As 2014 came to a close, HIEA was pleased to partner with the City of Hamilton to co-fund the development of a model of the Hamilton Airshed. On December 15th, Golder Associates Ltd. was retained by HIEA to begin work on this 16 month project.
The idea of developing a model of the Hamilton airshed arose from the 2013 report of Clean Air Hamilton’s Air Quality Task Force (AQTF). The AQTF was established to respond to the City of Hamilton Board of Health’s direction to recommend actions that can be taken to reduce air pollution in Hamilton. The AQTF’s first recommendation was that a comprehensive model be developed to understand the dynamics of the Hamilton airshed more fully.
Air quality in Hamilton’s urban airshed is a function of many processes that are influenced by a wide-variety of sources including, local, regional and trans-boundary. The challenge is to determine the relevant set of sources and contaminants which influence air quality at a neighbourhood level.
The focus of the Hamilton Airshed project will be to determine the contribution and nature of various local and background (e.g., trans-boundary) sources on ambient air concentrations in Hamilton and to accurately predict the air pollution level at any point in the region.
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Development of the Hamilton Airshed Model will allow:
- Characterization of air quality across the Hamilton area;
- Determination of the contribution from different emission source sectors to air quality;
- Development and prioritization of more effective air quality improvement actions;
- Establishment of a tool to assess the impacts of population growth and land use and transportation policies on local air quality; and
- Better informed urban planning.
Golder Associates was chosen to undertake this project because of their significant experience in developing cumulative airshed models in Canada, having completed several such studies for the City of Toronto, Halton Region, and Greater Vancouver Regional District. These studies have all been successful in furthering an understanding of the transport and impact of local, regional, and trans-boundary emissions.
Throughout the duration of the project, Golder will report regularly to an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from HIEA member companies, City of Hamilton Public Health Services, Clean Air Hamilton, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and Environment Hamilton. Advisory Committee members will further distribute that information about the status of the model through their own communication networks, helping keep the Hamilton community fully informed.
Jim Stirling, HIEA board chair signs the contract with Matt Lawson (left), Manager, Health Hazards Program Hamilton Public Health Services and Anthony Ciccone (right) Ph.D., P. Eng of Golder Associates.