A new mobile air monitoring unit – dubbed MAMU – is expected to help Metro Vancouver test for air pollution anywhere a problem is suspected.
The new $282,000 vehicle is packed with sensitive instruments and replaces an old unit that was 25 years old.
It can test for various air contaminants and air clarity, transmitting data instantly back to Metro’s headquarters.
The regional district has 26 fixed air quality monitoring sites from Horseshoe Bay to Hope, but the mobile unit helps fill in the coverage gaps.
The new model is expected to do a better job of homing in on smaller hot spots, like a smoky chimney or areas with high levels of diesel exhaust.
It will be used to ensure industries comply with their air emissions permits and it can also be deployed in emergencies, like a major industrial fire or wildfire.