David Suzuki urges Mayor to clean up Toronto's air with Community Right to Know

February 15, 2007

Today, Dr. David Suzuki and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) met with Mayor Miller and key City Councillors to reinforce the need to clean up Toronto’s air. Dr. Suzuki praised the Mayor and Councillors for their plans to develop a smog and global warming plan. However, he strongly recommended that the plan must include a Community Right to Know (CRTK) bylaw which requires industrial and commercial facilities to report their use and release of chemicals that pollute Toronto’s air and cause global warming.

Preliminary research from Toronto Public Health shows that 75% of industry emissions are unreported and less than 3% of the facilities that use or release toxic chemicals disclose their emissions to the public.

“Full disclosure of pollution is essential if communities, politicians and industry are going to work together to realize reductions," said Dr. Suzuki. "This bylaw is an essential piece to cleaning up the air and tackling global warming."

Estimates suggest that Toronto industries are responsible for up to 50% of key smog pollutants, 25% of greenhouse gases and a host of other air pollutants emitted in Toronto. Data also suggests that industrial releases are on the rise in Toronto.

“It is time for City Council to fulfill its 7 year promise to adopt a Community Right to Know bylaw,” said Katrina Miller, Co-Executive Director of TEA. “The public deserves to know about pollution happening in their neighborhoods and we’re confident that such public scrutiny will convince many polluters to change their ways.”

TEA points to the success of CRTK laws in other jurisdictions that have achieved significant voluntary pollution reductions as a result of full disclosure.

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For more information: Katrina Miller, Toronto Environmental Alliance (416) 596-0660 or (416) 917-7824