Department of Environment releases plan to achieve air quality standards (08/12/11)

NB 1804

Dec. 11, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - An implementation plan for the province to achieve Canada-wide standards for particulate matter and ozone was released today by Minister of Environment Roland Haché.

"In releasing today's document, government is honouring a commitment to develop an implementation plan to reduce emissions that affect the air we breathe," said Haché. "I'm very proud of this plan. It serves as both a report of what we have accomplished and a plan for what we will do in the future. I am also very proud that New Brunswick is currently meeting these Canada-wide standards. I would like to encourage New Brunswickers to provide their comments on this plan by visiting the department's website."

Extensive research in Canada has shown that particulate matter and ground level ozone, two key components of smog, are associated with significant health and environmental effects. In 2000, these findings led to the development of Canada-wide standards for particulate matter and ozone, through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. These standards commit provinces and territories to reduce emissions that contribute to particulate matter and ground-level ozone levels by 2010. New Brunswick endorsed the standards in 2001.

Key initiatives of the plan include:

"We are not content to rest on our achievements," Haché said. "We will begin shoartly to flesh out details of a formal continual improvement program for the industrial sector to encourage further emissions reductions that affect our air quality. We will have further consultation with stakeholders to help us with this program."

Air Quality Monitoring Results in New Brunswick for 2006 was released March 27, 2008, and showed that compliance with New Brunswick air quality standards continued to be above 99 per cent throughout the province, while measurements of most pollutants showed improvement over 2005.

"New Brunswickers are truly fortunate to live in a province where air quality is good overall, and compliance with our air quality standards continues to be high," Haché said. "These monitoring results demonstrate that New Brunswick is making progress toward environmental sustainability, which our province must ensure in order to become self-sufficient by 2026."

The Department of Environment is responsible for implementation of the Clean Environment Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Pesticides Control Act, and the Beverage Containers Act through early planning, pollution prevention initiatives and the administration of permits and approvals.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, public affairs, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.