Metro Vancouver: Local innovations key in regional initiatives to improve air quality

METRO Vancouver’s Caring for the Air 2022 highlights new innovations to address climate challenges and celebrates 50 years of the region’s air quality service.

“Our commitment to protecting our region’s air quality and our residents’ health has remained consistent over the past five decades,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, on Thursday.

“This most recent Caring for the Air shows how the technology available to monitor air quality and reduce emissions is constantly improving, allowing us to maintain our unwavering focus on protecting air quality for future generations.”

Caring for the Air 2022 showcases a suite of Sustainability Innovation Fund initiatives designed to accelerate climate action and improve the region’s air quality, including:

  • An emerging technology called hydrothermal processing that can produce low carbon transportation fuels from wastewater biomass
  • The regional retrofit accelerator program, which will create a resource hub to support owners of large buildings and increase the number of deep carbon building retrofits required to successfully meet greenhouse gas reduction targets
  • Research that monitors disturbances to forest health for early signs of stress due to climate change, providing insight into how we can ensure forest ecosystems continue to provide environmental services such as the removal and storage of carbon dioxide

The report also includes tips for preparing for wildfire smoke season, information on bylaw and regulation updates, pathways to carbon neutral transportation and zero emission buildings, and a recap of overall air quality in 2021.

“Our air quality has a direct impact on the livability of our region and the overall well-being of residents today and in the future,” said Adriane Carr, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee.

“We must address the threat of climate change with careful planning, decisive action, and comprehensive policy. This latest Caring for the Air shows that with the Clean Air Plan and Climate 2050 roadmaps, we are protecting and improving one of our region’s greatest resources: clean air.”

In 2021, the Metro Vancouver Board approved the Clean Air Plan and a commitment to regional carbon neutrality by 2050. Included are actions to reduce regional GHG emissions and yield air quality health benefits with a value estimated at up to $1.6 billion.

Since 1972, Metro Vancouver has been responsible for managing and regulating air contaminants in the region under authority delegated by the BC Government in the Environmental Management Act.

The regional district enforces bylaws pertaining to air emissions from industry, businesses, and residences, sets air quality objectives, monitors regional air quality, and responds to air quality complaints.

Read the full Caring for the Air 2022.

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