Hamilton faces a variety of challenges with impacts to local air quality. We are an industrial city surrounded by major highways that move large volumes of vehicles - including heavy trucks. Hamilton is also located in the pathway of the transboundary trail of air pollution that migrates up into Ontario from the Ohio Valley.
Environment Hamilton has worked hard over many years now to see air quality improvements in our city. Our efforts began back in 2003 with the development of an initiative we call StackWatch.
NEW - CLICK HERE to read the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal's written decision regarding the Feb/Mar 2019 ArcelorMittal Dofasco blast furnace pollution releases.
CLICK HERE to view Environment Hamilton's submission on ArcelorMittal Dofasco's request for more time to rehabilitate its coke plants.
Environment Hamilton is a formal member of the following air quality initiatives and committees:
Clean Air Hamilton
ArcelorMittal Dofasco Community Liaison Committee
Ruetgers Environmental Monitoring Team
Stelco Community Liaison Committee
Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks External Working Group - Reg 419 Local Air Quality - Executive Director Lynda Lukasik serves as the Co-Chair of this provincial working group.
Community Resources for Tracking Local Air Quality
Environment Hamilton has developed a number of important, yet simple tools over the years to enable community members to get involved in tracking and pushing for improvements to our local air quality. Each of these approaches is described below, along with the associated resources needed to take action!
We have been helping Hamiltonians to OBSERVE, DOCUMENT and REPORT problem emissions from the city's industrial core since 2003. Along the way we have developed tools to help people to do this effectively. Today, most people have access to a digital camera either as a stand alone camera or integrated into a cell phone. We encourage people to snap pics of problem emissions and report them both to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks and to the company in question. We hand out fridge magnets that include the essential details anyone needs to report a problem emissions. They look like this:
We have also created a more detailed document that provides important information about stack watching and includes various views of the industrial skyline with all active industrial stacks labelled - to help even further with effective emission observations.
CLICK HERE to access Side 1 of our detailed Stack Watch Flyer
CLICK HERE to access Side 2 of the flyer
Odour is another impact that is related to air quality, but sometimes requires different strategies to resolve. These are helpful resources to help community members tackle odour problems in their neighbourhoods.:
This odour wheel, developed by St. Croix Sensory and modified by us for easier public use, is designed to help you to describe the odours you might be experiencing in your neighbourhood: