Community-led AQ Monitoring Project (Phase 1)

Strathcona Community-led AQ Monitoring Project (Phase 1)

In April 2020, the SRA received a grant from the Centerm Community Fund to cover the engagement and planning phase for a Community-led Air Quality Monitoring Project. The goals of phase 1 are outlined below.

In November 2020, the SRA’s Air Quality Working Group began meeting with a steering group the included VFPA Environmental Dept, Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health and UBC environmental science professors to discuss a parallel study that would include the purchasing and placement of air quality monitoring equipment to track air quality changes between 2021 and 2024.

In January 2021, the SRA developed and circulated a survey to assess resident’s attitudes and willingness to be involved in the project.

Summary of Project Goals:

Long-Term Goal:  To ensure that existing and increasing levels of air pollutants in our neighbourhood don’t endanger the health of residents.

Mid-Term Goal: To increase citizen awareness, participation and advocacy of AQ monitoring in Strathcona, so that we are not entirely dependent upon the word of outside sources.

Short-term Goal:  To create a report to be presented to the Port, Metro Vancouver and the public that:

1.     quantifies vulnerable populations within our community.

2.     quantifies existing and expected increasing sources of air pollution.

3.    presents examples of community-based AQ monitor programs that have worked successfully in other cities

4.    makes recommendations for a Strathcona AQ Monitoring Program that would include:

a.   inadequacy of existing AQ monitoring methods

b.   value of low cost (5K) research grade monitors to be placed in specific high risk locations

c.   value of handheld monitors that could be used by citizen scientist to spot monitor specific locations/times

d.    Means to publicly share AQ data.

e.    Education program for public and schools about the health risks of poor AQ and the science of monitoring and mitigating.

f.     Steering committee, which would include residents and outside experts, to advise the Port’s AQ monitoring and mitigation decisions.