Toronto Port Authority announces 2010 environmental initiatives
A message from Geoffrey Wilson, President and CEO
One of the Toronto Port Authority’s (TPA) most important missions is to be good stewards of our waterfront resources so that they may provide recreation, prosperity and a clean wildlife habitat for future generations.
To succeed in this mission, the TPA realizes it must be vigilant and aggressive in constantly improving measures to protect the environment and help enhance the quality of life of our neighbours in the waterfront community.
Below is an outline of a wide range of initiatives that the TPA is undertaking in 2010, or has already launched, to deliver on its promise to protect and improve our natural gifts along Toronto’s waterfront.
- The TPA will acquire all of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and hydro-electric generation through Bullfrog Power, reducing the impact of climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel generation. It is anticipated that the TPA will use approximately 10,295 MWh a year in renewable power.
- The TPA will invest $1 million to create protective islands and fish habitat wetlands at Tommy Thompson Park.
- The TPA will invest $900,000 in sound barriers to protect nearby residents from excessive noise caused by engine maintenance taking place at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA).
- The TPA and Jacobs Consultancy recently completed an extensive study of ambient noise around BBTCA. In the next month, recommendations to help mitigate excessive aircraft will be reviewed at a public meeting to gain input from the community.
- The TPA will continue to sponsor co-operative dialogue with the community and assist in finding solutions to community concerns relating to BBTCA activity.
- The TPA will continue to participate in the Clean Marine program, run by the Ontario Marine Operators Association. Through the program, vessels docked at the Outer Harbour Marina and the Port of Toronto can use electrical power on the shore instead of operating on-board generators that often burn fossil fuel.
- The TPA will launch a ‘green’ lubricant initiative at the BBTCA, the Outer Harbour Marina and the Port of Toronto. The initiative will deploy environmentally friendly industrial lubricants to be used on all TPA vessels, vehicles and machinery to replace often harmful oil-based lubricants.
- Jacobs Consultancy has been hired to study air quality at the BBTCA and advise on establishing a comprehensive air-quality monitoring program to determine baseline metrics along with measures to mitigate harmful air pollution emissions. Furthermore, the TPA pledges to work with the Toronto Board of Health on this study.
- BBTCA staff is working with air traffic controllers and other transportation officials to change taxiway restrictions to improve aircraft traffic flow on the ground leading to reduced carbon emissions and fuel burn. Preliminary efforts have produced positive results.
- BBTCA staff will be implementing new approach protocols on two runways to reduce aircraft noise and fuel burn, and ultimately reduce carbon dioxide and other pollutant emissions.
- BBTCA and TPA staff are working closely with taxicab operators to enforce the “no idling” bylaw in holding areas near the airport. Furthermore, BBTCA staff is working to improve vehicle traffic flow around the Bathurst Street ferry terminal to ensure efficient pick-up and drop-off of users.
- Porter Airlines, the BBTCA’s main commercial carrier, has operated a free shuttle bus between the airport and a downtown hotel since 2006. TPA staff is looking forward to working with the Toronto Transit Commission in 2010 to encourage airport users to take public transit to and from the facility.
- Porter Airlines’ Bombardier Q400 aircraft is the most technologically advanced turboprop in the world. It uses up to 40 per cent less fuel compared to similar jet aircraft of its size (between 50-100 seats). Furthermore, the Q400 produces between 30-40 per cent less carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of 6,000-8,000 fewer tons of C02 yearly for each aircraft. Finally, the Q400 is made in Canada.
- A feasibility study is underway to promote taxis and limousines serving BBTCA using alternative fuels from renewable or less toxic sources.
As you can see, these initiatives are diverse, but all are focussed on having both an immediate and long-term impact on environmental quality along the Toronto waterfront. Please check back on this website to get updates on these and other measures.