B.C. Air Quality

Review all current air quality advisories.

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New Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for SO2

October 26, 2016 On October 3, 2016, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment announced new Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) for sulphur dioxide (SO2). The CAAQS are goals for maximum ambient concentrations of harmful air pollutants. The CAAQS for SO2 are intended to reduce emissions linked to respiratory health problems, especially for asthmatics, and environmental impacts such as acid rain and smog. Over the coming months, the province will be developing a strategy to outline how B.C. intends to implement the CAAQS for SO2.

For further information about the new CAAQS, please see: http://www.ccme.ca/en/whats_new/article.html?id=61

CAAQS Table

Woodstove Regulation Updated

October 17, 2016 On September 19th, 2016 the BC Government approved a new Solid Fuel Burning Domestic Appliance Regulation that will replace the existing regulation of the same name on November 1st, 2016. The purpose of the changes is to reduce wood smoke from home heating. A factsheet (PDF) and question and answers sheet (PDF) explain the regulatory changes.

Smithers Wood Burning Survey Released

October 13, 2016 A survey of residential wood burning in Smithers was funded by the Town of Smithers and the BC Ministry of Environment in 2016. Read the full report (PDF).

Prince Rupert Airshed Study Released

Sept 30, 2016 An assessment of the Prince Rupert Airshed to help inform regulatory and policy development for future industrial activity in the Prince Rupert Area was released to. Read the full report.

New Funding for the Woodstove Exchange Program

July 28, 2016 The BC government has made new funding available for the popular Woodstove Exchange Program. Proposals are now being accepted from communities that would like to run an exchange program in 2016/2017. Find details on applying to participate in the program.

Report on Sulfur Dioxide in James Bay

July 27, 2016 The Ministry of Environment has been working with the James Bay Neighbourhood Association, Island Health, the University of Victoria, the NW & Canada Cruise Association, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority for the past several years to address air quality in James Bay as it relates to cruise ship emissions. A report is now available showing significant improvements in air quality since 2009. Read the report (PDF).

Report on Air Quality in Port Alberni, BC

June 2, 2016 A report on air quality in Port Alberni was released on June 1, 2016. Read the full report.

2014 and 2015 Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Data Now Available

June 2, 2016 The Ministry of Environment has developed 2014 and 2015 WRF data for use in air quality dispersion modelling to assess air quality. Data can be requested at http://www.src.com/calpuff/data/bc_wrf.html.

For recommendations on how to use the WRF data in a dispersion model, refer to the British Columbia Air Quality Dispersion Modelling Guideline.

Policy Update on the Open Burning Regulation

April 7, 2016 The Ministry of Environment has released a policy update outlining proposed changes to the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (OBSCR). The proposed changes are designed to reduce smoke impacts in communities while facilitating necessary burning.

The ministry is inviting comment on the proposed changes. Find out more here.

Wildfire Smoke Forecasts (BlueSky) have resumed for the 2016 Season

April 1, 2016 With big thanks to the sponsors and UBC, the Wildfire Smoke Forecasting system (BlueSky) is up and running for the 2016 season. The main forecasts can be found at firesmoke.ca. Additional forecasts can be found under the Services tab.

For more detailed information about the system, see The BlueSky Western Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System (PDF: 250 KB/6 pages) or also see The BlueSky Eastern Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System (PDF: 217 KB/6 pages).

Comments on the output, or questions about the system and forecasts should be directed to: bcairquality@gov.bc.ca. Comments and questions can also be left on the firesmoke.ca webpage.

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