(Metro Vancouver photo)

Metro Vancouver air quality improving: report

The regional district says test results are good, despite more people moving to the area

Metro Vancouver air quality continues to improve right on schedule, despite the growing population in the region.

That’s according to Metro Vancouver’s annual ‘Caring for Air’ report released Wednesday.

The report focuses on air quality and climate change issues that affect the region, from West Vancouver to Hope.

One area of issue is the air quality near roadways. More than 20 per cent of the region’s population lives within 100 metres of a major roadway, the report says.

“Emissions from motor vehicles are one of the largest sources of air pollutants in our region,” it reads.

Metro Vancouver suggests ride-sharing and the use of electric vehicles, which are both expected to continue to improve road safety and reduce environmental impacts through lower fuel consumption through the next decade.

Other key factors in determining air quality include peak ground-level ozone levels, which occur during summertime afternoons. Levels are better now than in the 1980s and early 1990s, the report reads.

But while there are lower levels of pollutants forming the ground-level ozone within the region, an increase in ozone formed outside of Canada is moving in.

A new integrated regional climate action strategy is currently under development. Details have not yet been released.

“We need to continue to work hard year after year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions coming from cars, trucks or heating; we cannot afford to become complacent,” Derek Corrigan, chair of Metro Vancouver’s climate action committee, said in a press release.