definitions for beneficial use versus waste soils, and what to expect in terms of grandfathered provisions.

Dynamic panel discussions also featured a range of perspectives on how Ontario’s new regulations will impact the industry, the business of excess soils, and the innovations driving best practices in excess soils management.

The panel discussion on how new regulations will impact the industry, featuring Andy Manahan (moderator) with Denise Lacchin of Golder, Mike Chopowick of the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) and Meggen Janes of WaterfrontTO.

Learning about innovations driving best practices in excess soils management with Andrew Macklin of Actual Media (moderator), Krista Barfoot of Stantec, and Kevin Goldberg of SoilFLO. Panelists discussed new technology to optimize efficiency and address disconnects in tracking systems.

Discussing the business opportunities in excess soils management with Andrew Macklin of Actual Media (moderator), Grant Walsom of XCG Consultants Ltd., David McGilivray of WSP Canada, Madeh Piryonesi of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and Ashley Herman of Freshway Development.

Walsom also provided an update from the Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) Excess Soils Working Group, including an announcement that new training modules will be released on December 15 and a new QP community on excess soils will be launched in February.

To inquire about speaking opportunities for next year’s event, please contact Andrew Macklin at andrew@actualmedia.ca.

To inquire about sponsorship opportunities for next year’s event, please contact Nick Krukowski at nick@actualmedia.ca.

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