Turning on to the environment and turning off your engine

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Anti-IdlingCouncil and the City of Burlington are committed to sustaining the quality of life that we have come to know and enjoy in our community. One of those key factors is protecting and enhancing our environment. The importance of the natural environment was identified in the city’s strategic plan where over 4,000 community members participated in its development. The vision of the plan titled Burlington, Our Future is “where people, nature and business thrive.”  Within our corporation, we have staff dedicated to our environment – Burlington’s sustainability team. I invite you to learn more online about how we are reducing our impact on the environment and how you too can do your part to reduce your impact .

One of the priorities I would like to focus on is air quality.

Vehicle idling can have a dramatic impact on local air quality; when idling vehicles are present, pollution levels rise. And poor air quality has a dramatic impact on our health and well-being; it can trigger asthma and other breathing difficulties for many people.

Poor air quality has also been linked to cancer as announced recently by the World Health Organization. As reported on CBC, the WHO has declared that air pollution in our cities is the most important environmental carcinogen, equating it with tobacco smoke and UV radiation. More and more information is being released about poor air quality and the effects on our health. In a recent National Post article, exhaust fumes have been shown to increase the risk of heart failure.

Idling generally refers to running a vehicle engine when the vehicle is stopped. Most municipalities target unnecessary idling, including Burlington.

Since 2003, the city has actively promoted a campaign to raise awareness about unnecessary idling. In 2004, an idling bylaw was adopted by Burlington City Council. This was updated in 2009. Unnecessary idling exceeding one minute is prohibited in Burlington year round. Unattended idling vehicles can be ticketed, including those on residential driveways, and the fine is $100.

Many people do not realize that idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more carbon dioxide than restarting your engine.

Please reconsider idling your vehicle while waiting to pick up a friend or family member from school or the mall or one of our transit terminals; turn your engine off while you wait.

Take Action Burlingt#E318F2 - headerWorking together we can all do our part to improve our air quality as it continues to be an important focus for the City of Burlington. More information about City of Burlington idling initiatives is available online.

I invite you to join and be part of these conversations, to offer your ideas and insight. I am available by appointment, phone, e-mail, blog, and website, and look forward to hearing from you.

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