QCB: Resident Gets Feds To Monitor CN Rail

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Mike Hoyer has been a vocal community leader on the rail issue. He has worked hard making his case before the city of New West [See REPOST July 18, 2018 below]. Now he has upped the anti by taking the rail cause to the steps of our Federal government in Ottawa. Below is a letter he received and actions promised from the Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P. addressing his concerns. The QCB will monitor the developments with Mike and the Feds and post as info becomes available.

Letter from the Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P. to Mike Hoyer | August 30th, 2018

Dear Mr. Hoyer:

Thank you for your correspondence of July 22, 2018, regarding idling trains in New Westminster, British Columbia. I understand that Transport Canada’s Pacific Regional office is in receipt of an email from you of July 31, 2018, pertaining to this matter.

Allow me to assure you that the Government of Canada is committed to protecting our air quality and ensuring that Canadians have healthy communities in which to live, work and raise their families. In 2017 I announced new regulations to reduce air pollutant emissions from railway locomotives that harm our health and the environment. The Locomotive Emissions Regulations came into force on June 9, 2017, and limit harmful emissions from locomotives through mandatory emission standards and reduced idling.

The Regulations, which are aligned with U.S. regulations regarding the control of locomotive emissions, set out emission standards for nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, as well as standards for smoke opacity that vary according to the type of locomotive and its year of original manufacture.

Section 10 of the Regulations contains the regulatory requirements relating to locomotive idling. All locomotives in a company’s active fleet are prohibited from idling for more than 30 minutes, unless the extended idling is for a reason set out in the Regulations. In addition, railway companies are required to have an anti-idling policy and to submit it to Transport Canada. Additional information on the Regulations can be found at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/railsafety/overview-locomotive-emisions-regulations.html.

I should note that the Regulations only apply to railway companies that operate under federal jurisdiction in Canada and the locomotives they operate. They do not apply to local railway companies, given the authorities set out in the Railway Safety Act.

With respect to the situation described in your correspondence, I should explain that Canadian National Railway (CN) is a federally-regulated railway and must therefore comply with the Regulations as stipulated. Transport Canada officials will be in contact with CN regarding this issue, and will be monitoring the carrier for regulatory compliance.

Again, thank you for writing and sharing your comments with me.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport

REPOSTED from July 18th ‘Hoyer Talks With New West City’

Ten years ago two dedicated QCB board members JAMES CROSTY and BRIAN ALLEN (and his father), worked for nearly a decade on the rail noise and vibration issue. It was a lone and arduous battle for the QCB at the time, resulting in the QCB going to court to get restrictions on the BSN, Southern and CN rail companies in regard to noise and vibration.

Today the topic is making a come back. We have already posted a pollution complaint filed by a Quay resident on July 10th, and now we have a further complaint issued to the City pleading for relief from the increasing noise.

Below is the correspondence between a Quay resident and a City representative – on this issue. Perhaps you may want to join the dicussion after reading this.

One can’t help but notice that the noise from rail operations seems to have gotten louder – with some speculating that it is caused by the towers of concrete that wall in the Quay community.

Have your say! Write us and let us know what you think at rail@quaysideboard.com. You can also join the discussion on the QCB BLOGSPOT to add your comments or below via facebook.

You are also encouraged to write/copy your comments to City Councillor CHUCK PUCHMAYR at cpuchmayr@newwestcity.ca. The QCB handed over the rail reins to Councillor Puchmayr after the court decision for the City to look after. After nearly another decade, it is clearly an on-going issue as the topic has undoubtedly reared its ugly head again.

Correspondence between Quay Resident MIKE HOYER and City | Manager, Design and Construction Roger Emanuels

[July 4, 2018]

Dear Roger:

Thank you very much for the pamphlet of the railway yard operations overview. Unfortunately it does not address the matter of air quality, especially as some engines idle for such a long time.

When these discussions were held about 10 years ago, we were told that locomotives needed to idle more in winter in colder conditions, and remain in one location for no more than 15 minutes. We even had a CN employee who worked in the yards at the time, living here, and he reiterated the same. Several co-owners reminded me of that discussion. However, in summer….. why?

I am attaching some notes I made over the last 12 days. It gives you a sense of what is happening. This is pretty typical of how it has been going for the last few years, though I sometimes suspect, especially in winter, that they idle “under our noses” much longer. (I didn’t pay attention to specifics until you asked me to.) I must compliment the evening engineering crews because they tend to shunt cars in a manner that we can almost sleep through. Some days around here, it is like a multi-car crash outside here.

Best wishes,

Mike Hoyer

Train parking and idling outside T1, 1045 Quayside Drive
July 5, CN /2418, arrived 9:45 pm, crew member walked away, idled until he departed shortly after 10:30 pm
July 6, CN 5476/2418 arrived 9:45, crew member walked away, diesel odour strong, idled until he departed around 10:30.
July 7. A very quiet day on the railway yard until 9:45 pm. CN 5476/2812 arrived. departed sometime after 10:45 pm
July 8: CN 5476/2418 arrived at 10:15. Crew members walked away. He left about a half hour later.
July 9 – no trains between 8pm and 11 pm.
July 10: CN5476/2418 arrived 10pm. Left ?
July 11: 9: CN 5476/ arrived 10:20 pm, very noisy tonight.
July 12: CN 6476/ arrived at 9:55 pm and shunted around for a while. He did not leave until after 10:30 pm.
July 13: CN 5476/ arrived at 10:20. Very strong diesel fumes tonight. Left after 10:40.
July 14: CN 2632/5476 arrived 9 pm. He idled for a whole hour, producing strong diesel fumes, and then left at 10:05 pm to go get his load.
July 15: CN 2632/5476 arrived at 9:20 pm. The crew got out and walked away. The train idled for an hour and left at 10:20pm

….
[Jul 5, 2018]

Good Afternoon Mike:

In response to your email regarding train issues in the Quayside Area, please find attached a handout created by the railways back in 2009 regarding the railway operations in the Quay.

This was prepared after the Quayside Residents went to the Canadian Transportation Association back in 2008 when they wanted to restrict the operating hour of the rail yard.

The contact information is dated and will need to be updated and the City will be working with the railways to do this.

I will forward your concerns along to the railways as a reminder about their commitment to shutdown engines.

If possible if you can document the times and the operator if possible ( Locomotive # and Company ) this would be helpful in following up with the railways.

Best Regards;
Roger Emanuels, A.Sc.T. | Manager, Design and Construction
T 604.527.4540 | E remanuels@newwestcity.ca