Monitoring Air Quality in Northeastern B.C.
Demand for air quality information in northeastern B.C. is rising due to public concern about possible impacts from oil and gas activity on human health and the environment. To help meet this demand, the North East Air Monitoring Project was announced in June 2012 as a partnership between the provincial government, the BC Oil and Gas Commission and the oil and gas industry operating in the northeast.
View Air Monitoring Data for Northeastern B.C.
Though air quality monitoring in northeastern B.C. began in the 1990s, the primary purpose of the current project was to add three new Ministry of Environment (MoE) air quality monitoring stations to the existing network of eight stations that are currently operated by MoE or private industry. A science-based approach was used to identify areas where these new monitors were needed. Ten potential monitoring sites were then visited by MoE staff in April 2013 to choose the final locations of the three stations.
Installation of the three new stations took place in December 2013 and January 2014. Each station contains instruments that measure concentrations of sulphur dioxide and total reduced sulfur, both of which are associated with oil and gas development. Attached to each station is a ten metre tower equipped with instruments measuring meteorological parameters including temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction. The stations are located at Doig River, 42 kilometres northeast of Fort St John; Farmington Community Hall, 29 kilometres northwest of Dawson Creek; and Tomslake, 22 kilometres southeast of Dawson Creek.
Three new ambient air quality stations were installed in the south Peace in northeastern British Columbia. From left to right, these stations are Doig River, Farmington and Tomslake.
Reporting to the Community
Communication to residents of the south Peace will be continued and enhanced to ensure that the wider community can access the latest information related to air quality monitoring. As part of this process, the following four newspaper articles were published in the Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John in June and July 2015. These articles provide more details on the Northeast BC air quality monitoring project. They were written by Dr. Judi Krzyzanowski, a specialist in air quality issues in the Peace region.