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Development of an Improvement Plan for Threatened Airsheds

Development of an Improvement Plan for Threatened Airsheds

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Development of an Improvement Plan for Threatened Airsheds

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  1. Development of an Improvement Plan for Threatened Airsheds Prepared for AQ Met’s Meeting March 10, 2003 Victoria, BC

  2. Presentation Objectives • Impetus for plan • Assumptions • Service Plan Shifts • Clean Air Goals • Roles & Responsibilities • 5-Year Plan – What do we want to achieve? • Next Steps

  3. Impetus • Premier’s letter to Minister instructing Minister to develop improvement plan for threatened airshed areas • Ministry Service Plan identifies air improvement initiative as an immediate action for human health protection

  4. Assumption • Develop single plan that will address threatened airsheds and keeping clean areas clean

  5. Ministry’s Service Plan 2002/2003-2004/2005 • Strategic shifts to: • Shared stewardship (e.g. airshed planning) • Setting appropriate environmental standards and ensuring standards are met • Clear roles for ministry, industry and other stakeholders in gathering and reporting environmental information and achieving environmental objectives • Integrated ministry program based on best available science and an ecosystem-based approach • Economic development based on clear, reasonable environmental outcomes, with discretion as to how to achieve • Public information made available in transparent, timely and accessible manner

  6. Ministry’s Service PlanClean Air Goals • Protection of human health and environment • Current performance measures: • % of monitored communities meeting PM2.5 CWS of 30 mg/m3 • Total GHG emissions in BC • For 2005/06: • Achievement of PM2.5 CWS in all monitored communities

  7. Ministry’s Role Water, Air & Climate Change: • Long-term policy • Standards/objectives • Science • Monitoring & Reporting Regional Operations: • Implementation of Ministry policy • Permitting/compliance • Monitoring/Reporting • Airshed planning • AQ advisories

  8. Ministry’s Role Environmental Management Branch: • Legislation/regulations • Codes of practice • P2 planning • Local government activities Policy, Innovation and Enterprise Division: • Risk assessment • Strategic planning • Intergovernmental affairs • Non-regulatory incentives

  9. Cabinet’s Role • Overall direction and priority-setting • Policy decisions • Power plant proposals (e.g. SE2) • Acceptable levels of health protection • Economic development vs environment • Changes to legislation • Waste Management Act Review • Area-based planning • Local champions of environment

  10. Other Key Ministries • Health Planning and regional MHO’s • Transportation • Energy and Mines • Forests • Agriculture, Food and Fisheries • Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

  11. Federal Government’s Role Federal Government • International transboundary Issues • Vehicles and fuels (incl. off-road engines) • Marine vessels (via international process) • Rail • Research • Consumer/commercial products (e.g. solvents, paints)

  12. Local Government’s Role Local Government • Zoning • Official community plans, urban growth strategies, transportation strategies, energy plans • By-laws (backyard burning, woodstove use, etc.)

  13. Roles – Implications • Ministry is not sole champion of environment, nor is Air Protection Program • Air Protection Program can provide policy direction, supporting science and program goals/objectives • Must work with other stakeholders within and outside the Ministry to develop road map for achieving provincial and airshed goals

  14. Question: • What does the provincial air program want to achieve over the next 5 years?

  15. Airshed Protection An Integrated Approach e.g. AQO’s, monitoring, modelling, inventories, health assessments • To be effective, airshed planning must reflect • external drivers that influence air management in BC • long-term provincial objectives and policy • Must be supported by sound science (the “building blocks”) e.g. Kyoto, CWS, US/Canada AQ Agreement, Local Government e.g. Ozone/PM Annex, air toxics, visibility

  16. Airshed Improvement - Focus Short-term: • Degraded airsheds where community support • Clean airsheds where community support and opportunities to leverage ministry funding • Development of scientific/regulatory tools to address local air quality issues Long-term: • Development/clarification of policies/regulations wrt specific air issues or sources based on feedback from WMA Review Clean Air Issues Paper

  17. Airshed Protection Program Goals • Updated air quality standards • Clear expectations • Best available science to support decision-making • Province-wide improvement (through development of generic tools) • Airshed improvement (through airshed planning support) • Others?

  18. Updating Air Quality Standards Problem: • Current provincial air quality criteria largely developed in the 1970’s (i.e. old science) • Our understanding of health effects of air pollutants has changed rapidly over last decade • No safe thresholds of exposure for PM and ozone • Health risks increase with increasing exposure • CWS for PM and ozone are long-term performance criteria -- not practical for day-to-day air management decisions

  19. Updating Air Quality Standards What is needed? • Air quality criteria based on new science and understanding of risk management that can be applied to day-to-day air management decisions & longer-term planning • Policy guidance on acceptable levels of risk

  20. Updating Air Quality Standards Short Term: • Develop process to engage outside expertise on setting standards • Evaluate sets of air quality criteria used in other jurisdictions (including purpose and value judgments applied)

  21. Updating Air Quality Standards Medium Term: • Obtain policy guidance on acceptable levels of risk • Adopt new air quality criteria based on best available science employed elsewhere in Canada or abroad • Develop made-in-BC guidelines for how these criteria should be applied • To environmental impact assessments • To airshed planning • To keeping clean areas clean

  22. Updating Air Quality Standards Long Term: • Set targets to help achieve updated standards • Develop framework for ensuring periodic reviews of the air quality standards and associated goals

  23. Clear Expectations Problem: • Stakeholder feedback indicates frustration over unclear ministry expectations regarding • What air quality standards are to be met • Which dispersion models are to be used • What control technology is to be used • These uncertainties are a possible impediment to economic development • The public feels that their concerns are not being dealt with in the Environmental Assessment process (e.g. SE2, Duke Point) • Several major activities are proceeding at the federal-provincial (CWS) or international level (e.g. GBEI, Canada-US AQ Agreement, Kyoto) with opportunities to benefit from if we are engaged

  24. Clear Expectations What is needed? • To clarify air quality standards and how they are applied • To clarify decision-making processes used to evaluate proposals • To clarify ministry’s position/direction on new or emerging issues (e.g. Ozone/PM Annex, visibility, etc.)

  25. Clear Expectations Short term: • Evaluate stakeholder feedback from Clean Air Issues Paper consultation on how to improve air management in BC • Develop guidelines on how air quality criteria are to be applied • Develop guidelines on how dispersion models are to be applied in environmental assessments (EA) • Develop guidance for the public on EA process (jointly with EA Office) Long term: • Develop policy to clarify BC’s position on new and emerging issues • Ozone/PM annex • visibility • air toxics • AQI

  26. Best Available Science Problem: • Air quality issues and related health sciences are rapidly evolving, as are associated models • Air quality, meteorological and emissions data collected by various agencies, but no central repository or linkage • Ministry must be in a position to incorporate the best available science in decision-making, as reflected in Service Plan commitments

  27. Best Available Science What is needed? • To continuously update knowledge base and associated tools to identify: • where air quality is being degraded, • what the impact on human health and the ecosystem is, • what the contributing sources are, • what control measures are technologically feasible to reduce emissions, and • how proposed actions may effect future air quality and achievement of air quality goals.

  28. Available Tools • Monitoring & reporting • Data analysis • Emission inventories • PM source apportionment • Meteorological modelling • Air quality dispersion modelling • Health impact assessments

  29. Monitoring & Reporting • Finalize and implement provincial action plan for air & water quality monitoring & reporting

  30. Data Analysis • Develop/test improved suite of statistical tools for acquiring more information from existing air quality and meteorological data • Provide training on use of these tools

  31. Emission Inventories Short term: • Finalize year 2000 emission inventory • WLAP: • Point sources (Ministry authorized) • Pulp mills (NCASI) • Forest product industry revisions (ET consulting) • Prescribed burning and wildfires • Environment Canada (Ottawa) • Mobile sources • Areas sources • GVRD/Environment Canada • Marine sources

  32. Emission Inventories Short term (cont’d): • Continue to develop web information system (Arc IMS/IMF) • Point sources • Prescribed burning/wildfires • Ambient monitoring stations Medium term: • Further development of airshed emission inventories • Develop?? data management regional-central database • Merge with NPRI CAC reporting (2002 reporting year) • Develop improved road dust emission factors

  33. Emission Inventories Long term: • Identify common GIS platform involving • Environment Canada • GVRD • WLAP • Washington State • Extend inventory to include PM, VOC speciation • Fulfill other emission inventory needs related to Air Protection and Airshed Management

  34. PM Source Apportionment Short term: • Develop provincial strategy for PM source apportionment through inter-agency working group • Develop infrastructure to better support PM source apportionment (laboratory, training, tech tools, expert advice) Medium term: • Carry out pilot projects for source apportionment/PM speciation in priority airsheds

  35. Meteorological Modelling Short term: • Support development of meteorological models by universities and EC to obtain high-resolution (space and time) data for airshed characterization and dispersion modelling • Establish infrastructure for data-sharing with other agencies for both monitored and modelled meteorological information • Consider meteorological monitoring in priority airsheds to support model development and testing. Long term: • Produce 5 years of simulated high-quality, high resolution meteorological data for province

  36. AQ Dispersion Modelling Short term: • Produce model guidelines for proper application of existing models, with associated training • Test new approaches in meteorological/airshed modelling technology • Support efforts to develop, test and implement models appropriate for BC airsheds in partnership with US and Cdn regulatory agencies • Implement hardware/software to facilitate airshed-specific modelling

  37. AQ Dispersion Modelling Long term: • Establish an air quality modelling system for each airshed that accounts for complexities in sources and meteorology that includes seamless links to emission inventory, geophysical information & past and forecast met. data.

  38. Health Impact Assessments Short term: • Support assessment of methodologies to estimate air pollution-related health impacts in BC communities through expert panel (AQ & Health 2002 Study) • Support workshop on expert panel findings Medium term: • Apply suitable methodologies to estimate impact of air pollution on the province and individual regions/communities (where scale allows)

  39. Health Impact Assessments Long term: • Collect BC-specific data and carry out health impact assessment studies to address priority airsheds

  40. Province-wide Improvement Problem: • For efficiency and effectiveness in providing minimum AQ protection to all communities in BC, province-wide measures needed • Ministry in process of cutting number of regulations and de-permitting low- and medium-risk sources • The province has committed to developing a plan to manage GHG emissions • Many of the major contributors to poor air quality are also significant sources of GHG emissions (e.g. transportation, power plants, and other combustion sources) • In some instances, efforts to reduce GHG emissions (e.g. increased use of diesel vehicles) may result in negative air quality impacts • In other cases, measures may reinforce AQ goals

  41. Province-wide Improvement What is needed: • Selection of priority measures that most effectively target common air contaminants with GHG co-benefits (or no dis-benefits) • Development of appropriate innovative strategies to effectively manage both sets of contaminants

  42. Province-wide Improvement Short term: • Support development of Codes of Practice by EMB • Support GVRD efforts to design AQMP to achieve co-benefits • Identify other priority measures that achieve multiple goals Long term: • Development of new tools to address both sets of contaminants

  43. Airshed Improvement Problem: • Ministry is moving to a shared stewardship approach (e.g. airshed planning) • Airshed plans underway or in place in a number of communities (e.g. Bulkley Valley, PG, Quesnel/Williams Lake, Central Okanagan, FVRD, GVRD, Golden) • These are voluntary plans, developed independent of a common provincial vision • Potential for inconsistencies in achieving provincial goals • No incentives or authority beyond permitting requirements • Represent pro-active communities (and not necessarily most degraded airsheds)

  44. Airshed Improvement What is needed? • Provincial vision for airshed planning in BC • Means to encourage local government and stakeholders and facilitate voluntary airshed planning • Possible legislation to enable Minister to require airshed planning and/or implementation of airshed plans where there is a recognized need but no local support or action

  45. Airshed Improvement Short term: • Planning framework for threatened/degraded airsheds and for CI/KCAC • Possible enactment of area-based planning legislation (proposed through the Waste Management Act Review) • Encouragement of airshed planning through • Completion of an airshed planning guide for local governments (including a compilation of best practices, model by-laws) that identifies the steps to airshed planning • Development of a grant program to support projects that reflect provincial goals/criteria • Provision of scientific/technical support on a priority basis

  46. Airshed Improvement Planning Framework: • Purpose: To achieve a blending of national and province-wide measures with local innovative solutions to local problems • Incorporates guiding principles/key elements from Service Plan & Airshed Protection framework, including • shared stewardship • continuous improvement • science-based decision-making • maximized economic benefits • GHG co-benefits • knowledgeable public • Identifies range of air quality triggers for voluntary airshed planning and associated activities (all airshed types) • Recognizes relevant provincial policy and goals to be reflected in airshed plans (e.g. technology requirements, P2 planning, etc.)

  47. Airshed Improvement Long-term: • Development of additional economic or other instruments to further support voluntary airshed planning • Connection to infrastructure funding, OCPs, etc.

  48. Next Steps • Clarify deadline for completion of implementaton plan • Complete drafting of implementation plan based on • Input/feedback from AQ Met’s, EQ Section Heads and other groups (e.g. EMB, Climate Change) • Stakeholder Consultation on Clean Air Issues Paper