Sunday, March 24, 2013


Seniors' Scene

Air Care Chat

Upper Fraser Valley air shed is making people ill

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chwk


ear Mayor Gaetz: I value your work and your friendship. Kindly circulate the waste management articles listed below, especially the one on polystyrene ("Styrofoam") being banned in New York.


Polystyrene Ban
Polystyrene cannot be recycled along with other plastics, to be make into furniture, lumber substitutes, or fuel.


You probably realize that much polystyrene is put into general garbage in Chilliwack, by every household, eatery, grocery store, hospital and business. We all buy lots of it used for coffee, picnic plates and packaging of raw meat, electronics and plumbing, etc.

However Polystyrene is very useful for insulation in construction industries.

It would be great if CEPCO could invite an industry to recycle waste polystyrene into products needed to insulate new homes and businesses.

I know you are concerned about the overflowing land fill problem throughout the Fraser Valley, so please forward this e-mail to FVRD members. I understand they are aiming at Zero Waste.

State of the Air
Air quality is continuing to worsen because of fine particulates from the overload in refuse management and increasing traffic congestion. Smog is funneled up the valley by air currents so that it is concentrated in the Upper Fraser Valley. There are not enough scientific monitoring services of the finest particulates, especially from Chilliwack to Hope, so air quality reports were misleading.


People living in the lower Fraser Valley do not notice the smog or suffer from it as much as we do. Here nearly everyone suffers from several of the following symptoms: irritated watery eyes, continuous sniffles, hearing loss, dizziness, sinusitis, dry and wet coughs, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and emphysema. Some of these conditions affect blood pressure and cholesterol. Because of the load on the heart, the incidence of congestive heart failure has increased.

Rail for the Valley
Also please reconsider becoming involved with other ways to improve air quality, such as Rail for the Valley. The cost of operation would be less than that of the West Coast Express, because no rent would be paid to CNCP. The costs of installation and maintenance from Chilliwack to Scott Road sky station, near Patullo bridge would be less than for four km of sky train to UBC or to Port Moody.


The interurban corridor is through farming communities, so would serve farm families and agro- tourists better than the Highway #1 corridor. It runs near six university campuses so will serve thousands of students and staff. I know personally two professors who told me they would eagerly travel daily from Chilliwack to Abbotsford campus and return.

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society last year built a car barn at Cloverdale. Recently they built a replica of the original railway station. Passenger service will begin May 11th. Test runs have already been made.

I appreciate your work as Mayor, Chair of FVRD and on Union of BC Municipalities.


Myrtle Macdonald
M.Sc. Applied in Research and Nursing Education with a Minor in the Social Sciences (McGill University).



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