By Andru McCracken
Recent upgrades to an electrical panel at the Valemount Firehall has caused the air quality monitoring equipment to go offline, according to David Karn, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment.
They said a breaker has been tripping when a vacuum pump turns on. The equipment stopped recording (and publishing) air quality data on November 30.
“The Ministry of Environment is working with the Village of Valemount to ensure the proper breaker is installed for the instrumentation,” said Karn.
Valemount’s air quality has been flagged as one of the worst in Canada thanks to a combination of geography and meteorology. During periods of poor venting, fine particulates—like woodsmoke—build up thanks to weather and the bowl shaped mountains, leading to progressively worse air quality.