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October 27, 2017 11:32 pm

Dust Issues Persist

Friday, April 1, 2016 @ 4:57 PM

Prince George, B.C. –  There has been  little relief  in the  levels of  coarse particulates in the air in downtown Prince George.

The hourly  reading at  Plaza 400    for PM 10 this afternoon was near 40 micrograms per cubic metre,   while the 24 hour rolling average was at 70.  The Provincial target is 50 micrograms per  cubic metres.

And while there is a dust advisory in effect,  there have been instances where sweeping of parking  lots has taken place without the proper  dust mitigation measures.

Under the City’s Clean Air Bylaw,:

  • No person shall sweep or maintain any highway or off street parking, loading and storage areas except with the use of equipment using fugitive dust control procedures, or dust suppressing liquids.
  • All persons using dust suppressing liquids shall apply those liquids to the swept or maintained areas prior to and during sweeping or maintenance operations in amounts sufficient to minimize the generation of fugitive dust.
  • No person shall conduct sweeping or maintenance operations in such a manner as to cause or significantly contribute to the cause of injury or damage to human health, plant or animal life or property, or so as to unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.
  • No person shall undertake any sweeping or maintenance of highways or off street parking, loading, or storage areas at any time when an air quality advisory is in effect, unless approved by an Authorized Person on the basis that dust suppression measures satisfactory to the Authorized Person will be taken to control fugitive dust.   
  • All owners and operators of off street parking, loading and storage areas, sand and gravel pits, demolition sites, construction sites and highways shall maintain those areas so that fugitive dust does not escape in such a manner as to cause or significantly contribute to the cause of injury or damage to human health, plant or animal life or property, or so as to unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.

Bylaw Services Manager Fred Crittenden  admits,  there  may be some  who  skirt the bylaw  by  doing the sweeping operations  between midnight and 4 a.m. “I guess  like any bylaw offense, people try to skirt the rules when they can,  those are things that should be reported  to our office. And there are provisions for  getting a permit if something needs to be done.”

Crittenden is aware of at least one  such permit  being issued,  then rescinded in the past couple of days because the  equipment listed in the application  needed further inspection.  Charges have been  laid  under the Clean Air Bylaw in the past says Crittenden, although none in the past few days  “If  people give us enough evidence that we feel, yes,  someone has violated the clean air bylaw,  in some cases we’ve been sent photos  and even  videos of companies doing it, then we can follow that information up.  We aren’t out there 24 hours a day unfortunately,  we  don’t have the resources to do that.”

Those who  are in violation of the Clean Air Bylaw could face a maximum fine  of $10,000.

Something else to keep in mind, because  there is an air quality advisory in effect in the City,   there is to be no out door burning.    Crittenden  says the Fire Department will  be  called upon to  respond to  outdoor burning complaints,  and  the evidence they gather will be  given to Bylaw Services for  further action.



So what about sweeping the grass ? The bobcat sweeping the city’s grass at Ospika and Tyner today was sure kicking up the dust.

got this Fa-cough…cough,cough…

The entire Westwood area was a dustbowl the last few days as the city sweeps at night and after the water dries vehicles kick up huge amounts of dust that is now on the roadway. Same as along the bypass this morning. How about the city and YRB halt sweeping operations during an advisory?

What Prince George needs is a good long hard rain to wash off all that fine particulate on those streets down the drain.

No, like I’ve said several times before, what the city needs to do is send a water tanker behind the sweepers to flush off all the fine mud left behind by the sweepers and then we would have far less dirt on the streets to be kicked up by traffic.

Its funny but before the sweeping, the dust problem isn’t that bad generally. Is the city going to fine itself?

It seems they are so eager to impose penalties on others but won’t look at themselves.
Some cities don’t sweep at all, they just wash them down at night.
No dust.

The idea to flush the streets after the sweeper has gone by is a good one.
I think they have to sweep though, in at least some areas due to the amount of sand (gravel!) put down over the course of a winter.

I passed YRB sweeper with a conveyor dumping a large and continuous volume of sand directly into a tandem dump truck. They were moving slowly along the inside lane of a four lane road within the City. You would not want to wash that much sand into storm drains.

The cities that flush only, don’t have the sand and fine gravel to contend with.
Yes, sweeping for the bigger stuff is necessary but let’s flush the finer stuff unless they can have some kind of a super vacuum system that gets that too. That would probably be quite noisy though.
After all the sweeping was done, they could simply flush for the rest of the season.
It just really seems nonsensical, to have a mostly clean street, sweep it and leave a film of fine mud across the whole street. I’ve seen it for years. Then the traffic comes along as it dries and blows it all into the air. Then they go ahead and sweep again!
Completely nuts!

    my sweeper uses vacuum dust control. not that noisy at all. The filter is 5 feet by 3 feet and needs to be cleaned once a day but other than that…

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