Have your say: Municipal licensing and standards noise bylaw review


To restrict noise from two-stroke leaf blowers and other small-engine equipment, and

• To prevent excessive vehicle noise and use potential use of automated noise enforcement and noise radar technologies.


SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS TO MLS BY APRIL 20 to MLSFeedback@toronto.ca


Your feedback will help inform the recommendations of the MLS report, requested by City Council, which is to be on the agenda of the May 30, 2022 Economic and Community Development Committee meeting.

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The May 30 MLS report will make recommendations on the issues noted above. It will also discuss ongoing improvements in how the City enforces noise regulations. As well, this report will outline plans for public consultations, along with considerations around the potential timing and analysis required for a comprehensive review of the amended Noise Bylaw in 2023.


To submit your comments before May 30 on the MLS report, which will only be posted a week before the meeting on the Toronto Information Management System:

• google “Toronto tmmis”,

• click on “Schedule” and find the Economic and Community Development Committee report on the May calendar,

• find the MLS report on the Noise Bylaw changes,

• send your letter or request to be a deputant to edcd@toronto.ca. Reference the agenda item and report title.

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ISSUES OVERVIEW


BANNING TWO-STROKE LEAF BLOWERS AND OTHER SMALL-ENGINE EQUIPMENT

High levels of harmful pollution: Two-stroke leaf blowers are much more polluting than cars. Operating a two-stroke GLB for 30 minutes emits pollutants equal to those generated by driving a Ford F-150 truck 3,900 miles. Concentrations of hazardous ultrafine particles from commercial GLBs are up to 54 times higher than a busy highway intersection in Los Angeles. Pollution from an hour of leaf blower use is like to 1,100 miles driven in a 2016 Toyota Camry. These invisible pollutants are inhaled by equipment operators and passers-by and have health effects ranging from heart and lung disease to stroke, cancer, and premature death.


Noise harmful to hearing and health: Noise from popular models of commercial gas leaf blowers exceeds 100 decibels at point of operation and carries over long distances, affecting entire neighborhoods. These levels are orders of magnitude higher than safe standards for workers and the public with health effects ranging from hearing loss to heart disease and psychological and cognitive disturbances.


Fuel spillage, waste, and contamination of soil and aquifers: Every year gas leaf blowers and other lawn and garden equipment in the US consume 1.6 billion gallons of gasoline, generate tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide, spill millions of gallons into the ground and storm drains, and add millions of pounds of toxic and non-recyclable waste to our landfills.


Legislation to restrict the use of two stroke leaf blowers and other such garden equipment: Several Quebec municipalities, part of Vancouver and the National Capital Commission as well more than 200 US communities have enacted such legislation because of noise levels that far exceed health and safety standards and comes with high costs for our health, environment, and our enjoyment of our homes and communities.


EXCESSIVE VEHICLE NOISE AND POTENTIAL USE OF AUTOMATED NOISE ENFORCEMENT AND NOISE RADAR TECHNOLOGIES


• The 2019 Noise Bylaw only addresses excessive muffler noise from motorcycles. The revision to the bylaw must include automobiles. No explanation was given for the exclusion of automobiles.


• The current Bylaw permits a maximum of 92 decibels, which is considered too loud by most authorities, including the World Health Organization. Current City blitzes allow 94! The Bylaw level must be changed to 80-82, as was recommended by the Toronto Noise Coalition for the 2019 Bylaw and used by Harley Davidson and by the Toronto Police for their motorcycles. The noise level between 82 and 94 is not 12 but a 100% increase.


• The City must begin to use the new Acoustic Camera System (noise radar) technology already used in many cities in the US and Europe but will only work if noise levels are drastically reduced. A new decibel level will have to be established because the current testing is measured 50cm from the end of the exhaust pipe and the acoustic camera would measure from a longer distance.


For further information, please submit your questions to the Toronto Noise Coalition on a contact form found on under the Contact Us tab on https://www.torontonoisecoalition.ca









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