Item - 2020.IE15.8

Tracking Status

IE15.8 - Request to Study the Environmental Impact of Two-Stroke Engine Garden Equipment

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on September 30, October 1 and 2, 2020, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council request the City Manager, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, to report back in the first quarter of 2021 on the environmental and associated health impacts of gasoline-powered two-stroke engine leaf blowers and other similarly operated garden equipment, including the feasibility of a year-round ban or a ban from May to September.

 

2. City Council request the City Manager, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health and the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report in the first quarter of 2021 on the impact of noise generated from gas-powered and electric leaf blowers and other similar garden equipment, including the feasibility of a year-round ban or a ban from May to September.

Background Information (Committee)

(August 11, 2020) Letter from City Council on a Request to Study the Environmental Impact of Two-Stroke Engine Garden Equipment
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-156469.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(July 27, 2020) E-mail from Nicole Corrado (IE.Main.IE15.8.1)
(July 28, 2020) E-mail from Lyn Anderson (IE.Main.IE15.8.2)
(August 17, 2020) E-mail from Helen Dosani (IE.Main.IE15.8.3)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Eleanor Heinz (IE.Main.IE15.8.4)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Rick King (IE.Main.IE15.8.5)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Thomas Cohen, Chair, Eglinton Park Residents Association (IE.Main.IE15.8.6)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-117943.pdf
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Seboua March (IE.Main.IE15.8.7)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Mary and Bruce Ferguson (IE.Main.IE15.8.8)
(September 9, 2020) E-mail from Lynette Logue (IE.Main.IE15.8.9)
(September 10, 2020) Letter from Carol Burtin Fripp, Co-Chair, Leaside Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-117984.pdf
(September 10, 2020) Letter from Harold Smith (IE.Supp.IE15.8.11)
(September 11, 2020) Letter from Sheila Dunlop, Secretary, South Armour Heights Residents' Association (SAHRA) (IE.Supp.IE15.8.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-117989.pdf
(September 12, 2020) E-mail from Alexandrina Canto Thaler (IE.Supp.IE15.8.13)
(September 12, 2020) E-mail from Judy Love (IE.Supp.IE15.8.14)
(September 12, 2020) E-mail from William Faith (IE.Supp.IE15.8.15)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Catherine Ann Kerwin (IE.Supp.IE15.8.16)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Lillian Mierzwa (IE.Supp.IE15.8.17)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Greg Knittl (IE.Supp.IE15.8.8)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Shoshanna Fainsilber (IE.Supp.IE15.8.19)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Miriam Henriques (IE.Supp.IE15.8.20)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Tom Worrall (IE.Supp.IE15.8.21)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Annabel Reinis (IE.Supp.IE15.8.22)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Anne Butt (IE.Supp.IE15.8.23)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Monty McDonald (IE.Supp.IE15.8.24)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Maureen Kapral (IE.Supp.IE15.8.25)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Hamish Wilson (IE.Supp.IE15.8.26)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Douglas Smith (IE.Supp.IE15.8.27)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Alex Grenzebach (IE.Supp.IE15.8.28)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Ronald MacFarlane, submitting a letter from Kim Perrotta, Director, Creating Healthy and Sustainable Environments (CHASE (IE.Supp.IE15.8.29)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118308.pdf
(September 15, 2020) Letter from Robert Murray, President, Lytton Park Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.30)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118309.pdf
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Sally Shaw (IE.Supp.IE15.8.31)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Mary Helen Spence, ABC Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.32)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118311.pdf
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Wendy Weaver (IE.Supp.IE15.8.33)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Gabe Hayos, on behalf of Cindy Weiner, President, St. Andrews Ratepayers Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.34)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118313.pdf
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Candace Sguinot (IE.Supp.IE15.8.35)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Cathie Macdonald, submitting a letter from Cynthia Chrysler, President, Deer Park Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.36)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118321.pdf
(September 16, 2020) Letter from Cathie Macdonald, Toronto Noise Coalition (IE.Supp.IE15.8.7)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118323.pdf
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Barb Moore (IE.Supp.IE15.8.38)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Pamela Mountain (IE.Supp.IE15.8.39)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Lorna McCue (IE.Supp.IE15.8.40)
(September 16, 2020) Letter from Michael Polyanyi, Toronto Environmental Alliance (IE.Supp.IE15.8.41)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118418.pdf
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Lyn Adamson (IE.Supp.IE15.8.42)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Tomislav Svoboda (IE.Supp.IE15.8.43)

Communications (City Council)

(September 22, 2020) E-mail from Eleanor Heinz (CC.Main.IE15.8.44)
(September 23, 2020) E-mail from Alexandrina Canto Thaler (CC.Main.IE15.8.45)
(September 23, 2020) E-mail from T. Erlich and family (CC.Supp.IE15.8.46)
(September 23, 2020) E-mail from Stephen Milic (CC.Supp.IE15.8.47)
(September 24, 2020) Letter from Harold Smith, Director, Lytton Park Residents Org. Inc (CC.Supp.IE15.8.48)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-120363.pdf
(September 24, 2020) E-mail from Judy Love (CC.Supp.IE15.8.49)
(September 24, 2020) Letter from Sheila Dunlop, Secretary, South Armour Heights Residents' Association (CC.Supp.IE15.8.50)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-120367.pdf
(September 25, 2020) E-mail from Matthew Vienneau (CC.Supp.IE15.8.51)
(September 25, 2020) Letter from William Phillips (CC.Supp.IE15.8.52)
(September 25, 2020) E-mail from Pamela Mountain (CC.Supp.IE15.8.53)
(September 21, 2020) Letter from Julie Forman-Kay (CC.Supp.IE15.8.54)
(September 27, 2020) E-mail from Greg Knittl (CC.Supp.IE15.8.55)
(September 27, 2020) E-mail from Lillian Mierzwa (CC.Supp.IE15.8.56)
(September 27, 2020) Letter from Cathie Macdonald, Member, Toronto Noise Coalition (CC.Supp.IE15.8.57)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-120400.pdf
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from Catherine Ann Kerwin (CC.Supp.IE15.8.58)
(September 27, 2020) E-mail from Pauline Walsh (CC.Supp.IE15.8.59)
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from Tom Worrall (CC.Supp.IE15.8.60)
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from Barry Applebee (CC.Supp.IE15.8.61)
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from David and Wendy Yeates (CC.Supp.IE15.8.62)
(September 28, 2020) Letter from Robert Murray, Vice-President, Lytton Park Residentsí Organization (CC.Supp.IE15.8.63)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-120410.pdf
(September 25, 2020) Letter from Shari Taylor (CC.Supp.IE15.8.64)
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from Margot Dawson (CC.Supp.IE15.8.65)
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from Brenda Bradstreet (CC.Supp.IE15.8.66)
(September 28, 2020) E-mail from Dr. Susan Friedman (CC.Supp.IE15.8.67)
(September 29, 2020) E-mail from Jill Marzetti (CC.New.IE15.8.68)
(September 29, 2020) E-mail from Martha Tabmlyn (CC.New.IE15.8.69)
(September 30, 2020) Letter from Lewis E. Kay (CC.New.IE15.8.70)

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Receive Item moved by Councillor Stephen Holyday (Lost)

That the item be received for information.

Vote (Receive Item) Oct-02-2020

Result: Lost Majority Required - IE15.8 - Holyday - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 7 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Gary Crawford, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Denzil Minnan-Wong
Total members that voted No: 14 Members that voted No are Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that were Absent: 4 Members that were absent are Mike Colle, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory

2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Josh Matlow (Carried)

That City Council request the City Manager, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health and the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report in the first quarter of 2021 on the impact of noise generated from gas-powered and electric leaf blowers and other similar garden equipment, including the feasibility of a year-round ban or a ban from May to September.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Oct-02-2020

Result: Carried Majority Required - IE15.8 - Matlow - motion 2
Total members that voted Yes: 11 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Mike Colle, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Gord Perks, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 10 Members that voted No are Shelley Carroll, Gary Crawford, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Jennifer McKelvie, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Anthony Perruzza
Total members that were Absent: 4 Members that were absent are James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item as Amended) Oct-02-2020

Result: Carried Majority Required
Total members that voted Yes: 16 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 5 Members that voted No are Gary Crawford, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Denzil Minnan-Wong
Total members that were Absent: 4 Members that were absent are James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory

IE15.8 - Request to Study the Environmental Impact of Two-Stroke Engine Garden Equipment

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Infrastructure and Environment Committee recommends that: 

 

1. City Council request the City Manager, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, to report back in the first quarter of 2021 on the environmental and associated health impacts of gasoline-powered two-stroke engine leaf blowers and other similarly operated garden equipment, including the feasibility of a year-round ban or a ban from May to September.

Origin

(July 30, 2020) Member Motion from Councillor Shelley Carroll, seconded by Councillor James Pasternak

Summary

City Council on July 28 and 29, 2020, referred Motion MM23.3 to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

 

Gasoline-powered leaf blowers and other types of small engine equipment are powered by inefficient two-stroke engines. The process of incomplete fuel combustion generates dangerous hydrocarbon 500 times that of an average automobile and produces toxic aerosol (including carcinogenic particulates) for us to breathe in. These machines have shown to be heavily polluting which can lead to the destruction of our ecosystem.

 

Recently published studies observed a dramatic loss of insect populations across the globe. Just within the past three decades, the number of flying insects had declined by more than 75 percent in sixty of Germany's protected area. Based on available researches, 40 percent of insect species are undergoing major declines around the world. Our local bee populations are facing similar threats.

 

This rapid decline is largely attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation, with gas-powered garden equipment as a major contributing factor due to its heavily polluting nature. It destroys habitats either by harming the soil biology or absorbing small animals and insects through suction. Experts warn that if this trend continues, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem will collapse with profound consequences on our health and wellbeing.

 

Increasingly, private landscapers are using leaf blowers to remove grass clippings outside the fall season, i.e., from May to September, when no leaves are on the ground. This unnecessary step exposes our neighbourhoods to a greater range of air pollutants and destroys insect populations with adverse impacts on our local ecosystems.

 

Banning or severely restricting gas-operated leaf blowers have been successfully implemented in over 90 cities/municipalities in California and more than 100 other cities in the USA. In Canada, the West End of the City of Vancouver and Beaconsfield have bans to address air and other pollutions. Portland supported a transition to electric operations in 2021 in addition to a ban. Most recently, the findings of the insect population decline have led to a similar proposals in Germany.

 

In the most recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, breathing in combustion aerosols and fine particulates compromise those with lung disease and significantly raise the risk of death from COVID-19.

Background Information

(August 11, 2020) Letter from City Council on a Request to Study the Environmental Impact of Two-Stroke Engine Garden Equipment
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-156469.pdf

Communications

(July 27, 2020) E-mail from Nicole Corrado (IE.Main.IE15.8.1)
(July 28, 2020) E-mail from Lyn Anderson (IE.Main.IE15.8.2)
(August 17, 2020) E-mail from Helen Dosani (IE.Main.IE15.8.3)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Eleanor Heinz (IE.Main.IE15.8.4)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Rick King (IE.Main.IE15.8.5)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Thomas Cohen, Chair, Eglinton Park Residents Association (IE.Main.IE15.8.6)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-117943.pdf
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Seboua March (IE.Main.IE15.8.7)
(September 8, 2020) E-mail from Mary and Bruce Ferguson (IE.Main.IE15.8.8)
(September 9, 2020) E-mail from Lynette Logue (IE.Main.IE15.8.9)
(September 10, 2020) Letter from Carol Burtin Fripp, Co-Chair, Leaside Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-117984.pdf
(September 10, 2020) Letter from Harold Smith (IE.Supp.IE15.8.11)
(September 11, 2020) Letter from Sheila Dunlop, Secretary, South Armour Heights Residents' Association (SAHRA) (IE.Supp.IE15.8.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-117989.pdf
(September 12, 2020) E-mail from Alexandrina Canto Thaler (IE.Supp.IE15.8.13)
(September 12, 2020) E-mail from Judy Love (IE.Supp.IE15.8.14)
(September 12, 2020) E-mail from William Faith (IE.Supp.IE15.8.15)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Catherine Ann Kerwin (IE.Supp.IE15.8.16)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Lillian Mierzwa (IE.Supp.IE15.8.17)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Greg Knittl (IE.Supp.IE15.8.8)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Shoshanna Fainsilber (IE.Supp.IE15.8.19)
(September 13, 2020) E-mail from Miriam Henriques (IE.Supp.IE15.8.20)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Tom Worrall (IE.Supp.IE15.8.21)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Annabel Reinis (IE.Supp.IE15.8.22)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Anne Butt (IE.Supp.IE15.8.23)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Monty McDonald (IE.Supp.IE15.8.24)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Maureen Kapral (IE.Supp.IE15.8.25)
(September 14, 2020) E-mail from Hamish Wilson (IE.Supp.IE15.8.26)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Douglas Smith (IE.Supp.IE15.8.27)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Alex Grenzebach (IE.Supp.IE15.8.28)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Ronald MacFarlane, submitting a letter from Kim Perrotta, Director, Creating Healthy and Sustainable Environments (CHASE (IE.Supp.IE15.8.29)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118308.pdf
(September 15, 2020) Letter from Robert Murray, President, Lytton Park Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.30)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118309.pdf
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Sally Shaw (IE.Supp.IE15.8.31)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Mary Helen Spence, ABC Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.32)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118311.pdf
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Wendy Weaver (IE.Supp.IE15.8.33)
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Gabe Hayos, on behalf of Cindy Weiner, President, St. Andrews Ratepayers Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.34)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118313.pdf
(September 15, 2020) E-mail from Candace Sguinot (IE.Supp.IE15.8.35)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Cathie Macdonald, submitting a letter from Cynthia Chrysler, President, Deer Park Residents Association (IE.Supp.IE15.8.36)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118321.pdf
(September 16, 2020) Letter from Cathie Macdonald, Toronto Noise Coalition (IE.Supp.IE15.8.7)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118323.pdf
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Barb Moore (IE.Supp.IE15.8.38)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Pamela Mountain (IE.Supp.IE15.8.39)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Lorna McCue (IE.Supp.IE15.8.40)
(September 16, 2020) Letter from Michael Polyanyi, Toronto Environmental Alliance (IE.Supp.IE15.8.41)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/comm/communicationfile-118418.pdf
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Lyn Adamson (IE.Supp.IE15.8.42)
(September 16, 2020) E-mail from Tomislav Svoboda (IE.Supp.IE15.8.43)

Speakers

Harold Smith
Monty McDonald
Chris Keating
Cathie Macdonald
Councillor Shelley Carroll

Motions

Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor James Pasternak (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council