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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A multiple accounts approach for analyzing the effectiveness of NOx emissions controls in the GVRD airshed Smailes, Robert L.


This thesis presents an analysis of air quality control initiatives in the GVRD. Starting with an examination of deteriorating regional air quality, oxides of nitrogen emissions (NOx), are the focus (as a precursor to ground level ozone.) The research demonstrates that if the status quo is maintained, episodes of ground level ozone will get worse and the effects will be far reaching and expensive. The Greater Vancouver Regional District's Air Quality Management Plan is reviewed, with emphasis on analysis and evaluation of emission reduction strategies. Emission Reduction Measures (ERMs) are various methods of reducing air pollution (including scrubbers on smoke stacks, transportation demand management, alternative fuels and motor vehicle inspection/maintenance programs.) Emission Reduction Measures are viewed as the tools that must be implemented to solve air quality problems. Environmentally, the most desirable solution would be to implement all ERMs. However, factors such as cost effectiveness and social, financial, political and customer service impacts must be considered and the best measures should be implemented first. The best solutions are those that meet as many objectives as possible while causing the least amount of negative impacts on the economy, society, government and the environment. Finding optimal solutions is a task that requires formalization of common sense. Analytical frameworks such as the cost/benefit analysis, decision analysis and the multiple account/objective analysis are considered as potential tools to help "make sense" of the complexity of air quality policy decisions. The intent is to provide useful and readily understandable information to decision makers. The Multiple Account Analysis (as used by The Crown Corporations Secretariat) is applied to an assortment of Emission Reduction Measures to help identify the "best" order for implementation. This method provides results that compare accounts of importance (such as cost effectiveness and emission reduction potential) and presents decision makers with quality information highlighting tradeoffs and preferences. In the scope of this paper, four ERMs are analyzed across accounts and the results presented in a matrix. The AirCare Program appears as the best choice for effective reduction of oxides of nitrogen when compared to alternative fuels, vanpooling and the Burrard thermal generating plant rebuild.

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