Bill C-393, The Railway Noise and Vibration Control Act
Numerous people have asked us what happened to Bill C-587, the Railway Noise and Vibration Control Act.
As this Bill had not yet been passed by the time the federal election was called in the spring of 2011, it effectively “died on the order paper,” and proceeded no further, as is the case with all Bills that do not make it completely through the parliamentary process prior to an election being called.
However, an updated version of this Bill was recently introduced back into Parliament by New Westminster M.P. Peter Julian.
Bill C-393, the Railway Noise and Vibration Control Act, proposes significant restrictions on the rail industry, in order to curb their impact on residential communities. It states:
|95.11 When constructing or operating a railway within 300 metres of any residential, institutional or commercial establishment, a railway company shall not shunt, couple or decouple cars or leave an engine with its motor idling|
|(a) at any time on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, and|
|(b) before 8:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. on any other day,|
|except as authorized by the Minister for a specific period during a national emergency declared under the Emergencies Act.|
Julian believes that the railways must be held accountable and that “the solution is to keep pushing for tough legislation.”
However, we believe that it’s time to ask Parliament to regulate not only railway noise and vibration, but to also set into place strict regulations to limit residential exposure to diesel emissions from rail operations, particularly from idling locomotives left for hours on end, sometimes even longer.
Currently, the public can seek relief under existing legislation for the noise and vibration from idling locomotives, but not specifically, diesel fumes.
It’s time to ask our elected officials to address this human health issue.
Diesel emissions from rail operations tend to be discussed in terms relating to greenhouse gases, but seldom in terms of the effects that diesel exhaust and particulate matter are known to potentially have on people.
It’s time to address the railway’s soot-covered white elephant, the public’s exposure to railway diesel fumes.
We urge Canadian residents concerned or affected by railway noise pollution and vibration to contact their own M.P. and ask them to support this Bill, and for help in protecting people and communities from the railway’s air quality issues as well. We include Mr. Julian’s press release for our reader’s information and distribution:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 9TH, 2012
JULIAN: LEGISLATION TO CONTROL NOISY RAIL ACTIVITIES IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS IS URGENTLY NEEDED
OTTAWA - Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster), today tabled a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons, Bill C-393, The Railway Noise and Vibration Control Act.
Bill C-393 would prohibit railway companies from engaging in noisy rail yard activities during unreasonable hours in residential areas between the hours of 10pm and 8am.
“Existing legislation allows companies to pay lip service to the complaints of residents and continue their unreasonable and unresponsive behaviour”, said Julian. “We are left with no other choice but to carry on the fight in the courts and reverse the legislative changes brought forth by the Senate in 2007. The wellbeing of our sleep deprived communities was negotiated away and the solution is to keep pushing for tough legislation. That is what C-393 is about”, said Julian.
In 2007, The Standing Committee on Transportation amended Bill C-11 to introduce changes toughening Railway noise regulations which the House of Commons passed. The Senate amended these provisions, rendering them ineffective.
Peter has held a number of town hall meetings to discuss with residents of New Westminster the ongoing problem of high railway noise activities in the Westminster Quay neighborhood. Railway companies have continued to carry out high noise activities in the evening, overnight, and early in the morning, seriously disrupting the lives of residents.
“Our offices have been receiving complaints on rail noise and I urge concerned communities to pressure this government to listen to reason and common sense. Quayside residents, in fact all Canadians, are entitled to a good night’s sleep”, said Julian.
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For more information, please contact:
Office of Peter Julian
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