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SOiiL (Supporting Ontario Infrastructure Investments and Lands) is a web-based electronic database similar to a very successful soil-matching registry model that has been implemented in the United Kingdom through an organization called CL:AIRE. The creation of SOiiL, with the support and input from government and industry partners in Ontario, is intended to create a leading-edge soil-matching service.

Created under the auspices of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), SOiiL was launched in 2013 to support the responsible movement of excess soils from construction projects in Ontario through the use of recognized industry excess soils best management practices (BMPs).

In recent years, industry stakeholders involved in the excavation, handling and disposal of excess "clean" soils* in Ontario - typically from infrastructure, development and construction projects - have been working to implement acceptable BMPs in Ontario. This is in the face of growing public and community concerns and the absence of clear regulatory policy direction or regulations related to clean, uncontaminated soils from non-brownfield sites.

Now called the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), the ministry worked with many stakeholders to develop draft soil BMPs focused on dealing with clean soils involved with site work being carried out under a Record of Site Condition (RSC) as part of the Ontario Brownfields Regulation O.Reg. 153/04 as amended.

Accordingly, RCCAO undertook a number of further consultation sessions and carried out additional studies examining the issues and potential enhancements to handling practices for excess construction soils in Ontario.

The Vision, Mission and Key Goals of SOiiL:

  • Our Vision: An Ontario construction and development industry that fully utilizes best soil management practices and encourages the beneficial reuse of excess construction soils
  • Our Mission: To connect soil owners with those requiring soil through the management of a leading edge soil registry system and soil matching database
  • Key Goals:
    1. To establish Ontario's first state-of-the-art soil registry system.
    2. To maintain an effective, safe and secure soil-matching database supporting regulatory requirements and community expectations.
    3. To promote the development of best soil management practices in Ontario by linking the operation of the soil registry database to an appropriate network of industry professionals and government stakeholders.
    4. To simplify the complexities of matching those entities with excess construction soils to those requiring soil by encouraging the environmentally responsible beneficial reuse of soils in an effective manner.
    5. To foster collaboration and the open exchange of ideas between stakeholders in Ontario and internationally in excess soil handling matters.
    6. To encourage better soil decision-making by improving Ontario's data analytics capabilities.

* For the purposes of SOiiL, excess "clean" soils refer to soils that are generated in the course of development and infrastructure projects and excludes impacted or contaminated soils typically found at brownfield-type sites.

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