B.C. Air Quality

What Governments are Doing

The provincial, municipal and federal governments are working to improve air quality, and address climate change, through legislation, policies, new programs and specific actions.

B.C. Actions

Air Action Plan
The Air Action Plan sets out 28 actions to reduce air pollution from all sources, complementing the government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the new B.C. Energy Plan. The government is dedicating $28.5 million over three years to implement the plan, in partnership with industry, communities and other levels of government. Initiatives include:
  • Canada's first mandatory program to fit diesel trucks with diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) filters to reduce emissions;
  • funding to retrofit school buses in B.C. with DOC filters, and to enable school districts to purchase new clean-energy school buses;
  • plans to move the AirCare On-Road Program, which focuses on heavy-duty vehicle testing, from an educational system to an enforcement system, with fines for drivers of high-polluting commercial diesel trucks;
  • development of the Provincial Idle Reduction Initiative, to encourage drivers to reduce engine idling;
  • support for Green Fleets BC — a partnership led by the Fraser Basin Council to reduce fleet emissions in the province;
  • establishment of a provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program, and funding to support wood stove exchanges in Prince George, Kimberley, Grand Forks, the Okanagan, Revelstoke and Golden;
  • investment of $15 million to enhance and expand the Scrap-It Program across British Columbia. Scrap-It offers the public incentives to trade in pre-1993, high-polluting vehicles for cleaner kinds of transportation;
  • ongoing support for airshed planning efforts in a number of B.C. communities; and
  • continued involvement in the Air Quality Health Index, a public-information tool that helps Canadians protect their health on a daily basis from the negative effects of air pollution.
Climate-Change-Related Legislation

The government has passed important acts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and addressing climate change. Regulations under these acts are also being developed. Since air quality and climate change are interrelated, this legislation will help decrease emissions that contribute to air pollution. For more information, see Climate Change: Legislation for Reducing Greenhouse Gases.

Municipal / Regional District Actions

Municipalities have direct control or influence over many sources of air pollution. They are moving in many areas to improve air quality and address climate change. Examples include:

Visit the links below to learn what specific communities are doing to address air pollution and climate change

Canadian Actions

The Government of Canada is committed to drastically reducing Canada's emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases as set out in its Turning the Corner Plan.

Environment Canada is involved in a number of projects in B.C., including:

  • working with partners to reduce emissions from locomotives and rail yards, as well as agricultural emissions;
  • leading the Georgia Basin / Puget Sound International Airshed Strategy, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to reduce the air pollution in the cross-boundary airshed;
  • establishing the Green Municipal Fund to stimulate municipal investments in innovative environmental-infrastructure projects and practices. The fund is managed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities;
  • exploring options for managing visibility in B.C., with the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Fraser Valley Regional District and Metro Vancouver; and
  • running the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Program — an inventory of pollutants released, disposed of and recycled by industrial, institutional and commercial facilities across Canada.

Health Canada promotes healthy living, working and recreational environments for British Columbians. It supports scientific research and develops strategies to help reduce risks to human health from the environment.

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