“Stackwatch” and similar industrial facility ‘keys’ or fact sheets can help local residents identify, track, report, and understand pollution sources and events in their own community.
Learning about the processes, chemicals used, and pollution emitted by the target company will help a Good Neighbour Campaign gain and maintain credibility. Additionally, with proper monitoring and reporting, pollution exceedances can be properly recorded and polluters can be held accountable.
Training residents to better understand and accurately report emissions and spills will benefit the campaign. Using detailed logs, decibel metres, photography, group monitoring events to share knowledge and terminology are all creative ways to improve reporting.
The Hamilton Stackwatch program was designed to provide residents with the skills and information needed to identify and take action on visible air emissions coming from industrial smoke stacks in Hamilton’s industrial core. Specifically, those industrial stacks of ArcelorMittal-Dofasco, and their neighbour and competitor US Steel, with whom their stacks can often get mistaken for.
The program consisted of two phases: materials creation and community outreach. For the materials, “stack keys” were created tailored to two specific communities, along with an online comprehensive Stackwatch map and supplementary resources. Over 2000 stack keys and resources were distributed at community events and through door-to-door canvassing. LINK
To enhance community outreach, Stackwatch marathon sessions were created to “set up camp” at various vantage points throughout the city to bring residents together for training on Provincial legislation on the control of air contaminants, identifying problem emissions, and what to make note of for a formal complaint to the Ministry of Environment effective. The program resulted in distribution of 2000+ stack identification and reporting materials and several residents receiving in-person training.
By resident request, the Odourwatch component was created as a supplementary resource.
View Stackwatch Interactive Map in a larger map
Resources and Materials
- Environment Hamilton - Stackwatch – Main Page- Door to Door Flyer
- Environment Hamitlon – Stackwatch – Stack Keys – Centre Mall Area
- Environment Hamilton – Stackwatch – Folding Map – Side 1
- Environment Hamilton – Stackwatch – Folding Map – Side 2
- Environment Hamilton – Stackwatch – Q &A with the Ministry of Environment
- Environment Hamilton – Odourwatch Flyer
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