B.C. Air Quality

Clean Industry

British Columbia has a strong track record of bringing ideas and innovation to industry, such as developing hydrogen-fuel-cell technologies. The B.C. Air Action Plan includes the following measures to reduce the air quality of impacts of industry. For detailed information, visit Clean Industry in the B.C. Air Action Plan's website.

Note (June 2012): The Air Action Plan was a three-year program that was implemented from 2007-2010.  Many of the actions listed below have been fully achieved and some initiatives have received further investments and support beyond 2010.

Action #14: The provincial government will introduce new policies, through stakeholder consultation, that support the use in industrial facilities of the best available, economically feasible, pollution-control technologies. For example, new technologies exist to decrease emissions from the pulp and paper industry, a major contributor to air pollution.

Action #15: The government will take action to clean up industrial boilers, which are mainly used for incinerating waste or generating heat in such operations as pulp mills and greenhouses. In conjunction with the BC Bioenergy Strategy, the government will work with the bioenergy industry and others to develop new emission standards for industrial boilers.

Action #16: The government will also focus on reducing emissions from upstream oil-and-gas production. Initiatives in this area are guided by, and form part of, the new BC Energy Plan.

Action #17: The government will use economic instruments to promote clean industrial choices — for example, financial support for the development of new technologies, and tax/fee structures that encourage "clean and green" behaviours.

Action #18: The Province will support innovative pilot projects that assess new techniques and technologies. To this end, it will create a matching-funds incentive program to support the development and piloting of innovative production and control techniques, pilot projects for alternative fuels, and emission-control technologies.

Action #19: The government will eliminate beehive burners. The worst polluters were required to shut down by December 31, 2007. In 2010, action will commence on the remaining burners, starting with those near residential areas. This will remove over 14,000 tonnes of fine particulate matter from our air.

Action #20: The B.C. government will promote better burning techniques in the forest industry, to minimize air pollutants. The government is creating a cost-shared incentive program that will support industry in designing improved burning methods — including smoke-and-venting tools, alternative burning practices and emission-reduction technologies.

Action #21: The government is committed to turning more wood waste (biomass) into energy. In 2005 alone, B.C.’s forest industries generated the equivalent of $150 million worth of electricity and about $1.5 billion in the form of heat energy —  just by burning wood waste. The BC Bioenergy Strategy, released in early 2008, will promote new sources of clean, renewable energy. This will include taking advantage of the large quantities of beetle-killed timber being harvested in the Interior, wood waste diverted from closing beehive burners, and agricultural biomass.

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