PurpleAir air quality monitors, owned by private citizens, are currently the only source of air quality data in Salmon Arm. (Contributed)

PurpleAir air quality monitors, owned by private citizens, are currently the only source of air quality data in Salmon Arm. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm council asking province to consider city for air quality monitoring system

Council informed Ministry of Environment already looking at city as potential location

City council will be asking that Salmon Arm be considered for an air quality monitoring station.

Council was informed through the minutes of the Sept. 10 Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting that a committee member had been in discussions with Gavin King, an air quality meteorologist with the B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy. The committee was informed that Salmon Arm is on the ministry’s list as a possible future location for an air quality monitoring system.

The EAC recommended they send a letter to King and the ministry to consider Salmon Arm for an air quality monitoring system.

While discussing this at the Sept. 27 council meeting, Coun. Sylvia Lindgren, who represents council on the EAC, referred to the PurpleAir monitoring system, owned by private users (including Coun. Tim Lavery), which is currently the only source of air quality data the city has.

“The PurpleAir quality monitors are variable and may or may not always be dependable, and the ministry doesn’t use those for official comment and data for monitoring air quality,” said Lindgren. “I think with the air quality that we had this year and the prospect of these things becoming a regular event… this would be a great opportunity to put our names forward.”

Lavery suggested involving Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley in the request, suggesting the monitors might also assist with data regarding venting indexes for days suitable for permitted open burns.

“We have nothing local to determine that; we have to rely on Kamloops or further down south,” said Lavery.

Council agreed unanimously to the draft the requested letter.

Read more: Two citizen-owned air quality sensors in Salmon Arm help fill monitor gap


lachlan@saobserver.net
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