Commercial development continues throughout Canada, with big increases in urban areas like Toronto. One environmental hazard associated with this is the dumping of toxic soil fill into sites that don’t deal with these materials. Pressure on commercial developers to begin construction immediately causes less than ethical practices in regards to soil removal. Toxic soil from construction waste is capable of poisoning the groundwater and hurting farmers.
This has become such a big issue that Environment Minister Glen Murray has said that it’s a top environmental concern in Ontario. There’s virtually no government oversight of this industry or a tracking system that shows where developers dump their construction waste. It’s time for Canadians to weigh the cost of development versus environmental costs.
Soil Fill Sites And Your Community
The Toronto Star reported that during peak construction in the Greater Toronto region, 50 million cubic tons of soil are removed at a cost of $1.7 billion annually. Much of this soil has toxic matter, such as barium, copper, and lead, but developers are skipping sending this to the proper facilities and getting away with it. Some are even selling contaminated soil to farmers who believe the soil is actually clean while sellers are making millions off of the deception.
Just like having a garbage landfill, it’s a good idea for communities to have a dedicated soil fill site as well. At these sites, specialists can determine what soil is acceptable for use, ensuring that dangerous toxins don’t spread. Having proper controls on soil is essential for keeping water and agricultural practices clean and uncontaminated.
Environmental groups are demanding tough regulations on soil disposal in an effort to keep Canadians safe. Holding developers accountable for selling or improperly disposing of toxic soil is critical going forward. With many communities desiring rapid commercial development, it may be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Toxic soil jeopardizes everyone’s health, as we rely on clean water and uncontaminated food for survival. However, several companies are under investigation for engaging in these illegal practices.
If you want to learn more about how to handle soil fill responsibly, we’re here to help. Soil Advocates Inc. uses the latest tools and technologies to provide a stronger understanding of environmental responsibility. We promote sustainable practices and protecting the environment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with everything from environmental analysis to feasibility studies.