Things to consider: Any movement of soil risks contributing to the introduction and spread of invasive species. Invasive plant parts, seeds and invertebrates contained in soil can spread rapidly when introduced to a new area. These species can cause issues for landowners and potentially have detrimental impacts on biodiversity. The spread of invasive species can also be stimulated by disturbance and exposure of un-vegetated soil. For these reasons, the MOECC BMP recommends municipalities consider how invasive species can be controlled during excess soil management. Temporary soil storage sites are additional opportunities for excess soil to introduce or spread invasive species between a source and receiving site, therefore, municipalities may want to include specific requirements for these interim sites (see MOECC BMP below).
The MOECC document Management of Excess Soil – A Guide for Best Management Practices (BMP) provides the following guidance for invasive species:
“Soil management activities can contribute to the introduction and spread of invasive species. Examples of species that can be moved to new areas through the movement of excess soil include European fire ants, Japanese knotweed, Phragmites, Giant hogweed, Garlic mustard and Dog strangling vine. Soil may contain plant parts, seeds, and invertebrates (e.g. European fire ants). Once introduced into a new area, these species can spread rapidly and often cause issues and concerns for landowners, and can have a significant impact on biodiversity. Disturbance and exposure of un-vegetated soil can also contribute to the establishment of invasive plants. Consideration should be given to controlling the introduction and spread of invasive species during all excess soil management activities. Those managing excavated soil may need to mitigate or eradicate invasive species or plant growth resulting from soil management activities.”1


Things to consider: Bill 37, Invasive Species Act, 2015, developed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, defines invasive species as:
    invasive species” means a species that is not native to Ontario, or to a part of Ontario, and, (a) is harming the natural environment of Ontario or of the part of Ontario in which it is present, or (b) is likely to harm the natural environment of Ontario or of a part of Ontario, regardless of whether it is present in Ontario or in a part of Ontario.
See the Definitions Page for additional terms relevant to any site alteration or fill by-law.


Things to consider: The MOECC document Management of Excess Soil – A Guide for Best Management Practices (BMP) indicates that “the QP should prepare a Fill Management Plan, which outlines the overall condition and operation of the Receiving Site and should include …procedures to prevent the introduction of invasive plant or animal species.”2

Plans to manage invasive species may be required as part of the application for a permit, as is done in this example from British Columbia:

“a site reclamation plan including Invasive Species Management Plan, prepared by a Registered Professional to be incorporated into the permit”3

Where a “Registered Professional” is defined in the by-law as: “an, engineer, geoscientist, agrologist, environmental consultant, soil scientist, biologist, or land surveyor who is registered with a professional association that is regulated by a statute, appointed to act in the capacities described under the sections of this Bylaw requiring a registered professional;”4

Permit conditions may also include requirements to manage invasive species, including for example:

“The permit holder shall ensure that machinery and vehicles used to excavate, load or move fill do not transport plant material of invasive species or cause the spread of Deposit of noxious weeds or invasive plant species.5


“No person may deposit or remove soil so as to…. permit the promotion of growth of invasive species on the parcel that are subject to the permit”6

CL:AIRE provides a summary of the UK Environment Agency’s “The Knotweed Code of Practice” in its bulletin – Managing Japanese Knotweed on Development Sites: Code of Practice.7

The bulletin notes that: “Any attempt to move infested material around a site should be carefully planned. Routes should be designed especially to reduce the risk of spreading the knotweed to previously unaffected areas. Transport routes, once planned out, should have a membrane laid on them to protect the underlying soils, this in itself should then be protected by a layer of sand.”

If Japanese Knotweed is identified on site, it is an example of a species which will need to be mitigated or eradicated, per the guidance of the MOECC BMP.