Graph of air quality health index readings for the eastern Fraser Valley. Metro issued its air quality advisory on July 13.

Metro ends air quality advisory for Lower Mainland

Haze, moderate health risk still persists in some areas; FVRD restates incinerator concerns

Metro Vancouver has dropped its air quality advisory issued Sunday for the eastern portions of the region and the Fraser Valley.

The caution against outdoor exertion, especially for those with respiratory problems, was in response to high readings of ground-level ozone that have since moderated.

The advisory was ended Tuesday evening.

Metro officials said slightly cooler temperatures have helped improve air quality.

That trend is expected to continue – Environment Canada has forecast cooler temperatures turning to rain by Friday.

Haze still hung over much of the region as of Wednesday morning.

Despite the end of the advisory, the B.C. Air Quality Health Index still predicted a moderate health risk level of 4.0 (on a scale of 1-10) today in northeastern Metro and the eastern Fraser Valley, declining to a lower risk level of 3 tomorrow.

The air quality health index readings peaked at 5.1 in the eastern Fraser Valley on Sunday, 5.0 in the central Fraser Valley, 4.9 in northeastern Metro and 4.2 in southeastern Metro.

High air quality index readings of around 7.0 are occurring in Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George, where residents are being affected by Interior forest fires.

For detailed air quality readings, forecasts and graphs of recent readings, see bcairquality.ca.

Ground-level ozone, or smog, forms when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in sunlight.

The Fraser Valley Regional District issued a news release predicting Metro’s plans to build a a new garbage incinerator will further increase air pollution levels in the years ahead.

FVRD board chair Sharon Gaetz said the regional district is very concerned pollution from a new incinerator will further affect elderly and vulnerable Valley residents who often can’t go outside due to poor air quality.

“We hope that Metro Vancouver will finally acknowledge the pressure they will be putting on all British Columbians if they build another incinerator,” Gaetz said. “It would be ludicrous to consider building more facilities that will further harm our communities.”

Metro has argued the waste-to-energy project would have no significant net effect on air quality, because the energy generated can offset the burning of other fuels, as well as advanced emission scrubbing technology.

One of the proponents, a Delta cement plant, wants to burn the processed garbage as fuel and thereby reduce its current use of coal.

The project is not certain to be built in Metro either – a final site could be on Vancouver Island or near Squamish instead.

Air quality readings and forecast as of Wednesday morning:

Just Posted

Seabird completes renovation of family home

Four-unit home ‘a place for families to heal, grow and learn’

PHOTOS: Feelin’ the heat at the 2018 Sasquatch Days

Temperatures peak over 30 C over the weekend but don’t stop rowers

PHOTOS: Shot back in time for Black Powder event

Father’s Day event enjoyed by many at Kilby Historic Site

Summer comes early in the Fraser Valley

Record temperatures in Chilliwack before the season arrives elicit warnings

VIDEO: Agassiz Community Gardens turns 15

Growing is good for personal and community health

B.C. RCMP looking for $70,000 in stolen collector cash

Money, in Canadian and Chinese denominations, goes missing in Chilliwack

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read