AQC Project History
Bernadette Wyton and Warren McCormick installing new EBAM PM 2.5 sampler on top of the
Alberni Elementary School. 4) Air Inversion experiments - using water to show air layering. 5) Air Pollution and Health - with Guest, Fire Chief Larry McGifford - using shorts from the DVD, "Making a Difference" Common air pollutants and health issues, such as asthma were covered. Video Link - Making a Difference: Air Quality and Your Health
Past Fire Chief, Larry McGifford, dawning a Scott Air-Pack to help impress upon
the children that "When you can't breath nothing else matters." 6) With Guest, Dr. Smecher, real heart and lungs samples from the David Hardwick Pathology Learning Centre (VGH) were examined for a very impressive look at what air pollution, particularly smoking, can do to our tissues. Although the negative effects of their own possible decision to smoke were emphasized, the children were also given a list of the immediate and long-term positive effects that any smoker can enjoy once they quit. (which led to a few parents quitting, I am told). What Happens When A Smoker Quits? 8 Dramatic Health Improvements in pdf Article - Smoking a Childhood Disease in pdf 7) An outdoor, hands on look at some vehicle emission reduction measures. Guests included a SD 70 mechanic in a retrofitted bus, a neighbor in her Smart Car, a Prius owner with his vehicle and all of his non-gas-fired garden equipment, and a bicycle commuter.
John Mayba gives some examples to students about how he has reduced vehicle exhaust pollution by choosing
to ride a bike, drive an electric car, and use a push lawn mower 8) Idle Free Campaign - After lessons regarding the health effects of exposure to vehicle exhaust from traffic and needless idling the children went outside to witness the installation of Idle Free signs around the perimeter of their school.
City Maintenance worker installs permanent Idle Free Zone signs around the Alberni Elementary School. Article - Idle Free Elementary in pdf IDLE FREE BC Facts and Myths About Idling 9) A full school assembly took place at the end of the program, focusing on recycling, healthy living, and the planting of trees (bought with money the children raised the previous year) to help filter the dirty air from highway traffic that spills onto one of their playgrounds.
Alberni Elementary School Assembly Closes Air Quality Program PROJECT VI - PORT ALBERNI WOODSTOVE EXCHANGE One of the largest components of winter pollution in the Alberni Valley is smoke from residential wood heat. In 2009, with the support of the Province and BC Lung, the AQC conducted a woodstove exchange program. A $400 incentive was extended to residents to help them decommission their old, smoky wood stoves and replace them with new, emissions certified models. Newer models produce 70 to 90% less smoke while burning at least 1/3 less wood. Participating retailers offered a $150 discount off the new model price and the AQC delivered a $250 rebate check to exchange applicants once their new stove was in place, and the old one was in the metal recycling bin at the landfill. The program was advertised at the Fall Fair and began officially on October 1st. By December, most of the 100 exchanges were spoken for. The program officially closed on May 1, 2010. Port Alberniís exchange was one of the most successful in the province. Those 100 exchanges have permanently relieved our airshed of 7 metric tonnes of fine particulate pollution. We are burning smarter and breathing easier. Article - 7 Metric Tonnes - GONE! Article - 3 Types of Clean Burning Stoves PROJECT VII - INVENTORY OF AIR QUALITY BYLAWS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND In the winter of 2010, with the support of the BC Ministry of Environment, the AQC undertook a review of air quality bylaws on Vancouver Island. The open burning bylaws from 33 municipalities within the seven regional districts of Vancouver Island were examined. Appropriate municipal contacts were sought out and invited to share information and experience regarding the development, enforcement, and maintenance of their air quality bylaws. The summary report, "Review of Open Burning Bylaws on Vancouver Island," was published in the spring of 2011. It was intended as a resource to help promote air quality protection within the City, the Regional District, and any community planning to initiate, review, or update bylaws that effect air quality management in their area. The report serves as an update to the open burning information for Vancouver Island included within, "Inventory of Air Quality Bylaws in British Columbia for Anti-Idling, Open-Burning, and Wood-Burning-Appliances," by Jennifer Alderson (2007). Report - Review of Open Burning Bylaws on Vancouver Island (2011) Inventory of Air Quality Bylaws in BC for Anti-Idling, Open Burning, and Wood-Burning Appliances (2007) PROJECT VIII - PORT ALBERNI WOODSTOVE EXCHANGE II At the end of November, 2011, the provincial government awarded the AQC with enough funding to complete another 70 woodstove exchanges. As with the 2009 Woodstove Exchange, a $400 incentive was extended to residents to help them decommission their old, smoky wood stoves and replace them with new, emissions certified models. Participating retailers offered a $150 discount off the new model price and the AQC delivered a $250 rebate cheque to exchange participants once their new stove was in place, and the old one was in the metal recycling bin at the landfill. PROJECT IX - ACRD AIR QUALITY WEB PAGES PRODUCTION The Air Quality Council has been operating in the Alberni Valley since 2003. The information posted here is a summary of the air quality work, research, and teaching done over those years. This web page was made available to the public in April, 2012 and is a welcome, central repository for the collective concerns and understanding of our airshed. PROJECT X - BURN IT SMART The Alberni Air Quality Council has hosted several Burn It Smart workshops over the years. The most recent workshop was in 2015 at the Port Alberni Fire Hall. The workshops provide smart burning skills to residents that use wood burning stoves. These skills include how to build a long lasting fire, how to season your wood, and how to determine if your wood is dry enough to burn. These skills are important in reducing the smoke emissions from residential wood burning. PROJECT XI - WOOD-HEATING APPLIANCE SURVEY AV Woodstove Report 2017
In February 2017, the Alberni Air Quality Council Wood-burning Appliance Survey was distributed to four neighbourhoods in Port Alberni to obtain an understanding of wood burning appliance usage in Port Alberni. The survey looked at woodstove usage and perceptions of air quality.PROJECT XII - REGIONAL AIR QUALITY MAPPING PILOT PROJECT
In collaboration with Vancouver Island University researchers, this project generated neighborhood scale maps that show the geospatial distribution of atmospheric constituents that have an immediate impact on regional air quality, including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, ground level ozone, and volatile organic compounds. This project was enabled by the recent completion of a nationally funded state-of-the-art mobile research lab that is capable of making real-time air quality measurements in a moving vehicle. The result is the ability to collect data that depicts chemical concentration and composition as it varies over time and space. In addition to supporting leading science and student training, this work supports strategic policy objectives that inform sustainability initiatives and land-use planning, and the protection of human and environmental health. The project began in the Spring of 2018 and ran through the winter months of 2019. Sampling included at least one intensive, multi-day sampling campaign in both the summer and winter months. Mobile and stationary sampling deployments was conducted near and around fixed monitoring stations and the sampling route was established via funders and the Port Alberni Air Quality Council.
The project objectives were to:
- Identify how air quality varies over time and space in urban and rural communities on Vancouver Island.
- Assist local/regional government partners in promoting strategic policy objectives related to clean air.
- Support research and development initiatives that are aimed at using real-time mass spectrometry to identify and apportion sources of volatile organic compounds, and contribute to dispersion models.
- Support meaningful scholarly and student connections that respond to community needs in promoting sustainable management, conservation, and protection of the environment.
Summary of findings by the Vancouver Island University (Powerpoint):
The Air Emissions Inventory was contracted out to WSP Inc. and funded by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Alberni Air Quality Society. WSP used the base year of 2017 where possible. The inventory only looked at particulate matter as this was the identified parameter of concern. In Port Alberni, PM2.5 is the parameter that in in non-compliance with provincial and national standards. An Air Emissions Inventory (AEI) is an accounting of all emissions from sources in a specific geographic area (in this case Port Alberni airshed). Based on actual measurements (if available), or type of activity multiplied by an emission factor; or a scaled value from another inventory based on some common value (population, fuel sales, livestock numbers, etc.). The AEI usually tabulates emissions from all sectors (Point sources, Area Sources, Mobile Sources, and sometimes natural) for a specific year or range of years e.g. base year 2017. The Port Alberni AEI is often a mix of the past three years. The AEI also describes how emissions were derived (methodology) for a source and geographic area.AV Air Emissions Inventory