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For Immediate Release


Dec. 8, 2008

Ministry of Environment




VICTORIAWith an aim to protect air quality, the Ministry of Environment is introducing tougher limits on emissions from wood-fired agricultural boilers, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced today.


            “Wood-fired agricultural boilers, like those commonly used by the greenhouse industry, are a low-carbon form of renewable energy,” Penner said. “However, they are also a source of particulate matter. By introducing more stringent emission standards in this sector, we are following through on our Air Action Plan, and ensuring that we have up-to-date regulations that complement regional bylaws.”


            In B.C., pollution standards for agricultural boilers fall under the Agriculture Waste Control Regulation. The updated standards establish the toughest economically viable limits on emissions from wood-fired boilers, ensuring better protection for air quality and the environment, and safeguarding human health.


“We are pleased that provincial policy makers are stepping up and setting more stringent emissions standards to protect public health,” said Scott McDonald, executive director of the British Columbia Lung Association. “We cannot afford to let these sources of pollution to go unchecked, because wood smoke contains harmful particulate matter.”


The new standards will require greenhouses and other agricultural boiler users to monitor and report on their emissions regularly. The Ministry of Environment will work with industry to ensure that they have the necessary means to meet the standards.


“We support the new limits for air emissions because they will contribute to achieving the Province’s clean air goals while allowing us to continue to produce food,” said Mary-Margaret Gaye, BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association executive director. “Consistent regulations that are technically achievable are essential to the health of B.C.’s agricultural sector.”


The new agricultural boiler standards are substantially harmonized with Metro Vancouver’s recently adopted Agricultural Boilers Emission Regulation Bylaw. B.C.’s new, rigorous limits will also apply to the rest of the province and will be fully phased in by Sep. 1, 2010.


Of the approximately 200 known greenhouses operating across the province, 171 are located in the Lower Mainland, 17 on Vancouver Island, and 12 in the Interior.



            For more information on the B.C. government’s clean air initiatives, visit or log on to to view the BC Air Action Plan, which outlines 28 actions to improve and protect air quality across the province.






Kate Thompson

Media Relations

250 953-4577


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