Wildfire smoke from the United States has drifted to the Island this month. A new roundtable has been discussing air quality to look at ways to respond to the issue of air quality in the Comox Valley. Black Press file photo

Regional roundtable tackles Comox Valley air quality

Group includes a range of government and community members

Air quality has become a more pressing issue, especially these days when the skies have been filled with smoke from distant wildfires.

In response, the regional district has hosted a new forum on the issue. The CVRD Airshed Roundtable met for the first time on Sept. 15 to to discuss air quality issues around the Comox Valley.

Actioned under the Regional Growth Strategy Service, the Airshed Roundtable will work together over the next three years to prepare and implement a Regional Airshed Protection Strategy. The project is supported by the air quality coordinator, Pinna Sustainability, an environmental consulting firm out of Vancouver.

“Poor air quality is a concern in the Comox Valley,” CVRD senior manager of sustainability and RGS planning Alana Mullaly said in a news release. “The Airshed Roundtable will enable us to work together as a region to improve air quality one action at a time.”

Last year, a working group came up with the Roundtable framework including a list of proposed active and passive members, which was endorsed by the CVRD board in 2020. Passive members receive information and can provide feedback but do not attend meetings.

The Airshed Roundtable active and passive membership includes the Comox Valley Regional District, the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland, provincial government ministries, the health authority, community and industry partners, Vancouver Island University, the chamber of commerce and six members of the public. For more information, see www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/airshedroundtable

As far as smoke from the U.S. wildfires is concerned, Environment Canada has issued air quality alerts for Vancouver Island, including the Comox Valley this past week. The weather forecast is for rain, though more smoke is expected Friday.


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