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

PHOTOS: Annual Pilgrimage to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Mission

A huge crowd came out to Fraser River Heritage Park for the annual event

Infrastructure strategy slated for Silverdale lands

Mission hires consultants to lay out infrastructure needs for 3,440-acre area eyed for future growth

TONIGHT: Second public hearing to be held on major development project

Developer envisions 131 apartments, community gaming centre and other commercial ventures at site

Fraser Valley Express doubles weekend and holiday bus service

Four new round trips to be added, starting Sept. 4

Parks and playgrounds getting upgrades in Mission

Some areas have been waiting years, but district vows to get to them eventually

VIDEO: Lower Mainland air quality to hit ‘extreme risk’

Smoke is pouring in from the interior B.C. and wildfires down in the U.S.

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

More bus trips coming to Metro Vancouver this fall

TransLink touts improvements when fall service changes take effect Sept. 34

Bear kills off-leash dog in North Vancouver park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read