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Toxic dirt dumped in Ontario’s prime farmland

The Star 


With lax rules and no tracking system, Ontario sits idly while Toronto’s contaminated dirt is dumped in the countryside.

Toronto’s construction boom is unearthing massive volumes of soil contaminated with dangerous heavy metals and petroleum, but it’s nearly impossible to know where the dirt is going because Ontario doesn’t track it.

Instead, thousands of tonnes of toxic earth taken to prime farmland from downtown condominium projects are usually discovered accidentally — by neighbours who report bad odours from soil that is supposed to be “clean.”

Long-term, experts warn of contamination of agricultural land and groundwater, often in the Greenbelt or Oak Ridges Moraine.


Now, groups like Lakeridge Citizens for Clean Water, Earthroots and Save the Oak Ridges Moraine are demanding the tough regulations of a “clean soil act.” They’re seeking rigorous laws that include soil tracking, a definition for “clean” dirt and rules to govern where contaminants are taken.

“The GTA is surrounded by the best farming land and drinking water sources and we will be polluting it for generations if the government continues to turn a blind eye to this problem,” said Earthroots’ Josh Garfinkel.

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Watch a piece on Global News here.