Recent actions by strategy partners
To address air quality in this region, government
agencies are working on numerous initiatives within their mandates and
The following are some select practices in place to reduce air pollution
and its effects in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound transboundary airshed:
Seawall at Stanley Park, Vancouver, British
(Source: Environment Canada)
Council of Ministers for the Environment
- Development of Canadian emission standards for vehicles and engines and amendment of sulfur in Diesel Fuels Regulations, aligned with those of the US EPA
- Worked with the US EPA to develop the Ozone
Annex to the 1991 Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement.
The Ozone Annex was negotiated to reduce the transboundary
movement of smog-causing pollutants and commits both countries
to control and reduce emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOX)
and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) which are precursors
of ground-level ozone.
- Development of the Interim
Plan on Particulate Matter and Ozone detailing the Government's
efforts on reducing emissions, the science behind policy
decisions to protect the health of Canadians from toxic air
pollutants, the clean air activities within government and
the programs to engage Canadians to take action at home and
in their communities.
- Completed a comprehensive scientific study, Pacific
2001, to provide a better understanding of, and reduce
the uncertainty of the sources, formation and distribution
of PM and ozone in the Lower Fraser Valley.
- Working with the marine sector to reduce emissions in coastal
British Columbia waters.
Cargo ship in Vancouver harbour
Environmental Protection Agency
- Development of more stringent standards for particulate
matter (PM) and ground-level
- Intensifying efforts to reduce or eliminate the harmful health
effects related to agricultural
burning in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This includes
the development of a Strategy
for Agricultural Field Burning.
Proposal of the Clear
legislation, which would set strict, mandatory
emissions caps for three of the most harmful air pollutants
- sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury.
If enacted, Clear Skies will cut power plant emissions of
these pollutants by 70 percent, eliminating 35 million more
tonnes of these pollutants in the next decade than the current Clean
Engine exhaust from a diesel truck
- Assessing the possible health hazards associated with exposure
engine exhaust, which is a mixture of gases and particles.
The assessment concludes that long-term (i.e., chronic) inhalation
exposure is likely to pose a lung cancer hazard to humans,
as well as damage the lungs in other ways depending on exposure.
National Parks Service
- Is a member of the Western
Regional Air Partnership (WRAP).
The purpose of the WRAP is to develop data, tools, and policies
needed by states and tribes to improve visibility in parks
and wilderness areas across the West.
Provincial & State
Ministry of Environment
- Analysis of options for BC vehicle
tailpipe emission standards (pdf) for the post-2004 period.
- The BC
Scrap-It Program — the first of its kind in Canada — has
been extended to include more financial incentives and alternative
- Monitoring and analysis of ground-level
ozone concentrations at various sites in British Columbia
- Monitoring and analysis of fine
particulate (PM2.5) levels in British Columbia.
- Completion and summary of the 1995
emission inventory for the Sea-to-Sky Airshed and is
the first emissions inventory produced for the area.
- Holding Burn-it-Smart workshops across the province to educate
the public how to safely burn wood products.
- Administering the Environmental Management Act
- The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a partnership initiative with Environment Canada, Health Canada, the Province of British Columbia and participating municipal governments. British Columbia is the first province in Canada to pilot the index, an innovative tool that links air quality and risk to human health . The AQHI pilot project encompasses the Greater Vancouver Regional District and eight communities across the province including: Kamloops, Vernon, Osoyoos, Nanaimo, Victoria, Quesnel, Prince George and Kelowna.
- The Clean Air Kit is designed to help local government develop air emissions reduction programs in their community.
State Department of Ecology
- In February 2006, The Washington State Department of Ecology announced $2 million in grants to help local governments purchase and install devices that decrease pollution created by heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment.
- Supporting an automotive and emissions testing program in
five Washington State counties.
- Reducing the detrimental environmental and human health effects
of agricultural burning by making daily burn/no-burn decisions
called the "burn
call" for agricultural permit holders.
- Monitoring and analysis of particulate matter at various
sites in Washington.
US Emissions Testing Station
(Source: Washington State Department
Fraser Valley Regional
- Adopted the new GVRD Air
Quality Management Plan (pdf).
- Installed new pollution control and heat recovery technologies on
the GVRD municipal solid waste incinerator to reduce NOx emissions.
- Continuing to address commercial sector air pollution through measures
such as improved vapour recovery at gas stations, reducing solvent
emissions from dry cleaning facilities,
- Co-operatively developed the AirCare program
to reduce emissions from automobiles and supported the emission inspection
and maintenance program for light duty vehicles in the Lower Mainland
- Collecting methane gas emissions from the Port Mann landfill and
selling it for industial use.
- Monitoring and reporting on an Air
Quality Index for the Lower Fraser Valley. (A map of
network (pdf) is available).
- Development of the Livable
Region Strategic Plan, Greater Vancouver's regional growth
strategy, and the Sustainable
Northwest Clean Air
- Funding for environmentally beneficial projects approved - The agency's Board of Directors approved funding for 49 environmentally beneficial projects. The projects are being funded with a $600,000 penalty payment the agency received in December 2005. Click here for a list of the projects.
indoor air quality in public schools and assisting with
indoor air quality problems in the American Pacific Northwest.
with local governments to promote energy efficiency and to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
for toxic air pollutants in Bellingham to assess public
- Providing funding to significantly enhance ambient
air monitoring, which provides a better understanding
of air pollutants.
- Working through the Wood
Stove Program to inform residents about the health impacts
of wood smoke, wood stove laws, and proper use of wood heating
devices. The goal of the program is to reduce the significant health
impacts of wood smoke pollution.
- Partnering with a local non-profit organization (Climate Solutions)
to inform local counties and cities about global warming and what
can be done at the local level to address
it. The goal is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases as well
as traditional air pollutants through energy conservation efforts.
Puget Sound Clean
- Studying the effects of air
toxics on human health from sources such as diesel engines
in the Puget Sound area.
- Working with a consortium of partners, to develop the Diesel
Solutions program to make diesel vehicles in this region
dramatically cleaner. This voluntary initiative will leverage ultra-low
sulfur diesel fuel into western Washington and enable a wide range
of public and private fleets to join a consortium to retrofit diesel
This is a model program with experience that can be transferred to
other urban areas.
- Providing an up-to-date Air
Quality Index for areas in the Puget Sound. Information
includes air quality trend charts for the previous three days,
the latest air quality forecasts for the region, current ozone
conditions and an ozone map, and images from the Seattle visibility
- Participating in Air
Watch Northwest, a program to help people understand
the relationships between their own actions, the weather, and air
quality. This program uses weather forecasts and other data to predict air
quality and provide public warnings of possible increases in pollution
levels. It also empowers individuals to make lifestyle changes that reduce
Select link to obtain a list of the participating
the Georgia Basin / Puget Sound International Airshed Strategy.