The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has denied Revelstoke City Council’s request for an air quality monitoring station in the city. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

Ministry denies request for air quality monitoring in Revelstoke

Revelstoke City Council’s request that an air quality monitoring system be re-established in Revelstoke has been denied.

At their Tuesday meeting, council officially received a letter from George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“In order to optimize resource allocation, ministry staff use satellite data and output from smoke forecast models in conjunction with other available information to issue Smoky Skies Bulletins for communities impacted by wildfire smoke that do not have air quality monitoring stations,” Heyman said in the letter.

Council originally directed staff to send a letter at their May 22 council meeting, at a request from the Health Advisory Committee.

”The Health Advisory Committee is concerned for the reason that, during the summer of 2017 many people were sent to Revelstoke for reprieve from the forest fires and the resulting smoke. Health officials were not able determine if Revelstoke was even a safe environment for these people,” the letter read.

The ministry’s response continued saying that while wildfire smoke is an important issue and they need to look at innovative ways to understand the level of smoke during forest fires without monitoring data.

“This year staff have developed a protocol to use visibility targets at predetermined distances to estimate levels of smoke,” the letter said.

It concluded with saying that the ministry would be happy to work with Revelstoke city staff to establish targets in Revelstoke to estimate levels of smoke during forest fires.



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