Local air quality getting media coverage

CTV file photo from Dec. 4, 2014. Note that City Hall is immersed in smoke.

On Monday, CTV Vancouver Island aired a piece on air quality in the Comox Valley “Courtenay’s air quality second-worst in U.S. and Canada, study claims”

On Tuesday morning, Victoria’s Times Colonist published another story, “Courtenay mayor disputes reports of poor air quality“.

The recent media interest is based on an article in the Guardian newspaper that claimed Courtenay was the second worst place in North America when it came to fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

Although this claim was based on incorrect numbers, we still have a very significant problem here. The BC Government considers fine particulates to be the number one air pollutant of concern; we are one of the worst communities in BC when it comes to fine particulates readings (if you have questions about the location of the monitor, please see our news item, Monitor location makes sense).

This winter we have had multiple air quality advisories, been over the BC Air Quality Objective over 16 days and had many “high health risk” warnings.  As a comparison, Vancouver has had no air quality advisories and fine particulate readings are very low.

Other local media have also covered this issue recently. The local focus has been on Cumberland’s vote to ban backyard burning. To view, see Comox Valley Echo Feb. 17th e-edition, on p. 32, and the Comox Valley Record Feb. 21 e-edition, on p. 4.

If you would like to write to local government representatives about this issue, we have prepared a contact list of local and provincial emails  (WORD file) that you can cut and paste into your correspondence. There are basic suggestions of what to ask for on our solutions page.

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