Local volunteers will be taught how to collect samples
Original article can be found at The Province website.
Environmental activists in Prince George are taking a new tack in their fight for cleaner air.
of the California-based Global Community Monitor will be in the
northern Interior hub Sept. 18 and 19 to instruct local volunteers on
how to collect air samples.
Dubbed "the bucket brigade," members
of GCM will help set up an air-monitoring network. The samples they
collect will be analyzed in a California lab over the next two months.
say we have bad air. Some people say Prince George is the armpit of
B.C.," Dave Fuller, president of the People's Action Committee for
Healthy Air, told The Province.
"When the pulp mills are burning
and the refinery is burning, the particulates go out into the air,"
said Fuller, who has seen his group's membership grow to 1,100 in the
three years since it was founded.
"Some of the residents we're
working in the neighbourhood of Miller Addition are telling us they're
getting sick when these odours are coming through.
"Let's test the odours and find out what's in them," said Fuller.
hoping the results of the tests taken by the bucket brigade will
accurately show the level of toxins in the air, which could give
efforts to clean it up a boost.
Fuller said his group is pursuing
the testing at a time when the federal government has promised the
struggling pulp and paper industry aid to match subsidies that the U.S.
government has given its pulp producers.
He estimates that pulp mills in Prince George stand to receive up to $180 million in federal aid.
"They're supposed to be using this money for energy upgrades to reduce [carbon dioxide]," he said.
"We are lobbying for the mills to use that money for reducing odour."
which operates three pulp mills in Prince George, "has a long history
of advancements at our mills in terms of improving air quality," said
company spokesman Dave Lefebvre.
"It's something that we're constantly mindful of."
said any federal aid to balance the so-called "black-liquor subsidy"
that Canfor receives will be used for the company's environmental