UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and PGAIR - Advancing Air Quality and Climate Co-Benefits in the Prince George Airshed (2023)

Greater attention is being paid to addressing AQ and climate change (CC) simultaneously because of environmental, human health, and socioeconomic benefits.

PGAIR is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to improving the PGA’s AQ. PGAIR sees a valuable opportunity to identify actions that offer co-benefits between AQ and CC goals in the PGA. This project will provide PGAIR with strategic direction for how to support their member organizations, the City of PG and RDFFG, to advance AQ & CC goals.

Our team identified 10 Big Moves and 45 proposed actions that offer AQ and CC co-benefits. These Big Moves and proposed actions target three sectors that are the highest contributors to air pollutants and GHGs in the PGA: Transportation, Industry, and Buildings.

We identified funding opportunities for each Big Move, and suggested timelines and lead organization(s) for each proposed action. Each proposed action is supported by example actions categorized by 6 action types to reflect the diverse approaches that the partner organizations can apply in the PGA.

Thank-you to our project partners and the students who worked incredibly hard to bring these findings to our community. View the Final SCARP report here:

Final Report - SCARP


World Health Organization (WHO) Global Air Quality Guidelines (2021)

The updated WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) provide recommendations on air quality guideline levels as well as interim targets for six key air pollutants. They also offer qualitative statements on good practices for the management of certain types of particulate matter (PM). Based on the extensive scientific evidence currently available, the guidelines identify the levels of air quality necessary to protect public health worldwide. The AQGs also serve as a reference for assessing if, and by how much, the exposure of a population exceeds levels at which it might cause health concerns.


Prince George Air Quality Emissions and Modelling (February 2021)

Appendix A: Updated Prince George Micro-Emission Inventory (2016)
Appendix B: Meteorological Model (CALMET) Setup and Evaluation
Appendix C: Dispersion Model (CALPUFF) Setup and Evaluation

UNBC Researchers Dr. Peter Jackson and Brayden Nilson have used an emission inventory and meteorological data from 2014 - 2016 to update the previous (2005) micro-emission inventory and modelling system for the Prince George airshed. The work focuses on respirable particulate matter including PM10, PM2.5, and particulates that form through secondary processes from sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. Particulate matter is an important contaminant in the Prince George airshed given its known impacts on health. 


Trends in Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Concentrations in Prince George, British Columbia (September 2017)

In the Phase III Implementation Plan, PGAIR outlined several goals for PM2.5 reductions by 2013 and 2016. Monitoring data from 1998-2016 at the Plaza 400 monitoring site (located in downtown Prince George) were analyzed to identify trends in ambient levels of PM2.5 and determine whether these goals were met. This report discusses the results of that analysis.

Air Quality in Prince George Summary Report (June 2016)

Levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) have improved over the past 15 years due to management actions, but in recent years have been significantly impacted by hot weather and more active wildfire seasons.  Odour levels in the community (indicated by total reduced sulphur -TRS) have improved greatly since the 1960's, but have shown a slight increase in recent years.  While TRS is considered a nuisance pollutant at these levels, it has an offensive odour that is annoying to residents and impacts community image.


Positive Trend for Particulate Matter in the Prince George Airshed (August 2014)

This short report provides an update on improving particulate matter levels in the airshed since the 1990's.  The key to improvement has been more effective management at the source, in particular, the phase-out of all beehive burners, increased removal of fine particulate matter from multiple industrial partners, decreased open burning, use of coarser traction material on streets in winter and improved street cleaning practices.


Prince George VOC Sampling Program Report (March 2013)

In 2011-2012, the Ministry of Environment worked in collaboration with city residents to collect ambient air samples within an odour-affected neighbourhood, and analyzed the samples for 194 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  The report from this Sampling Program provides a summary of VOCs that were measured in the outdoor air and provides recommendations for next steps.  


Prince George Area Industrial Lands Profile Report (May 2008)

Prince George’s airshed has been identified as not being able to accept additional air emissions without compromising the health of its citizens; securing safe and economically viable industrial sites that will not negatively impact the air shed is therefore important in the city's efforts to diversify its economy without negatively affecting its citizens. In 2008 a steering committee was formed to develop an Industrial Profile of the region, with the intent of helping to direct industry to the most suitable lands. 


Other Studies for the Prince George Airshed

The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Prince George residents conducts special studies of some pollutants (e.g. formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds), in addition to their routine monitoring program for the airshed.  The results of these additional monitoring studies can be found here.


Prince George Air Quality Modelling Study - Final Report (October 2010)

Source Apportionment of PM2.5 in Prince George, British Columbia (February 2008)

Final Report of the Prince George Mayor's Task Force on Air Quality Improvement (January 2008)


PGAIR Pollutant Briefing Notes

These short Briefing Notes provide a snapshot of particulate matter (PM)  in the Prince George Airshed. They can be found here.


Prince George Air Quality Improvement Briefing Notes 

Each member of PGAIR has been requested to provide an annual update on air quality improvement activities, and particularly implementation activities related to the PGAIR Phase III Plan.  Collectively these Briefing Notes help identify and share progress towards achieving community air quality goals for PM2.5 reduction: By 2016, A 40% reduction in PM2.5 from all significant sources; A daily average not to exceed 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air; and An annual average of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air. 


Industrial Sector Members

Canfor Pulp and Paper  2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020

CN Rail  2014 

Carrier Lumber (Member representing Primary Wood Processing sector)  20122014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2020

Columbia Bitulithic (Member representing Asphalt, Cement, and Gravel sector)  2014 | 2015 

Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd.  2014-1 | 2014-2 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020


Commercial Sector Members

Prince George Chamber of Commerce  2014 | 2016 


Governmental Sector Members

City of Prince George  20122014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020

Regional District of Fraser-Fort George  20122014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy  2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure  2014 | 2015 | 2016 

Northern Health  2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020

University of Northern British Columbia  2016 | 2017 


Community Group and Individual Members

Fraser Basin Council Society  2014 | 2015 | 2017

Public Member (1)  2014 | 2015 

Public Member (2)  2014 | 2015 

People's Action Committee for Healthy Air - PACHA (Member representing an Environmental Society)   2017


Non-Member/Volunteer Briefing Notes 

Matthew Beckett - Bike Commuting Champion  2016

AJ Safety Centre   2014 | 2015 | 2016

Brink Forest Products  2014

The Beckett Family - Electric Vehicle Conversion 2012

Vic Steblin - A resident's approach to improving air quality 2012