SEARCHING FOR CLEANER AIR TUSSLING WITH THE TUSSOCK
November 1, 1999 By Pulp & Paper Canada
EDMONTON, AB — In the spring issue of R&D published by the Alberta Research Council (ARC), a report tells how ARC is participating in a project that will develop an action plan to monitor particulate…
EDMONTON, AB — In the spring issue of R&D published by the Alberta Research Council (ARC), a report tells how ARC is participating in a project that will develop an action plan to monitor particulate matter in the air. The current Alberta guidelines that limit particulate matter emissions are based on a measure of total suspended particles (TSP), which refers to particles smaller than 40 micrometers. A Canada-wide standard is being developed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment under the Canada-wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization. The new standards will be for PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 micrometers) and PM10 (smaller than 10 micrometers). “Before new guidelines can be set for Alberta, we need to understand the types of particulate matter emitted by the various sources in Alberta, and determine the relative contribution of particulate matter from these sources,” explained Abdel Kharrat, ARC’s project leader of the source characterization project. The research is aimed at developing Alberta-specific particulate matter source emission characterization. The project is due to wrap up in April 2000.
FREDERICTON, NB — In the Spring/Summer edition of Solutions, the newsletter of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), an article describes work being carried out by Graham Thurston, an entomologist at the Atlantic Forestry Centre that uses naturally occurring pathogens to protect against whitemarked tussock moth outbreaks. In 1998, the moth destroyed more than 20 000 ha of prime timber in Nova Scotia and damaged another 400 000 ha. In its larval stage, the moth will destroy almost anything containing chlorophyll, killing some trees and stunting the growth of others for up to five years. The moth has the potential to kill all of Stora Enso’s balsam fir trees, according to the company’s manager of forest management Jerry Peters. When the moth defoliated a small pocket of balsam fir in 1997, no products were registered for use against it. The CFS and the Nova Scotia department of natural resources conducted an experimental spray program with Foray 48B, a bacterial pesticide that was also used in 1998. Two other bacterial pesticides were also found to be effective, killing 70 to 80% of the larvae. However, bacterial pesticides become ineffective within three days and cannot end an outbreak cycle. Thurston explained that the outbreak declines due to natural pathogens — a virus and a fungus — not because of the bacterial pesticide. The virus was isolated at the Centre in 1997 and is being produced in the lab. The CFS hopes to have guidelines for the use of the pathogen in place in 1999. The virus is target-specific, added Thurston and continues working long after it is applied. However, it does take time to kill and so should be applied early in the outbreak, to reduce the damage and shorten the cycle. The virus does not need to be applied to all sites since it spreads rapidly by itself. Thurston noted that the tussock moth has not been a problem in the area for 20 years so had been ignored.
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