Mar 1, 2021 4:34 PM
PRINCE GEORGE – The air we breathe has always been a topic of discussion in Prince George and, back in 2005, an air inventory. At that time, a third of the emissions came from industry, a third from wood-burning stoves and a third from transportation.
But much has changed since then. Industry has spent millions of dollars cleaning up its emissions but, on the flip side, the population has grown adding to vehicular emissions, and rail traffic has increased significantly. But, while industry is still a culprit, wood stoves remain a huge problem.
“Something like a wood stove or wood-burning appliance of any type, is actually potentially problematic because it’s emitted near the surface where we breathe the air,” explains Dr. Peter Jackson, who compiled the new inventory with the help of a number of people. “There’s typically very little control on the emissions. People may be burning wet wood or poorly-seasoned wood. And they’re actually being emitted where you actually breathe the air.”
The new inventory will provide better information on what is in the airshed and the sources of those emissions. And, once a program called “Air Quest” is available to the public, that information will be even more relevant. Air Quest is a collection of hourly emissions data over the course of three years. It’s a lot of information and something Dr. Jackson calls his “What if?” program.