Environment

The Environment: A Top Priority

The Milton Logistics Hub has gone through an extensive federal environmental assessment and regulatory review process and was approved on January 21, 2021 by the federal government, with 325 conditions.

CN is committed to meeting these conditions in building and operating the Milton Logistics Hub, and has proposed a number of measures to mitigate potential effects of the project. The federal government’s decision and conditions for the project can be reviewed at iaac-aeic.gc.ca.

Environmental Assessment background

On January 27, 2020, the independent joint Review Panel submitted its report to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Among its findings, the Review Panel confirmed that:

  • shifting the long-haul transportation of intermodal goods from road to railway, with the Project, has the potential to reduce GHGs and other air emissions at a regional or greater level (Report, page 294);
  • the selection of the south Milton site was supported by reasonable criteria and alternative locations were properly considered (Report, page 31);
  • direct Project effects are relatively small, and need to be understood in the context of the rapidly urbanizing and developing area of Milton and the GTHA, which has been and continues to be affected by past development and planned regional growth (Report, page 295);
  • CN is well placed to exert a positive influence over those industries that would utilize the Project (Report, page 54); and
  • excellence and innovation in some of the mitigation could serve as a helpful example to other industry and land developers in the area, further helping to address regional cumulative effects (Report, page 294).

The Review Panel’s full report and executive summary, as well as more information regarding the environmental assessment process, are available at iaac-aeic.gc.ca, Reference Number: 80100.

Mitigation

 Some examples of what we are doing to protect and enhance the environment include:

  • Enhance vegetation along Indian Creek and through Tributary A realignments, to increase vegetation diversity, increase shade to watercourses, provide bank stability, and improve water quality and fish habitat.
  • Provide a net benefit to fish and fish habitat through the creation and enhancement of natural channels and supporting in-stream and riparian habitat features to increase the area and improve the quality of fish habitat.
  • Create and manage consolidated offsite Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark grassland habitat in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada, a highly respected non-profit environmental organization.
  • Improve flood control upstream of the CN mainline and along Tremaine Road through improved flood conveyance and floodplain storage design to reduce the overall flood risk in the area.
  • Continue to support a University of Guelph Monarch butterfly habitat study area on CN property.

In addition, as part of CN’s larger sustainability strategy to reduce emissions, CN is launching a pilot program to acquire 50 zero-emission, electric, heavy trucks as part of its intermodal fleet. The trucks will be used at CN’s intermodal terminals in urban areas, such as Greater Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal, and Vancouver, to reduce greenhouse gas and other air emissions. The trucks are custom-built and engineered in Quebec; they produce no noise pollution and each truck will remove 100 tons of GHG from the road annually.

Documents and Resources

More documents and resources are to be posted here in the near future, including Construction Monitoring Reports, Follow-up Programs and Reports.

The full EIS is available on the public registry at iaac-aeic.gc.ca