“On April 2, 2009, Metrolinx issued a Notice of Commencement for the Georgetown South Service Expansion, including a Union-Pearson Rail Link (GSSE/UPRL), under the Province of Ontario’s Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP). ” (reference – Environmental Project Report – Part 1) This notice is for the commencement of an Environmental Assessment. Metrolinx is obliged to issue this Notice of Commencement and subsequent Environmental Project Report (EPR) to be eligible for Federal Funding, specifically in this case from Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada and must create this environmental assessment under Section 5 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Like any analysis of the threats and opportunities of a given project, such an assessment should take place early in the planning phase to ensure that the proper steps are taken to avoid the threats and exploit the opportunities that the project may create. It has felt and sounded like this project is well underway for some time, now.
There has been much opposition to the GSSE and UPRL from the communities through which this rail line runs, because the proposed trains being purchased to frequently run between Union Station and Pearson Airport will be diesel, and could potentially create excessive air and noise pollution.
Once the EPR, which includes feedback from the community, is published the public, government agencies, and First Nations will have 30 days to send objections in writing to the Minister of the Environment, who then has 35 days to review the report and objections.
The Notice of Commencement lasts 120 days, as of April 2, 2009, so the community has 89 days to add its voice to the EPR through letters to Metrolinx, your councillor, MPP, MP, and the Minister of the Environment, as well as through unified, coordinated action that brings the most impact through greater public awareness and media attention.
Who do you know that is fighting against this and how are we going to make more noise than the piledrivers?