Executive Summary, Government and industry 1 supported a collaborative study from 2013 to 2017 to measure. concentrations of pollutants that are associated with oil and gas development in the Peace region in. order to update our knowledge of air quality Measurements were made by MoE near six rural. communities Blueberry Doig River Taylor Farmington Rolla and Tomslake The primary pollutants. measured were sulfur dioxide SO2 and total reduced sulfur TRS. SO2 concentrations remained below BC s hourly air quality objective 70 parts per billion at all. TRS concentrations remained below the air quality objective 5 parts per billion at most locations. Objectives were exceeded about 4 of the time at the Taylor Lone Wolf site and for a brief time at. Tomslake TRS is primarily an odour problem for the public not a direct health problem. Ozone nitrogen dioxide and PM2 5 were also measured in 2016 and 2017 but did not exceed air. quality objectives,Conclusions, Except for locations close to some oil and gas facilities this study supports the conclusion that levels of. common air pollutants associated with those facilities are generally very low in the Peace region of BC. Path Forward, In light of the ambient air quality data collected over the life cycle of the project the NE Air Quality. Monitoring Project is shifting from having a full complement of three portable monitoring stations to. leaving one in operation The portable station to remain in operation will reside in Farmington until. further notice The other two portable monitoring stations that were purchased for the NE Air. Monitoring project will operate within the broader BC air monitoring network administered by the. provincial government This scenario is a hybrid of the base case and expanded case governance. scenarios for continued operation of the Northeast BC Air Quality Monitoring Network In addition to. the portable station in Farmington the network will include private sector monitoring data and the BC. The hybrid scenario recommended is premised on the assumption that it is valid to characterize regional. air quality in the northeast based on a modest number of monitoring stations and that no new. permanent stations were needed at this time beyond the Fort St John AQHI station and the Farmington. portable station that will remain in operation until further notice. The Northeast Air Monitoring Project has been a collaborative initiative of the BC Ministry of Environment and. Climate Change Strategy MoE the BC Oil and Gas Commission OGC the BC Ministry o f Natural Gas Development. MNGD the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CAPP Spectra Energy and communities in the Peace. region of northeast BC Funding for this project was provided through the BC Oil and Gas Research and Innovation. Society BC OGRIS, In the event of a significant shift in gas activities that could be triggered by a positive final investment for. a major LNG facility or an upward trend in natural gas prices the need for additional ambient. monitoring in northeast British Columbia would likely be revisited. Introduction, This is a report on the analysis of air pollutant data measured between December 2013 and June 2017. during the Northeast Air Quality Monitoring project This project announced by the BC government in. 2012 was developed to address growing public demand for air quality information in Northeast BC This. demand was related to perceived or real impacts on air quality from oil and gas development that could. be affecting human health, The monitoring described in this report occurred at six sites in the Peace region in Phases 1 and 2 of this. project and used three monitoring trailers Fig 1 This report was preceded by an Airshed. Characterization Report 2015 which was an analysis of air quality monitoring data acquired by industry. prior to December 2013 in the Peace region as well as air quality modelling provided by the BC Ministry. of Health Services This report will be used as input into determining the future direction of the. Northeast Air Quality Monitoring project, The Northeast Air Monitoring Project has been a collaborative initiative of the BC Ministry of. Environment and Climate Change Strategy MoE the BC Oil and Gas Commission OGC the BC Ministry. of Natural Gas Development MNGD2 the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CAPP. Spectra Energy and communities in the Peace region of northeast BC The project had the goal of. capturing the required air quality data to make the best informed decisions regarding public health. pollution management and impacts to sensitive ecosystems in areas potentially impacted by oil and gas. development3, To achieve this goal the objectives of the Northeast Air Quality Monitoring Project included. monitoring reporting and assessing air quality in Northeast BC. engaging the local community in this process, if necessary establishing a long term air monitoring network with a sustainable funding. Air Quality Monitoring Trailers, The strategy developed for this project included the purchase outfitting and deployment of three. portable air quality monitoring trailers in the Peace region of NE BC The trailers each monitored. concentrations of sulfur dioxide SO2 and total reduced sulfur TRS pollutants associated with oil and. gas activity, SO2 has a pungent irritating odour and has been shown to trigger health effects above about 35 parts. per billion ppb, The BC TRS air quality objective is five 5 ppb H2S the prime component of TRS has a rotten egg odour. for some people at this concentration It is not normally considered a health hazard in outdoor. environments far from industrial air pollutant sources However it can be dangerous in enclosed or. indoor spaces and can cause nausea and headaches above 2000 ppb respiratory tract irritation at. 50 000 ppb and even death at lengthy exposures above 100 000 ppb. Effective July 2017 the MNDG is part of the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources. See SCEK Science and Community Environmental Knowledge Fund Agreement January 9 2014 p 11. The portable monitors were deployed in two phases at the following locations Fig 1 and Table 1. The Doig River First Nation Cultural Centre,Tomslake 197 Road. Farmington Community Hall,Rolla 213 Road,Taylor Lone Wolf golf course. Blueberry River First Nation School, Figure 1 Approximate locations stars of the portable air quality monitoring stations during the Northeast BC Air Quality. Monitoring Project from late 2013 through mid 2017. Table 1 Maximum hourly and average SO2 TRS and other pollutant concentrations at the six monitoring sites. Units are parts per billion ppb for gases and micrograms m3 for PM2 5 Hourly air quality objectives are TRS 5. ppb SO2 70 ppb NO2 100 ppb O3 82 ppb PM2 5 25 g m3 24 hour average objective and 8 g m3. annual objective, Location and Monitoring Period Pollutant Maximum Average. hourly conc,concentration,Tomslake 197 Road SO2 16 9 0 4. TRS 7 6 0 4,Dec 2013 to Nov 2015, Doig River First Nation Cultural Centre SO2 5 2 0 1. TRS 1 6 0 1,Dec 2013 to Dec 2015,Farmington Community Hall Monitor SO2 10 5 0 4. TRS 3 1 0 2,Jan 2014 to Apr 2016,SO2 27 6 0 4,Rolla 213 Road TRS 4 1 0 6. NO2 27 5 2 1,Dec 2015 to Jun 2017,O3 65 28 2,SO2 25 0 4. TRS 64 5 0 6,Taylor Lone Wolf Golf Course Monitor NO2 40 4 3 3. O3 67 2 24 9,Jan 2016 to June 2017,PM2 5 73 7 4 2,SO2 18 7 0 5. Blueberry River First Nation School TRS 3 9 0 4,NO2 18 1 1 1. June 2016 to June 2017,O3 60 7 26 5, In Phase 2 the three trailers were augmented with additional sensors to monitor nitrogen oxides NO. and NO2 ozone and in the case of Taylor Lone Wolf fine particulate PM2 5 These monitoring. stations continue to monitor pollutant concentrations and post the information to the Ministry of. Environment website in real time, Analysis of air quality during the Northeast Air Quality Monitoring Project. Table 1 summarizes the maximum and average pollution concentrations at each of the six sites MoE. aims to keep hourly concentrations of sulfur dioxide SO2 below 70 parts per billion ppb throughout. the province As Table 1 shows the maximum hourly SO2 concentration at all six locations was only 27. ppb so this goal was achieved, MoE also aims to keep hourly concentrations of total reduced sulfur TRS below 5 ppb This was. achieved at all but 2 stations where TRS concentrations were occasionally above 5 ppb up to 4 of the. time These stations were at the Taylor Lone Wolf site 2 km northwest of the McMahon gas processing. plant4 and to a lesser extent Tomslake 40 km southeast of Spectra gas processing plants As noted. above TRS is not normally considered a health hazard in outdoor environments Concentrations of. PM2 5 and NO2 were also low at all the six monitoring sites and did not exceed MoE air quality. objectives, By comparison larger exceedances of the one hour TRS objective in 2016 occurred in other BC. communities including Prince George 14 of the time Harmac pulp mill 10 and Powell River. 3 8 As noted above TRS has a strong annoying odour but is not generally considered a health. hazard in the outdoors far from industrial pollutant sources. Ozone was occasionally elevated but did not exceed MoE air quality objectives Ozone occurs naturally. and is only partially dependent on emissions from oil and gas activity. The maximum concentrations of TRS and SO2 in Table 2 provide some information on the monthly. variation of pollutant concentrations at each of the six sites In general pollutant concentrations were. highest in fall and winter and lowest in July and August reflecting the relatively unfavourable dispersion. conditions in cold atmospherically stable months, Forty seven tonnes of TRS were emitted to the atmosphere from the McMahon plant in 2012 This plant may. have contributed to the TRS exceedances at the Taylor Lone Wolf site during Phase 2 of this project. Figure 2 An air quality monitoring trailer at Doig River north of Fort St John one of three portable monitoring trailers. operated as part of in the Northeast BC Air Quality Monitoring project from 2013 through 2017. The most significant exceedances were for TRS total reduced sulphur which occurred at the Taylor. Lone Wolf Golf Course monitoring site for 3 7 of the time most often in the cold months when. sluggish stable conditions in the lower levels of the atmosphere limited dispersion These exceedances. were likely due to emissions from the industrial area of Taylor that is a few kilometres southeast of the. monitoring site, Table 2 Monthly maximum hourly concentrations of Total Reduced Sulfur TRS and Sulfur Dioxide SO2 in parts. per billion ppb measured at six rural locations in the Peace region of NE BC between December 2013 and June. 2017 Time above objective is the percent of total hours that exceeded the hourly concentration objectives of. H2S 5 ppb and SO2 70 ppb, Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Time Approximate. above Valid hours, Blueberry River TRS 1 2 1 3 9 0 8 1 1 3 2 0 7 0 9 0 6 0 5 1 5 1 1 0 7091. Doig River TRS 1 2 0 5 0 6 1 6 0 5 0 6 0 6 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 7 1 1 0 15922. Farmington TRS 3 1 0 9 1 1 5 0 9 1 2 1 3 1 1 1 1 0 9 1 7 1 4 0 16959. Rolla 213 Road TRS 3 7 4 1 0 9 1 2 1 9 1 1 1 1 0 8 0 8 0 9 1 2 1 7 0 10660. Taylor Lone Wolf TRS 64 5 40 8 28 8 24 7 29 2 14 7 7 9 11 5 15 9 39 1 57 6 34 4 3 7 11264. Tomslake 197 Rd TRS 2 1 2 6 1 1 2 7 6 1 0 7 0 9 1 5 1 1 0 8 5 8 0 02 14975. Blueberry River SO2 NA 0 6 2 6 18 7 4 2 15 4 2 1 1 2 10 9 9 1 16 9 NA 0 6111. Doig River SO2 1 7 3 6 2 3 5 2 1 2 1 6 4 8 2 5 3 6 2 1 1 5 1 7 0 15955. Farmington SO2 5 5 7 5 10 5 4 4 3 4 5 8 2 7 1 5 2 4 3 2 4 6 6 3 0 17459. Rolla 213 Rd SO2 10 5 13 4 27 6 18 8 2 5 13 5 3 8 1 6 5 2 4 2 3 9 4 0 11219. Taylor Lone Wolf SO2 15 1 9 13 2 8 7 17 2 20 9 12 2 5 5 25 7 4 13 5 14 8 0 11268. Tomslake 197 Rd SO2 6 4 6 9 15 16 9 5 5 1 4 6 3 3 2 2 5 12 3 4 0 14761. BC Oil and Gas Commission air quality data analysis. The BC Oil and Gas Commission OGC also collects air quality data in the Peace Region to assess the. possible impacts on health from oil and gas development An OGC air monitoring trailer the. Commission Air Monitoring Environmental Laboratory or CAMEL is similar to the MoE monitoring. trailers but it measures a wider suite of pollutants Since November 2013 the CAMEL has operated at. Taylor Fort St John Dawson Creek Tumbler Ridge Chetwynd Buick Creek and is currently on location. in Pouce Coupe, A preliminary analysis of the CAMEL ambient air quality data all locations except Pouce Coupe5. suggests consistency with the MoE monitored data For the following contaminants measured values. were well below applicable BC and Alberta ambient air quality objectives. Carbon monoxide,Nitrogen dioxide,Sulphur dioxide,Ethylbenzene BTEX. Total Xylene, Except for elevated particulate recordings in Tumbler Ridge Chetwynd and Buick Creek and TRS. recordings for Taylor the other pollutants measured by CAMEL are almost always at concentrations. below provincial air quality objectives with only sporadic exceedances of BC and Alberta air quality. objectives, Ozone single exceedances of the one hour and eight hour objective in Buick Creek. Results for Pouce Coupe will be available after monitoring has concluded. TRS minor exceedances of the one hour objective in Fort St John Dawson Creek Chetwynd. and Buick Creek for 0 1 or less of the time and minor exceedance of the 24 hour objective in. Tumbler Ridge for 1 4 of the time and Chetwynd for 6 5 of the time. Benzene two one hour exceedances in Tumbler Ridge and a single one hour exceedance in. Buick Creek, There were elevated fine particulate PM2 5 recordings in Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd that are likely. due to forest fires and residential wood heating In Buick Creek there were elevated course particulate. PM10 recordings likely from wind blown dust It is extremely unlikely that these would be associated. with oil and gas activity, TRS measured by CAMEL in Taylor clearly exceeds the BC odour based objective as has been shown in. previous studies 6 and is consistent with the exceedances reported by MoE at the Taylor Lone Wolf site. OGC intends to publish a more detailed report on CAMEL data in the near future. 1 No exceedances of the one hour objective of 70 ppb for sulfur dioxide SO2 were observed at any of. the six stations Blueberry River First Nation School Doig River First Nation Cultural Centre. Farmington Community Hall Rolla 213 Rd Taylor Lone Wolf Golf Course or Tomslake 197 Rd for the. monitoring period from December 2013 to June 2017, 2 No exceedances of the one hour objective of 5 ppb for Total Reduced Sulfur TRS were. measured at Blueberry River Doig River Farmington or Rolla during the monitoring period. Consistent with the Air Quality Characterization of the Peace region of Northeast BCS. concentrations in the vicinity of Taylor were elevated Exceedances of the one hour objective of. TRS at Taylor Lone Wolf Golf Course 2 km from the McMahon Gas Plant occurred 3 7 of the. time and at Tomslake 197 Road for 0 02 of the time TRS can be lethal at high concentrations. though it is not normally considered a health hazard outdoors far from its sources. 3 During the Phase 2 monitoring period no exceedances of the one hour objective of NO2 or ozone. were reported at Rolla Taylor Lone Wolf or Blueberry No exceedances of the 24 hour objective for. PM2 5 were reported at Taylor Lone Wolf, 4 Except for fine particulate and TRS CAMEL recorded data shows sporadic exceedances of ambient. air quality objectives for Ozone TRS and Benzene Fine particulate data recorded is likely attributed. to wildfires and residential wood heating TRS recordings for Taylor are consistent with other. recording in this area,Conclusion, Ambient concentrations of pollutants associated with oil and gas development in the Peace region. appear to be generally well below BC air quality objectives and are unlikely to be impacting human. health in areas well away from industrial activity There is therefore little evidence that all three MoE. Air Quality Characterization of the Peace region of Northeast BC July 2015. air quality monitoring trailers should remain operating in northeast BC particularly since the OGC.
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