New Air Monitoring Station for Clean Air Day
8 June 2016
Just in time for today’s Clean Air Day, the public can now access data from the Lower Mainland’s newest air monitoring station thanks to a project between Metro Vancouver and the City of New Westminster.
Metro Vancouver’s 29th permanent air monitoring station is located in a building in New Westminster’s Sapperton Park, and was established in late 2015 after Metro Vancouver conducted an extensive air quality monitoring study that showed commuter and commercial traffic was affecting New Westminster’s air quality. Data from the station is available to the public on AirMap.ca.
“Metro Vancouver’s air monitoring network is one of the most comprehensive in the world,” said Board Chair Greg Moore. “The additional data from the New Westminster station will provide us with both measurements of air contaminant levels occurring close to busy New Westminster traffic routes, and a more-complete picture of air quality throughout the region.”
The new station monitors ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter, which are used to calculate an Air Quality Health Index. The Index provides information on health effects of air quality to help people limit their exposure to air pollution especially vulnerable groups like children, seniors, and those with respiratory illnesses.
“Collecting data and improving public access to it helps residents of and visitors to Metro Vancouver check air quality conditions easily, and plan activities while protecting their health,” said Director Derek Corrigan, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Climate Action Committee.
“Information about our regional air quality is available at AirMap.ca, which is available on mobile and desktop devices so people can find out what the air quality is like where they are or travelling to,” he added.
Metro Vancouver operates the Lower Fraser Valley Air Quality Monitoring Network, which collects air data from Horseshoe Bay to Hope every hour of the day, seven days a week. Summaries of air quality trends, and interpretation of the data from the air quality monitoring network can be found in Metro Vancouver’s annual Caring for the Air reports. The 2016 report is the fifth edition of these publications, which are intended for a general audience, and provide updates and information about air quality and climate change issues in our region.
“Clean, clear air is one of Metro Vancouver’s greatest attributes as a desirable place to live, work, and play,” said Chair Moore. “By adding another air quality monitoring station to this important network, Metro Vancouver and our partners demonstrate a commitment to continuously improving the regional air quality.”
With reports like Caring for the Air, Metro Vancouver provides insights and advice to reduce the effects of everyday activities that contribute to emissions of greenhouse gases and air contaminants in our region, Chair Moore added.