Agriculture air management

Effective nutrient, waste and manure management contribute a great deal to improving air quality and preserving our environment.

Agricultural open burning

Outdoor agricultural burning is typically carried out to dispose of vegetative debris, clear the land for planting, and control pests, disease and weeds. These activities cause smoky conditions and elevated levels of particulate matter.

Odour, dust and noise

Air emissions such as odour, dust, and noise are typical from farming operations. The Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act protects farmers from complaints related to nuisances such as odour, dust and noise when they are operating under normal farm practices and not in contravention of other legislation. Approaches should be taken to minimize the impacts to the environment and to neighbours by implementing beneficial air, waste and manure management practices. 

Vegetative buffers

Vegetative buffers are a Beneficial Management Practice that can be designed and applied to intensive agricultural operations to reduce impacts from odour and dust. A properly designed vegetative buffer can mitigate the effects dust and odour to some degree and provide many other added benefits.

Volatile organic compounds from agriculture 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter which have potential harmful effects on human health and the environment. 

Emissions of VOCs can be from various sources such as fuel use, paints, and chemical products or from biogenic sources such as living trees, vegetation and some agricultural commodities. There is, however, limited data on agricultural VOC emissions in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley region.A study was completed in 2021 to investigate the relative impact of VOCs from agriculture on air quality in in British Columbia’s Lower Fraser Valley.