MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN
MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN
RESTRICTING EXCESSIVE NOISE FROM VEHICLES AND LEAF BLOWERS AND OTHER SMALL ENGINE EQUIPMENT
ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE - Monday, May 30.
Email your views and/or ask to be a deputant at the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday May 27. Reference “EC3.4 Report on Outstanding Noise Directives.”
See Municipal Licensing and Standards report,“EC3.4 Report on Outstanding Noise Directives” at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2022.EC30.4.
See comments on the Report by the TORONTO NOISE COALITION below.
1. Recommendation 1 - technical amendments
2. Restricting Vehicle noise – noise from exhausts
• Recommendation 2. that the Government of Ontario increase fines for violations of modified exhaust and excessive vehicle noise under the Highway Traffic Act, and that a violation result in demerit points.
TNC: Support a substantial increase in fines and demerit points.
TNC: Add recommendations to: increase staffing for the Toronto Police Service to do more blitzes of vehicles to examine the mufflers by trained officers and to explore the equipping and training of TPS on sound level meters to support enforcement as requested by the Mayor; and to add restriction of vehicle noise to the Bylaw as modified are very noisy. The current Noise Bylaw only addresses excessive muffler noise from motorcycles.
• Recommendation 3 for undertaking educational efforts to inform licensed car repair facilities, through educational communications, that muffler modifications that increase noise levels are prohibited under the Highway Traffic Act, and the condition of licensing requires compliance with federal, provincial and local regulations.
• Recommendation 4 for the 2023 Noise Bylaw Review to include improvements to City regulation of motor vehicle noise and an assessment of additional options to support a reduction in motor vehicle noise, including setting a decibel limit for stationary motor vehicles.
TNC: Add a new recommendation now to reduce the permitted level db for stationary vehicles to 82 at idle now. The maximum allowable decibels in the current bylaw is 92. We suggest that it must be changed to no greater than 82 (with no 2 decibel ‘grace’) as sounds above this level are unacceptable and considered very loud by most authorities such as the World Health Organization who have stated on numerous occasions that noise pollution this is a serious long-term health issue. The Mayor has requested an idling noise level in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers.
TNC: Add a new recommendation now to include motor vehicles. The current blitzes target motorcycles but must include modified vehicles as well.
• Recommendation 5. to continue monitoring of technology developments related to automated noise enforcement /noise radar, and that the 2023 Noise Bylaw Review in 2023 include any progress in reducing noise levels.
TNC: Support. The City must begin asap to use Acoustic Camera System (noise radar) technology that is already in use in several cities in Europe and the United States. However, it will only work if the maximum permitted decibel level is drastically reduced. In addition, a new decibel level especially created for this system would have to be established because the current testing is measured at 50 cm from the end of the exhaust pipe at idle and the acoustic cameras would measure the decibels from a far greater distance.
3. Restricting noise from two-stroke leaf blowers and other small-engine equipment.
• No Recommendation to support a ban on two-stroke small engine equipment from a noise perspective because compared to other noise categories, such as amplified sound and construction, complaints from leaf blowers and other equipment remain low.
TNC: Support the Recommendations below for improvements and next steps.
TNC: Using low levels of complaints as a reason for no change is insufficient. We know, for example, that there is widespread objection in neighbourhoods and that people may not bother registering complaints, perhaps as the noisy machines are permitted by the Noise Bylaw now. Add a recommendation to undertake a survey to get a more accurate measurement of the impacts on Toronto citizens.
• Recommendation 6.1 to restrict use of power device to before 8am rather than 7am.
TNC: Support. An improvement but much more needed.
• Recommendation 6.2 to exempt public parks and City operations.
TNC: Support. The City has its own operating standards and objectives to meet requirements under TransformTO.
• Recommendation 7 to initiate public education efforts, for the summer of 2022, about the appropriate use of lawn equipment such as leaf blowers.
TNC: Amend recommendation to require public consultation to help determine the key issues regarding use of the equipment.
• Recommendation 8 to explore the feasibility of including decibel limits for power devices through the 2023 Noise Bylaw Review, with the report to come late in the year.
TNC: Support – Use of appropriate decibel limits is an excellent approach that will be easy to inspect, and reflects that such limits can be applied to different types of equipment. Electric powered equipment with acceptable noise levels is becoming more available as well as the now new and much quieter types of gas powered machines which have the similar noise level as electric ones. We expect broad public consultation in this process.
4. Timeline for Bylaw changes
• Recommendation 9 to implement the Bylaw changes by July 1, 2022.