B.C. Air Quality

Air Quality Advisories

Type Location Time Status
Air Quality Advisory Update: Smoky Skies Advisory Expanded to the Entire Boundary and Kootenay Areas. August 24, 2015 4:15 PM Issued
Air Quality Advisory Update: Smoky Skies Advisory Expanded to the Okanagan, Similkameen and Fraser Canyon Areas. August 23, 2015 3:28 PM Issued
Air Quality Advisory Air Quality Advisory issued for North and South Thompson, Shuswap and Nicola areas. August 23, 2015 10:15 AM Issued

Advisories are updated on this website during regular business hours.
Outside business hours, visit Environment Canada's Public Weather Alerts for B.C.

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Wildfire Smoke Forecasts for the 2015 Season

April 7, 2015: Wildfire smoke forecasts for Western Canada and Eastern Canada have resumed for the 2015 Wildfire season. For more detailed information about the system, see The BlueSky Western Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System (PDF: 250 KB/6 pages) or also see The BlueSky Eastern Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System (PDF: 217 KB/6 pages).

The home page for the Wildfire Smoke system is now at firesmoke.ca or you can click on a thumbnail below to go directly to the West or East forecasts.

Comments on the output, or questions about the system and forecasts should be directed to: bcairquality@gov.bc.ca

Thumbnail: Bluesky Canada West Thumbnail: Bluesky Canada East

New Funding for the Woodstove Exchange Program

August 24, 2015: In celebration of Clean Air Day, the BC government announced new funding for the popular Woodstove Exchange Program. Proposals are now being accepted from communities that would like to run an exchange program in 2015/2016. Details on applying to participate in the program can be found here.

Visual Air Quality Rating available at Clear Air BC

A new index called the Visual Air Quality Rating (VAQR) is now available on the Clear Air BC website. The VAQR is a tool that quantifies “visual air quality”, which refers to the impact of air pollution on scenic views. The VAQR was developed by the BC Visibility Coordinating Committee, a multi-agency team that includes Environment Canada, BC Ministry of Environment, Metro Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley Regional District. The Clear Air BC website is operated by Metro Vancouver, who issued the following press release announcing the launch of the VAQR. The Clear Air BC website provides additional information on the issue of visual air quality and on the VAQR.

First Air Zone Reports for B.C.

The Air Quality Management System (AQMS) is a new comprehensive management system that is designed to better protect human health and the environment. Air zones are the basis for monitoring, reporting and taking action to improve air quality. As part of its commitments under this new system, the province has identified seven broad air zones across B.C. and prepared the first annual reports for six of seven air zones, where monitoring data were available. These reports describe achievement of the national standards for fine particulates (PM2.5) and ground-level ozone, assignment of management levels to guide the level of response, and actions underway or planned to improve air quality. Read for more information.

Province Adopted Interim Ambient Air Quality Objectives

April 7, 2015: The Province has adopted interim one-hour ambient air quality objectives of 100 ppb for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 75 ppb for sulphur dioxide (SO2). The Province retains the use of the national annual NO2 objective of 32 ppb. The interim objectives will be applied to decisions on new and expanding industrial facilities in B.C. This includes authorizations under the Environmental Management Act (EMA) made after October 20, 2014, but excludes existing facilities and applications for EMA authorizations made on or prior to that date.

An implementation guide has been prepared to provide guidance on how the new interim objectives are to be applied. The Dispersion Modelling Guidance for 1-hour NO2 and SO2 Interim Ambient Air Quality Objectives is also available to provide guidance when comparing modelled concentrations to the new 1-hour interim objectives.

Read air quality objectives in B.C. for more information.

Updated British Columbia Air Quality Bylaw Inventory

April 27, 2015: The Ministry of Environment has completed an update of the 2011 Inventory of Air Quality Bylaws in British Columbia. This inventory serves as a resource for municipalities and regional districts to create or further develop bylaws related to improving local air quality. These bylaws are important tools to address local air quality issues such as wood smoke or vehicle emissions, both of which can pose a health risk to citizens.

Read the British Columbia Air Quality Bylaw Inventory 2015.

New Funding for the Woodstove Exchange Program

July 24, 2014: In celebration of Clean Air Day, the BC government announced new funding for the popular Woodstove Exchange Program. Proposals are now being accepted from communities that would like to run an exchange program in 2014/2015. Details on applying to participate in the program can be found here.

air quality readings for northeastern B.C.

New Web Pages Highlight Air Monitoring in Northeastern B.C.

Feb. 24, 2014: Learn about the North East Air Monitoring Project, a partnership between the provincial government, the BC Oil and Gas Commission and the oil and gas industry, and view the latest air quality readings for the region.

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