QUESNEL, B.C. – Quesnel’s Air Quality Roundtable met at City Hall in Council Chambers today to hear reports from its stakeholders, including the City of Quesnel.
Staff representative and Fire Chief Ric Raynor made a presentation on behalf of the City outlining the steps taken to reduce pollutants in Quesnel’s Airshed. Some of those initiatives include:
- Aggressive spring clean-up efforts to reduce road dust.
- Treating unpaved areas with dust suppressant.
- Using coarser traction materials.
- Requiring wood-fired boilers or furnaces to meet CSA or EPA emission standards.
- Increasing transit service.
The Roundtable’s members heard reports from several sectors, including the Ministries of the Environment, Forestry and Transportation, the Cariboo Regional District, almost every company in Quesnel’s wood processing industry, and the Baker Creek Enhancement Society, which is handling the educational and public awareness components of the air improvement efforts.
The Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder, community-driven initiative that has developed an improvement plan for air quality in Quesnel.
Coun. Ron Paull, Chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee and Council’s representative at the Roundtable, said he’s encouraged by the work done so far.
“There’s a lot of good news in what we’re hearing today,” he said. “I’m proud of the work City staff have done and proud of the Roundtable and the work its members are doing. When you list all the initiatives together and look at them, there’s a lot being done.”
Paull added other communities are looking to the Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable as an example of how to coordinate their efforts.
Mayor Nate Bello said a clean, green space in which our children and grandchildren can live is a worthy goal.
“Air quality must be taken seriously by all of us,” he explained. “Our Public Works department has taken specific steps to reduce road dust and this must continue. I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable Chair Dora McMillan said she’s happy with the progress reports and the indication from every sector that there are long-term plans to improve air quality in place.
“We’re all responsible for clean air. The public are stakeholders, too,” she said. “I’m really encouraged by the progress made. The next step is to continue generating awareness and educating the public how they can contribute to cleaner air and a healthy environment.”
This update was the first of annual updates the Roundtable is expected to provide. More details, including a downloadable, pdf version of the original report, can be found by clicking on the Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable logo on the City’s website, www.city.quesnel.bc.ca.