Soil is an important natural resource as it supports plant growth, stores and filters water and provides habitat for organisms, among other functions. To help preserve this resource, good soil management practices should be considered during planning phases and executed during construction.
When excess soils are generated (the resource is subsequently termed spoil), they may be used at another site for beneficial purposes, provided the spoil does not have an adverse impact on the receiving site, site users and its environment.
When spoils are excavated on a site, they should either be classified as uncontaminated or contaminated. The notion that virgin material can be classified as “clean” without assessment should be conducted with due consideration of the environmental setting and the site history.
What could be construed as “clean” (or natural) on one site may be contaminated on another (e.g. Acid Sulfate Soils, high background concentrations of metals) and historical activities on greenfield sites may attribute to contaminated soils (i.e. application of herbicides/pesticide, fire-fighting foams-PFOS, illegal fly-tipping).