Improving air quality needs action, not words

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(Letters) Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 20:00 PST


The latest air quality advisory for Prince George takes me back to two years ago when I wrote a similar letter for a similar situation.

Two years and nothing has changed. Oh yes, I forgot, there is now "political will" to improve our air quality.

Two years to develop political will, but no action. There are lots of plans on paper and there certainly has been discussion, but no tangible improvements to our air quality. Not to discount the asphalt plant struggle, the North Nechako residents did an amazing job. But the asphalt plants are not running right now.

At our recent Cleaner Air Symposium we heard from Dr. Catherine Elliott how many air-pollution-related deaths in our region are preventable. Municipal and provincial governments and each individual has it within our power to prevent deaths. What other motivating factor do we need?

I wonder if industry implemented air pollution reduction strategies when the first day of an air quality advisory went into effect? Did all outdoor burning cease? Did people who need to burn wood for heat use the best burning practices? What a good idea if businesses with a drive-thru closed their drive-thrus on air quality advisory days.

PACHA’s membership has just reached 1,000. Many of the members are business people in Prince George. They want their businesses and families to flourish. For that to happen we need to improve Prince George’s air quality.

We need action, not just words. Please, Prince George, I hope I’m not writing a similar letter in two more years.

Betty Bekkering, director, PACHA

Prince George


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