Air quality

airqualityEvery day, the average person inhales about 20,000 litres of air. Human activities also release substances into the air, many of which are harmful to us as well as to plants and animals. This air pollution comes in the form of both gases and particles. Examples of gases are sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides – mostly from the burning of fossil fuels, and chemical vapours from many of the products we produce. The exhaust from burning fuels in automobiles, homes (including fireplaces), and industries is also a major source of particles.

Air is also vital for maintaining and transferring heat around the Earth. Human activity produces greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which trap heat in the atmosphere. This excess heat is causing disruptions in many ecosystems and altering the normal patterns of heat movement in the atmosphere. The latter is likely playing a role in much of the severe and erratic weather we have seen in the last several years.

This section provides information on how to reduce the harmful effects on the air that result from our everyday activities.

Borne 1 Thanks to a partnership with Electric Circuit, the City of Beaconsfield is now equiped with two 240 volts charging stations at the Christmas Park parking lot on Beaconsfield Boulevard. Clearly identified areas are strictly reserved for electric cars users.
 
"We are proud to contribute to increasing the charging infrastructure network for electric vehicles and facilitate the adoption of this type of transport. This is also an opportunity to invite new customers in our area likely to use other local services, such as pharmacy, hardware store or restaurants, "said Mayor Georges Bourelle.
 
All plug-in electric vehicle models available in Québec are equipped with a socket that is compatible with 240-volt charging stations. The rate for charging in Christmas Park is $1 per hour, billed by the minute. For example, if a vehicle is connected to a station for three hours, charging will cost $3, even if the vehicle was completely charged after one hour.
 
Borne 2About the Electric Circuit
The Electric Circuit is the largest public charging network in Québec. This major initiative implements the infrastructure required to support plug-in electric vehicles in Québec. The network comprises over 745 public charging stations, including 60 fast-charge stations, operating across 16 Québec regions. Since its launch in March 2012, over 160 private and institutional partners have joined the Electric Circuit, and the network now has over 10,000 members.
 
Electric Circuit users have access to a 24/7 telephone help line run by CAA-Québec, as well as a charging-station locator service. The Electric Circuit Web site, theelectriccircuit.com, and the mobile app for iOS and Android are updated as new stations are commissioned. The Electric Circuit card also allows users to access the 150 Québec charging stations of the FLO network (formerly the VERnetwork).

 

idlingYou can help improve our air quality and health, reduce engine wear, and save fuel and money by turning your engine off when parked.
Breathe easier – vehicle emissions contribute to health problems such as asthma and heart disease.

  • Think about the environment – Idling engines create unnecessary air pollution, which contributes to smog and climate change.
  • Reduce warm-up idling – in most conditions, start driving your vehicle after no more than 30 seconds of idling. Most cars and trucks are designed to warm up while driving at a moderate speed.
  • Turn it off after 10 seconds – turn off your engine if you are stopping for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine.

Start saving

  • Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel and create more pollution than turning off the engine and restarting it.
  • A few seconds of idling are necessary to lubricate engine parts and ensure proper operation, except in cold weather (below – 10 oC).
  • Idling produces engine deposits, which cause premature wear.

Changing our habits

  • Walk your children to school.
  • Give up your remote car starter.
  • Walk, bicycle or use public transportation, whenever possible.

Under By-Law BEAC-033 pertaining to nuisance caused by a motor vehicle, unnecessary idling could lead to fines of $50 to $100, for a first offence.

There's nothing cozier than curling up near a wood stove or fireplace on a cold winter day, but... are you sure that you are burning your wood safely and responsibly?

gaz fireplaceWhen the right techniques are not used, burning wood can release pollutants into the air we breathe. The smoke from one family's fireplace can seep into a neighbour's house through small leaks around doors and windows. For people with allergies or lung diseases like asthma or emphysema, wood smoke can cause serious health consequences.

Wood smoke has been identified by Environment Canada as a significant source of winter air pollution. Burning wood in a conventional fireplace simply to watch the fire may be pleasant, but is polluting. Inefficient wood stoves and fireplaces can be a fire hazard. Dark or smelly smoke drifting from your chimney means wood is not burning completely.

If you wish to replace your fireplace or wood-stove:

  • Gas, pellet and electric devices are excellent ecological choices.
  • The City of Beaconsfield also allows the replacement of existing wood-burning equipment with wood-burning equipment recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (US Environmental protection Agency, or EPA), provided that the emission rate of the equipment does not exceed 2.5 grams per hour of fine particles in the atmosphere (By-law BEAC-046, article 3.2.5).
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Did you know that Beaconsfield has the second largest number of wood burning appliances among all demerged cities in Montreal? Did you also know that wood burning emits pollutants - small particulates and chemicals - into the air? The ill effects of these particulates are numerous and range from headaches, nausea, dizziness and aggravation of angina in people with cardiac problems, through irritation of the eyes and respiratory system, painful inhalation and coughing, with children, the elderly and people with lung disease being especially vulnerable.

This winter season, in line with The Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs du Quebec, Beaconsfield Council asks homeowners not to burn solid objects (usually wood) on smoggy days, as passed in the August 20, 2012 resolution entitled: Limitation of health and environmental impacts caused by wood burning appliances in periods of smog. Accordingly, the winter of 2012-2013 will act as an orientation and education period, to be followed in summer 2013 by the application of a new by-law prohibiting the combustion of solid objects during smog periods except for those that use this method as their only heating of their main building.

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