- Joseph RonzioPanel Secretariat, CEAA
CEAA Community Letter Jan 2017
We, the people of Milton (and Halton Region), are opposed to the proposed location of the CN Logistics Hub (also known as the CN intermodal terminal or facility). As a community, we understand that intermodal terminals are a necessity in our country—but they are dangerous, polluting facilities, which must be located immediately adjacent to major highways in regions that are appropriately planned and zoned for heavy industry. Intermodal terminals do not belong in proximity to homes, schools and environmentally-sensitive areas. This proposed Milton location will require the operations of thousands of transport trucks per day, in and out of our neighbourhoods. This location does not meet our plans or our zoning in our municipality, nor in our region. This proposed facility also directly contravenes plans in place by our provincial government. This location will be detrimental to our property values and our future employment opportunities in Milton. We implore the review panel to hear our voices, to understand that we do not wish this facility to be built at the proposed location in South Milton. We have raised our voice as a community, a town and a region in opposition to this location since 2001. The potential health and safety and economic impacts to Milton and Halton Region would be catastrophic. We enclose our comments on the sufficiency of the EIS, addressing the following areas of great concern:
- Immunity of the federal crown and federal undertakings from provincial and municipal laws and THE PROJECT
- Paramountcy of federal laws over provincial or municipal laws and THE PROJECT
- Natural heritage
- Constitutional considerations
- Milton education village/university campus
- Proximity guidelines
- Noise & vibration
- Further studies requested by third party, independent consultants
- Aboriginal peoples
- Residents have expressed concern that the proponent had pre-selected this site in Milton (the south option) and had more or less ignored the other options.
- EIS should include all affected areas (not isolated to the PDA)
- EIS inadequacies
- Statistics used in EIS
Concerned residents of Milton and Halton Region
- Panel Secretariat, CEAA
We, the people of Milton (and Halton Region), are opposed to the proposed location of the CN Logistics Hub (also known as the CN intermodal terminal or facility). As a community we understand that intermodal terminals are a necessity in our country—but they are dangerous, polluting facilities, which must be located immediately adjacent to major highways in regions that are appropriately planned and zoned for heavy industry. Intermodal terminals do not belong in proximity to homes, schools and environmentally-sensitive areas. This proposed Milton location will require the operations of thousands of transport trucks per day, in and out of our neighbourhoods. This location does not meet our plans or our zoning in our community, and this location will be detrimental to our property values and our future employment opportunities in Milton. We implore the review panel to hear our voices, to understand that we do not wish this facility to be built at its proposed location in Milton. We have raised our voice as a community, a town, and a region in opposition to this location since 2001. The potential health and safety, and economic impacts to Milton and Halton Region would be catastrophic.
Our Comments on the Sufficiency of the Environmental Impact Statement:
>>>To what extent, if at all, does the immunity of the federal Crown and federal undertakings from provincial and municipal laws apply to THE PROJECT? The 1995 privatization of THE PROPONENT affects the scope of this immunity because it changed all THE PROPONENT land from federal Crown land to private land. Federal Crown land is constitutionally excluded from provincial and municipal regulation; private land is not. Some constitutional immunity applies to federal undertakings such as railways, but this immunity does not provide the same blanket exemption from provincial or municipal laws as applies to federal Crown land. Instead, this immunity is narrow and applies only where a provincial or municipal law impairs a vital part of the management and control of the federal undertaking. Importantly, this principle of partial immunity does not prevent a municipality from issuing an order against a federal undertaking to prevent certain effects on municipal interests such as those listed above.
>>>To what extent does the paramountcy of federal laws over provincial or municipal laws apply to this Project?: At one time, the existence of a valid federal law meant that the federal law “occupied the field” and ousted the application of any provincial or municipal law or standard with respect to that subject matter. Federal paramountcy is now much more limited. There is no longer any principle of “occupying the field”; instead, a valid provincial or municipal law may apply in a field covered by federal law unless one of two tests is met. The first test is that it is impossible to comply with both the federal law and the provincial or municipal law. Notably, the mere fact that a provincial or municipal law is more onerous than the applicable federal law does not constitute a conflict between those laws. This is because it is possible to comply with both the more rigorous provincial or municipal law and the less rigorous federal law. As for this Project, the federal, provincial, regional, and local laws do not conflict; rather, they work together to regulate the effects of THE PROJECT on the environment and surrounding land uses in Halton. The second test is that the provincial or municipal law “frustrates the purpose” of the federal law. If it does, then the provincial or municipal law does not apply and the federal law alone applies. For this Project, the purposes of the federal, provincial, regional, and local laws are aligned: they are to ensure that THE PROJECT does not have unacceptable effects on the environment and surrounding areas. The application of provincial, regional, and local laws to THE PROJECT will not frustrate the purpose of federal law in any way. Consideration of non-federally regulated environmental effects. To what extent may federal EA consider effects which are not federally regulated? Milton is a largely residential community. Our residents have expressed our opposition to this inappropriate location since 2001, to no avail. Our voices at the municipal level must carry more significant weight. We seek mandatory adherence by THE PROPONENT to zoning and growth plans in reference to THE PROJECT at the municipal and provincial, as well as, federal level. Residential lands and the residents who live on them are relevant to this Project because the nearby neighbourhood includes existing and planned residential communities: For this Project, the required federal approvals do not expressly address the pathways that give rise to broad review of environmental effects on human health or socio-economic conditions; however, the s.98 CTA approval requires consideration of the “interests of the localities” that will be affected by the new railway lines. Therefore, these topics become relevant to CEAA through the Province, the Region and the Town. Through the EIS Guidelines, this EA must consider three topics relevant to residents in the area of THE PROJECT: (1) municipal land use, including present and approved land uses; (2) human safety in relation to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian transportation; and (3) human health in relation to air quality and noise exposure. Consistent with this CEAA framework, six VALUED COMPONENTS relate to this topic, including “Human Health Conditions,” “Residential Land Use: Current & Future Approved,” and “Urban Settings.” Ontario has broad jurisdiction over and regulatory authority to address all local matters such as residential lands and their growth and protection from incompatible uses. Since the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), Ontario has expressly engaged in “building strong communities.” As support for “strong, liveable and healthy communities,” this PPS introduced the requirement that urban municipalities set minimum targets for residential densities and intensification. Increased residential density is tied to improving alternative transportation modes, particularly public transit, as higher order transit depends on high urban densities on neighbouring lands. To address incompatible land uses, this PPS demands that “long-term economic prosperity” be supported by planning so that major facilities and sensitive land uses are “appropriately designed, buffered and separated from each other to prevent adverse effects” from noise and other contaminants.
>>>Employment: Employment and employment lands are relevant to THE PROJECT because the majority of the physical activities proposed for THE PROJECT take place on lands that are designated in the Regional Official Plan for employment use and are subject to minimum employment density targets, which THE PROJECT does not meet.: Southwest Milton (Planned), Planning Act, which added a new definition of “area of employment” to meet provincial objectives to protect designated employment lands from private applications to convert such lands to non-employment uses. The Regional Official Plan (ROP) advances each of these three provincial priorities for employment and employment lands. First, the ROP addresses the PPS “healthy communities” objective by promoting live-work communities and balanced growth in residents and jobs. Second, the ROP meets provincial Growth Plan standards for employment growth and intensification across the Region by providing its own standards for employment allocations within each local municipality such as the Town of Milton. The ROP also addresses Growth Plan fiscal standards by providing infrastructure phasing and financing standards. Third, the ROP meets the Planning Act guidance on “areas of employment” by prohibiting residential and other non-employment uses in its designated employment areas subject to very limited exceptions. Additionally, consistent with PPS standards for cultural heritage, the ROP addresses cultural heritage resources with a focus on archaeological resources. Ontario’s interest and jurisdiction over jobs and local employment is broad. The Province has placed greater importance on the connection between employment and land use through the 2005 PPS references to “healthy communities.” The Province reinforced this connection through the 2006 Growth Plan. The Growth Plan sought “complete communities,” introduced land use intensity targets for both residential and employment uses, and sought to ensure that public sector investment in infrastructure would be maximized inside urban areas before allowing service-intensive urban uses to expand into unserviced rural lands. Potential to build synergies with Milton Education Village and accommodate a broad range of prestige employment uses.
>>> Water: Water is relevant to this Project because THE PROJECT proposes to alter drainage patterns, relocate a watercourse on site, meet its water supply needs through one or more private wells drawing groundwater from aquifers, and meet its wastewater discharge needs through one or more private sewage works discharging into local watercourses.: The Regional Official Plan gives specific attention to water and implements provincial standards to protect water resources and features from negative development impacts. It provides four standards of general application that are relevant to assessing this Project. These standards focus on protecting sensitive surface water and groundwater features, water quality and quantity in urban areas, groundwater quality, and watercourses. These ROP water standards should be read in conjunction with provincial laws and regulations and, in particular, laws and regulations administered by regional conservation authorities such as Conservation Halton. Water is a component of the environment defined by CEAA, but it is not expressly referenced in the framework for environmental effects in section 5. Nor is water the subject of any federal approval required for THE PROJECT under s.5(2) of CEAA; however, water is relevant under s.5(2) where it is a pathway to changes and effects that require federal approval, such as changes to fish habitat requiring approval under the federal Fisheries Act. By contrast, the Province has broad jurisdiction and regulatory authority over water resources. The 2005 Greenbelt Plan identifies and protects a provincial water resource system. Further, the Province has delegated broad planning authority over water resources to municipalities and regional watershed-based conservation authorities. By law, the Province requires watershed planning in order to restrict development in or near watercourses, wetlands, valleylands, and flood plains, and to provide source water protection of drinking water. Since 2005, the PPS has required planning authorities such as the Region to protect the quality and quantity of water by, among other things, using the watershed as the ecologically meaningful scale for integrated and long-term planning, and identifying water resource features and functions that are necessary for the hydrological and ecological integrity of the watershed.
>>> Natural Heritage: Natural heritage is relevant to THE PROJECT because THE PROJECT location includes and abuts lands designated for protection under the Halton Regional Natural Heritage System and lands designated for permanent protection under the Ontario Greenbelt Plan. The Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) provides express protection of all species at risk within Ontario borders and their habitat.: Consistent with this law, the Regional Official Plan addresses all species at risk (also termed “endangered species” in Ontario), not just aquatic species at risk. To do so, ROP goals include protecting the Region’s biodiversity (flora and fauna) for future generations. Consistent with the provincial focus on natural heritage systems and species’ habitat, the ROP does not directly address fish species (e.g., populations and fish movement) or migratory bird species in the area. Both kinds of species present additional complexity because municipalities and the province must recognize federal jurisdiction over fisheries and migratory birds. This federal jurisdiction limits local and municipal controls where such controls conflict with federal controls. Although there is federal and provincial legislation on endangered flora and fauna, the Province has lead regulatory authority on all species other than aquatic flora and fauna (which are federally regulated without geographic restriction). Thus, all terrestrial species at risk are regulated by the Province unless they are located on federal lands. As has previously been stated, THE PROJECT involves no federal lands, so the key standards for terrestrial flora and fauna at risk are found in Ontario ESA. CEAA addresses broadly the components of the physical and biological environment, including “natural systems,” in its definition of the “environment”; however, through s.5(1), it focuses exclusively on three specific components of the biological environment: (1) fish and fish habitat, (2) aquatic species at risk, and (3) migratory birds. A similar focus arises in relation to s.5(2) of CEAA, as CN has identified the need for approval under s.35 of the Fisheries Act for THE PROJECT’s permanent alteration of fish habitat. These three topics are also the exclusive focus of the VCs identified in the EIS Guidelines. By contrast, the Province has broad jurisdiction and regulatory authority over natural heritage features and systems. The 2005 Greenbelt Plan protects a provincial natural heritage system. Also beginning in 2005, the PPS demanded the maintenance, restoration, and (where possible) improvement of the ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems. Further, beginning in 2005, the PPS demanded that a broad array of significant natural features be protected from any negative impacts due to development or site alteration, namely: significant wetlands, woodlands, valleylands, wildlife habitat, and areas of natural and scientific interest, as well as fish habitat and the significant habitat of endangered and threatened species. Building on the PPS, the ROP gives greatest importance to protecting the Regional Natural Heritage System. It uses this system to provide protection to all individual components or features within the system. Like the PPS, the ROP provides standards that apply throughout the Region to protect natural features and their ecological functions from negative impacts due to development or site alteration. Key Features under the ROP are essentially those “natural heritage features and areas” listed in the 2014 PPS, as well as the Key Features listed in the Greenbelt Plan. The ROP Natural Heritage System also includes and protects enhancement areas, linkages between features, and buffers around features. Through this approach, the Region protects all important habitat used by species in their life functions and protects biodiversity in the Region.
>>>Transportation: The projected operation of thousands of transport trucks on Milton roads per day has been largely ignored or inadequately recognized in the EIS: We feel that the transport trucks traffic alone ought to be subjected to its own environmental assessment given the significant impacts this kind of transport traffic would have on our health, our regional roads, our environment, and our traffic flow. This proposed location is nowhere near major highways, therefore necessitating the travel of these trucks through our region in order to gain access to major highways. Transportation is relevant to THE PROJECT because THE PROJECT constitutes a major transportation facility, but is not identified in the Regional Official Plan. The ROP identifies only existing railway lines. The proposed location is also relevant to the Region’s transportation network as it abuts two regional roads. One of these, Britannia Road (to the north), has been approved for major expansion, and this expansion is underway. This Project location also raises issues for active transportation (i.e., walking and cycling) because this location is across the street from existing and planned residential communities north of Britannia Road.
CEAA does not address transportation as a component of the environment; however, through s.5(2) it requires consideration of transportation effects where they result from a change to the environment that is directly related or necessarily incidental to a federal approval required by a project. For this Project, CN requires federal approvals for new railway lines and a pipeline crossing. It may also require federal approvals for new railway works, including crossings. Further, the EIS Guidelines require that this EA consider three topics that are relevant to transportation effects of THE PROJECT: (1) municipal land use, including present and approved land uses; (2) human safety in relation to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian transportation; and (3) human health in relation to air quality and noise exposure. The key VCs for this topic are “Urban Settings”25 and “Human Safety Conditions.” Ontario has broad jurisdiction and regulatory authority over land-based transportation, particularly road transportation, but also transit, active transportation, and local railways. Since the 2005 PPS, the Province has required that land use planning address transportation systems. This system expressly encompasses all land-based transportation facilities, including existing airports, harbours, and rail facilities as well as intermodal facilities, transit, highways, sidewalks, and cycling lanes. The 2006 Growth Plan identifies and addresses a transportation system across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and also includes plans and locations for future provincial transportation facilities to move people (public transit) and goods (highways). Provincial goals for this system include providing connectivity among transportation modes to move people and goods, offering transportation choices that reduce reliance upon a single mode of transportation, and promoting public transit and active transportation (cycling and walking). In THE PROPONENT's CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AGENCY - PROJECT DESCRIPTION SUMMARY of the Milton Logistics Hub, THE PROPONENT states that the MLH "...has been designed to accommodate approximately 800 trucks per weekday entering and exiting the hub, which includes 650 inbound and 650 outbound trucks at the beginning and up to 800 trucks each way by 2020." Beyond these facts and numbers, THE PROPONENT only mentions plans for MLH truck entrance and exits to the MLH, but THE PROPONENT DOES NOT MENTION OR QUESTION how the huge increase in truck movement on public roads will impact Milton's residents and commuters in terms of increased traffic and negative effects on quality of life. The figures indicating future background traffic volumes on Milton roads, may address the air quality analysis aspect, but do not specifically address, nor discuss, the impact on quality of life on Milton’s residents due to the effects of significantly increased number of large trucks on our roads. The 1600 trucks entering and exiting the MHL every weekday means, on average, an additional 67 heavy trucks per hour, or 1 truck per minute, will be on Milton's roads. It's unrealistic to assume that this will have no negative effects on Milton's residents, particularly those travelling on, or living near, the trucks' main traffic routes (Tremaine Road and Britannia Road, James Snow Pkwy, and any connected exit/entrance routes from residential areas), and those driving or waiting alongside or behind trucks at Milton’s intersections, traffic circles, or reduced lanes at construction sites. Negative effects of this traffic on Milton’s drivers and home owners will likely include increased congestion, driver frustration, and longer commuting times, apart from increased noise and diesel fume pollution levels. In addition to the large MLH container trucks and tractor trailers, there will likely be additional increase in traffic due to MLH service vehicles and employees’ vehicles. In addition to the MLH trucks and vehicles on town roads, Tremaine Road and other roads will likely also experience further increased levels of traffic once the new highway 401- Tremaine exit has been completed. Apart from negative impact on traffic flow in Milton in general, the many heavy trucks exiting, entering and driving near the MLH are in close proximity to the residential area along the north side of Britannia road and the planned university campus along the west side of Tremaine road, and could particularly have a negative impact on the traffic flow and quality of life in both these areas. We ask you, members of the Review Panel, to please request specific information from THE PROPONENT on how the substantial increase in number of large trucks on our roads will affect traffic flow in our town, particularly at major intersections, the intersections of side roads from residential areas onto major roads, the traffic circles, any construction areas with lane reductions, and the traffic exit and entry points of residential areas along major roads that are near or adjacent to the proposed MLH (existing and future residential areas along the north side of Britannia, and the future university campus and residential area along the west side of Tremaine).
>>> Agriculture: Agriculture and agricultural lands are relevant to THE PROJECT because some of CN’s physical activities and future works are proposed for prime agricultural areas. Ontario has broad authority over and interest in agriculture and agricultural standards. The ROP implements these provincial standards of protection of prime agricultural areas and agricultural activities. CEAA does not refer to agriculture as a component of the “environment”; however, effects on Aboriginal agriculture could be “environmental effects” under s.5(1)(c). Equally, changes to land used for non-Aboriginal agriculture could be included under s.5(2), where such changes are directly related or necessarily incidental to a federal approval required for THE PROJECT. For effects on non-Aboriginal agriculture to be considered under s.5(2), there must be a federal approval that assesses changes to environment, and these environmental changes must cause effects on non-Aboriginal agriculture. The required federal approvals for THE PROJECT do not expressly address the pathways that give rise to broad review of environmental effects on human health or socio-economic conditions; however, the s.98 CTA approval requires consideration of the “interests of the localities” that will be affected by the new railway lines. Therefore, this topic becomes relevant to CEAA through the Region or Town. Additionally, the EIS Guidelines finalized for THE PROJECT require that the EA consider municipal land use, including present and approved land uses. The three VCs for this topic address three distinct aspects of agriculture and agricultural lands. Ontario has broad authority over and interest in agriculture and agricultural lands. Since the late 1970s and its issuance of “The Provincial Foodland Guidelines,” the Province has issued policy statements to land use authorities to protect agricultural lands. The 2005 Greenbelt Plan seeks to provide permanent protection from nonagricultural development to agricultural lands inside the Greenbelt. Similarly, since 2005 the PPS has required that prime agricultural areas be protected for long-term agricultural use.
>>>CONSTITUTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: There are two particularly important constitutional developments with respect to this Project. The first is the recent federal change in CN’s railway ownership and operations to private ownership from former status as federal Crown ownership15 and operations. Among other things, this means that CN’s lands—including the lands on which CN proposes for THE PROJECT—are no longer “federal” lands and are, therefore, subject to constitutionally appropriate provincial and municipal regulation. The second development is the courts’ narrowing of federal paramountcy over provincial and municipal laws to respect the legislative mandates and operational sophistication of local governments, particularly municipalities in Canada’s urban areas. These agreements recognize that, apart from projects that are located entirely on federal lands, provinces have lead responsibility for all other EAs within provincial boundaries. Further, Canada and Ontario have recognized the role of municipalities in EA for projects within municipal boundaries.
>>> Milton Education Village (Planned): Milton has been designated to receive a university campus, which would be located next to the proposed location of THE PROJECT. We believe that the proximity of THE PROJECT to the university campus would inhibit and harm plans and university operations significantly. This location for THE PROJECT would be to the detriment of: the potential to build synergies with postsecondary institutions, the potential to develop innovation district accommodating “knowledge-based” sectors, access via Tremaine Road, the potential to create a culture of innovation at the Education Village Research Park, the proximity to large urban expansion area (Boyne) and the potential to expand employment base in southwest Milton.
>>>PROXIMITY guidelines: The proximity to housing being in contradiction to the limit that CN had previously imposed: Ref: GUIDELINES for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations PREPARED FOR THE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES AND THE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA May 2013.: CN defines the important jurisdictional role of the municipality in rail operations in their report, however they have failed to address opposition and zoning by our municipality. From the proximity report: 1.4.3 Municipal Municipalities are responsible for ensuring efficient and effective land use and transportation planning within their territory, including consultation with neighbouring property owners (such as railways), in carrying out their planning responsibilities. Municipal governments have a role to play in proximity issues management by ensuring responsible land use planning policies, guidelines, and regulatory frameworks, as well as by providing a development approvals process that reduces the potential for future conflicts between land uses. Note that our regional and municipal plans for this and the surrounding lands are predicated on CN’s commitment to Halton Region that THE PROPONENT would never use this land for an intermodal facility. The Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations is intended for use by municipalities and provincial governments, municipal staff, railways, developers, and property owners when developing lands in proximity to railway operations. They are meant to assist municipal governments and railways in reviewing and determining general planning policies when developing on lands in proximity to railway facilities, as well to establish a process for making site specific recommendations and decisions to reduce land-use incompatibilities for developments in proximity to railway operations. This document prepared in part by Sean Finn, FCM-RAC Proximity Co-Chair Executive VP Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer, CN
>>>NOISE & VIBRATION: Failure to include truck traffic in NOISE AND VIBRATION studies or considerations in the EIS. Ref: GUIDELINES for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations PREPARED FOR THE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES AND THE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA May 2013. The recommended minimum noise influence areas to be considered for railway corridors when undertaking noise studies are: » Freight Rail Yards: 1,000 metres » Principal Main Lines: 300 metres » Secondary Main Lines: 250 metres » Principal Branch Lines: 150 metres » Secondary Branch Lines: 75 metres » Spur Lines: 75 metres. Noise and vibration from rail operations are two of the primary sources of complaints from residents living near railway corridors. Airborne noise at low frequencies (caused by locomotives) can also induce vibration in lightweight elements of a building, which may be perceived to be ground-borne vibration. There are two sources of rail noise: noise from pass-by trains, and noise from rail yard activities, including shunting. Pass-by noise is typically intermittent, of limited duration and primarily from locomotives. Other sources of pass-by noise include whistles at level crossings, and car wheels on the tracks. Applicable to federally regulated railways and some provincially regulated railways (notably in Quebec and Ontario). Freight rail yard noises tend to be frequent and of longer duration, including shunting cars, idling locomotives, wheel and brake retarder squeal, clamps used to secure containers, bulk loading/unloading operations, shakers, and many others. Beyond the obvious annoyance, some studies have found that the sleep disturbance induced by adverse levels of noise can affect cardiovascular, physiological, and mental health, and physical performance. However, there is no clear consensus as to the real affects of adverse levels of noise on health. Noise resulting from rail operations is a key issue with regards to the liveability of residential developments in proximity to railway facilities, and may also be problematic for other types of sensitive uses, including schools, daycares, recording studios, etc. As well as being a major source of annoyance for residents, noise can also have impacts on physical and mental health, particularly if it interferes with normal sleeping patterns. (Failure to include truck traffic in NOISE AND VIBRATION studies or considerations.)
>>>Ref: GUIDELINES for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations PREPARED FOR THE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES AND THE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA May 20133.3.1. As per a report jointly produced by CN…The standard recommended building setbacks for new residential development in proximity to railway operations are as follows: » Freight Rail Yard: 300 metres » Principle Main Line: 30 metres » Secondary Main Line: 30 metres » Principle Branch Line: 15 metres » Secondary Branch Line: 15 metres » Spur Line: 15 metres.
>>>Further Studies Requested by Third Party, Independent Consultants. The Panel is requested to initiate their own studies and assessments as an alternative to the studies & conclusions conducted by CN Rail which are inherently biased due to the fact that they were funded by CN Rail. EIS insufficiently (or neglects to) address the impact of: The realignment and extension of the existing mainline.
>>>Aboriginal Peoples: We have concerns regarding letters of endorsement provided by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. THE PROJECT will not require access to, use of, or the exploration, development, and production of resources or lands currently known to be used for traditional purposes by Aboriginal peoples. THE PROJECT site has been privately owned since the 19th century and is not known to be used for traditional purposes by Aboriginal peoples identified by the CEAA to be consulted in the context of the Environmental Assessment. However, THE PROJECT has been endorsed by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. This endorsement is of great concern to residents in Milton due to CN’s significant sponsorship of MNCFN by CN from February 2015 forward, after which MNCFCN provided their endorsement of THE PROJECT. Please note that also of concern is the funding which the MNCWFN received funding from the CEAA regarding this project (in the amount of $95,600.00), which seems indicative of their interest in further endorsing THE PROJECT, against the wishes of residents of Halton Region.
>>>Residents have expressed concern that: THE PROPONENT had pre-selected this site in Milton (the south option) and had more or less ignored the other options. The reports have always focused on proving that this was the best option, as THE PROPONENT already owned all the property and they had no intention of undertaking this project anywhere else. It has always been a case of “making it fit”. Despite their many statements that this would be addressed in the EA process, it never was dealt with properly. To quote a knowledgeable resident—as stated in his letter to the CEAA also located in the registry, “as an environmental consultant since 1975 (certified under the CEAA process for screenings) I have seen this all too often.” The client insists that this is where they want to undertake THE PROJECT, so “make it fit”. From day one there always had to be an analysis of the “alternatives to the undertaking” and then only thereafter “an analysis of the alternatives to implement THE PROJECT”, at the preferred location. This project has failed since the first day on the “alternatives to the undertaking”, which as all those knowledgeable to the CEAA includes the “do nothing” alternative. If THE PROPONENT did not own the property in south Milton then they would not be proposing to undertake THE PROJECT at this location. More than anything, the transportation logistics do not warrant an intermodal terminal at this location. This is not the case of a “site specific” environmental issue. This is clearly the case of a good project in the wrong place because the company pre-purchased the property. If THE PROPONENT disagrees with that, ask them if they would be prepared to divest themselves of the ownership of these properties at fair market value and start the process again from the beginning. THE PROJECT would not end up in south Milton, it would go to where the transportation logistics are more appropriate.
• For its site selection study, CN developed two guiding principles for the purpose of evaluating the suitability of potential sites: 1) The site must be located between Bayview Junction in the west (Burlington) and Doncaster Junction in the east (east Toronto) along the CN mainline corridor (Halton Subdivision); 2) The site must provide a minimum of 400 acres directly adjacent and parallel to the CN mainline to meet the construction and operational requirements for an intermodal terminal.
• 12 potential locations were assessed & they were narrowed down to 4 sites based on the Guiding Principles
• The 4 sites were assessed and CN chose South Milton which is located south of Britannia Rd. & east of Tremaine Rd.
• While South Milton has 10 criteria with Highest Preference, North Milton is very close with 9 criteria and North Milton has less criteria with Lowest Preference. In fact, when using a weighted scale, North Milton IS RANKED FIRST. (Reference: Milton Logistics Hub Environment Impact Statement, Prepared for CN Railway Company, Prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd., Dec 7, 2015; Appendix F - Site Selection Study.)
>>>EIS should include all affected areas and there is some confusion about impacts studied being isolated to the PDA, and not including all areas of impact including the entire footprint of the facility as well as the traffic routes/residential areas along traffic routes for transport trucks servicing the facility. THE PROJECT Development Area (PDA) has been defined as the area of physical disturbance directly associated with THE PROJECT footprint. The PDA incorporates all project components and area grading, which covers approximately 185 ha of THE PROPONENT owned property. The studies should focus on a much larger PDA, which includes the impact of truck traffic and pollution on the town and region beyond the PDA.
>>>EIS INADEQUACIES AND CONCERNS: We find that the EIS is marred by technical insufficiency, generalities or simplifications and /or negligence on the part of THE PROPONENT in delineating, studying and providing adequate technical responses. Our community already feels that THE PROPONENT has been dishonest and misinformative. THE PROPONENT has failed to establish trust with the residents of Milton/Halton Region. We are very concerned about the technical accuracy of THE PROPONENT reports including air quality, surface and groundwater. This has been a constant issue in THE PROPONENT’s marketing/technical information and responses to members of our community. We sincerely hope the federal review agencies will carefully review all of THE PROPONENT’s technical reports for accuracy and completeness. If required, peer review or technical advice from professionals should be sought to ensure all reports fully and properly evaluate sources of emissions to the environment, and provide detailed and sufficient reports.
>>>STATISTICS USED IN EIS: A number of statistics used in the EIS are potentially outdated. Stats commissioned many years ago are outdated and the Town of Milton continues to get bigger as the fastest growing city/town in Canada. If the EIS statistics are out-dated (for example, the truck statistics state that there will be a small/negligible impact on local vehicle traffic), these statistics have not taken into account that Milton is set to grow to 200,000 people by 2021. What projections did THE PROPONENT make regarding the future?
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