POLLUTION

POLLUTION - AIR POLLUTION

Did you know that based on an April 2014 Toronto Public Health Report 2014_Air_Pollution_Burden_of_Illness_Tech_RPT_final(4) report that more than half of Toronto’s air pollution is emitted within the city’s boundaries itself.

Toronto Public Health estimates that air pollution in Toronto currently contributes to 1,300 premature deaths and 3,550 hospitalizations annually. This represents a decrease of 23% in premature deaths and 41% in hospitalizations as compared with 2004.

Toronto Environmental Alliance or TEA, a not-for-profit environmental watch dog, and Environment Hamilton have teamed up to launch the  INHALE – Initiative for Healthy Air & Local Economies Project. They have devised a unique approach to monitoring the air quality. By using compact and easy to operate air quality monitors and GPS devices which can be strapped to backpacks, bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs the devices can automatically draw in air and count the volume of fine particulates, which in turn can provide a guide to the air quality for that specific area of the city.

TEA has also gone one step further by actually mapping those findings on a city wide map (Fresh Air Finder Map) (as of today South Etobicoke, Toronto and Hamilton have been mapped)…I highly recommend you read the full article Cleaning The Air in the North York Mirror Thursday June 23, 2016 (page 8-9) edition by Cynthia Reason.

POLLUTION (NOISE) - AIRCRAFT

Aircraft noise has been a long standing issue in Toronto as well as most major and inter-city airports. As the population increases in any given city the air traffic tends to increase. Most people know that aircraft can produce very loud noises, but living in the flight path to a major airport may produce loud noises over a period of time which can have a more profound effect on a persons mental state.

Typically noise is measured in Decibels (db) but how do you measure aircraft noise, over a period of time, type of aircraft, night or day operation, weight etc. etc….many variables have gone into finding a formula to come up with the effective perceived noise level.

The NEF or Noise Exposure Forecast was introduced by Transport Canada to provide a guide with a contour map to visually identify the NEF rating around Toronto International Airport.

The countours map will give you the NEF rating – look very closely at the black lines and you will see a NEF Rating – (25,30,35,40). Basically the higher the number the louder the noise.

So what do the NEF ratings or numbers represent (when will people complain)…You can find the information in Noise_-_Transport_Canada_-_Aviation_Land_Use. When you go over Part 4 you will be directed to Table 1 which will provide the NEF values and the corrosponding Community Response to those values – the higher the NEF number the more likely a complaint will be filed.

For more publications and links visit Toronto Pearson website

Toronto International Airport Webtrak is an online tool which provides real-time and historical flight path data so you can investigate aircraft operations. Webtrak makes it easier for you to see what plane is overhead and to submit a noise complaint.

You could also plug in your home or office address and see if airplanes are in your flight path. This is a very cool site – I plugged in my home address and it showed me a plane flying near my house in real time. You can even type in a specific day and time to see what planes were flying overhead at that time.I ran my mouse over the plane and it showed me the height or altitude of the plane as well as the origin of the flight, the type of plane and destination…click on Webtrak to go to the site.

Be sure to read the left side tab at the top Start Here and the tab Flights and Complaints will allow you to enter your address. Be sure to investigate all the tabs and sections there’s a lot you can do with this site.

POLLUTION (NOISE) - TRAINS

If your thinking about buying a home or you already own a home near a railway line or yard there’s some important information and links, see below, which you may or may not find on CP and CN’s brochure and or web page. The Canadian Rail Atlas is very useful in zeroing on your actual community or street level and identifying if a rail line is near by.

Canadian Rail Atlas – a website with a detailed map that outlines almost 45,000 Kilometers of railway network in Canada where you can view class 1, short-line, tourist, commuter and intercity passenger railways. Make sure you read the User Manual first its very helpful in understanding the full use of the map, or go directly to the RAC Canadian Road Atlas Map.

Rail and Reason – A community blog for people affected by railway noise pollution

Railway Noise Measurement and Reporting Methodology – was prepared to guide railway companies, citizens, and to the Guidelines (see Guidelines to the right), the Methodology sets out procedures for the assessment of noise levels from existing rail installations and installations under construction. The Methodology may be used by the Agency in reviewing noise assessment submissions provided in support of cases for adjudication.

Guidelines for the Resolution of Complaints over Railway Noise and Vibration – The Guidelines set out the collaborative measures that parties must follow before the Agency will investigate a complaint. They also set out the elements the Agency will consider in determining whether a railway company is in compliance with the noise provisions of the CTA and the process to be followed in filing a complaint and the information to be submitted

Transport Canada – Website outlining railway safety – Acts, Regulations, Rules, Standards etc.