PG Air Quality Improving
Prince George, B.C. – When it comes to air quality in Prince George, things are getting better, but there is still work to be done according to a report from the Ministry of the Environment.
The report examined air quality issues over the past 15 years, and concluded “There has been a consistent improvement in air pollution in the Prince George area over the last 15 years.”
A review of data for 24hour rolling averages and annual averages show there have been reductions of PM10, PM2.5 and SO2 concentrations. The report says there have been fewer days when levels of those pollutants have exceeded the provincial objective “which is most likely due to the airshed planning process, improved pollution controls and other changes implemented by local industry.”
A new monitoring system and an active wildfire season in 2013 and 2014 were cited as key reasons air quality objectives were exceeded during the summer of those two years.
The report notes the majority of PM10 exceedances “occurred at the BC Rail Station monitoring site due to industrial activity” .
The report says there has been a “significant downward trend over time” in SO2 emissions, but notes a slight increase in TRS concentrations which have led to complaints about odour, “While not linked to any identified health impacts at the concentrations that are being monitored, it is a source of significant annoyance in the Prince George community” states the report.
The report credits the air quality improvements to “airshed management process and improvements by all the stakeholders in the Prince George Airshed” That’s not to say there isn’t more work to do, as the report says “There are still improvements that could be made with further stakeholder engagement and effort.”