Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, speaks on July 22 just before Victoria’s nine millionth cruise ship passenger arrived. GVHA has added six new air quality monitoring stations to its properties. (Black Press Media file photo)

Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, speaks on July 22 just before Victoria’s nine millionth cruise ship passenger arrived. GVHA has added six new air quality monitoring stations to its properties. (Black Press Media file photo)

Six new air quality monitoring stations coming from Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

Data from the stations is available to the public online

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is now better equipped to monitor air pollution levels thanks to six new air quality monitors.

The new PurpleAir air quality monitors will be measuring dust, dirt, soot, and other pollutants from motorized vehicles and vessels, with two monitors each now located at the cruise terminal, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Victoria International Marina, according to a news release.

The sensors will provide data which residents can access and view in real-time on fine particulate matter concentrations, or PM2.5, which can reduce visibility when levels are elevated. So far, the sensors have reported scores of 20 or less, which is considered an “ideal level for outdoor activity.”

A station that was monitoring ambient sulphur dioxide levels in James Bay since 2011 was shut down in 2020 due to a decline in emissions and not seeing any elevated readings for more than two years.

“Sustainability in our operations is driven by the GVHA’s guiding principles and continued commitment to the community,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of GVHA, in the release. “While shore power remains our top priority and design work is being completed, we are working on a number of other projects to protect our spaces today for the future.”

Increasing shore power access has the ability to reduce emissions by visiting vessels by allowing them to shut down their engines and receive power from land instead.

“We recognize that our properties and operations are part of the Victoria Harbour Bird Sanctuary, the oldest migratory bird sanctuary on the West Coast,” said Robertson. “We’re constantly exploring new technology to make harbour activities greener, including the adoption of electric shuttle buses. Unfortunately, electric buses are still extremely unreliable but as with every setback, we will continue to seek out new technological solutions to advance sustainability initiatives.”

Data from the new air quality stations, and other stations from across North America, can be accessed online at bit.ly/3Mrwu33.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Harbour Authority planning for greener future

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Harbour Authority readies for Broughton Street Pier repairs


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