Airshed management planning in the cariboo
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Airshed Management Planning in the Cariboo. By Andy Motherwell Director, Area B Cariboo Regional District and Ric Raynor Director of Emergency Services City of Quesnel UBCM Conference 2004. Introduction. Air quality has been a long-standing issue in the Quesnel area

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Airshed Management Planning in the Cariboo

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Airshed Management Planning in the Cariboo


Andy MotherwellDirector, Area B Cariboo Regional District


Ric Raynor Director of Emergency ServicesCity of Quesnel

UBCM Conference



  • Air quality has been a long-standing issue in the Quesnel area

  • The City of Quesnel and adjacent Cariboo Regional District Electoral Areas have a population of about 20,000 residents near the confluence of the Quesnel and Fraser rivers

  • Forestry and mining continue to be key economic drivers for the area


  • The Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable (QAQR) was formed because:

    • Quesnel experiences some of the worst air quality in the province (fine particulate matter)

    • Growing awareness of the concern for health and negative reputation of the community due to air pollution


  • Focus will be on Quesnel, however Williams Lake, 120km to the south, also has an airshed planning process underway

  • Williams Lake process is about one year behind Quesnel

Presentation Overview

  • Participants

  • Project History

  • Funding

  • Process

  • Accomplishments

  • Summary


  • Quesnel Environmental Society (Roundtable Chair)

  • City of Quesnel

  • Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection (MWLAP)

  • Ministry of Forests

  • Ministry of Transportation

  • Cariboo Regional District

  • Northern Health Authority

  • Quesnel Community Health Council

  • North Cariboo Share

  • School District 28

  • 11 industrial/commercial companies


  • Quesnel Environmental Society tabled project proposal developed with assistance from MWLAP and local government

  • Six-year project (half-way through year four) aimed at producing Airshed Management Plans for both communities


  • Benchmark: conduct a thorough scientific study upon which to base recommendations

  • Goal: tackle all identified sources of air pollution, from back yard residential burning to large industrial sources

  • Fundamental principle: implement recommendations while maintaining jobs

Financial Contributions

Funding Covers

  • Air technician salary

  • Air monitoring instruments

  • Computer dispersion modelling

  • Specialized air quality analysis (particle speciation)

  • Brochures/public education

  • Other air quality assessment needs e.g. woodstove survey if required

  • Advertising for woodstove “swap-outs”

Funding DoesNot Cover

  • Industrial/commercial monitoring for ambient and emissions

  • Potential upgrades of pollution control equipment by industry as a result of process

  • Source characterization / speciation for industry

  • Existing MWLAP Cariboo Region Air Quality Program

  • Airshed meeting costs


  • A formal, written agreement has been signed by the funding partners

  • Important to note that airshed planning process is a community initiative, and is not being led by MWLAP

  • MWLAP’s role: financial, administrative, and technical support to the process


  • Industry supported the process because all sources of air pollution were to be tackled

  • Meetings held at lunch – hosted by the City of Quesnel

  • Good attendance from most participants continues


  • True Roundtable – everyone is equal e.g. elected officials sit down with air quality technical experts, industry, environmentalists, municipal staff

  • Decisions made by consensus

  • Much “goodwill” among Roundtable


  • Enhanced air quality monitoring through:

    • New “state of the art” monitoring equipment

    • Hiring a technician to run the monitoring network (reliable data)

    • Better public reporting on air quality (e.g. air quality advisories)


  • Improved public education on air quality through:

    • Media releases

    • Open house by Roundtable

    • Air Quality Index reporting

    • Brochures

    • Web access to air quality information


  • Initiated a Cariboo-wide woodstove swap program held in 2002 and 2003:

    • allowed consumers a 15% discount when they exchanged an old woodstove for an appliance that was CSA/EPA emissions certified


  • Held an Automobile Emissions Testing Clinic in co-operation with Environment Canada:

    • 325 vehicles tested

    • Raised public awareness about automobile emissions


  • Identified early on that spring road dust should be immediately addressed

  • Technical subcommittee reviewed current traction material application and cleanup procedures

  • Action recommended to the Roundtable

  • Preliminary results indicate that spring time road dust levels have been reduced in the downtown area as a result of these actions


  • Improved scientific understanding of sources causing poor air quality through:

    • Detailed inventory of emission sources

    • Reviewing existing data on air quality

    • Computer dispersion modelling of air pollution sources

    • Ranking of various source contributions


  • Summarized all air quality assessment information into a report to form the scientific basis for the development of an airshed plan

  • Conclusion: all sectors will have to make improvements


  • Developed 28 recommendations to be included in the airshed plan

  • The airshed plan has a 10-year implementation timeframe: 2004 – 2014 during which time there will be periodic reviews of progress and goals

Draft Airshed Plan Recommendations

  • Our 28 recommendations pertain to improvements in air quality by all sectors: industry, municipal and regional governments, home owners

  • The range of recommendations go from further restrictions on burning to improved dust control to improvements in emissions by industry

  • Public education is a key component of the airshed plan


  • Voluntary process

  • Roundtable will request annual reports from all stakeholders outlining activities toward implementing airshed plan recommendations

Current Activities

  • Draft airshed plan for Quesnel being reviewed by the Roundtable

  • Public consultation to be late Fall, 2004

  • Goal is adoption of the airshed plan by the end of 2004


  • The Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable has developed an improvement plan for air quality for the City of Quesnel

  • This is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder, community driven process that has achieved this by consensus

  • The airshed plan is based on a thorough 3-year scientific study of air quality

  • Airshed planning is linked to other community initiatives

Community Energy Planning

  • The City of Quesnel has been actively exploring other environmental sustainability initiatives

  • The City of Quesnel Community Energy Planning Options Report was completed in August, 2003

Airshed Management Planning in the Cariboo


and Discussion

Andy MotherwellDirector, Area B Cariboo Regional District

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