An air-quality monitor along White Rock’s West Beach tests the area for coal dust and emission levels.

An air-quality monitor along White Rock’s West Beach tests the area for coal dust and emission levels.

White Rock waterfront air quality to be monitored

Coal-dust, diesel-emission levels tested along West Beach

An air-quality monitor parked at White Rock’s West Beach is hoped to shed some light on the impact of coal dust and diesel emissions along the waterfront.

Metro Vancouver brought the unit to a seaside parking lot just west of Oxford Street on Sept. 8, at the city’s request. It is to remain in place until Oct. 8. Data collected will also include weather-related information.

Placement of the unit was announced to the city’s rail-safety task force in January.

At that time, task force members said they are not convinced coal dust is as big an issue as some residents believe.

Concerns over potential health impacts of coal dust have been top of mind for officials and residents since Fraser Surrey Docks announced plans to build a new direct-transfer facility. Port Metro Vancouver gave the proposal the green light last month.

Task force chair Coun. Grant Meyer said the air-quality unit will “either confirm what people are thinking or put their minds at ease.”