Construction is now underway on a new air-quality monitoring site for Kamloops residents at Pacific Way Elementary school in the Upper Aberdeen neighbourhood.
The Ministry of Environment, along with KGHM-Ajax and School District 73, are installing a mobile air-quality monitoring station to continuously measure air quality and weather parameters including: coarse particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone, Nitrogen oxides (NOx), wind speed, wind direction and air temperature.
The Upper Aberdeen air station will be owned and operated by the Ministry of Environment and is expected to be operational beginning in September. The ministry will be responsible for all maintenance, calibration, and collection and quality assurance of data.
A funding agreement was completed in June 2015 between the Ministry of Environment and KGHM-Ajax to cover the costs associated with installing the station. This mobile station was previously located at Firehall #2 on Kamloops’ North Shore from June 2011 to October 2013. KGHM-Ajax will cover the costs of maintenance and twice-yearly audits of the PM10, PM2.5 and NOx monitors at the new site.
The data will be used both for ongoing air-quality research in the Kamloops airshed, and for baseline data to be used for future air-quality compliance monitoring if the proposed Ajax mine receives an environmental assessment certificate and other necessary approvals to proceed. The station will also be used in educational activities for both students and the public.
The station will remain in this location for at least two years after which the ministry will decide whether to keep it there, modify it, or move the station elsewhere. This decision will be based on analysis of the data collected.
The measurements will be available in real time to the public through the ministry’s dedicated air-quality site: http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/index.html
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –
“This station will play an important role in education and awareness for Kamloops residents about air quality in their community. We want to balance any economic development with the appropriate environmental protection and this station will help achieve that goal.”
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson –
“I’m pleased to know that South Kamloops residents will now be able to monitor real-time data and use this information to keep themselves informed. Our government has listened to concerns from the community and this station will help ensure we have the best air-quality data available.”
For more details about air quality in B.C., please visit: www.bcairquality.ca