Welcome from the Executive
The work of the Environment Council is founded on the principle of pollution prevention and avoidance of adverse environmental impacts in the planning and delivery of transportation services throughout Canada. Members discuss environmental issues related to transportation, with recent focus on topics such as illumination effects on humans and wildlife, noise effects and attenuation thresholds, erosion and sediment control, invasive species management, regulatory change and emerging technologies. Meetings of the Council are open to all TAC members, and we especially encourage young professionals to get involved. We hope to see you at our next gathering on Saturday, April 6 in Ottawa at TAC’s Spring Technical Meetings.
The Environment Council met in Saskatoon on Saturday, September 29. Attendees included 21 members and 5 friends. The Council received presentations from Hemmera on illumination effects assessment at the Port of Vancouver, from Saskatchewan on its Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force, and a video presentation from the Northwest Territories on the retirement of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road. Federal representatives provided updates on reviews of the Navigable Waters Act, Impact Assessment Act and Fisheries Act. The Council also received updates from its two standing committees:
During the meeting, the Council also identified and discussed a number of other key issues including salt vulnerable areas, roadside ecology and climate change resiliency. Emerging issues discussed during the meeting included remediation of salt contaminated areas, and wetland compensation.
The Council’s standing committees organized several technical sessions at the TAC Conference in Saskatoon, including those summarized below. You can stream recordings of these and other conference sessions (audio and PowerPoint decks) at the TAC Online Learning Centre.
On Tuesday, October 2 the Council organized a panel that provided updates on proposed new federal legislative requirements for the Navigable Waters Act, Impact Assessment Act and Fisheries Act. Speakers represented the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and Transport Canada. View the presentations
On Wednesday, October 3 the Council organized a presentation session sharing information on innovative environmental technologies that support the field component of project work, help environmental managers with effective decision-making and reduce environmental impacts. Speakers represented Joro Consultants, Alberta Transportation, Hemmera, and Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions. View the presentations
On Wednesday, October 3 the Council organized a session that highlighted innovative approaches and technologies that have contributed to the successful management of invasive plant and animal species in the transportation sector, including prevention, management and education considerations. Speakers represented British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Meewasin Valley Authority, Synermulch Erosion Control Products, the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, and McMaster University. View the presentations
TAC continues to seek funding partners for its pooled-fund projects, including those initiated by the Environment Council.
This project will develop a compendium of practices to make roads more permeable for fish and wildlife, and reduce conflicts between wildlife and vehicles. The project has an estimated funding requirement of $135,000, which has been 19% met to date by three committed funding partners. More details
Aiming to identify a suite of readily quantifiable, comparable and meaningful performance measures relating to transportation and environmental management, this volunteer project will develop a briefing to help organizations compare their performance with others in Canada. More details
This volunteer project will culminate in a synthesis of best practices outlining preventative actions for managing the spread of invasive species along transportation corridors. More details
Expected for release this summer is a synthesis of beneficial practices for compliance with the MBCA and Regulations from a wide range of sectors (transportation, utilities, oil and gas), accompanied by reports on operational guidance for migratory bird nests under bridges and in culverts, and for migratory birds and vegetation management for existing transportation facilities and infrastructure. More details
Deadline – February 22
Help us recognize TAC volunteers who have made a real difference! Check out TAC’s new awards for 2019, including the Leadership Award, Individual Contribution Award, and Committee Excellence Award. They join our Distinguished Service Award, which remains TAC’s highest honour. Get more information or nominate a colleague or committee by February 22
2018 TAC Environmental Achievement Award
At TAC’s conference in 2018, the Regional Municipality of York was recognized for its 2nd Concession corridor crossing Rogers Reservoir, a popular conservation area in the Town of East Gwillimbury, Ontario. Between 2014 and 2017, the two-lane road was widened to a four-lane urban arterial along with an elevated wooden boardwalk. Three new bridges serve to protect and preserve the historic canal system. More details
TAC seminar – February 11-12 (Edmonton), February 14-15 (Calgary), February 25-26 (GTA East), February 28-March 1 (GTA West), April 8-9 (Vancouver), April 11-12 (Victoria), April 29-30 (Winnipeg), May 2-3 (Saskatoon)
This two-day seminar for experienced road designers will address nine real-world geometric design challenges for Canadian road. Participants will be expected to participate actively in assessing and shaping potential design solutions, and in discussing actual final designs from the standpoint of practicality, potential user challenges, and general risks and cost-effectiveness. Get more information or register for this seminar
Watch these and other recorded webinars on demand at the TAC Online Learning Centre.
TAC webinar – December 4, 2018
This webinar examined challenges faced by complete street projects. Speakers addressed the Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscape Project in Halifax, the Main Street Renewal project in Ottawa, and the art of making trade-offs when designing complete streets. View the webinar (FREE for TAC members and students, $15 for others)
TAC webinar – November 6, 2018
This webinar highlighted the use of flood risk and traffic microsimulation models to predict the evacuation-related impacts of different flooding scenarios for the Halifax Peninsula, and discussed issues related to natural disasters, vulnerable populations and ethics. View the webinar (FREE for TAC members and students, $15 for others)