Snapshot of Lower Mainland air quality report shows positive trends for breathable air (Metro Vancouver)

2017 wildfire smoke took toll on Lower Mainland air quality: report

Metro Vancouver said wildfire smoke hindered air quality, but emission reduction helped

Heavy smoke from B.C.’s wildfires took a toll on Metro Vancouver’s air quality last year, but a new report says improvements are continuing to be made against most smog-forming pollutants across the region.

In its seventh annual air quality report released Wednesday, Metro Vancouver said that while the unprecedented levels of wildfire smoke hindered air quality in 2017, long-term emission-reduction programs helped improve it.

During last summer’s wildfire season, five air quality advisories were issued in the Lower Mainland, totalling an unprecedented 19 days with an advisory in effect.

According to the report, the longest continuous period under an advisory was from Aug. 1 to 12, when levels of fine particulate matter were at an all-time high due to wildfire smoke. Advisories at the time indicated ground-level ozone also became elevated when weather reached its hottest temperatures.

While Metro Vancouver’s report did not speak to any specific long-term impacts of how wildfires will impact overall air quality, it does suggest that as more severe wildfires are forecasted to become a seasonal occurrence, the impacts on air in the region could too become more severe in the future.

Airshed data won’t be reviewed until 2020, as information on air pollutant and greenhouse gas levels across the Lower Mainland is compiled every five years.

Metro Vancouver’s extensive Air Quality Monitoring Network includes 29 monitoring stations that collect data from Horseshoe Bay to Hope every hour of the day, seven days a week. From data that is compiled annually, Metro Vancouver said it reached target goals for all contaminants last year.

READ MORE: Air quality advisory issued for Lower Mainland

In 2017, all air stations across Lower Mainland recorded less concentrations of sulphor than the annual goal.

Nitrogen dioxide concentrations were also better than target levels, even with near-road stations being more sensitive to traffic emissions.

Despite the air quality warnings issued in the summer, fine particulate matter reached low target levels at every Lower Mainland station with the exception of Hope.

Metro Vancouver reported in 2015 that due to residential wood burning, non-road engines, industrial sources and marine vessels, levels of fine particulate matter emissions still remain significant, despite a general decrease.

“Average trends for the region show improvements have been made over the last decade for most air contaminants, even while the region’s population has continued to grow,” Derek Corrigan, chair of Metro Vancouver’s climate action committee, said in a news release.

“Although our air quality is generally very good, we are committed to making improvements, however small, to tackle climate change and ensure our residents have clean air to breathe.”

Caring for the Air 2018 by Ashley Wadhwani on Scribd


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Team BC advancing undefeated in junior nationals

A Langley-based team is 6-0, thus far, at the Canadian curling championships.

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Feds earmark $7.5 million to help keep Surrey teens out of gangs

It’s expected as many as 4,730 teenagers in Surrey will benefit from it

A look inside Brendan McLeod’s ‘Brain,’ in Surrey on tour

INTERVIEW: Toronto-based artist at Centre Stage with words and music

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Four students sent to hospital after school bus crash in Mission

Mission RCMP say hospitalization a precaution, 14 students were on board

5 to start your day

Court hears South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, Four students sent to hospital after school bus crash in Mission and more

Arrest made in case of incapacitated woman who gave birth

A 36-year-old nurse has been arrested and charged with sexual assault

B.C. dairy farmers say milk cup is half full in new Canada Food Guide

Despite what seems like a demotion, B.C. Dairy Association insists its inclusion is still integral

Slippery roads reported along Coquihalla

The winter weather is finally here in the Central Okanagan

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Catholic student says he didn’t disrespect Native American

Many saw the white teenagers, who had travelled to Washington for an anti-abortion rally, appearing to mock the Native Americans

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Most Read