Caring for the Air – Is it a Beautiful Day in Your Neighbourhood?

Air Quality – A Metro Vancouver Regional Service from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

Pockets of degraded air quality can occur in neighbourhoods even when overall regional air quality is acceptable. Here are four reasons why levels of air pollutants can be higher in some neighbourhoods.

Busy Roads

busy roadsWhat is The Concern?

According to local health researchers, people who live close to major roadways and truck routes are more likely to be exposed to harmful traffic-related air pollutants and experience negative health effects. Children, pregnant women, seniors and people with lung and heart conditions are the most vulnerable.

What is Metro Vancouver Doing?

Metro Vancouver has been looking at options to deal with emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles. Metro Vancouver is also working with municipalities, health authorities and other partners to develop guidance about how to consider a community’s holistic health needs when expanding the road network or developing along busy roads

Wood Burning

SONY DSCWhat is The Concern?

The smoke released when wood is burned contains a mixture of potentially harmful gases and particles. The smallest particles (PM2.5) found in wood smoke can worsen health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and heart and lung diseases.

What is Metro Vancouver Doing?

Action is underway to reduce the impact of wood smoke in our neighbourhoods. Metro Vancouver’s wood stove exchange program (p. 5) and education and outreach initiatives have helped reduce harmful emissions. Metro Vancouver is also exploring other ways to reduce emissions from residential wood burning with partners from health and other agencies.

Heavy Construction

SONY DSCWhat is The Concern?

Diesel particulate matter is emitted from diesel-powered construction equipment. This air pollutant is responsible for 67% of the lifetime cancer risk from air pollution in Metro Vancouver.

What is Metro Vancouver Doing?

Since the beginning of 2012 the dirtiest nonroad diesel engines have had to pay fees and be labelled and registered to operate in Metro Vancouver. The dirtiest engines pay higher fees under the non-road diesel engine regulation bylaw. Search nonroad-diesel at www.

Industrial Facilities

Industrial facilitiesWhat is The Concern?

The nature of emissions from industrial facilities depends on each facility’s process. Some emit harmless puffs of steam, while other processes may release harmful air pollutants.

What is Metro Vancouver Doing?

In most cases, an industry, trade or business requires authorization from Metro Vancouver to discharge air contaminants. Metro Vancouver actively promotes compliance with its emissions regulations and site-specific permits.

Portable monitoring equipment can be used to provide information about air quality at the neighbourhood level. The results can then be used to develop local air quality action plans.


To learn more about how Metro Vancouver is addressing air quality and climate change issues, download the 2015 Caring for the Air report (PDF).

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