Particulate sampling test results now available following Squamish Terminals dock fire

The District of Squamish has been working with the various agencies in the aftermath of the Terminals dock fire to follow up on environmental monitoring and testing. Included in this work is the testing of particulates samples taken throughout the community to determine any possible negative impacts from the smoke.

A preliminary update on the sampling has now been provided by Envirochem Services Inc.

The following is an excerpt from a Squamish Terminals media alert:

Squamish Terminals retained Envirochem Services Inc., to take independent environmental samples to evaluate if the emissions from the recent fire negatively impacted air quality or resulted in chemical deposition on exposed downwind surfaces. Envirochem today advised that:

  • Three air samples and 10 deposition (i.e. surface wipe) samples were taken from areas within Squamish downwind of the fire. Sampling was conducted between April 19th and April 21st. The analysis included chemicals such as Volatile Organic Compounds, Polyaromatic Compounds (PAH) and Dioxins and Furans, which could be emitted from fires. Based on the sampling results no potential air quality, deposition issues or concerns related to elevated levels of contaminants were identified.
  • Results for volatile organic compounds (VOC, including PAHs) in air conducted at the three locations within Squamish nearest and downwind to the fire indicated concentrations that were consistent with regional background levels and within applicable reference criteria and standards. This is supported by real time air quality monitoring conducted in Squamish by the BC Ministry of Environment during the fire.
  • All results received to-date for deposition (surface wipe samples) are internally consistent and indicate PAH concentrations were below laboratory method detection limits and that fallout or deposition from the fire was at such low levels (none was detected) that there is little or no risk of negative impact to surfaces including soil, vegetation and water.
  • All results for deposition (surface wipe samples) Dioxin/Furan analysis are internally consistent and indicate that concentrations in dusts were consistent with a background sample obtained outside of areas where fire smoke chemical deposition would have been expected to occur.

These results have not been reviewed by Health Agencies at this time, as currently a full results report is being prepared for Vancouver Coastal Health and other agencies to review.

For ongoing updates on the fire recovery, please visit the Squamish Terminals website.

View previous District of Squamish news updates and advisories here.

April 24, 2015

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