Air pollution an issue in YSW.

Megan Delaire has written an article about traffic related air pollution (TRAP) in toronto.com today and the accompanying gif is a telling reminder of why the shift to electric vehicles cannot come soon enough for the health of people living in Toronto near major highways and downtown.

The article uses a gif that rotates a series of four images showing the levels of four pollutants measured and published in 2017.

The gif showing the four maps.

Here are the four individual maps in a static format so they can be viewed more easily. York South-Weston is outlined in red. It’s clear that the greater volumes of traffic on the 401 and downtown create more TRAP. The first two maps show particulate matter in two sizes. Small particles are insidious because they can irritate the lungs. The smaller the particles, the bigger the risk to health.

Read more on particulate matter here and here

 

Nitrogen Dioxide is a pollutant that irritates the respiratory system and can trigger asthma.

More on Nitrogen Dioxide here.

 

Benzene is a particularly nasty chemical associated with gasoline. More on benzene here.

It’s clear from the maps that living near major highways provides a greater exposure to contaminants. Noise is just one of the toxic by-products of major highways. The faster we can move to electric vehicles, the better for our health. More on TRAP from the University of Toronto here.

Megan promises a follow-up article describing what can be done to reduce TRAP levels. Read the article here.

 

Kodak Lands Generator – Bottom Line

‘If the community doesn’t want it, it won’t be built’.

The words were spoken at the February 29th Transit meeting regarding the proposed (and contentious) natural gas generator that was so recently sprung on the community. A lot was said at the meeting and my report has a lot of information but this is something the community can and should latch on to.

Metrolinx originally wanted to reduce the chances of a power failure along the Crosstown Line by tapping into the power grid in two different places along its length. That way if a local power failure affected one connection (the vast majority of power disruptions are local) the power could be supplied from the other connection to the power grid.

Enter contractor Crosslinx Transit Solutions. They came up with what they thought was a better idea, namely to be totally independent of the grid during a power failure – especially in the rare event of a Province or even region-wide outage. This has happened exactly twice – in 1965 and again in 2003. Their solution was a gas fired (not diesel as was rumoured) generator. This would come to life to provide power during those extremely rare failures.

As an afterthought, Crosslink Transit Solutions proposed that it would also be fired up during times when the power grid was struggling to cope – routinely on a hot day when air conditioning demand stresses the system. Whether there would be money to be made from this and who would make the money are two very good questions. Nevertheless, when private corporations get involved in such matters it pays to be suspicious.

Image from Huffington Post.
Image – Huffington Post.

During those hot muggy days the last thing residents of Weston and Mount Dennis need is to have even more pollution added to the dirty air that traditionally accompanies such weather. In addition, the generator will occupy valuable space on a precious site.

Conclusion: the system doesn’t need it and the community doesn’t want it.

The words by the way came from Metrolinx’s Jamie Robinson, Director, Community Relations and Communications, Toronto Transit Projects. He said,

‘If the community doesn’t want it, it won’t be built’.

Mr. Robinson, we don’t want it. Please don’t build it.