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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

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
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

Project history

  • 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

Project history1

  • 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

Funding covers
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 does not cover
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
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
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
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 cariboo1

Airshed Management Planning in the Cariboo


and Discussion

Andy MotherwellDirector, Area B Cariboo Regional District

Airshed management planning in the cariboo

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