Toronto (August 25, 2015)
–PortsToronto today announced that the study design for the Environmental Assessment (EA) has been finalized and is now available on the project website at www.BBTCArunwayandjetsEA.org
or at www.portstoronto.com
. The study design is an important step in establishing the framework for what will be studied as part of the EA that is assessing the impacts of Porter Airlines’ proposal to introduce jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and extend the landmass by 200 metres on either end of the existing main runway.
The study design is the result of 12 months of work and extensive consultation that included four public meetings, six Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings and 10 Agency Advisory Committee (AAC) meetings. The Agency Advisory Committee included representation from such groups as City of Toronto Waterfront Secretariat, City of Toronto Community Planning, Waterfront Toronto, TRCA, TDSB, Build Toronto, TTC, GTAA, Toronto Port Lands Company and the Province of Ontario. The study design also involved consultation with First Nations and Métis communities. All issues and concerns expressed over the last 12 months with regard to the impacts of the Porter Airlines’ proposal have been documented by the Swerhun Facilitation team, reviewed by consultation participants, and are available at www.BBTCArunwayandjetsEA.org
A first draft of the study design came after months of the aforementioned consultation and was posted in April 2015 for a 30-day public review designed to encourage and facilitate comment from all interested parties. With the comments received, considered and incorporated wherever possible, a second draft was put forward for an independent third-party peer review, which ensured that the methodology used to study each area of concern is appropriate in the context of EA best practices, that appropriate EA processes were followed, including stakeholder consultation, and that all issues raised had been properly addressed. Areas of interest included, but were not limited to, a review of transportation safety and the socio-economic implications of the proposal. This independent third-party peer review was conducted by ARCADIS and managed by Waterfront Toronto. The results of this third-party peer review are available on the Waterfront Toronto website and can be accessed here
. The final study design released today reflects and incorporates recommendations from the independent third-party peer review. The final study design and a summary of the amendments made as a result of the peer review are available on the PortsToronto and project websites and can be accessed here
“PortsToronto was committed to ensuring an inclusive and comprehensive public engagement process, and this resulted in it taking nearly a year to finalize the study design of the environmental assessment given our efforts to reflect and respond to the issues raised,” said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice President PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “The study design is the framework that guides and informs the technical work that will now be conducted to study the impacts of the Porter Proposal to introduce jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Airport. As such, we wanted to take care to consider and include, as appropriate, all feedback, comments, perspectives and concerns into the study design so the resulting reports will be relevant and meaningful, and will provide the assessment that residents, stakeholders, City Council and others are looking for. The peer review responded to a request raised by our stakeholders for an independent review of the study design and emphasized our commitment to a robust and transparent process. With the study design now finalized, we look forward to completion of necessary technical work so that draft reports can be available for review by agencies, stakeholders and the general public later this year.”
Technical work for the EA will begin immediately and will include phone and intercept surveys to obtain information for the socio-economic portion of the assessment, in addition to research and data collection in such areas as noise, air quality, natural and marine habitat and land usage.
The EA is being conducted by AECOM on behalf of PortsToronto in response to the request made by Toronto City Council on April 1, 2014, for PortsToronto to provide additional information in order to inform future discussions on Porter’s Proposal to introduce jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Airport and the extension of the airport’s main runway that would be required as a result. In addition to the EA, PortsToronto has committed to completing a preliminary Runway Design and a Master Planning Exercise, the latter of which is a theoretical document that reports on the operational impacts of jets should such aircraft be introduced at the airport. These three initiatives are entirely funded by PortsToronto, which is a financially self-sustaining organization that receives no public funding from any level of government. More information on these initiatives is available here
For more than 100 years PortsToronto, (formerly the Toronto Port Authority), has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $6.7 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
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Deborah Wilson, Vice President Communications and Public Affairs, PortsToronto