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Air quality initiative gets a few thumbs up from council

Gina Morris of Kamloops Moms for Clean Air recently asked the city to help them implement a air quality advisory group.
April 01, 2015 - 3:02 PM

KAMLOOPS - A group advocating for clean air won a major victory for their cause this week and will now get help from the city in establishing a committee to specifically look at how to better improve air quality in Kamloops.

Headed by Gina Morris, the group wished to continue the work of the already established Kamloops Airshed Management Plan by creating an airshed management team, whose objective would be the preservation and supervision of Kamloops’ air quality. They felt hard work and favourable sentiment of the management plan could go to waste if an active group was not created to continue the work the plan had already started on.

The group asked council for a committee dedicated to a clean air initiative and after a lengthy discussion and a split vote by council, saw the request approved on Tuesday, March 31.

While all touted the merits of a round table, Mayor Peter Milobar and two other councillors opposed the formation of a new committee. The mayor was concerned with the logistics involved and noted council was often too quick to mandate city staff time, implying a haphazard approach to forming committees. Milobar thought staff would be spread too thin, defeating the purpose of a committee and rendering it ineffective.

Milobar, however, was overruled and the motion to create a roundtable discussion group supported by city staff was carried.

Morris would like to see the group first focus on an anti-idling effort and cited a study where the City of Edmonton had outfitted their fleet with GPS devices to track emissions. They concluded that going idle-free had saved their city over $200,000 and had a huge impact on their combined greenhouse gas emissions. When the discussion moved into the possibility of implementing an anti-idling bylaw here, Parks and Recreation Director Byron McCorkell said, quite plainly, the city was not yet in a position to do this.

The quality of air in Kamloops has been a trending topic, especially since the proposal of the Ajax Mine. Groups likes the moms have cited mining as a contributor to air pollution and have become active environmental lobbyists in the city.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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