Managing Wood Smoke in BC

Managing Wood Smoke in BC

This webinar was presented on January 15, 2014

Biomass burning is the largest source of PM emissions in British Columbia. A number of sources contribute to wood smoke in BC, but one of the most pervasive is smoke from domestic wood heating. Monitoring and modelling studies have shown that wood heating is the dominant source of PM exposure in many BC communities, particularly smaller communities where wood heating is prevalent.

BC has a number of programs in place to reduce or manage wood smoke. These programs were recently compiled into the BC Smoke Management Framework. Despite these programs, emissions from wood smoke are not on a clear downward trend in BC.  Results from a recent survey of the wood heating practices of BC residents show that wood smoke is often viewed as a minor contributor to poor air quality, even in communities where it is known to a be a dominant contributor to air pollution. These results imply that public education will be required as part of any programs to reduce wood smoke. The survey results also show that where such education has happened there is a measurable difference in people's perceptions of wood smoke.

The presentation provides an overview of the emissions and occurrence of wood smoke in BC followed by an introduction to some of the tools available to reduce wood smoke.


Markus Kellerhals
BC Ministry of Environment

Markus Kellerhals is an Air Quality Science Officer for the BC Ministry of Environment. During his five years with the Environment Ministry Markus has worked on a number of wood-smoke related issues including a smoke management framework for BC, revising the wood stove regulation, updating an inventory of air quality bylaws, a domestic wood smoke emissions inventory, the wood stove exchange program and revising the open burning regulation.

Before joining the ministry Markus spent 9 years in Environment Canada's Edmonton office where he worked as an air quality scientist and later as the Manager of the Air Quality Science Unit.

Markus has a Master's Degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the Department of Geography at UBC.


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