B.C. Air Quality

Air Quality Monitoring Data

When air quality data is generated from continuous monitoring stations it is automatically checked for errors. This data is published hourly on the B.C.'s Air Quality Readings section of this website, where it is available to the public, and used to calculate the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). The data is also submitted hourly to Environment Canada for their AQHI.

This data is useful for providing real-time information and for calculating indexes. Nevertheless, until it goes through the Ministry of Environment's data validation process, it is still considered raw data and should not be used for comparing to air quality guidelines or objectives.

Data Validation

For proper air quality assessment, one needs validated data. This requires human review and analysis. This is done by the Ministry of Environment's air data validation team and is typically a three-month process before the data is archived as valid data.

Noncontinuous data also goes through a validation process and is then stored in the Ministry of Environment's Environmental Monitoring System (EMS). This data is available to registered ministry staff, B.C. health authorities and Qualified Environmental Professionals through the Environmental Monitoring System Web Reporting (EMS WR). This data is also available upon request.

The Ministry of Environment houses validated air quality data going back to 1979.

Using the Data

This data provides a basis for in-depth analyses and reporting of air quality trends in British Columbia, including emissions inventories and modelling. The Reports and Publications section includes reports on a number of air quality issues and trends.

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