DAWSON CREEK – The Northeast Air Monitoring Project is launching the second phase of a multi-year project to assess air quality information and establish a long-term air monitoring network in northeast British Columbia thanks to a $540,000 investment from the B.C. government, the BC Oil and Gas Commission Spectra Energy and the Science and Community Environmental Knowledge fund.

Phase two will help inform future air emission decisions and public health protection in the region with a specific focus on:

  • Assessing ambient air quality in northeast B.C. based on new monitoring;
  • Refining air monitoring networks based on these assessments;
  • Public outreach with local communities, industry and First Nations in northeast B.C. to share information about air quality; and
  • Evaluating long-term options for managing ambient air monitoring in the region.

The project was announced in June 2012 to address public concerns regarding possible impacts on human health from air emissions related to oil and gas activities.

“With the increased development of oil and gas in the region, our residents have expressed concerns over the potential impact on air quality and any subsequent health risks,” Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier said. “Phase Two of the Northeast Air Monitoring Project demonstrates our government’s commitment to practicing sustainable resource development that protects our environment and the health of our citizens by ensuring the public has transparent access to information on air quality.”

As part of phase one of the project, three new portable air monitoring stations were established in December 2013 and January 2014. The stations are located at Doig River, Farmington Community Hall and Tomslake. Each station measures concentrations of sulphur dioxide and total reduced sulphur traditionally associated with oil and gas development. There are currently nine air monitoring stations located in northeast B.C.

For more information about monitoring air quality in northeast B.C., visit bcairquality.ca/readings/northeast.html.