You Take My Breath Away: Truck Traffic, Aggregates and Air Quality in Caledon

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On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at  the Town of Caledon regular Council Meeting, Bolton resident Joe Grogan made a delegation to Council regarding his concerns about increased truck traffic,  diesel fuel pollution, and air quality monitoring. In his presentation, titled Air Quality and Life in Caledon, Mr. Grogan requested support from the Town for “science based data which will measure the air quality here in Caledon.”

His presentation outlined the health concerns attributed to diesel emissions raised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Mr. Grogan provided data from Lancet Oncology, 2012 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which stated that exposure to the mixture of diesel engine exhaust and particulates “should be reduced worldwide.”

Although it was a scheduled Town of Caledon Council meeting, Bolton’s Ward 5 Regional Councillor Annette Groves was not in attendance and Mr. Grogan expressed his concern: “I’m disappointed. frankly, that Councillor Groves at the moment is not available, but hopefully she will appear and make some comments.”  

Mr. Grogan asked that Council respond to his presentation in such a manner as to “make public safety and protection of the natural environment a greater priority for the Town of Caledon.”

Councillors responded with praise and positivity to Mr. Grogan’s presentation, calling it “excellent”, “well researched”, and “informative.” Area Councillor Nick deBoer made a motion, seconded by Area Councillor Lynn Kiernan reading: “That a meeting with the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks be requested at the TAPMO Conference to bring forward air quality concerns in the Town of Caledon, and to request on-going active monitoring in the areas outlined in the Presentation and that this motion and the Presentation be provided to the top ten aggregate producing municipalities in Ontario requesting support for air quality testing at the provincial level.

The motion was passed unanimously by all present with the Clerk noting that “Councillor Groves is still absent.”

Following the delegation, Council members were asked for their impressions of the delegation. Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis responded with this observation: “It was evident that Mr Grogan had spent significant time researching and preparing for his delegation to Council.  He was thoughtful and passionate about the need for air quality monitoring and I was pleased that my colleagues on Council agreed.”  

Area Councillor Nick deBoer added, “Mr. Grogan’s delegation was very well researched and presented.  The Town is  committed to continue reducing the use of diesel in our own fleet as we transition to biofuels, electric and eventually hydrogen. I am pleased that my colleagues who were present unanimously supported the Motion to meet with the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks.”

Area Councillor Lynn Kiernan, who seconded the original Motion commented: “As the Councillor representing significant rural and environment lands in Caledon, air quality and other impacts of growth are certainly concerning to me. That’s why I fully supported the Motion passed after Mr. Grogan’s presentation.”

That Motion will be taken to the meeting with the Ministry of the Environment that will take place with the Top Aggregate Producing Municipalities of Ontario (TAPMO) at the full Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference on August 14-17, 2022.

The full video and audio of Mr. Grogan’s May 24th delegation and Council’s questions and comments are available online at Council Meeting – May 24, 2022 – eScribe

BREAKING: The Town of Caledon staff have made the request as per the Motion as part of their AMO delegation requests, but will not know until August if they were granted a meeting.

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News report by Skid Crease originally prepared for Just Sayin’ Caledon

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