Clean Air Day – Is PG Moving in the Right Direction?
Prince George, B.C. – Air quality in Prince George continues to show improvement though wildfires are posing a challenge.
That from Terry Robert, executive director of PG Air on Clean Air Day today.
“Since we started monitoring air quality in Prince George we’re seeing steady, continual improvement but one of the things we really noticed when we look at the data, is that the impact of wildfires is sure having a strong effect on our annual averages and our exposure levels in the community.”
For example, he says the hot and dry summers of 2010 and 2014 – both hot and dry years – had an impact on Prince George’s air quality portfolio.
However, he says it remains to be seen whether wildfires will keep PG Air from attaining its goal of a 40% reduction in particulate matter compared to 1997 levels by the year 2016.
“We don’t have the fully audited data released from the provincial government yet. We’re anticipating the release of the air quality from the Ministry of Environment any day now and once that report is released we’ll have a look at it and see if we can get a better understanding of the impact of wildfire.
“But when you look at the data that’s unaudited and unreviewed by the provincial government, the raw data and run an analysis on it you can really see the impacts of wildfires and if you actually remove the outliers, to have a look for scenario purposes on those exposure days where wildfires are having an impact we’re really getting close to approaching our community goal.”
But aside from wildfires, he says he’s noticed a “significant improvement” with community awareness through activities like Bike to Work Week, through people’s increased knowledge of backyard burning laws, and even within the private sector and the small business community.
“We’ve been really happy to work with the Chamber of Commerce on their work with local business here and the collaboration with academic institutions to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint so all of that results in reduced emissions.”
On a larger scale, Robert says provincially permitted emitters are doing their part too.
“They’re constantly looking at additional ways to improve their efficiencies and minimize emissions.”
He says there has also been improvements in dust mitigation through local government measures like the Spring Cleanup though on the private side he says there’s still “a bit of work to do” when it comes to parking lot dust.
I wonder about the exclusive use of particulate levels as a measure of air quality. Subjectively, the sulfur compounds play a big role, and although the official line is apparently that they have no effect on health, many people report a correlation between health problems and high sulfur levels. I wonder if it is really clear that sulfur levels do not matter.
@billposer, an interesting study called:
“Short term effects of ambient sulphur dioxide and particulate matter on mortality in 12 European cities: results from time series data from the APHEA project”
The study looked at the particulate matter and sulfur dioxide separately and found “Specifically, in five western European cities an increase in sulphur dioxide concentrations of 50 μg/m3 was associated with a 4% and 5% rise in cardiovascular and respiratory mortality respectively;”
Which was interesting because most other studies look at only short term health problems not mortality rates.
And let’s never mention the exhaust spewing from every house , business , school , hospital , and most ancillary burner or fossil methane ( Natural Gas ) twenty four seven , three hundred sixty five days a year . Thank goodness it’s only two thirds as polluting as coal , right ? And it’s got radon !
Makes me wonder if they’re going to legislate against forest fire smoke too? How about all the pollution that comes over here from China?
The governments have legislated just about everything else.
Clean air day – Is PG moving in the right direction.. If the last time I flew into PG is any indication the right direction would be about 500 km south, geeze what a smell…
500 km’s south? That might put you right around Retired 02’s back yard! Not so sure that you would enjoy that smell, haha!
Bike to work week, carbon footprint, yep yep.
Hey sea-mutt where are you. Give us some ideas. Maybe you don’t like our smell but it appears that you have health problems with your air quality.
I know its the forest fires isn’t it?
It’s a bowl full of Natgas fumes R2 . You know that . You live there too. Funny how some guys will believe in invisible friends but not in too much pollution that you can’t see . Ezra s. Mutt likes nuclear energy but you don’t see him moving to Fukashima or Chernobyl where there is nuclear in abundance . Why it’s off the scale .
Poor stockaloss tell us more stories about your imaginary friend, you know that non existant solar system you claim to have?
Over 400 nuclear plants being planned built around the world. Then there are those coal plants going up. A nightmare for some.
Been a few weeks since I was down your way retired, just got the sh?t smell out of the truck.
Someone has drank too much of the Suzuki Kool-Aid me thinks..
No PN . It comes from a life long interest and love of chemistry . Interest and affection for a topic drives ones learning curve . David would never promoto sugar . He knows that sugar is a killer .
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