Transport Canada seeks public comment on noisy boats – Sylvan Lake News
Alberta Summer Villages have joined the call to reduce noise from motorboats on Alberta lakes.
The Alberta Summer Village Association (ASVA) is a member of the Decibel Coalition, a national group that wants to see decibel limits on motorboats to solve the noise problem on Canada’s lakes.
Transport Canada recently launched public consultations to fight noise pollution, and the Decibel Coalition wants people to voice their concerns and send letters to their elected officials.
Canadians have until May 13 to participate online in Let’s Talk Small Vessel Noise Emissions.
Mike Pashak, councilor for the Half Moon Bay summer village and chairman of the ASVA board, said that over the past few years engine noise has been a problem for Sylvan Lake.
“For a lot of these new boats, the exhaust is above the waterline, which can be quite noisy,” Pashak said.
“The big lakes like Sylvan, Pigeon, Wabamun and Lac Ste. Anne, they all have similar problems.
Decibel Coalition was formed in 2019 by Safe Quiet Lakes, which focused on securing Muskoka Lakes in Ontario.
The coalition, a group of more than 65 associations and municipalities in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, says motorboat noise is a growing problem that negatively affects wildlife, people and the enjoyment of our country’s waterways.
Surveys and petitions in provinces across the country show substantial support for introducing decibel limits similar to what has existed in the United States and Europe for more than 20 years, the coalition says.
Gary Milne, who lived in Sylvan Lake and is a member of the Decibel Coalition task force, said sound is amplified in Sylvan Lake due to local topography.
“At Sylvan Lake you can actually hear a loud boat going across that lake for a while,” said Milne who now has a cabin on Shuswap Lake in British Columbia and is president of the Shuswap and Mara Lakes Decibel Coalition Society. .
He said noisy boats are a challenge for anyone trying to have a conversation and can quickly escalate into hearing damage.
“Not only do these boats get noisy, but they get louder and louder as they go faster. And as they go faster, they become a bit of a safety issue for kayakers, canoeists or anyone else.
Current regulations require small vessels to be equipped with mufflers or through-the-propeller exhaust, but do not include decibel limits on sound emissions.
The coalition would like to see the regulations updated so that manufacturers and operators ensure that their vessels do not exceed noise emission levels.
Pashak said he hopes the coalition has grown enough for Transport Canada to listen and make regulatory changes.