British Columbia

New report notes improvement in Metro Vancouver's air quality despite wildfire setbacks

Air quality in Metro Vancouver has been improving over the past decade, despite an unprecedented number of days that were under air quality advisories in 2017 and 2018.

No air quality advisories were issued for the region in 2019, report says

The Caring for the Air report says levels of air contaminants fell in 2019, despite growth in Metro Vancouver's population. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Air quality in Metro Vancouver has been improving over the past decade, despite an unprecedented number of days that were under air quality advisories in 2017 and 2018.

A report from Metro Vancouver shows contaminant levels have improved at monitoring stations located from Horseshoe Bay to Hope.

The regional district issued no air quality advisories last year, unlike the wildfire seasons of 2017 and 2018 when smoke blanketed many parts of the province.

The report says sulphur dioxide levels continued to improve, mainly due to strict lower sulphur requirements for marine fuels.

It says average levels of ground-level ozone in the area have increased slightly despite reductions in the pollutants that cause it, partly due to an increase in ozone coming from outside Canada.

Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr, who's also chairs the district's climate action committee, says Metro Vancouver's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would see the district become carbon neutral by 2050.

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