Excess soil comes from construction excavations and the rehabilitation of Brownfields which are sites that presently or previously hosted commercial or industrial land uses. Hundreds of trucks a day are looking for a place to dump excess soil from new subdivisions and condo towers and from old gas stations and abandoned lead smelters. Municipalities rely on their fill by-laws to regulate the dumping of clean fill and the Ministry of the Environment of Ontario (MOE) uses their regulations to protect the environment from polluted soil. However, few municipalities acknowledge the existence of commercial fill operations or the possibility of contaminated soil. The MOE monitors and regulates fill only when it is alerted that there may be an environmental threat. This leaves the local citizens to raise the alarm and press for monitoring and regulation if they perceive a threat to the environment and their quality of life. The Lakeridge Citizens for Clean Water (LCCW) have done that with some success in Scugog, and other citizens in Clarington, Whitby, Pickering, New Tecumseh, and elsewhere are speaking up. They educate themselves, each other, and the media, and demand action from their politicians and civil servants.

These citizens are concerned about the threat of contamination of their drinking water wells and are disturbed by the noise, dust, and traffic hazards of the multitude of trucks. They are perturbed by the ineffectiveness of municipalities to monitor if clean fill is indeed clean and exasperated when the regulators back off if the site is designated as an aerodrome under federal regulation. Within easy driving distance of Toronto, there are dozens of registered aerodromes with grass-strips as well as dozens of exhausted gravel pits, both of which seem to be attractive to fill operations.

LCCW feels that all levels of government need to act: for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to guide municipalities to draft effective fill by-laws with provisions for monitoring the quality of the soil being dumped; for large-scale commercial fill operations to be subject to a similar scrutiny as for any major project; for MOE to take a proactive role in monitoring soil dumping; for the Brownfields regulations to ensure the removed soil is disposed of properly; for the greenbelt legislation to treat large-scale fill operations as any other environmental threat; for Transport Canada to purposefully acknowledge municipal and provincial responsibility in regulating environmental quality at aerodromes. LCCW encourage citizens to question the authorities when they see soil dumping and to inform themselves regarding fill issues.