Town welcomes report of Balsillie Task Force on Oakville-Clarkson Airshed

Fri, 25 Jun 2010

Action plan validates town’s calls to reduce levels of harmful pollutants in local airshed

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton is endorsing the recommendations outlined in Dr. David Balsillie’s Action Plan for the Oakville-Clarkson Airshed. The Premier of Ontario appointed Dr. Balsillie last September to chair a task force to develop solutions to improve air quality in the overtaxed Oakville-Clarkson Airshed. The appointment was in response to the Premier's Aug 28, 2009 meeting with Mayor Rob Burton and Ward 6 Town and Regional Councillor Tom Adams.

“The province appointed Dr. Balsillie to identify forward-looking solutions and he has responded to this challenge,” Mayor Burton said. “The town agrees that a new Airshed Management System that looks at cumulative impacts of emissions and sets specific air quality improvement targets and strategies is required to achieve real improvements in local air quality. Oakville’s innovative health protection air quality by-law recognizes the harmful effects of PM2.5, so we fully support Dr. Balsillie’s call for a provincial standard to regulate the emission of this harmful substance.”

The Mayor also highlighted Dr. Balsillie’s fourth recommendation that states:

All applications for Certificates of Approval for new or modified industrial activities, which will increase emissions within the airshed, must be considered in light of the current capacity of the airshed. This recommendation would also apply to the issuance of a Certificate of Approval for the power plant.

The Town of Oakville has called on the Province of Ontario to require a more rigorous environmental assessment for the proposal by TransCanada Energy to build a 900 megawatt power generating facility on Royal Windsor Drive because of concerns over the impact of the proposed power plant on health and air quality in Oakville.

“Council is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community and the proposed power plant puts both of these at risk,” Mayor Burton said. “Dr. Balsillie’s findings confirm that it would be irresponsible to locate a power plant in the Oakville-Clarkson Airshed given the current levels of pollution that already exist in the airshed.”

Mayor Burton noted that staff will be undertaking a thorough review of the report and will be reporting on their findings to Council later this summer.

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For more information:

Cindy Toth, Director
Environmental Policy
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3299  
ctoth@oakville.ca  

Jane Courtemanche, Director
Strategy, Policy and Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3038
jcourtemanche@oakville.ca