Alberni air quality good despite advisory

New monitoring equipment indicates that Port Alberni is enjoying some of the best air quality it’s had in years.

New monitoring equipment indicates that Port Alberni is enjoying some of the best air quality it’s had in years, Air Quality Council official Bernadette Wyton said.

This despite an air quality advisory that was issued earlier this week when a temperature inversion settled over the city.

According to Wyton, the new equipment atop Alberni Elementary School interfaces with a provincial weather database allowing for more comprehensive data to be generated.

The equipment measures fine particulate matter in the air. In particular, it measures Fine Particulate 2.5,  which at levels over 25 micrograms trips an air quality advisory.

On Monday an air quality advisory was issued for the Valley after fine particulate measured 26 micrograms.

The cause of the advisory was two-fold, Wyton said. One, a thick, stagnant air mass is hovering over Vancouver Island trapping any smoke that goes up. And two, a recent land clearing burn contributed to the spike, she said.

Despite the event, recent measurements show that Port Alberni’s air quality has been good, she added. In 2006, the Particulate Matter 2.5 average measurement prorated over the year was 12. In 2012, the average measurement for one year was 6.0. “Our air quality is lower or better than in Duncan or Courtenay.”

The improvement can be contributed to a few things, Wyton said. Firstly, people are more aware of clean air and airshed issues, she said. Also, climate patterns in 2012 were wet, and rain serves to rinse particulates out of the air. A $15,000 woodstove exchange program was underwritten by the province last year in an effort to encourage up to 50 Alberni residents to replace their old stoves with cleaner burning models.

Combined with exchange programs in previous years there have been 220 old stoves swapped so far. The number equates to 15 tonnes of pollution, Wyton said.  The bylaw expires after 2017 and old stoves won’t be certified afterward, Wyton said.

As incentive, the city has agreed to waive the $100 wood stove inspection fee for the 50 people who have applied for the program.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Kids from a MOSS Sailing Camp sail just off Canal Waterfront Park in Alberni Inlet during a day camp in August 2014. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
MOSS Sailing camps return to Alberni Valley

One-week camps designed for kids will take place at Sproat Lake

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read