The Canadian Medical Association Journal, in its July 20th, 2015 editorial, titled “Adopting global guidelines for air pollution: protecting the health of Canadians” says a lot about laxity of standards that ought to aim to protect the health of the helpless. Children, carcinogenic, particles, VOCs all discussed. Pretty good read. Mirrored here.
Fave quote, “In 2008, it was estimated that more than 20,000 premature deaths related to outdoor air pollution occur each year in Canada. Yet, current Canadian standards for air pollutant levels lag behind WHO guidelines.”
The 2008 report here. The CBC story is pretty good too.
Does it actually make any difference whether this proposal goes ahead? It doesn’t sound like very much smoke after all…
A lit match in a the street isn’t much to get excited about but the same match lit in a dynamite factory will get a lot of attention.
So is it maybe the case that Smithers is already polluted, even without
NewPro? Yes Virginia, there is air pollution in Smithers, even without the pellet plant.
How can we know this? The wood domestic heat people don’t say how much they burn (but they have in the past, there’s an estimate on that) but the permit holders do.
If we check out our favourite favourite sawmill here we can see what they say they put out in 2014. Look down the left side of the page for discharges to the air of cadmium, manganese, lead, methanol (no, really, I’m not making this up) and last but not least selenium. As the twitterati say, WTF?? and moreover how much? Well methanol for example is 9.8 tons. Is that a lot? does it matter? what’s wrong with breathing methanol? or cadmium? Um, Well, according to IARC, here (NB 35 page .pdf) is the list that shows cadmium to be a type 1 carcinogen – i.e., it is known to cause cancer in humans. There’s lots of doomer porn here for anyone who wants to follow up.
Well is this relevant? Sure it is. Even without the putative new pollution levels from NewPro (or whomever) we have a bad situation, adding more will make matters worse.
In the technical assessment document SLR has prepared for NewPro continual reference is made to the PM2.5 objective being 8 micrograms/m3 annually. But this document points out that since 2005 the planning objective has been 6 micrograms. Why is this being ignored?
In 2009 the Province of BC published GUIDANCE ON APPLICATION OF PROVINCIAL AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR PM 2.5 and in that guide specify that attention must be paid in permitting to the Canada Wide Standards policy of continuous improvement and keeping clean areas clean. Stress is laid on the need to not pollute up to a limit. Lots of good reading in there. Fly at ‘er!
On Monday morning, June 29, 2015 CBC Prince Rupert interviewed Dr. Elizabeth Bastian, GP Oncologist with Northern Health. The audio is on the CBC Daybreak North site and is mirrored here.