Edition: February 2009
B.C. Applauds Move by
Taking Personal Action for the Environment
Friends and family who visit my house often call it “the igloo” because I keep it a bit cooler than the 21 degrees Celsius often touted as the “perfect” room temperature. I just smile and point to a collection of cozy sweaters they’re welcome to borrow.
Turning down the thermostat by two or three degrees is only one of the many ways that people can do their part in the battle against global warming. As the Minister of Environment, I feel it’s important to demonstrate my willingness to lead by example.
That’s also part of the reason I have had a hybrid vehicle for almost four years. Read more
Minister Penner (right) speaks with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger while at a Climate Change conference hosted by the Governor.
B.C. Joins California
of GHG Standard
The Province has filed a legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of California’s legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which denied a waiver to implement the California Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standard for Vehicles, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced. Read more
Nine New Conservancies
The British Columbia government has established nine new conservancies and made
This follows several years of intensive planning and public processes jointly hosted by B.C. and the Haida Nation. The “conservancy” designations coincide with areas previously designated as “protected areas” by the Haida Nation.
“By completing the establishment of these new conservancies as recommended by the Haida Gwaii Strategic Land Use Agreement, our government has followed through on commitments made to the Haida Nation in government-to-government negotiations,” said Penner. “The conservancy status provides a high level of protection to spectacular features of these lands, but it also recognizes the importance of these areas to the Haida people.” Read more
Global Climate Summit in California Looks to
Reduce Emissions and Expand Green Economies
During the two-day Governors’ Global Climate Summit in California, Minister Barry Penner (left side of photo above) joined more than eight U.S. states and representatives from 11 countries in signing a joint declaration agreeing to pursue collaborative action to reduce GHG emissions and create opportunities to grow green economies.
“British Columbia knows and values the importance of national and international relationships and partnerships in the global battle against climate change,” said Penner. “This summit gave us an opportunity to meet face-to-face with other world leaders and discuss new ways to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both in our province and globally, while facilitating new technologies and economic opportunities.” Read more
Minister Penner (left) met with Conservation Officer Kent Popjes on patrol near Revelstoke who was working to ensure compliance with B.C.'s environmental regulations.
Leo Benne (left), general manager of Bevo Farms, and Garnet Etsell (right), BC Agriculture Council Chair, take Minister Penner (centre) on a tour of the company’s greenhouse in Langley.
B.C. Gets Tough on Agrigultural Boiler Emissions
With an aim to protect air quality, the Ministry of Environment is introducing tougher limits on emissions from wood-fired agricultural boilers, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced.
“Wood-fired agricultural boilers, like those commonly used by the greenhouse industry, are a low-carbon form of renewable energy,” Penner said. “However, they are also a source of particulate matter. By introducing more stringent emission standards in this sector, we are following through on our Air Action Plan, and ensuring that we have up-to-date regulations that complement regional bylaws.” Read more
Minister Penner demonstrates how easy it is to recharge a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Also in this picture, from left to right, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon, and Labour and Citizens' Services Minister Iain Black.
The three Ministers announced nearly $400,000 in provincial funds to support plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology and related monitoring equipment. Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro Community Relations Manager joined the Ministers as well, providing valuable technical information about the vehicles.
Minster Penner and Allan Chapman, head of the River Forecast Centre with the Ministry of Environment, (left photo) examine the network of automated snow pillow and river level and discharge stations used to issue flood advisories across B.C.
New Satellite System Gets Faster
Flood and Climate Data
The B.C. government has purchased a new domestic satellite data retrieval system (DOMSAT) that will greatly reduce the time needed to retrieve critical weather, snow and river data used to warn British Columbians about potential flooding, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced.
Penner was joined by Public Safety Minister John van Dongen at the Provincial Emergency Program’s new headquarters in Saanichton, where the $30,000 DOMSAT data retrieval system has been installed. Read more
Minister Penner (right) joined Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon (Left) to unveil a sample B.C. Is Idle-Free sign. Signs like this will be placed along the southbound lanes at Peace Arch border crossing, reminding drivers to turn off their engines while waiting to cross the border.
New Program to Reduce Emissions
at Peace Arch Border
The launch of a new program at the Peace Arch border crossing will help reduce emissions and improve air quality. Under this program, an estimated 639,000 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per year will be eliminated. Removing the emissions will be achieved by reducing average vehicle idling time at the border by 20 minutes.
“Vehicle emissions are a significant source of both harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases,” said Penner. “By minimizing idling, we’re doing our part to improve air quality and curb the damaging effects of climate change, while helping individuals to save money by reducing their fuel consumption.” Read more