By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
A recent spike in air contamination at one of the region’s air monitoring stations represents a “negligible human health risk” according to a consultant’s report.
On June 12, a TSP measurement at the Rundle Road Station was 126 per cubic meter air, exceeding the province’s 24-hour ambient air monitoring standards of 120 per cubic meter air.
Once this exceedance was recognized, Stantec Inc., the consultant for the DYEC, notified Durham Region.
TSP Measurements at DYEC’s other two ambient air quality monitoring stations on that day were 60 and 76 per cubic meter air respectively, which is below legislated standards.
TSP is a regulatory measure of the mass concentration of particular matter in air.
In a July 26 letter to Gioseph Anello, manager of waste planning and technical services for Durham Region, Stantec officials concluded, “the likely cause of the TSP exceedance was high background TSP levels combined with Highway 418 construction activities. The measured TSP concentration is not expected to result in an adverse effect on human health or the environment.”
Stantec’s letter indicated there was no equipment malfunctions or issues identified at the monitoring station.
Minor damage to the TSP filter, likely caused by birds, was found but Stantec officials say it’s not expected that this damage affected the monitoring.
Susan Siopis, commissioner of works for Durham Region, told The Oshawa Express the damage on the monitor has been repaired.
“When we pull out the cartridge, they are all inspected,” Siopis says. “We immediately do anything that needs to be done to make sure they work effectively.”
Stantec’s review also found the wind was blowing in a west/southwest to west/northwest direction on June 12.
“Under these conditions, the DYEC was not upwind of the Rundle Road Station. Highway 418 construction activities were observed to be occurring that were upwind of the Rundle Road Station in these wind conditions,” the letter states.
Rundle Road Station is located northeast of the DYEC, near the intersection of Rundle Road and Baseline Road.
There were no air quality alerts for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on June 12.
Siopis says this is the first time in three years TSP levels have exceeded the provincial standards.
She called it a “very minor exceedance” and says the region is not required to follow up in any way other than “to continue with the regular monitoring to ensure there is nothing to be concerned about.”
Under provincial regulations, the region was not required to notify the public regarding the exceedance.
Monitoring results, as well as Stantec’s report can be found, at DYEC’s website, durhamyorkenergy.ca