Canadian Transportation Agency Orders GO Transit to Implement Noise and
Vibration Corrective Measures at West Toronto Diamond

OTTAWA, Dec. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Transportation Agency issued a final decision today ordering GO Transit to implement noise and vibration corrective measures for its West Toronto Diamond Grade Separation Project.

"The interests of communities affected by noise and vibration must be considered at first instance by railway companies and urban transit authorities in determining how best to perform their activities in order to meet their obligation under section 95.1 of the Canada Transportation Act," said the Agency. In this regard, the Agency emphasized that noise and vibration mitigation is a critical matter that must be addressed by railway companies and urban transit authorities early in the planning process of any project.

In its October 8, 2009 decision, the Agency found that the prolonged exposure of the local citizens to the noise and vibration generated by the pile-driving activities at the project site is unreasonable given the nature of the area in which the construction is taking place and the failure by GO Transit to implement sufficient mitigative measures.

Before ordering any changes, GO Transit was given the opportunity to provide detailed evidence as to why it should not be required to implement the corrective measures relating to the noise and vibration as proposed by the Agency in its October decision. The West Toronto Diamond Community Group (WTDCG), who submitted the complaint to the Agency against GO Transit, and the City of Toronto were provided an opportunity to comment on GO Transit's response to the Agency. Today's decision is based on a consideration of all submissions.

In today's decision, the Agency finds that GO Transit has failed to demonstrate sufficient evidence as to why the proposed measures cannot be implemented. As a result, the Agency is ordering GO Transit to apply corrective measures which include:

    
    -   direction on the use of different pile-driving hammers;
    -   limiting work hours for pile-driving activities;
    -   the development of a proposed methodology for an enhanced noise and
        vibration monitoring program for the Agency's approval within
        fourteen days;
    -   the requirement that, within 7 days, GO Transit provide daily updates
        on the scheduled pile-driving activities on its Web site; and
    -   development of a more comprehensive communication program in
        consultation with WTDCG and the City of Toronto to be implemented
        within twenty-eight days.
    

The specific corrective measures can be found on the Agency's Web site.

The Agency recognizes that GO Transit may have operational requirements for this construction project in order to improve efficiency and expand commuter rail services in the Greater Toronto Area. However, the Agency must balance the necessary work against the interests of the people in the local community who are being exposed to noise and vibration from the project.

The Canada Transportation Act empowers the Agency to resolve complaints over noise and vibration related to construction or operations carried out by urban transit authorities. The Agency may order an urban transit authority to undertake any measures that it deems reasonable to ensure that the authority is in compliance with the noise and vibration provisions of the Act, such as GO Transit.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal, which administers and enforces transportation related legislation in Canada to achieve a competitive, efficient and accessible transportation system. It is responsible for resolving disputes related to various aspects of transportation, improving access to transportation for persons with disabilities, and making decisions in air, rail and marine transportation as an economic regulator. The Agency has the powers, rights and privileges of a superior court to exercise its authority.

The Agency's December 7, 2009 order of specific corrective measures to GO Transit.

The Agency's October 8, 2009 proposed order to GO Transit to implement measures to reduce noise and vibration at West Toronto Diamond.

Information on the Agency's process for dealing with rail noise and vibration complaints is contained in its Guidelines for the Resolution of Complaints Concerning Railway Noise and Vibration.

SOURCE Canadian Transportation Agency

For further information: For further information: News Media Enquiries: Natalie Hanson at (819) 934-9042; General Public Enquiries: info@otc-cta.gc.ca, 1-888-222-2592


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