Does your proposed development require an EMF Management Plan?

EMF Inspections has worked with several Toronto-area developers over the years to perform onsite EMF surveys and create plans that can be submitted as part of a planning application.

What is an EMF Management Plan

The City of Toronto may sometimes request an Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Management Plan as part of a planning application. This plan helps the developer understand and potentially adjust for sources of EMFs that may be located near the development site. These sources may include, but are not limited to, hydro transmission lines, electrical substations, and subway lines/terminals.

When appropriate, low or no-cost measures are presented as part of the plan to help minimize EMF exposure of young children visiting or residing at the proposed development.

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Why does the City of Toronto request EMF Management Plans?

A number of studies have shown that long-term exposure to AC magnetic fields greater than 3-4 milligauss (mG) may lead to a modest increase in the risk of childhood leukemia. While the available data are insufficient to make a definitive connection between EMFs and the development of cancer, the Toronto City Council has adopted a prudent avoidance policy regarding children’s exposure to EMFs.

As such, the City of Toronto requires that an EMF Management Plan be created and submitted as part of a development application for any projects which are located near high voltage hydro transmission corridors or other such sources of electromagnetic fields.

Objectives of an EMF Management Plan

An EMF Management Plan is a document provided by an EMF consultant. The main objective of the information contained in the plan is to help developers identify and manage exposures of young children to EMFs, specifically 60 Hz frequency magnetic fields.

The plan seeks to help developers understand the impact nearby electromagnetic sources might have on the development site and estimate the EMF exposure levels of children under the age of 12 who may frequent or reside at the site. Other potential sources of 60Hz AC magnetic fields, such as electrical equipment and power distribution inside the building, are also considered as part of the effort to manage the overall exposure levels of children.

The City of Toronto, along with Toronto Public Health, asks that developers consider and implement no- or low-cost strategies that support a prudent reduction in exposure to EMFs for young children.

What is included in an EMF Management Plan

An EMF consultant will work with the developer and ultimately create the completed EMF Management Plan for submission to the City.  It will typically include the following:

  • Identification of the source(s) of electromagnetic fields in the area of the proposed development site.
  • Onsite measurements of electromagnetic fields at the development site which can be attributed to nearby EMF source(s).
  • The application of relevant historical data obtained from Hydro One in order to more accurately estimate the annual average exposure that can be attributed to existing EMF sources affecting the site, such as high-voltage transmission lines.
  • The assessment of any planned additions or upgrades to the nearby source(s) of EMFs and an estimate of the subsequent impact on the site.
  • Consideration of building-related sources of EMFs such as electrical rooms/equipment as they relate to child-centric facilities and/or high-use residential living areas.
  • Final findings and recommendations as well as an outline of any no-to-low cost EMF reduction strategies, as appropriate.