Thursday, December 5, 2013

FVRD News

Ozone Ugly

FVRD cites Hope as a 'Hot Spot'

Released by the FVRD

 

round-level ozone has steadily been increasing in the province over the last 20 years and Hope is the provincial hot spot. High ozone levels are also found in Abbotsford and Chilliwack despite reduction of emissions precursorsą, which are those chemicals found in gasoline vapors, vehicle exhaust or in chemically laden industrial facilities.

 

"A recent press release on behalf of Honeywell Air Purifiers, about air quality improvement in the Fraser Valley is gravely misleading. Over the last two decades, air quality in the Fraser Valley has improved-in some measurements-but going from a C- to a C grade tells me we have a long way to go before our air quality is in the A grade range," said Sharon Gaetz, Chair, Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) in a release on Thursday. "Any increase in emissions of air contaminants in the fragile Fraser Valley airshed from an additional incinerator, as proposed by Metro Vancouver, or other sources, will significantly undermine air quality improvements in the Fraser Valley, and further exacerbate the ongoing challenge with reducing ozone levels."

"Despite repeated requests, Environmental Health & Engineering, the consulting group that Honeywell partnered with for the report, has not yet made available the non-peer reviewed study that identifies Canadian cities with the best air quality," Gaetz added.

Ozone adversely affects human health, and exposure to it causes increased deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular events, increased heart rates, severity of asthma, and reproductive impacts such as birth defects.

It has been established that the Fraser Valley is a fragile airshed with a significant vulnerability to pollution due to the funnel effect of the surrounding mountains. "There has been shift eastwards in ozone in exceedance (from the Port Moody-Maple Ridge area to the Hope-Chilliwack Valley)," Dr. Douw Steyn, UBC Professor of Air Pollution Meteorology told the FVRD board in 2010. "This is not fully understood. Until it is we should not add more emissions to the airshed."

 

For more information about the FVRD, visit www.fvrd.bc.ca

 

 

 

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