Alberni talks hot air

Meteorologist Earle Plain and VIHA Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback encouraged councillors to support the new burn bylaw.

The city’s bid for a new burning bylaw got a shot in the arm, Monday night.

Air Quality Meteorologist Earle Plain and Vancouver Island Health Authority Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback both encouraged councillors to support the new bylaw.

Hasselback said the most important thing the city could do to improve air quality was to approve the burning bylaw.

Plain told councillors that fine particulate matter in the air poses the greatest risk to health in the Alberni Valley.

Particulate, which is a mix of solid and liquid drops invisible to the eye, is created in combustible material “or anything you can burn,” Plain said.

A single wood stove is not a concern. But three to eight woodstoves concentrated in one area make for a large-scale impact, he added.

“Forty per cent of the Valley’s population is at increased risk for poor health as result of poor air quality,” Hasselback said.

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