Ontario government introduces legislation to curb illegal soil dumping
The Ontario government has announced legislation that would stiffen penalties for illegal soil dumping.
Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly announced the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan on Wednesday.
“I have been working with residents and Ministry staff to address concerns of alleged illegal dumping at [Waterdown Garden Supplies Ltd],” said Skelly.
“The proposed changes will not only prevent illegal dumping in Flamborough but also illegal dumping in other rural areas across the province.”
Skelly says the government is proposing changes that will reduce the risk of contaminated soil being mismanaged and will allow for the redevelopment of historically contaminated sites, putting vacant lands back to use.
“These changes will make it safer and easier for more excess soil to be reused locally by clarifying rules associated with managing and transporting excess soil and limiting the amount of soil being sent to landfills while penalizing those who dump soil illegally,” said Skelly.
“Strengthening our enforcement tools will allow administrative penalties to be issued for environmental violations, holding polluters accountable.”
The proposed changes would require developers, haulers, and excess soil recipients to register the quality, quantity, and destination of the soil.
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Ward 12 City of Hamilton Coun. Lloyd Ferguson called the problem “chronic,” claiming that as many as 600 trucks per day are dumping soil at Waterdown Garden Supplies off Highway 5, which also impacts traffic.
“It’s not just in Flamborough, it’s all of our rural areas,” Ferguson said in an interview on 900 CHML’s Billy Kelly. “We’re seeing more and more of what’s called ‘surplus excavated material’ coming in from Toronto and being dumped into Hamilton.”
“When they put up these big condo facilities now, particularly along the [Toronto] waterfront, they’re going down six or seven floors for parking. That’s a lot of excavated material that needs to be disposed of.”
Ferguson added that municipalities in Greater Toronto have clamped down on soil dumping, inadvertently redirecting the material to the Hamilton area.
Those in violation of the proposed provincial changes could fine up to $200,000 for each incident under the Environmental Protection Act.
The government is also proposing to further increase the fine.
In addition to the provincial legislation, Lloyd Ferguson says he’s working on a bylaw to clamp down on rural properties taking too much soil.
It would require people and businesses to apply for permits before they accept fill.
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