UPDATED: Air quality advisory for Grand Forks lifted

The Ministry of Environment issued an air quality advisory for Grand Forks yesterday but it has been since been cancelled.

The Ministry of Environment issued an air quality advisory for Grand Forks on Nov. 10.

An air quality advisory that was issued for Grand Forks yesterday has been cancelled.

The Ministry of Environment and the Interior Health Authority (IHA) discontinued the advisory for Grand Forks and the surrounding area citing that “fine particulate matter levels are now in the fair category.”

In addition, a voluntary burn ban for outdoor and wood stove operation has been lifted as well.

The ministry and IHA issued the advisory yesterday due to high concentrations of fine particulates in the air, which were expected to persist until Saturday.

“Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted.  Staying indoors and in air conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure,” read the advisory release.

“Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes and lung or heart disease.”

The advisory also said a voluntary ban on burning would be in effect for all outdoor burning within a 20-km radius from downtown Grand Forks.

The voluntary emission action entailed residents avoiding the use of wood-burning devices (stoves, fireplaces etc.) unless they were the only source of heat for a residence.

Furthermore, when the wood-burning devices were the only source of heat for a residence, only ones approved by the CSA/EPA, using well-cured wood and ones ensuring an adequate supply of combustion air should be used.

“The running 24-hour PM2.5 average has exceeded 38 ug/m3,” explained Paul Willis, ministry air quality meteorologist for the Kootenay region, in an email on Nov. 10.