Air quality monitoring for Queen Charlotte

  • May. 7, 2008 7:00 p.m.

Queen Charlotte is one step closer to getting an air quality surveillance station. At the May 5 council meeting, councillors discussed a letter from Skeena region air quality meteorologist Ben Weinstein about installing a station that will monitor small particulate matter in the area. Mr. Weinstein said the Ministry of the Environment will pay for the installation of the station as well as the filters and the analysis, but needs the village to commit to changing the filters every six days and sending them to Vancouver for analysis. Ministry staff will come in early June to scout a location for the station, Mr. Weinstein said told the Observer. He said the criteria for locating the station includes finding a centralized place that isn’t biased by any one source, and one that takes into account the movement of air. “Usually it’s on top of a building,” he said. Councillor Kris Olsen asked what the station would mean for people who heat their homes with wood. “Will this inversely affect people with wood burning stoves?” he said. Mayor Carol Kulesha said the monitoring station is only collecting baseline information for now, but did acknowledge certain areas seem to hold smoke more so than others in town. The station will remain for three to five years. Future monitoring depends on whether the amount of particulates found in the air often exceeds provincial objectives.