Air quality monitors on the roof of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department hall.

Houston above recommended levels for air quality

Houston Airshed Management Society orgainzes “Burn Smart” workshop

The Airshed Management Society in Houston recently received the fourth annual air quality report for the Central Interior Air Zone which includes as far east as Prince George B.C., as far west as Kitwanga B.C., as far south as 100 Mile House B.C., and as far north as Stuart B.C. Houston B.C.’s air quality was measured at an average of 9.3 parts per million, 2.9 parts per million above the recommended standards.

The Canadian Ambient Airy Quality Standard recommends 6.4 parts per million as the threshold air quality levels. Air quality of four or less parts per million is in the green zone classified as actions keeping areas clean.

On the roof of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department hall is the monitor that gives the best average of the air quality in the community and sends the data off to the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards has recommended that Houston take action into doing something about the air quality in Houston.

John Siebenga, member of the Airshed Management Society in Houston said that there are many things Houston residents can start doing to improve the air quality of the community.

Siebenga said burning dry wood and using an moisture meter, which a free from the Houston Airshed Management Society, to determine the best type of wood to burn.

“Anything 12 per cent or lower is the best to burn,” said Siebenga. “Anything over 19 per ent is too wet, and smokes too much. You want something that is dry and burns well.”

Siebenga added a member of the Airshed Management Society in Houston is purchasing a Purple Air Monitor to have at the Houston Public Library for people to borrow and check the air quality in their homes.

Siebenga said that the Houston Airshed Management Society is also looking into loaning a second kit through the Houston Public Library that would include a Purple Air Monitor and a small room size High Efficiency Particulate Air filter to show the effect of cleaning the air.

These items are still in the works and require working out the bugs through other facilities like Smithers, Hazelton, Moricetown, and Telkwa that have the Purple Air Monitors already.

“It is hoped that this would persuade borrowers to take the air quality issue seriously,” said Siebenga.

Estimated cost of the Purple Air Monitor and the High Efficiency Particulate Air filter is around $944 which includes taxes and a small carrying case.

The Houston Airshed Management Society is also working on organizing a workshop called, Burn Smart.

“This workshop is intended to educate Houston residents on proper burning practices to maximize the air quality within the community,” said Siebenga.

Houston residents can visit http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/soe/indicators/air/ for more information on the air quality in Houston.

The Houston Airshed Management Society is a non-profit organization that meets once every three months alternating in Burns Lakes, Houston, Telkwa, and Smithers.

For more information on receiving a free moisture monitor, questions about the Burn Smart workshop, or more about the Houston Airshed Management Society, email John Siebenga at john.siebenga@houston.ca

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