The Prince George Mayor’s Task Force of Air Quality Improvement has begun preparing its final report to city council.
The deadline for public submissions ended on Nov. 16, however task force chairman Peter Jackson said they will still take feedback from the public for a short time.
“We have had a lot of really good feedback,” Jackson said. “We had some really thoughtful folks come our and provide some really good feedback on that. Our goal was to finish the final report in December, but I don’t know if we can do that given the volume of feedback.”
On Oct. 29, Jackson presented the task force’s interim report to city council.
The report includes 31 recommendations, including a call to reduce sulphur and particulate emissions to 40 per cent of 2006 levels by 2016. New development which could have a significant impact on the airshed should not be allowed until emissions from other sources are reduced, Jackson added.
Other recommendations include: updating the city’s Clean Air Bylaw and reviewing the effectiveness of the bylaw and its enforcement; conduct air quality reviews on developing initiatives like CN Rail’s inland container port, the airport expansion and increased biomass burning; all new developments should be assessed for their air quality impact; review the effectiveness of the current air quality management committee and give them measurable outcomes and timelines; providing incentives to replace old, inefficient wood burning appliances; introduce measures to manage air quality episodes; and create an education and awareness working group to communicate with the public.
“I think [the recommendations] will change quite a bit,” Jackson said. “I’m sure the tenor and tone won’t change, but the details may change quite a bit.”
Jackson said the task force intends to refine the recommendations so they are as detailed and specific as possible.
The task force has reviewed the recommendations made by the People’s Action Committee for Healthy Air (PACHA) and will consider including some of them into the final report, he added.
“It’s been constructive. We haven’t had any real negative feedback.”
Copies of the report can be found on the city’s Web site, www.city.pg.bc.ca.