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Cruise ship emissions may be Victoria health concern: report

Emissions from cruise ships may be harming the health of some Victoria residents, according to a newly released air quality report.

Maximum sulphur dioxide emissions from the ships may be as much as three times higher than an earlier study found, said the executive summary of the Air Quality in the Capital Regional District 2008 report.

Referring to the James Bay Air Quality Study from 2007, the new report said, “The possible implication . . . is that SO2 concentrations in the vicinity of Ogden Point may be much higher than was estimated in the JBAQS, and may be high enough in the James Bay community to be of concern for human health impacts in that area.”

In Victoria cruise ships dock at Ogden Point, a few hundred metres from homes. The number of visits by cruise ships grew rapidly over the past decade and reached over 200 in 2009.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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