Ears might have been burning at Queens Park after a meeting of the Hamilton Planning Committee Tuesday. First there was criticism of the overlapping snarl of regulations and jurisdictions over the issuing of demolition permits. Council had directed staff to request Ontario change the notification rules for industrial demolitions after a north end plant was blown up causing a cloud of dust that affected a wide area for hours. The complaint was that the regulations only required notification in the immediate area of the demolition, which was inadequate given the extent of the fallout. Staff have asked the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to change the notification procedure to include:
- the previous use of the site to be demolished;
- a list of any potential contaminants which could become airborne or enter Hamilton’s waterways or soil;
- the potential human health impacts of contamination; and,
- a detailed action plan to mitigate all potential impacts to human health, air quality and waterways or soil.
At the local level changes were recommended to better coordinate the oversight of industrial demolition between Public Health and the Building Department who issue the demolition permits.
The staff report revealed an uncoordinated patchwork of regulations and jurisdictions covering demolition events. Agencies and regulations having some potential involvement in demolitions include The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act that requires if “the work is the demolition of a building at least four metres high with a floor area of at least thirty square metres;”, the project must be registered with the Ministry of Labour.” It also requires a “designated substances survey” to determine what hazardous materials are present at the site. Then there are the Professional Engineers, who under the regulations must provide “a description of any environmental hazard that would or could arise as a result of the demolition, and of the measures necessary to address the hazard.” Under the Ontario Building Code the holder of a demolition permit is not requited to call for city inspection during demolition.
Building Staff have had several meetings with Public Health Services, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and the Ministry of Labour regarding this issue. Staff have instituted a checklist for demolition applicants to follow, answering specific environmental questions, and are giving out a handbook on best practices for demolition to applicants.
Several councillors expressed concern with the complexity of the process and called for better coordination and oversight that is currently the case.
Yes that N end steel plant in this case torn down a part of the building which they said was watered down sad the video did not show that.Did they get fined?