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Sea Island Air Quality

YVR has a commitment to reduce air pollution and tracks its air quality through continuous ambient air quality monitoring. We report data to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI).

In 2016, we continued to participate voluntarily in the Lower Fraser Valley Air Quality Monitoring Network. As part of this network, Metro Vancouver operates an air quality monitoring station located at YVR east of the south runway, near the community of Burkeville. Data collected from this station is displayed on a live stream through Metro Vancouver’s website. Metro Vancouver analyzes this data each year to demonstrate trends and performance against annual, hourly, and 24-hour objectives. Data is released in May of each year in the Caring for the Air report and is presented in the following table, compared with several of Metro Vancouver’s current ambient air quality objectives.

YVR Air Pollutants

Annual Averages 2012 2013 2014 2015* Metro Vancouver Objectives
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) (ppb) 14 14 15 14 21
Carbon Monoxide (CO) (ppb) 239 244 239 254 No annual average
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) (ppb) 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.4 11
Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) (μg/m3) 4.2 6.3 6.4 6.0 8
Fine Particulate Matter (PM10) (μg/m3) 11.1 11 11 12.8 20
Ozone (O3) (ppb) 18 16 17 16 No annual average

* 2016 data will be available in May 2017

The Caring for the Air report details regional advisories and trends in air emissions data. In 2015, Metro Vancouver issued air quality advisories in July and August due to high levels of fine particulate matter due to wildfires outside the region. They also issued an air quality bulletin, which included Richmond, in November. In addition to these regional air quality concerns in 2015, YVR exceeded the Metro Vancouver ambient air quality objectives for inhalable particulate matter (PM10). This was due to the Runway End Safety Area construction project. Several measures were implemented to mitigate dust concerns in 2015.

We submitted a report to the NPRI in 2016 for the 2015 emissions period and found that we had the same substances below the reporting thresholds as reported in 2014—Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Oxides of Nitrogen and Volatile Organic Compounds. Additionally, the amount of asbestos disposal from the demolition of older structures was below the reporting threshold in 2015, which is a decrease from 2014. The only substance that was slightly above reporting is particulate matter from boilers, emergency generators and dust. 2015 particulate matter levels were very slightly above 2014 levels; hence, our initiatives are continuing to have a positive effect with increasing passenger volumes. YVR also voluntarily retires older non-road diesel equipment to reduce emissions to the environment.

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