Ajax watchdog raises air quality concerns

By James Peters
December 16, 2015 - 3:08pm

KAMLOOPS — An Ajax mine watchdog group says new air quality readings raise fresh concern about what would happen if the mine is approved.

According to Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment, November readings from the newly-installed Aberdeen recording station show a particulate concentration of 6.8 micrograms per cubic metre as a monthly average.

That's about half of the particulate concentration recorded downtown last month.

But KPHE's Dr. Robert Schemenauer says Aberdeen's reading is about twice the background clean concentration in BC.

Schemenauer notes that would not improve if Ajax goes ahead.

"If a large open pit mine goes in with a pit that will be 500m deep, the amount of particulate in the air is going to go up. How much remains to be seen, but if it goes up, that will affect health negatively," said Schemenauer.

Schemenauer adds the Aberdeen station recorded a prevailing wind direction last month as from the south to southeast and notes that brought in a fair amount of slash burn smoke from the Lac Le Jeune Road area. 

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