After years of concern about the quality of the air that Port Edwards residents breathe, the District has decided to install a new air monitoring station.
“The station would continuously measure concentrations of air contaminants including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, with the potential to expand to other contaminants in the future,” says the Prince Rupert Port Authority proposal for the station, which was approved in late March.
The eight-by-ten-foot station will be built on Sunset Drive near the local skateboard park. “We will confirm timelines soon with the [Prince Rupert] Port Authority,” the District of Port Edwards said on Facebook.
Air quality is a concern due to industrial activity in the area. Back in 2011, for example, a massive coal dust cloud from Ridley Terminals blocked the sun and made people’s patio furniture dirty.
“Ridley Terminals has a responsibility to control the dust on their site just as residents have the right to clean air and the enjoyment of their property. This has to stop,” councillor Knut Bjorndal said at the time.
A community plan produced by Port Edwards two years later identified pollution as a major worry. “Air quality was expressed as a concern with regards to future industrial development within the District,” it explained. “The public clearly expressed that future industrial development within the townsite should be restricted to industrial activities that produce minimal air, water, and noise pollution.”
That same community plan said that climate change “is believed to be the greatest threat facing the environment today with far reaching impacts to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.”
The new air pollution monitoring station has been a long time coming. “An often heard call for more air monitoring in the District of Port Edward has been heard,” the North Coast Review reports.
That new air quality will be useful information for the community, as the Ridley Island Export Logistics Park is starting a large expansion, while a proposed Vopak bulk liquids terminal is undergoing environmental assessment.
The Narwhal calls the area “a busy industrial hub that could get a whole lot busier.”