FVRD disputes clean air claim

The regional district has challenged a recent report that ranks Fraser Valley as having the cleanest air in Canada.

A national study recently ranked Abbotsford third best for the quality of its air, but the Fraser Valley Regional District says the findings are “gravely misleading.”

The American company Honeywell Air Purifiers commissioned a Canadian study that found that Abbotsford had the third cleanest air of the 50 municipalities considered.

B.C. cities swept the national list, taking six of the ten spots: Langley (first), Kelowna (second), Richmond (fourth), Vancouver (eighth), and Burnaby (ninth).

The FVRD protested the findings in a press release on Thursday, saying that despite improvements, the Fraser Valley’s air quality is far short of ideal.

“Over the last two decades, air quality in the Fraser Valley has improved—in some measurements—but going from a ‘C-‘ to a ‘C’ grade tells me we have a long way to go before our air quality is in the ‘A’ grade range,” said chair Sharon Gaetz.

The FVRD pointed to a 2012 report by the B.C. Lung Association that found that although B.C. cities fared much better than other parts of Canada, within the Lower Mainland the Fraser Valley’s air quality was worse than that of Vancouver.

Specifically, the B.C. Lung Association found ground-level ozone to be highest in Hope, followed by Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and Maple Ridge.

Environment Canada studies have also found that smog from elsewhere gets trapped in the Fraser Valley.

According to Gaetz, the FVRD has repeatedly requested the full data of the Honeywell Air Purifiers study, to no avail.

In the release, Gaetz went on to raise the alarm about Metro Vancouver’s plan to build a waste-to-energy incinerator.

“Any increase in emissions of air contaminants in the fragile Fraser Valley airshed from an additional incinerator, as proposed by Metro Vancouver, or other sources, will significantly undermine air quality improvements in the Fraser Valley, and further exacerbate the ongoing challenge with reducing ozone levels,” said Gaetz.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

Abbotsford charities see hike in demand for services during pandemic

Archway Food Bank and Salvation Army work hard to help those impacted

What do you think about these seven proposed Abbotsford pot shops?

Council will decide upon four locations for Abbotsford’s first legal cannabis stores

Return-It depot in Abbotsford part of aluminum-can pilot project

Customers won’t have to separate alcohol and non-alcohol cans from each other

Vancouver double homicide leads to arrest in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday

VPD and RCMP tracked dumped vehicle connected to killings to Chilliwack

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read