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The use of an atmospheric dispersion model to determine influence regions in the Prince George, B.C. airshed from the burning of open wood waste piles

Ainslie, B., Jackson, P.L.
Journal of environmental management 2009 v.90 no.8 pp. 2393-2401
cities, air pollution, waste wood, burning, air quality, atmospheric circulation, models, British Columbia
A means of determining air emission source regions adversely influencing the city of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada from potential burning of isolated piles of mountain pine beetle-killed lodge pole pine is presented. The analysis uses the CALPUFF atmospheric dispersion model to identify safe burning regions based on atmospheric stability and wind direction. Model results show that the location and extent of influence regions is sensitive to wind speed, wind direction, atmospheric stability and a threshold used to quantify excessive concentrations. A concentration threshold based on the Canada Wide PM2.5 Standard is used to delineate the influence regions while Environment Canada's (EC) daily ventilation index (VI) is used to quantify local atmospheric stability. Results from the analysis, to be used by air quality meteorologists in assessing daily requests for burning permits, are presented as a series of maps delineating acceptable burning locations for sources placed at various distances from the city center and under different ventilation conditions. The results show that no burning should be allowed within 10 km of the city center; under poor ventilation conditions, no burning should be allowed within 20 km of the city center; under good ventilation conditions, burning can be allowed within 10-15 km of the city center; under good to fair ventilation conditions, burning can be allowed beyond 15 km of the city center; and if the wind direction can be reliably forecast, burning can be allowed between 5 and 10 km downwind of the city center under good ventilation conditions.